Youth Libraries Group Conference 2018

I was recently very lucky to attend the Youth Libraries Group Conference in Manchester. Work paid for me to attend on the Saturday (tiny bit disappointed that I wasn’t able to attend the Enid Blyton midnight pyjama feast though). The conference explored the importance of reading as a key plank in library provision and the impact it can have on children, young people and their life chances.

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The conference programme can be viewed here: https://www.cilip.org.uk/events/EventDetails.aspx?id=1059241&group

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I registered and got a fabulous canvas bag to add to my collection.

The welcome session was delivered by Matt Goodfellow, a stockport based poet.

http://www.mattgoodfellow.yolasite.com/

Matt’s high-energy performance made me feel like a child once again. I think Matt’s session may have been the highlight of the day actually. He was so funny! My favourite poem was Chicken on the Roof which required some audience participation… It certainly woke us up and set the tone for the day…

There’s a chicken there’s a chicken there’s a chicken on the roof. So catchy!

Booktrust Reading Segments Research

Jill Coleman presented key findings of recent research into the reading engagement of children aged 0 – 16. The research breaks down the types of families that exist when it comes to engagement with books and reading for pleasure.

Families will start reading to their children when they are around 14 months old and generally the family reading activities start to slow at 7 years and 7 months. The segmentation identifies different types of family and reading engagement. The report is available from the BookTrust website 

Breakout Session: Readers & Rights with Rowena Seabrook (Human Rights Education Manager, Amnesty International UK)

In this session, we explored ways in which literature can be used to explore human rights and to challenge, empower and motivate young people.

Rowena showed us Take Up Space by Vanessa Kisuule which I had not seen – it calls on ALL women to stop shrinking themselves and to TAKE UP SPACE! Vanessa is my new favourite person. Her talent is off the chart!

We explored the human rights issues behind two very different books: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas and There’s a bear on my chair by Ross Collins

Despite There’s a bear on my chair being a children’s book, the activity is appropriate for all age groups, including adults. As a group we read the story and put a human rights bookmark in the pages we thought addressed or touched upon an important concept. The bookmarks had basic human rights printed on them: fairness, equality, knowledge, truth, safety and freedom. We then discussed how the book addressed these issues and talked about them in more detail.

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We did a similar activity with The Hate U Give. We were given photocopied extracts to read and discuss. The extracts were thought provoking and led to a very rich group discussion.

Putting human rights at the centre of a book club is something I am now planning on doing after attending this session. I am also going to use, share and build upon the *brilliant* education materials provided by Amnesty International to help our teachers to use literature to explore important issues. Amnesty really have done all of the hard work, check out their resources if you are unfamiliar.

https://www.amnesty.org.uk/cilip-carnegie-and-greenaway-medal-shortlisted-books-2018-and-human-rights-story-explorer-resources

Finally, Rowena introduced us to Words That Burn: an international project for young people that explores human rights abuses through poetry. I think we can all agree that there is nothing more powerful than poetry. Amnesty have again provided free teaching resources that I encourage you to check out, use and share https://www.amnesty.org.uk/issues/words-that-burn

I left Rowena’s session feeling empowered and inspired!

Keynote

Frank Cottrell Boyce, acclaimed screenwriter and Carnegie Medal winner gave the keynote speech after eventually arriving in Manchester after some car trouble on the motorway (not what you want before a keynote). He was fabulous though of course. He talked about the joy of reading and shared anecdotes from his childhood; my favourite being the kind librarian that allowed him to borrow a big, expensive reference book.

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Life Online by Andrew Walsh & Nicola Morgan

I LOVE that Andrew refers to himself as a playbrarian – he’s a genius. I must admit, Andrew is a bit of an idol of mine. I love his work promoting information literacy through play – especially escape rooms! I’ve been to several of his workshops and I’ve got 3 of his books. The latest I’ve purchased is The librarians’ book on teaching through games and play (9781911500070). It’s a would recommend!

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Andrew highlighted the new versions of the TeenTech research smarter sheets which are a staple in our library http://www.teentech.com/teentech-awards/supporting-materials/

He also introduced us to the new CILIP information literacy definition https://infolit.org.uk/new-il-definition/

In case you were wondering what info lit is, here’s the new broad definition:

Information literacy is the ability to think critically and make balanced judgements about any information we find and use. It empowers us as citizens to reach and express informed views and to engage fully with society”

Nicola Morgan, author of over 100 books, then took the stand to talk about life online. I choose this breakout session as we support students via our shelf help collection and I am personally, probably, a little bit addicted to my mobile phone…

Nicola picked some key points from her latest book Teen Guide to Life Online. She did state that the title is misleading as this book certainly is not just for teens. Her website is full of useful information and this page contains links and references to the research and articles which Nicola thinks will help people to understand what’s going on when we use our screens. Nicole likened screen addiction to many of the other addictions that plague modern life. To overcome them:

  1. You have to want to change your habits
  2. You need to know why you should change

Excessive screen time can lead to a variety of problems including mental stress, exhaustion, low self-esteem, distraction, loss of concentration and a reduction in physical activity. Unfortunately, just being around a mobile device is distracting. Having a device near you leads to a 10% reduction in performance! Screens and online content are designed to distract you. It’s not your fault that you cannot resist.

If you want to lower your screen time. Nicola advises you to:

  1. Keep them out of view (out of sight, out of mind)
  2. Distract yourself with other activities (pick up a book perhaps). Don’t sit twiddling your thumbs, dreaming of your mobile device.
  3. Create manageable goals – i.e. I will not use my phone for the next hour
  4. Seek help from those around you – remind them not to send you hilarious memes and cat videos every 5 minutes
  5. Keep reminding yourself why you are doing this – it is good for your mental health and productivity in the long run
  6. Notice the benefits – are you able concentrate better? (intrinsic motivation)

Mobile phones and devices do have their benefits but they also come with their own host of problems. I am not a parent therefore cannot comment on the convenience of giving a mobile device to a child to keep them quiet and entertained… but I am a little uncomfortable with the idea. One of the video diaries from the Family Reading Segment research shows a little girl in her cot. Her mum tells her that it is time to read and the little girl starts crying “but I don’t want to read, I want to play on my iPad”… and this made me a little bit sad.

I came home with so many goodies and books – the publishers were very kind and generous. The best book I came home with was My name is not Refugee.

My name is not refugee

The book asks young children ‘from a safe, comfortable background’ to think about what it must be like to ‘leave your home and make a journey into the unknown’. The illustrations are so beautiful and heart-breaking https://www.independent.co.uk/student/student-life/books/student-s-refugee-crisis-book-for-children-wins-va-illustration-award-a7051776.html

I gave my neighbour who has 3 children most of the books – the look of joy on their faces says it all. Books really are magical and this conference is a must for any librarian.

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Thing 23: Making it all work together

I’ve attempted to use Hootsuite before and I am not a fan… I had another go at setting it up and I am just really confused by it and I don’t think I personally would find it useful. I like to spend time on each of my social media platforms because they are individual and unique and that’s why I use them. When I look at the Hootsuite dashboard I just see a mass of stuff and I think that takes the fun out of social media.

However, in a library setting I can see its potential as a great time saver and I would consider using it to manage the library’s social media accounts. In a library setting, social media is being used for a very specific purpose and not just for fun.

I have had another go with Flipboard and I’ve added my LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+ accounts and so far it’s looking good so I will give it another go.

I can’t believe it’s come to an end! The last few posts have been hard for me to find time to complete and I’ve literally just made the deadline (I hope). I’ve come a long way since I completed Thing 1 and I feel it has helped me to become a better reflective thinker and a better librarian.

Thank you for providing this course, it’s been great! 🙂

rudai

I am currently completing a free mobile learning course that teaches social media through social media for professional devlopment.

Thing 22: Goodreads (Mobile Things)

I had a go with the GUM app but it would not work with my iPad for some reason so I am going to review Goodreads instead.

“Knowledge is power, and power is best shared among readers” – Otis Chandler, CEO and Co-Founder of Goodreads

Goodreads is an online “social cataloguing” site and app. I am going to review the app because it is what I use the most and I prefer to use it over the website. You can search the user-populated database that boasts over 1.1 billion titles. I am actually considering signing up to be a Goodreads librarian. I would be able to help improve the metadata on the database to ensure that people can find books and get the best possible information about the titles they are interested in.

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These are my Goodreads bookshelves

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These are the books I’m reading at the moment.

I regularly use Goodreads to track my reading process, add books that I want to read and to keep a record of the books I’ve read. I always come across books that I want to read so I simply add them to my to-read shelf with the scan function which I LOVE! It works so well. I’ve never had a barcode that wasn’t scanable on Goodreads. I don’t know about anyone else but I find it really entertaining scanning books.

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A screenshot of the barcode scanning function in action. You need to get a little closer than this to scan but you get the idea.

My favourite function is the reading challenge. When I set my self a goal it makes it a lot harder to fail. So by setting myself a reading challenge on Goodreads I am essentially forcing myself to read which is good because I like reading… But it is easy to fall behind on my reading when I am busy and setting myself a yearly challenge helps me to keep up with my reading. I am not sure how many books I should set myself next year… How many books should a librarian be reading each year?

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I’ve read 20 books this year.

My least favourite function is actually the social element of the app. I am not really that interested in what everyone else is reading… I know that sounds kind of horrible but I think it is probably because not that many of my friends are using Goodreads. I do however check out other reader’s book reviews if I am unsure about a book and they usually help me to decide whether I should go ahead and start reading it. Most users are serious and respectful and will warn you if their review contains spoilers.

Goodreads has great functionality, it’s a fun way of tracking your reading process and it’s great for reading inspiration. One of the best apps on my phone! 🙂

rudai

I am currently completing a free mobile learning course that teaches social media through social media for professional devlopment.

 

Thing 21: Infographics

https://infograph.venngage.com/p/44226/library-social-media-top-tips

I really like infographics. It is one of the best ways of displaying information simply and interestingly. Check out my attempt at creating one using Venngage which is a free infographic creator. It is really easy to use and there are loads of themes and icons available for you to use. I didn’t use any stats or data, it’s just a social media top tips infograph. I can’t download my infographic with Venngage unfortunately so next time I think I will use easelly, it looks just as good and that functionality is really important you are going to use it in the library.

I think infographics could be very useful in the library especially as a way of getting important information to students. I think information that is colourful, attractive and gets to the point quickly is more likley to be read in the first place.

rudai

I am currently completing a free mobile learning course that teaches social media through social media for professional devlopment.

GT Project: An investigation into the use of social media at the University of Bradford Library

Flickr mkhmarketing.wordpress.com

Flickr mkhmarketing.wordpress.com

For my graduate trainee project, I investigated how the University of Bradford (UoB) Library could improve its use of social media (SM) to promote library services and connect with users. I completed a literature review which helped me to understand the existing research, I assessed the library’s social media and made suggestions on how to improve it. I looked at the way similar institutions conduct themselves online and made comparisons. I also surveyed the University of Bradford Library staff to see how they felt about using social media to connect with users. It was a very useful thing to do as it really helped inform my suggestions and it also helped me to feel more confident knowing that most people were in agreement. This is a brief excerpt from my project 🙂

With the ever increasing popularity of social networking sites (SNS) and their widespread popularity, it is important that the library exploits this method of communication. Libraries are expected to have many streams of communication open with users and social media provides an excellent opportunity to connect with staff, existing and prospective students and colleagues in a novel way.

There are many ways in which social media can be used in a meaningful and beneficial way, especially within an academic library. Social media can be used to promote the library, have real-time customer service conversations with users and receive feedback. Most librarians understand that social media is an important tool that can help them to deliver their services. Here is a list of some of the ways in which social media could be used in the academic library:

  • To build a sense of community
  • To reach users in their homes and ‘virtual spaces’ as many people can now access lots of library resources outside of the library
  • To seek user’s opinions on library services, respond to user feedback and use it as an opportunity for self-assessment
  • Publicise events such One World Week and the recent special collections Mitrinovic Symposium
  • Promote new acquisitions
  • Promote and increase usage of library collections
  • Promoting workshops and inductions
  • Keep up to date with other librarians and academic institutions
  • Financial costs are believed to be low
  • As a broadcast tool for library updates and news
  • Opening hours and contact details
  • To connect with new and current students, as well as alumni and especially distance learners
  • To connect with the academic community and university staff
  • Potentially a customer services tool – dealing with enquiries, feedback and complaints
  • To update users on system maintenance and problems with library systems
  • Explore the use of interesting applications such as Pinterest and Instagram for inductions and workshop

My favourite article fittingly titled “#selfiesinthestacks” looked at how Instagram can be used by libraries to alleviate library anxiety in first year students, increase user engagement and offer active learning experiences. Wallis questions how much information students realistically retain whilst attending traditional library inductions, especially when so much is going on at the start of term. Wallis developed a fantastic library programme using Instagram which introduced new students to the library in a fun, social and modern way.

  • She downloaded the Instagram app on the library’s iPads and created a library account (https://instagram.com/umlibrary/). She then logged into the account on each of the iPads (6 of them).
  • She then presented a short PowerPoint which was a brief introduction to the library, directing students to the library catalogues, describing the layout of the library and explaining the task.
  • Students were asked to get into groups of three to five people and choose a team name.
  • Each group received an iPad and a sheet of paper with the following prompts listed. All apart from the specific book title are open to interpretation.
  • The weirdest book
  • Something confusing
  • The best study spot
  • This book (each group was given a different book to find)
  • Your group and a member of library staff
  • A DVD you want to watch
  • Students would then use the iPads to take photos based on the prompts and upload them to the library’s Instagram account.
  • The groups were given 30 minutes to explore the library
  • When they returned they looked through all of the images on a projector together and had a discussion about their experience.

There is little doubt that social media is becoming an integral part of 21st century communication and this is increasingly the case in how we conduct our personal lives, our education and our careers. In order to appreciate social media, to some extent you need to immerse yourself in it; you must understand why you are spending time on it, be acceptant of the positives and negatives and be aware of the opportunities that it presents. Using social media yourself is good practice for when you use in on behalf of the library.

There are many obstacles and challenges associated with using social media in a consistent and meaningful way. If the library does not keep an eye open on social media, it is possible that we will miss important discussions and feedback that are related to the library. The conversation will happen, whether the library wants to listen or not and not everyone is going to have positive things to say. People do use social media to share both negative and positive experiences they have had with institutions, organisations and businesses.

It is easy to be worried about using social media in a professional setting because of unprofessional, negative comments. People will say negative things on social media and there are advantages to facing this negativity head on. We can try to resolve any problems the user might be having, we can apologise and we can try to make it right. People will also say positive things and when they do, it is good for us to know that we are doing things right. Social media could be used as another means of gathering student feedback in addition to the traditional methods already in place. It is a lot easier for a student to send an email or write a comment online than it is to fill in a form and post it in the library. For many service providers, customer service has gone way beyond simply speaking to someone in person, by email or on the telephone.

Staff and students alike need to be aware of the impact social media can have on people’s lives. People should conduct themselves as they would in any normal social situation and that involves being polite, respectful and appreciative of the fact that by law everyone has the right to freedom of expression. The catch being that when you voice your opinion on social media, you are inviting people to do the same. So it is important that all posts are carefully considered as they can come back to bite you, as they did with Paris Brown in 2013. Comments she had posted in the past on Twitter were investigated for possible criminal offences. Paris posted tweets when she was between the ages of 14-16 which were considered to be racist and homophobic. At the age of 17 she had just been appointed Britain’s first youth crime commissioner but was forced to resign due to her previous ill-thought-out tweets.

With prospective employers having free access to social media just as everyone else does, it is important that people, especially students, know how to conduct themselves online. They need to take responsibility for their own actions, learn about their online privacy and be aware that when they post things online, it can be there for the whole world to see. Librarians are in a fantastic postion to demonstrate how best to use social media, but first they need to be on social media.

Here are some of the Padlets I made to go alongside my project:

Using the existing literature, making comparisons with other academic institutions and surveying UoB library staff, I explored the negative and positive aspects of social media. Social media does not have to be difficult and it does not have to take up huge amounts of time. But a tailored social media strategy needs to be in place and social media needs to be monitored regularly if it is to be successful. If our efforts can help students find useful information they would otherwise not have found or to seek help in the library because he/she saw us pop up on their social media feed, then that is a job well done.

See this link for my presentation http://prezi.com/vpzaqq4g4mpe/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share

Thing 10 – Hangin’ out on Google

rudai_tweet_When I first saw this post I contemplated signing up but then got a little bit scared by the fact that it would be aired online for everyone to see and resigned myself to be an observer…

But when I was approached to take part I couldn’t say no because the whole point of this course is to learn about new tools and to try things that I am not familiar with. It’s just an online chat with people… I can do that right!?

I was worried about a few things to begin with:

  • Worried my laptop would play up
  • Worried that the microphone wouldn’t work and I would sound terrible
  • Worried that I wouldn’t be able to connect and join the conversation (technical difficulties)
  • Feeling self-conscious and worried I would say something silly in front of a lot of people

I sat down about an hour before the start time to set up my microphone and prepare for the discussion. The email the Rudai23 team sent me was really helpful and covered everything I needed to know. Here are the example questions which I prepared for:

Can you introduce yourself and tell us where you work?
What’s your favourite thing?
How do you manage your time?
Are you enjoying it?
Are you looking forward to any of the upcoming things specifically?
Do you find the course a lot of work?
Did you think the course would be this much work?
Have you applied any of your knowledge in a practical sense yet? Although there hasn’t been much time for that yet!!
When or how do you think you would use each of the things in your library setting?

My laptop worked fine and I literally just plugged the mic into my laptop and that was it. I then logged into Google + and waited (I was a little bit worried how easy it was – I was convinced I’d missed a trick but it really was that easy). They just called me into the Hangout and I just had to click a few buttons that was it, we were online!

I am really happy that I took part because it was a really good experience. Because I had prepared some answers to the questions I felt it was easy to get involved in the conversation. The only difficulty is timing – so speaking when no one else is speaking otherwise it is very difficult to hear what people are saying. Overall I think we did OK with this though and everyone had their chance to speak and get involved. It would be easy to spend at least on hour on there because it takes a while for each person to have their say and we only got through a couple of questions in the 20 minutes.

The only drawback of Hangouts is that if you can’t get online and join the Hangout, lose your connection or the connection isn’t great in the first place it can make the experience difficult. But this can’t really be helped by anyone and should be considered when doing things online.

I will certainly be involved in the next one because it’s great fun and it’s nice to see everyone and have a real chat. If you have an agenda and a list of things to talk about like we did and the technology is reliable then I think Google Hangouts is a really useful tool. It would be really useful in the library to share a meeting with people who can’t make it in person. I think there is a lot of potential and I am going to explore it a little further. I haven’t hosted my own yet so I might have a go with that next.

Thanks again Rudai23! 

I am currently completing a free mobile learning course that teaches social media through social media for professional devlopment.

I am currently completing a free mobile learning course that teaches social media through social media for professional devlopment.

My Battle With JING – Thing No.9

I think I have finally got over the initial horror of seeing and hearing myself on video… I am not used to recording myself or hearing myself speak… It was really odd at first and I think this has been the strangest experience of the Rudai 23 course so far but it has also been the most fun I’ve had because it’s something new that I’ve had to learn from scratch. On reflection, thing 9 has been the most challenging for me so far because it has allowed me to use software and technology that I am unfamiliar with and to really learn something new, something which I was a little bit nervous about. Many of the things that have been covered so far have been tools that I am familiar with so it’s been useful to learn about them in more detail but they haven’t been completely new to me.

Google hangouts and creating my own video are both things that I’ve never done before and have really enjoyed playing with. More on the Google Hangout in the next post.

I used Jing to create my short screencast because I already had it installed on my laptop. I use the screen capture function regularly on Jing because the icon is right there on my screen and it’s really easy to use so I figured I would have a go with the video function. I always see it and have never got round to having a play with it. To be honest I’ve never felt that I’ve had anything interesting enough to share. With a little inspiration from the Rudai team, I decided to do a short screencast on the basics of using Twitter.

As a newcomer to any website or software, it can be a little bit daunting and I’ve learn that some people are reluctant to just jump straight in and start using it and would benefit from a bit of an introduction first. I am doing a project on social media at the moment and have been asked by some colleagues to demonstrate how to use Twitter so I thought I would kill two birds with one stone by doing this video.

It is a lot easier to create the actual screencast than I thought it would be and it’s worrying how fast the 5 minutes fly by when you are demonstrating something. 5 minutes really isn’t enough time so I had to really condense the information and really it isn’t that great of an introduction because if you had never used Twitter before, you would need something a lot more comprehensive. It could work as a series of short 5 minutes videos so people could learn step by step. I think I might do something along these lines for my project: Maybe a 6 part mini-series on Twitter Basics… Look what you’ve started Rudai 23! 🙂

It took me a long time to create the screencast because I kept saying something silly or spent too much time talking about one thing so I literally rerecorded it at least 20 times… I kept putting on some strange sort of telephone voice for no apparent reason so I kept starting from the beginning and I did get a little frustrated I’ll admit. I think you definitely need to have a plan of what you are going to say in front of you when creating these kinds of videos. It is really easy to start talking about unrelated things so if I’ve learn one thing it’s have a plan and stick to it!

Also Jing doesn’t make it easy! I had to convert the SWF file to a format which could be uploaded onto YouTube. I tried various free software packages available and it didn’t seem to work. I then used the Moyea video converter which worked but because I only used the free version my video now has their watermark all over it and it converted into 5 minute video into a 20 minute video with 5 minutes of content and 15 minutes of blank… I might try it again but with screencast-o-matic instead because this whole process took far too long (my entire Saturday afternoon).

I have learnt a new skill which I think will be really useful for the library. I’ve seen videos that colleagues have created on how to use the Summon search functions and the library catalogue and I’ve always wondered how you make them and now I know, so thanks Rudai 23!

Here is my video… I’m officially a YouTuber!! 🙂

I am currently completing a free mobile learning course that teaches social media through social media for professional devlopment.

I am currently completing a free mobile learning course that teaches social media through social media for professional devlopment.

Thing 8 – Curation Tools

I absolutely love Pinterest. It’s one of my favourite things. I use it a lot more on my mobile devices than I do on my desktop. I think this is probably because I use it a lot during my leisure time; when I am on lunch or waiting for something, or before bed, or when I am bored; so quite a lot actually. I have pinned 4400 things onto 33 boards… Ooops!

In all honesty, I think of myself as some sort of interior designer. I got so many ideas from Pinterest on how to decorate my flat when I moved in to my new place. It’s easy going and fun because unless you’re interested in following the link to the websites, you can just have a look at the pin and save if for later. I like scrapbooking and Pinterest is just a really easy electronic version of that. My account is full of boards of all of the things I love and would like to have, places I would like to go, my favourite people and pretty houses.

I have been using Pinterest for a good few years and have only really used it for personal reasons. Until this course I never considered the potential of Pinterest in terms of using it in the library. I can really see its potential for advertising new acquisitions and purchases in the library, for book displays, a visual and fun addition to reading lists and subject themed boards.

I have been searching for information literacy and library workshops on Pinterest and have found loads of interesting things that I’ve pinned. I am starting a new job in September at a 6th form college library so I am looking for inspiration so that I am prepared and so far Pinterest has been really useful. They are wanting to establish a social media presence for their library so I am hoping to be involved in this process. I can definitely see Pinterest being something that I look into for the library (so excited about this). Any advice on setting this up for the library?

Check out my Info Literacy & Teaching board. Below is an example of some of the cool infographics I’ve pinned. I love infographics and have been inspired to create my own. I’ll pin them when I’ve completed them.

This is an example of something that I've pinned in preparation for my new job. http://http//www.scoop.it/t/we-are-teacher-librarians https://www.pinterest.com/pin/26740191514755817/

This is an example of something that I’ve pinned in preparation for my new job.
http://http//www.scoop.it/t/we-are-teacher-librarians
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/26740191514755817/

Storify & Flipboad?

Flipboad was installed on my phone when I bought it and I tried to use it but I could never get into it. I like it in principle and I like the “flipping” motion but in reality it irritates me a little bit. The only thing I like it for is for reading the news but I don’t use it very much and I don’t feel the need to start doing so. I have my Pinterest so I’m good… Sorry Flipboard.

Storify is great! It’s really good for compiling updates about events. It was used recently to compile all of the tweets about the VC’s End of Year Celebration Tournament at work and it was good to have a summary of everything rather than having to look it up yourself. It’s really good for Twitter chats as well. I can see the potential of Storify for events and I will keep it in mind for when I start my new job. I don’t feel like I have enough going on on my social media accounts to create a storify yet so I think if you’re an account moderator for the library or are a special interest group then Storify could come in very handy.

I am currently completing a free mobile learning course that teaches social media through social media for professional devlopment.

I am currently completing a free mobile learning course that teaches social media through social media for professional devlopment.

Podcasts: Consumer or Creator?

Podcasts are something that I’ve never taken the time to get into but I appreciate that they are a great thing that I am definitely missing out on. I’ve heard about Serial and really wanted to give it a go. I’ve tried to listen to audiobooks and I do enjoy them but I find it difficult to sit and listen and do nothing else. I like the fact that I am being read to and it’s really relaxing but I can only sit and listen for so long. I definitely prefer to read books myself.

I don’t know the best way to actually listen to podcasts – when and how do people listen to them? How do you fit them into your day? Please let me know because I’d like to find more time to listen to them.

I miss reading and studying history and I admit, I really don’t have the time at the moment to be reading my history books. They’re safely waiting for me in my tiny library. I’ve made a promise to myself that I will read them again. They aren’t going anywhere that’s for sure and I will keep buying more.

A snapshot of my neglected history collection – ignore the Batman comic

But I guess this is where podcasts can come in handy because I can listen to them and do stuff at the same time… As long as the stuff I am doing doesn’t require too much brain power; cleaning, bathing or sitting on a train for example.

I’ve just discovered this podcast and I am definitely excited by it. The Director of the British Museum, Neil MacGregor takes us through the History of the World in 100 Objects which can be found in the British Museum. Telling the tales of history through things is what museums do and it’s one of the most entertaining ways to learn about history. This podcast, first broadcast in 2010, examines human history through some of the things that we have created during our existence.

Podcasts can definitely be used for entertainment and leisure purposes – I think I am definitely going to take a bath and carry on listening to this podcast.

I think podcasts could definitely be used in the library. As far as I am aware no one creates their own podcasts in the library I work in at the moment but I can see their potential, especially when thinking about “100 objects” projects and blogs that are used in libraries and special collections to inform people about their star objects. It’s nice to have the option to learn about things in different ways and they could be useful for creating accessible content. The enthusiasm and knowledge of archivists, curators and special collections librarians would come across really well on a podcast. I will also be keeping my ears open for new podcasts and listen to some more of the podcasts on “Circulating Ideas” because they are really useful for professional development. I really enjoyed epidode 64: Troy Swanson & Heather Jagman talking about their book Not Just Where To Click: Teaching Students How To Think About Information. Thanks Rudai 23 for introducing this to me.

On that note however, I think I am going to be a podcast consumer rather than a podcast creator because at the moment, I don’t feel like I have enough interesting things to talk about. Plus, I hate the sound of my own voice, it’s weird!

I am currently completing a free mobile learning course that teaches social media through social media for professional devlopment.

I am currently completing a free mobile learning course that teaches social media through social media for professional development.

Are we a generation of social media addicts?

Everyone seems to be using social media nowadays don’t you think? An estimated 2.03 billion people have active social media accounts which is equal to around 28% of the population. That’s one hell of a lot of cat videos, selfies and general viral stupidity. We spend a LOT of time using these things – only 39,757 years collectively spent on Facebook per day, no biggie. It doesn’t help the situation when you can carry them around with you everywhere you go. Nice one mobile technology.

The interesting infographic I’ve posted below prompted to think about social media and question whether or not it’s all just a passing trend? Social media sites fall in and out of fashion and yes, I’m thinking about you Bebo and Myspace. But I don’t think it is a passing trend. The sites we are using today might fall out of fashion yes, but I think the concept is here to stay. Gone are the days when we had to rely on actual face-to-face interactions if we wanted to socialise and gone are the days when we had to read a newspaper to find out what’s going on in the world… But does this mean social media “addicts” will withdraw into their online worlds, never to return to reality? No. Social media just helps us to communicate with each other in an increasingly busy world.

We shouldn’t forget about all of those people who aren’t using social media – 72% of the world’s population. In the UK 34% of adults do not have a social networking profile and in 2014 there were 4 million households (24%) without internet access; chances are they aren’t overly active on social media. It’s probably quite difficult to define what an “active” social media account even is. Lots of people have accounts but rarely use them. And despite the popularity of social media, I think a lot of people still need help setting up their profiles and using them. This is something that librarians can certainly help with.

Social media opens up a whole new world for people in terms of support networks, socialising, entertainment, professional development and so on. It provides a whole range of possibilites and opportunites and give you access to SO much information. This is a fantastic thing as long as you’ve got your ‘who wrote this’ hat on. If you are conscious about your online privacy and safety, think a little bit about what you’re posting and don’t take it too seriously – you can have a really useful and meaningful social media experience.

I’ll admit it, I think I might be a teeny weeny little bit addicted to social media. But I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing. Here’s why:

  • I’m part of the 16% who use Facebook/ Twitter as my morning news courier. But I also use the BBC, Guardian and Metro news apps and all of the others that I’ve liked and followed. This helps to me get a broad view of some of the crazy stuff that’s going on in the world. I don’t think you should rely solely on social media for your daily news dosage, especially on April Fool’s Daybut it’s useful to have news on your social media feeds. Plus I wouldn’t say no to some of the Metro “news” articles posted on their Facebook page, they are hilarious! It’s good to get your news from a variety of sources and I try not to trust everything I read on the news anyway. I don’t take part in the debates that happen online about the news either, but I do like to read them because it gives me a good idea of people’s differing opinions and ideas (and it’s fun).
  • I do spend a lot of time on social media, probably more than 2 hours a day… I mainly use Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, WordPress, YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn and I think it helps me to become a more knowledgeable, interesting person – hopefully… I find out a lot of stuff that I didn’t know before and you can learn more about your specific interests by following the right groups, people and pages – essentially the information comes to you. If all else fails, it certainly helps break the ice when you can talk about that hilarious viral video that’s doing the rounds… and if they haven’t seen it, you can show them! Everyone loves a bit of ninja cat right?   
  • My social media accounts serve as a gentle reminder of all the things I’ve done since I’ve had them. Timehop is a great app which shows me my photos and updates from this exact day in history. Because I’ve shared something that I’ve done with the world, it’s out there like a little cyberspace scrapbook, reminding myself and others that are interested that I do cool things sometimes. My blog is especially useful as I can use it to reflect on the stuff I am doing at work and share it with others.
  • My family and friends follow me. It means we don’t have to see each other everyday… (This is a joke – if they read my blog they can tell me off). Seriously though, life can get busy at times and it’s a shame that you can’t always spend as much time with loved ones as you’d like. But with Facebook I can at least keep up to date with what my family and friends are up to and my mum can keep track of me.

  • You can use social media for work stuff as well, who’d of thought it?! This is actually one of the reasons I end up spending so much time on Facebook and Twitter. Before I started my graduate traineeship I never knew librarians loved it so much. There is a huge community of them out there willing to share their expertise and knowledge and the best way to speak to them is via online networks. You can get involved in Twitter conversations such as #uklibchat and there are many Facebook groups and Twitter lists that are dedicated to discussing issues within libraries and sharing ideas. I’ve just joined the Libraries & Social Media Facebook group and there is always something interesting on there to read. I am planning on asking them about my grad trainee project which I am doing on social media in the academic library (will blog about this soon). I am going on a tour of Chetham’s Library which has been organised by the New Library Professionals Network. I signed up for the event on NLPN’s Facebook page and if I hadn’t of been on Facebook/ Twitter, I probably wouldn’t have even known about it. This is the case for pretty much every library event I’ve been to actually. I always find out about them on social media before I get chance to read about it in an email. I personally use social media for professional development and for fun simultaneously. I don’t really feel the need to seperate the two because my work is a huge part of who I am… and that’s enough cheese for one day.

Thanks to @rudai23 I am currently undertaking a free mobile learning course that teaches social media through social media for professional devlopment. http://rudai23.blogspot.co.uk/

Check out these crazy stats from GO-Globe.

Social Media Addiction

Scary huh?

Infographic by- GO Globe Singapore