Thing 12 – Conferences

I’m fortunate that work is happy for me to attend CPD events – as long as reasonably priced and the library has enough staffing to carry on in my absence – which is the problem. We’re thinly staffed (as are many of us) and getting away can be problematic.

I find many events are HE led, interesting & relevant to me in FE, but either further away than is feasible to travel in a day, or being held over 2 or even 3 days. This may be fine in HE where there is greater staffing flexibility, but is impossible for FE. Even if the event is free there is staff cover, travel & accommodation to cost in. Last year I was invited to present at a conference but to travel and attend would have meant 3 days out of college, so I was unable to go.

Another down-side is coming away from an event enthused and eager to try out new ideas, only to have real life intrude & time to play with these vanish!

However, CPD events are great. A chance to meet folk from other institutions; see other libraries;  put faces to people on forums & Twitter feeds; to compare experiences & realise you’re not the only library strugging with a problem (e.g.students eating pizzas in the library).

I’m terrible at remembering names, so I annotate the attendees list with comments about the people I meet & especially what we talked about.

Do follow up your meeting with an email and / or by following on Twitter for anyone you felt was interesting or would be helpful to you.

Take some notes so when the presentations are shared after the event you can recall the detail of what was actually said.

Try and find time after to reflect on & implement some ideas from the event.

Recommendations for events-

Birmingham City University annual one day conference – due Spring 2016 This is not free, but has been very interesting in the past. Previous event have been archived, here’s the last one.

UKEIG events. FE ones often free.

Local Teachmeets are often free. I’ve attended a few at Staffordhire Uni.

Your LMS or Discovery service providers often hold free user meetings which can be very interesting. Find out how other libraries are using them, and influence future developments.


Thing 11 – Reflection

  • Write about how you are managing your time during this course.

Well,  not efficiently!

As I write the final Thing has been released, and I have 14 posts to write, plus 3 longer things to play with.

I did have a review a few weeks ago, drew up a plan, and didn’t stick to it.

That’s me, I love these courses, crochet-alongs, interactive online events, but I’m always behind.


I can still catch up. I’m determined to get the certificate at the end, otherwise I’ll feel I’ve not fully engaged in the experience.

What I’ve done is grabbed a few half hours in the last couple of weeks where I’ve read the Things, thought about the quicker ones, and made notes for the blog posts.

Now I can sit down for 2 or 3 sessions of blogging and clear the bulk of it.

I’ve identified 3 things I need to spend some time on – Thing 3- CVs & Linkedin; Thing 9 – Video & screencasting; Thing 21 – Infographics. So when I’ve done the main blogging I can tackle these individually. Then it will be done!


I have also signed up for a MOOC on literature searching that was publicised by another Rudai23 partcipant…

so it goes on.

Thing 10 – Live streaming

I attended the Google Hangout Rudai 23 held, and thought it was a good experience. It was a further dimension to enable participants to feel part of the community, although as could be expected rather dependent on internet connection & equipment working well!

This is a tool I could try at work. We have distance learners who call in for help and to be able to chat face to face  coould be more useful. I will find a learner with a webcam & a Google account & try it one day.

As for Periscope, this is increasingly popping up in my Twitter feed, though I have never been able to watch one live. The best one I saw was from the BBC (so excellent quality) giving a quick tour of a Waterloo exhibition wth the curators & Dan Snow. While I don’t think I’ll use this (not camera shy, but I am video / voice shy!) I will be watching again – especially if they extend availabilty beyond 24 hours.

Thing 8 – Curator Tools

I’ve had a play with these tools, but feel a bit lukewarm about them.

I hate finding a feed in Twitter that sounds interesting but links to Pinterest as you can’t view it without being registered & I’m not taking that step as I know the time I will waste if it’s available to me- too many lovely images of yarn & fabric!

Flipboard looks nice, but iI already use Pocket for curating interesting things, it links to my Twitter account & is very easy to save pages from the internet for reading later or archiving.

Storify needs a bit of time to learn, and I haven’t a need to yet, but I have used it to catch up on conferences I haven’t been able to attend which gives you an essence of the event.

I have the same reservations with these as many of the things we are looking at-

students have to already use these – us using them for library things will not be the trigger to get them to join.

Thing 7- Podcasts

I already listen to podcasts I find it helpful to go to sleep listening to something. First it was cassettes, then CDs. Then I could download podcasts. Now with live streaming and the BBC iplayer the choice is endless!

I’ve looked at the selection of library related podcats and haven’t really been engaged with them. I’ll check out Circulating ideas periodically to see what else appears, but I think I’ll use this format for leisure.

As to creating my own – NO! I hate my own voice for a start. Also I see it as something that will take quite a bit of time to get good at & I think my limited time will be better spent getting used to something I will use at work such as. screencasts.

I haven’t listened to Serial yet, but having heard it recommended in several places I will have to get around to it.

For those of you into crime I recommend Great Detectives of Old Time Radio (widely available I believe, I listen on the Apple podcast App). It’s a HUGE collectiom of radio crime & detective dramas from the US, restored with added commentary. Very enjoyable and with a seemingly endless supply of episodes.

And if you haven’t tried the BBC radio iplayer give it a go. You can catchup, listen live and download.

Thing 6 – reflection on other Rudai23 bloggers

Who to follow…?

Similar or different…?

I looked through the list of participants blogs and decided to follow a few who were working in similar situations, including someone from a different country. Then I looked for people who were actually blogging (unlike me, I’m still on catchup!)

So I ended up with-


Library love

Out of my comfort zone

So now not only do I have to catch up on my blogging, but also on what others are writing!

Thing 5 — Facebook & Twitter.

I was a bit slow connecting with Facebook, resisting it as a potential time waster but I eventually joined as I had moved away from a lot of my friends and it was the easiest way to keep in touch with people on the other side of the country – and the world.

I haven’t got dragged into games, quizzes and other trivia, but use it for real friends and to engage with some companies I like to keep up with. I’ve joined a couple of open groups connected with hobbies, and have set up a private group for my craft club so we can communicate easily.

I had never considered using it professionally – that’s what I use Twitter for. I did look at some professional pages, but didn’t ‘like’ any in the end, I’m keeping Facebook for my personal side.

Twitter I use as my professional social media presence, where I’m @drusmumdoes  although I don’t have a seperate personal account, so it isn’t all library related (beware of yarn & cats!). I also lead on the library account @RHC_Library

I really like Twitter. It’s so easy to keep up with what’s going on with people & companies, it takes a moment to check a tweet & if I’m interested in what the tweet is about I’ll follow the link. The library team understand it’s a good idea to tweet, but their personal use is limited. I try & encourage college staff & students (particularly HE students) to join, but with limited success.

I think this from Ned Potter (who is one of my top tips to follow) introduces the idea of why we should use Twitter is great.

Other people I recommend are-

@JInfoLit   Journal of Information Literacy

@library_connect  Elseviers library feed

@hudlib  excellent tweeting from University of Huddersfield, lots of ideas of how to use a library feed

@publicnews  Ian Anstice runs this public library advocacy feed

@redsontour  Anthony Beal is a member of JISC and tweets useful resources information

@PhilBradley  top tweeter on all things Library 2.0

Thing 4 – Google

Like everyone I use Google a lot!

At work I have embraced the fact that students use Google as their go-to place for any kind of research, and try to show them to use it more effectively, what it’s limitations are, and to reveal the wonders of the college resources available to them.

I have Chrome set as my preferred browser as things work better in it then the standard work alternative (IE9!) and my page will follow me around on my gadgets.

As part of this thing I signed up for some Google Expert search training (a fellow Rudai 23 student tweeted about this) which showed me several aspects of search I wasn’t aware of – and I gained a certificate for following the program, another piece of CPD evidence. Unfortunately most of this has already slipped my mind, so I will need to refresh myself – and with the constant additions and removals Google makes to its products it will need regular updating. I follow Phil Bradley (@Philbradley) who is brilliant at changes in this kind of thing.

As to Google+, I haven’t gone for this. I have difficulty keeping up with Twitter etc. as it is, and can’t take on another stream to follow.

I watched the Google Hangout Rudai 23 held which was interesting, and I can see the potential for communicating with distant learners who need a 1:1, so a useful tool to bear in mind.

Thing 2

So, next task for Rudai 23 is to write a post about why I’m a Librarian.

As many Librarians will say, I loved reading as a child, But that’s not why I chose to do this. I didn’t think ‘I love reading if I work in a library I can read all day’. Just as well too, as it SOO isn’t true, indeed since leaving Public Libraries when there was a constant stream of new, clean books to tempt me, I have read less and less.

I didn’t know what I wanted to do at school, except that I wanted to go to University like my brother had. I didn’t know what I wanted to study, but it seemed an exciting prospect.

Then along came the careers person. This was in the early days of computers. When if you were doing A level maths you had access to the few computers in school. I wasn’t, so I didn’t. But my careers adviser did and had a paper questionnaire for me which was fed into a computer and spat out a printout of suggested careers for my interest & inclinations.

On the list was Archivist. Mmm. Interesting, but one problem- my school didn’t teach Latin. So- how about being a Librarian? So I ended up at Library School in Brighton. Great place, good times, wonderful job. (And I caught up on the Latin a few years ago).

So now, quite a few years later, after an excursion into a solo health library; excellent training in a major public library service; and a few ore years for another;  I’m now working in a Land-based FE college providing a 21st century service to young people and adults from pre-entry to Level 6


I love my job (most of the time!) and now I’m allowed to play with computers and try to show the students how wonderful the world of information & the internet is, and that there is more to it than Google!