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 Previous event have been archived, here’s the last one.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.

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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.

BUT

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!

BUT

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.