Thursday, 30 June 2011

What I've been reading in June

Save Libraries

CILIP, Women's Institute to Campaign for libraries (hooray!)

Lauren Smith, Libraries and the WI


Various people, CILIP New Professionals Information Day blogs (a bundle put together by Richard Hawkins)

Ned Potter, Presenting opportunities at library events, and how to get them 

Annie Pho and Lauren Dodd, Hack ALA: Get Your Network On!

Ned Potter, Librarians are horizontal; libraries are vertical (thoughts on the opening keynote of SLA 2011)

Laura Steel, New Professionals Conference 2011 

Jo Norwood, NPC 2011 Part One and Part Two (Tired of reading conference write ups? Here's the New Professionals Conference in comic form!)

Social Media and Technology

Josh Halliday, British Library creates a "national memory" with digital newspaper archive

Soren Gordhamer, 3 Pressing Questions Facing the Future of Social Media 

Audrey Watters, How the Library of Congress is building the Twitter archive

Hamilton Chan, HOW TO: Make Your QR Codes Beautiful

eBooks and Digitisation

ML Burgess, E-book campaign: advocating e-books in a visually pleasing way

BBC News, British Library makes Google search deal

Olivia Solen, JK Rowling reignites DRM debate 

Bobbi Newman, eBook FAQs. 36 Most Common Questions Answered by the OITP eBook Task Force 


Jennifer Howard, What you don't know about copyright, but should 

Job Applications

Katy Wrathall, Gizza Job - From Both Sides of the Desk 

Becky Woods, Application, application, application


Andy Woodworth, It's Pretty Dark Inside a Closed Mind 

Sarah Kessler, Startup Publisher Gives Readers Control Over What Books Get Printed 

New Professionals Conference audience (photo by sarahjison)

Monday, 27 June 2011

[CPD23] Thing 3: Consider your professional brand

Personal Brand by stefano principato on Flickr

I didn't give a whole lot of thought to my 'personal brand' when I set up my blog and Twitter account in September, but have since wished I'd done one or two things differently. On Twitter the variations of 'Annie Johnson' that I liked had been taken (as had 'LibrariAnnie', by someone who has tweeted "don't think anyone really needs to follow me on twitter..." curses!) so I went with @Annie_Bob, a nickname I've had since secondary school, and a username I've used for various things before. I also decided (although I really can't remember thinking about this) to use my red cartoon face avatar instead of a photograph.

If I was doing it again, I would have perhaps spent some more time coming up with a Twitter name that was more professional sounding, and would have used a photo of myself for the picture. However I was talking to a few people about this at NPC2011 and a couple of people said that it was a good picture because it was distinctive and stood out in the Twitter timeline. So I suppose there are positives to cartoons too!

As for the blog, I did spend quite a while thinking of the title, as this seemed important. I wanted something literary, but not too obtuse, something friendly and well, I'm a Tolkein fan. At first I had a standard bookcase template, which I've changed very recently. Every second library blog seemed to have the same background so I wanted to have something different.

So as it stands there's no visual link between my blog and my twitter account, and now I've created a Netvibes page for Cam23 2.0 which is completely different again, so this is something I should probably change, especially as I'll be creating a LinkedIn account and I've forgotten what else over the next couple of months.

I've got a fairly common name, so Googling "Annie Johnson" comes up with musicians, writers, and boats. If I add "librarian" then the first five results are me, and eight of the twenty results on the first two pages are me (this is with me signed out of Google and in a different browser to usual). It comes up with Cam(lib)teachmeet things for the first three results which is a little odd, ideally I'd like my blog to come up top. But there's nothing there that I wouldn't want my employer (or future employer) to see, so that's good I've kept my nose clean!

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

[CPD23] Thing 2: Investigate some other blogs

I can't remember if I mentioned this before, but if you're looking for my Cam23 2.0 posts, I've started a tumblr blog to keep the two programmes separate. My Cam23 2.0 blog is here:

For Thing 2, I scanned down the immense list of blogs (which gets bigger every time I look at it!) and picked out a few that I like the names of. Seeing as there are so many to choose from I wanted to try and avoid those blogs I already read and occasionally comment on, and machete my way through the wilderness.

So tonight I've been reading and commenting on Folderol and Geegaw, The Padded Envelope!, ook librarian, and OliverPig, all of which look very promising for future reading!

While I've been reading blog posts I've been listening to this excellent webinar that Charlotte and Niamh took part in today:

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

[CPD23] Thing 1: Blogs and Blogging

For the next three months I will be taking part in 23 Things for Professional Development. I'll highlight each CPD23 post in the title so if you're supremely uninterested in my blundering through various Things then you can skip these posts, or equally if you want to avoid my personal ramblings and just came here for the Things then you can skip the rest!

Right, CPD23. Let's get cracking.

I'm on the organising team for CPD23, and will be writing the blog post for Thing 4: Current Awareness. It was back in January I first heard about Niamh's plan for a 23 Things style programme that included practical things you could do to help your CPD, and thought it was a fantastic idea. As someone very new to the profession (I'm a graduate trainee in the library of one of the colleges of the University of Cambridge) I'm looking forward to meeting new people and learning ways to develop new skills.

So on to blogs and blogging. Not counting a bit of dabbling I did a few years ago, I've been blogging fairly regularly since September 2010. Most of what I write on here is library related, but occasionally I'll slip in the odd personal update. At the moment I tend to use my blog more or less as a diary, blogging about conferences I've been to, visits I've been on as part of my traineeship, talks I've attended etc. One thing I would like to do is improve my reflective writing, as often I end up just writing what happened, and not what I learnt from it. Hopefully I will get into the habit of this during CPD23!

I'm also really looking forward to reading other people's blogs. I always like finding new things to add to my Google Reader, and with over 400 people signed up that's an awful lot of new things!

'Writing' by tonyhall on Flickr

New Professionals Conference 2011

Yesterday was the CILIP Career Development Group's annual New Professionals Conference. This was my first NPC (if further proof was needed that I'm a geek, it has taken me quite a while to stop thinking "non player character" each time NPC is mentioned!) and I was lucky enough to have won a place at the conference in LISNPN and CILIP's recent advocacy competition.

A few of us were travelling up from Cambridge, and we decided to go the day before to avoid a 4am start. This worked out really nicely as it meant we had the chance to meet up with some other conference-goers that evening for a drink, a meal and some librarianly chat.

The next morning I tramped across the city (fuelled by a bacon sandwich) to the university building that was the conference venue. The day was structued so that we had three of the papers in the morning, then workshops and lunch, and then the final three papers in the afternoon.

Helen Murphy started off the morning session with her paper on the juggernaut that is CPD23. (Did I tell you we have over 400 people signed up for this already? If I have met you in the last few days the answer is probably yes!) Helen's excellent slides (featuring Benedict Cumberbatch and a puppy) can be found here.
Helen spreading the CPD23 love

Second to present a paper was Rachel Bickley, on the subject of 'Establishing a dialogue between new and experienced professionals'. Establishing a dialogue and avoiding cliqueyness (spelling?!) was a theme that several of the papers and workshops touched on, as throughout the day we were encouraged to talk to more experienced professionals, colleagues at work, and the public at large, letting them know what it is we do, and the value of what we do.

Sam and Laura
The final paper in the morning was given by Sam Wiggins and Laura Williams. I found their paper 'What makes an Information 'Professional'?' really interesting, as I'd seen their survey and was keen to know what other people thought about this question. I would consider myself to be a 'Professional' despite not being chartered or even qualified, and since it was after all the New Professionals Conference, I'm sure many of the other attendees would too. Because I'm in a graduate trainee role, and have always intended to get my MA, I see myself as a professional albeit a (very) new one! Sam and Laura's research led them to come up with the following definition of what makes a Professional: "possession of qualifications, experience or skills, alongside an underlying professional attitude." I guess I've got the attitude and am picking up the rest on the way!

We then split off into our groups for the first workshop session. I'd chosen a workshop on 'Information roles - expanding our horizons' run by Nicola Forgham-Healey and Franko Kowalczuk. In this session we were given a collection of required skills taken from job listings on recruitment websites, and had the task of dividing them by whether they were traditional and non-traditional librarian skills. Although we were asked to divide them, my group ended up making more of a continuum, as did most others. We were then asked to pick three which we could improve on or get more experience in (for me: budget/finance skills, leadership skills, communication skills), and then as a group pick 5 which would be essential for all information roles. Good communicator came top, then professionalism, prioritising/time management, team player, and internet savvy. Interestingly "organising information" was only chosen by two groups, which I was quite surprised by.

After lunch, my second workshop was with Alice Halsey and Simon Barron from Voices for the Library. The theme of the workshop was 'Getting involved: activism for new professionals'. Besides fanning the flames of my Kindle-envy (Simon was using his Kindle to read his notes!), this workshop was one of the parts of the day I enjoyed the most, as it was great to hear from two members of a group that I really admire. It was also a very positive session, and I'm sure many people came away feeling encouraged to get more involved in library activism.

Then it was back to the lecture theatre for the final three papers of the day. Ka-Ming Pang and Jo Norwood were up first with 'Can we play? Building opportunities for LIS student activism and why it matters'. Click the link and take a look at the slides for this, as they're very cute. (I'm such a fan of hand drawn slides!) Despite the fact that four of the speakers during the day were currently studying for a library MA, library students often don't seem to be that engaged or active. Like in Rachel's paper in the morning, the importance of effective communication and networking was emphasised. I particularly liked the suggestion of a regular #libchat style event at a more convenient time for us Brits. If anyone were to start up a #libchatUK, I'd be a regular participant!

Up next was Megan Wiley, who works as a Careers Information Specialist. Megan talked about the importance of making sure your work wasn't 'for your eyes only', but sharing what you do with your non-librarian colleagues, and proving the worth of your LIS qualification. If they don't know what you do, they won't be able to recommend your services to students!

The final paper 'Teaching old books new tricks: how special collections outreach can help you, your career, and your library' was by my travelling companions Katie Birkwood and Naomi Herbert. I'd heard a bit of this presentation on the train on the way up, but was looking forward to seeing the full shebang. Katie and Naomi have both done a lot of outreach work at St Johns College, and although it looks like a lot of work, it also looks really good fun. The extra practice on the train clearly paid off, as at the end of the conference this was voted the best paper! Helen's CPD23 paper took 3rd place, so it was a good day all round for the Cambridge library mafia!

Presenters from the afternoon. Left to right: Megan, Katie, Ka-Ming, Naomi, Jo
 There were several themes running through the day. As well as establishing a dialogue/avoiding cliqueyness which I've already mentioned, we were encouraged throughout the day to make things happen for ourselves, not to sit around and wait for things to come our way. Twitter was also constantly being mentioned, mostly in passing as in "Any questions, send me a tweet." "Aaaah so you're @LibWig!" Whilst any regular reader of my blog will know that I am a huge fan of the Twitters, speaking to a couple of people at the conference who weren't fans of Twitter made me wonder whether this is another case of being cliquey? I'll try and bear that in mind in future.

This is getting very long now, so I'll just finish up by saying I really enjoyed my visit to Manchester, and hope to be at the 2012 New Professionals Conference!

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Tied together with a smile

I've been very busy lately so I've not had a lot of chance to blog (well, not here anyway!)

Cam23 2.0 is coming along very nicely, we're all getting ready for the launch on Friday. If you're in Cambridge and are going to take part in the programme or aren't sure, why not come along to the Morison Room any time between 5 and 7 and find out more - you'll get wine and yummy nibbles too! Although we're marketing it at librarians and the examples we'll use for the Things are mostly going to be from libraries, we've got a couple of non-librarians who are going to take part too, the more the merrier really!

Meanwhile CPD23 will be launching next Monday. Helen will be speaking about this at the New Professionals Conference, so I better get in cheerleading mode! (Now where did I put that giant banner...?) I'll be making my way up to Manchester with the rest of the Cambridge library mafia on Sunday.

The other piece of very exciting news I have is that after a few weeks of flat-hunting, Rory and I have found our flat! It's a little one bedroom flat in Bishop's Stortford, which is a bit more convenient than Cambridge for me getting to London next year for my MA. Now we just have to scour Freecycle and Gumtree for furniture people are getting rid of!

With all of this going on I'm fairly glad it's getting close to the end of term. The library is getting quieter every day as the students are finishing their exams, which will be all over by the end of the week. Phew!

Oh and...

...just for Rosie :D