Sunday, 29 July 2012

What I've been reading in July


I found Mashcat a really interesting unconference. I won't pretend to have understood everything that was talked about, but I definitely learnt a lot! These are the slides/blog posts from my favourite sessions.

Ed Chamberlain, Text to data [slides]

Gary Green, A Travellers Map in Yahoo Pipes (Really cool visual way to search subject headings referring to places)

Owen Stephens, Boutique Catalogues (Includes demonstration of how a catalogue could be customised for musicians, creating faceted indexes for key, bpm and time-signature)


Ned Potter, Good presentations matter

Libraries and the Internet

Lauren Smith, Internet Access and Public Libraries

Phil Bradley, Libraries charging for internet access is wrong

Voices for the Library, Free internet access should be a cornerstone of every public library

Ian Clark, Barking libraries - tiny cuts or massive scars?

CILIP, Act risks limiting internet access in libraries, schools and universities


Alison Flood, Call to 'move libraries into 21st century' sparks ebook lending review

Volunteer libraries

CILIP, Value of staff at heart of revised volunteer policy

Dalya Alberge, Authors face royalty threat from volunteer libraries

Ian Anstice, Surrey chooses volunteers over paid staff at the same cost

Online learning

Emma Cragg, Where next for 23 Things?   (I've heard a lot about coursera lately, and I'm definitely going to look into it when I finish my MA. One course at a time though...)

By Guillermo Esteves on Flickr

Thursday, 12 July 2012

#CPD23 Thing 10, revisited

A year ago when I wrote about Thing 10, I had almost finished my graduate traineeship, and had a place at UCL on the MA Library and Information Studies course. A year later of course, the end of my MA (read: dissertation deadline!) is rushing closer and closer, and I'm thinking about what I'll be doing after this is over.

On the whole I've really enjoyed my MA, I feel that I've learnt a lot, and the variety of assessments have given me experience that would have been difficult to get at work (such as writing a collection management policy, and coming up with a budget and staff structure for a library in the Management module). I was lucky enough to get a bursary for this year, but before I found out I'd got that I'd been prepared to fork out for the £5000-odd fees. It's a lot of money, but with an MA under my belt I can apply for professional roles with a bit of a pay-rise and it'll hopefully pay for itself within a few years.

I think if I hadn't got a bursary I would have still felt I got my money's worth at £5k, but as Jen shows with her pretty pink spreadsheet, next year UCL's fees will be up to £7750 for the full-time course, and City is going to be charging a whopping £9000 (there are still some relatively affordable full-time courses, such as MMU which is £4000, but in a few years I imagine they'll all be raising the fees). As Jen says, this puts the traditional masters firmly out of reach for an awful lot of people. Distance learning courses are cheaper, but aren't for everyone (I don't think that style of learning would have suited me well, I like lectures and seminars and working with other people). I really hope we don't get into a situation where there is a divide in the profession between those who can afford the qualification and those who can't, but I'm worried that this could well happen.

Doom and gloom post, sorry. :(

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

#CPD23 Thing 9 revisited

As a Christmas present to myself I bought a Samsung Galaxy tablet when it was on sale in January. It was definitely something I wanted rather than needed, and I spent weeks debating whether to splurge that much money on something I didn't actually need. However I've been using it for all the time, for emails, Twitter, Facebook, reading e-books, taking notes in lectures, playing games... etc. etc. I still love my laptop, but it's pretty big and heavy which makes it a bit of a mission taking it out and about, so it's great to have a portable alternative.
Evernote interface

I've found that some of the tools I discovered in 23 Things but didn't get that excited about, have suddenly become much more useful now I'm using the tablet, in particular Evernote. The interface on the mobile version is so much nicer than the rather dull PC version (see right), and it's very intuitive. I'm using it for my lecture notes and quotations I want to put in essays, nothing too fancy, but it's working very well. I could have used Google Docs for the same thing, but I find editting Google Docs quite fiddly on the tablet, even in the app version.

I think I still haven't taken full advantage of Evernote yet, as it has all kinds of things like OCR for images and handwriting, and I discovered entirely by accident in my last lecture that it has a recording feature, and my tablet has a microphone, so I could have recorded all of my lectures as well as taking notes. So when I get a chance I really need to sit down and explore all of the features I don't use, because some of them are probably very useful!

Sunday, 1 July 2012

What I've been reading in June

Save Libraries

Ruthie Saylor, The night they came to arrest the library

Rita Meade, Where Would You Be Without Your Library? (Brought a tear to my eye!) 

Anita Pati, Country dancing and learning support: the new face of the council library

Alison Flood, Ed Vaizey says libraries 'thriving' and rejects prediction of 600 closures

Ian Anstice, Special report: Ed Vaizey's most important speech since he took office


OnlineUniversities blog, 10 Reasons Why Students Aren't Using eTextbooks

Pew Internet, Libraries, Patrons and E-books: Libraries in Transition

Bobbi Newman, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (and the Interesting) of Libraries and eBooks - Pew's Latest Report


#uklibchat, Libraries and Leadership [Storify]

Nicola Franklin, Some thoughts on leadership and management 

Simon Barron, We're all leaders now 

Library design, space management etc.

#uklibchat, Library Spaces and Space Management 12th June 2012 [Storify]

Jonathan Shaw, The Library Test Kitchen

Information Literacy

#uklibchat, Summary - 26th June: Information Literacy & Needs

Steve Wheeler, Blogging as literacy 

John Tedesco, How to solve impossible problems: Daniel Russell's awesome Google search techniques

Meredith Farkas, Broad vs. deep in information literacy instruction 


Ian Clark, Lighting the Future - a personal perspective ("I say you should grumble and grumble loudly.  And not just grumble, actually try to do something about it.")

John Kirriemuir, Don't shush me, I'm tweeting the speaker


Leo Casey, How to Write a Literature Review for a Dissertation 

Literature Review HQ, 3 Great Methods to Structure Your Literature Review

Reading by Rachel Sian on Flickr