Monday, 16 July 2012

Thing 4: Feeds and Tweeting- More of a Dodo than a Lark

I have now (finally) got round to starting my very own Twitter account, hurrah for me! I have thus far eschewed Facebook (can’t quite put my finger on why), but Twitter appeals to me more as I’m hopeful that it will be a useful tool for keeping up-to-date with the latest goings on in the library and archives world. I have subsequently decided that I shall keep Twitter ‘strictly business’, as it were (although I am currently trying to find a means to justify to myself that perhaps following Stephen Fry would be an entirely intellectual/professional  decision…does that sound convincing?)  With both RSS feeds and Twitter I think there is the danger of assuming the ‘child in a sweetshop’ or more pertinently in my case, the ‘girl in a bookshop’ mentality- i.e. getting a tad over excited and wanting everything!  I need to assume some kind of self-control in order to quell my primary urge of gathering in more than I can possibly read! There is a distinct risk of information overload with both of these tools (although this doesn’t sound like a bad way to go if you ask me!) At present I am quite content to lurk (in a completely non-sinister way) in the background of Twitter and keep an eye on what’s afoot. I shall get my act together soon and try and be more involved. I do however recall someone else saying (please forgive me, I cannot at present remember where or from whom I heard this) that with Twitter there is a sense of dropping in late to a conversation and missing the gist of what’s going on.  I hope this won’t be the case and I can keep up with those I’m following (still not sure about this following/followers lark- does alarmingly bring to mind cultic behaviours).

P.S. I have dexterously avoided mentioning Storify thus far as I can’t quite get my head round it just yet. One for the future methinks!

Monday, 9 July 2012

Things 8 and 9: Organising Things

Slightly ironically considering Things 8 and 9 are about organisational skills, I'm once again making my CPD23 post out of sequence! Ah Well! I was keen to skip ahead a bit and get to grips with Evernote as I was hoping to make use of it for research for an interview I have coming up. Admittedly, normally I am a girl of lists and notes scrawled on pieces of paper (which invariably get mislaid), so to have a tool to keep everything collated is definitely helpful (and in terms of minimising paper wastage, a much greener option). Evernote was very simple to install and equally easy to use. I'm particularly fond of the Clipper device, which allows you to take choice snippets from a website and automatically add them to your notebook. 
  Onwards to Google Calendar next. I do have a calendar hung up on my wall which gets added to from time to time (occasionally in an illegible fashion and if I can find a pen). The Google Calendar is again very easy to use and I am oddly taken with the weather forecasting function! I can see why this would be a nice little tool for the workplace for organising things. Hopefully when I land a job I can put it to good use! Here's hoping!

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Thing 10: Trainee of Thought

I think it’s rather evident now for those reading my blog (if such people exist… if not then it’s evident to me alone) that a traineeship is the direction in which I’m headed (with any luck). I think the traineeship scheme is a brilliant means of gaining relevant, practical experience in preparation for a Master’s Degree and I’m really hoping to secure a place, although in conversation with others the term ‘gold dust’ has alarmingly been bandied about! Nonetheless, I’m doggedly determined and I’m doing everything I can to give myself a head start and make myself an ‘attractive prospect’ to employers. For example, as I’ve mentioned I am a volunteer and I have been very lucky to have been given the chance to undertake an assortment of library jobs (learning by doing, a very useful thing indeed) and I’m keen to make the most of every opportunity that is offered to me. I was fortunate to spend the day in the wonderful Brignell Bookbinders workshop in Cambridge, learning about the craft ( I’ve also made an effort to brush up my computer skills and CPD23 is proving to be marvellously helpful! I’ve even got down to basics and completed a First Aid course (best to be prepared in case a paper cut turns nasty!) and visited a range of different libraries in a bid to get a feel for the varied library environments. But I’d love to hear from others what skills and experience they think would be particularly relevant for aspiring trainees?  Fundamentally, what do people feel would make the difference between successfully gaining a position and not?
In my grand scheme I hope to get on a Master’s course and I have been researching the various options which are available and then onwards and upwards to Chartership (I’m a big one for forward planning).  I’m aware that reality (unfortunately) does not always run as smoothly as planned, but it’s important to have goals and keep focus! I am determined to follow a career in librarianship and I’ll work as hard as I can to make it happen!

P.S. Sorry for being 'out of order' as it were! I've got some catching up to do, so I'll return to Thing 4 in due course.