Thursday, 24 May 2012

Thing 3: Consider your personal brand

As I mentioned last year, I still find the idea of a personal brand very strange and to be honest not something that I am entirely comfortable with. That said, after seeing all the great blog designs of other CPD23-ers in Thing 2, I really do need to spruce up this blog a bit. If you see a few changes over the next month, then it is because I will be experimenting with the layout. Any comments about what works and what doesn’t would be gratefully received!

As for my online presence, it has changed a little from last year, but that is mainly down to two things – the fact that I joined Twitter last year (as part of CPD23), and also because I entered some running events last year, one of which I raised money for. I searched on two different browsers, Internet Explorer and Firefox, though mainly on Google. I didn’t notice much of a difference in results across the browsers. My Twitter account was the third hit on Google, following by my JustGiving page at five. I was mentioned five times on the second page – running event results, my JustGiving event page, sponsoring a friend, and two tweets. The other results I found were again running events and mentions on other Twitter pages. I should add that the race results relate to one 5k race, but where the results seem to be listed across multiple different websites!

I have a LinkedIn profile, but it is not publicly available due to privacy concerns. My Facebook account is kept private as my holiday snaps would probably bore the socks off anyone that happened to stumble across them! I mainly use it for personal use, although I am a member of some CILIP groups on there, and of course the CPD23 Facebook group!

So, one year on, where does this leave me? While none of the results I found for myself are detrimental, I clearly do not have a professional presence online, which I think needs to be rectified. In the spirit of CPD23 I will be trying to be more open so you may well see a picture of me at some point on this blog (or at least on my Twitter account)! I will also be adapting the style of my blog to one that reflects my personality more.

As before I am looking forward to Thing 4 to help me rediscover Twitter and actually send some more Tweets!

Monday, 21 May 2012

Thing 2: Explore other blogs

This was the ‘thing’ that I struggled with last time and it is still quite a challenge for me – commenting on other blogs. I still don’t feel quite comfortable commenting on the blogs of people I don’t know. Still, I’m going to try and work on it so hopefully my confidence will improve as the course progresses.

Once again, I am very impressed with the large number of participants, both across the globe and from a variety of backgrounds. Another aspect I find challenging is actually finding the time to actually read and comment on the blogs – there are just not enough hours in the day!

There were several blogs that I was particularly drawn to. Firstly, Suzanne’s cpd23 blog as I know her from my Master’s course – commenting on the blog of someone you know is far easier than on those of strangers (and will hopefully ease me in)! I am interested in the experiences of people abroad and one of the blogs I am intending to follow is Bibliotekarsha - Велобиблиотекари всех стран…. I am also interested in different fields of librarianship and am looking forward to finding out about music librarianship through CPD23 for a Music Librarian.

I should also add that I greatly enjoyed the post about Thing 2 by Cup of Tea & a Scone. It really captured my concerns about posting on blogs and being more open online and I hope I can follow her example and overcome some of these barriers.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

CPD23 2012! Thing 1: Blogging

I’m taking part in the ’23 Things for Professional Development’ in 2012, basically as I started it when it ran last year, but due to various other commitments I only made it to Thing 5 (Reflective Practice).  This time I’m determined to make it to the end of the course!  I found the parts I did complete last year very useful and in some ways thought-provoking, which is why I have returned to it this year.

So, a little bit about me.  I graduated with a Master’s degree in ILS last year and am currently looking for my first professional post.  Since graduating, I have done some temporary work in an academic library and am currently volunteering in a small specialist library while I continue my job search.  I am hoping that participating in the CPD23 course will develop my skills and keep me motivated in these challenging times! 

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Thing 5: Reflective practice

I don’t normally have the opportunity for much reflective practice at the moment, so this gives me a good opportunity to have a go!

So far I’ve found this programme to be very interesting and useful.  It has introduced me to several new tools, such as Blogger, Twitter and Google Reader, that are new to me, and has given me the opportunity to try them out in a ‘safe’ environment.  I had been toying with the idea of joining Twitter for some time but was a little wary to be honest.  However, writing a blog is something that I had not considered and would never have done were it not for this course.  Now I can see the benefits of exploring new tools and sharing your experiences with others via the blog.  Will I carry on blogging after this programme ends?  Possibly, but that largely depends on my employment situation by then.  I guess that blogging about any professional events or activities might be useful, but I doubt people would be interested in my quest for employment!

One area that I feel I could improve is commenting on other blogs.  While I did a burst as part of Thing 2, it has ground to a halt, mainly due to a lack of time, but also because commenting on strangers’ blogs is still outside of my comfort zone.  Therefore, I’m going to make a concerted effort to ‘get more involved’ and set aside some time each week specifically for reading and commenting on the blogs of others.  I’m also still considering my personal brand and am trying to bring consistency across my online presence.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Thing 4: Current awareness

This Thing has introduced me to two tools that I had always thought about using before, but had never quite managed.  Until now, my current awareness activities has involved periodically checking my, very long, list of favourites in my browser.  While they are organised into folders and subfolders, it is still quite time-consuming checking each site in a particular list.  The other way I stay aware is by subscribing to several JISCMail lists.  However, I am definitely excited by the tools I have tried today.


So firstly, Twitter.  I have finally, after much deliberating, joined Twitter (@LRendle).  My initial thoughts are that I will probably use it more to stay up to date with the latest news and developments through following others, rather than tweeting myself, as I don’t feel I have much to contribute yet and I am still finding my feet.  However, I have sent my first tweet and will try to contribute when I can.  It has brought home the fact that I really do need to find a photo of myself to use on these networking sites, which I shall try to do as soon as possible.


Although an introduction to RSS  Until now.  Having investigated Google Reader as part of this course I can’t believe I didn’t try it sooner!  I have spent some time creating lists of various blogs and websites that I have listed in my favourites and can see how it will save me time as I will only have to check one place for updates.  At the moment I will use it mainly for CPD23 and other library feeds, as well as some travel related ones.  Having said that, it was not completely without hiccups – I accidently marked everything in one folder as read before having read the new items – doh!


The one tool I have not yet used is Pushnote, as it is apparently not compatible with Internet Explorer.  However, after reading the description of it, it does not sound like something that I would be terribly interested in anyway, at least not currently.  I will, however, reserve judgement until I am able to try it for myself.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Thing 3: Consider your personal brand

I have to admit that I have never really considered my personal brand before, and actually find the idea of me having a brand as being a bit strange.  I have always tried not to put too much information about myself on the internet due to privacy concerns.  I do have a Facebook account but use it mainly for personal use, and have tried to make it as private as possible.  I have, however, recently joined LinkedIn (after much deliberation, again to do with privacy), but that is still not available for indexing by search engines.  That is something I may come to reconsider during this programme.

It therefore comes as no big surprise that I do not really have a web presence at all.  As well as my privacy hang-ups, I now use my married name, while my previous work was in my maiden name.  Out of curiosity, I did search with my maiden name, but most of the initial results were for other people’s Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter profiles.  On Yahoo! I found some references to me in my last job on page 6, but in Google and Bing, nothing came up relating to me in the first 11 pages unless I added some other search terms (such as previous employers or locations).  A search for myself on LinkedIn revealed that, at the moment, only my profile is listed so it is reassuring to know that if potential employers search, they will only find me.

So, where to go from here?  Well, the positive point about having nothing available in my married name is that I can start afresh and create my brand from scratch.  That, I think, will be a ‘work in progress’ as this programme progresses.  I did try to think of an interesting and individual name for this blog, but as it was taking so long, I thought it would be better to just pick something and try to get to grips with the ‘Things’.  I did think of some ideas, but found they were already taken when I checked on Google.  When time allows, I intend to investigate some of the features of Blogger to make my blog more interesting, but for now the basic layout will suffice.

I have yet to investigate Twitter, so I’m looking forward to Thing 4 with anticipation...

Monday, 27 June 2011

Thing 2: Investigate other blogs

Ok, I have to confess to being a bit of a lurker in that I do passively read some blogs, but I have never before commented on any.  Following the CILIP Graduate Open Day in 2009,  I periodically read Joeyanne Libraryanne, as she always has interesting and knowledgeable insights on library matters, especially web 2.0.  I also occasionally look at the blogs in CILIP Communities, which has some useful articles and also publicises events.

However, since embarking on CPD23, I have been dipping into various blogs, and am amazed and impressed at the number of participants (the Delicious list is currently standing at over 600) from all across the globe.  As I’m at the beginning of my library career, I thought I’d take a look at the blogs of some people across several different industries.  Two that I left comments on were: angellibrarian, written by a school librarian in Bangkok, and Library Space, a blog belonging to a health librarian.

I also had a look at CPD23 as it was tagged under ‘institutional repositories’, which was the subject of my Master's dissertation.  Finally, I am very interested in the experiences of librarians based in other countries so was drawn to the blogs of some of the international participants, such as itools, by a librarian from Sudan, and papers and sandpaper from Latvia.

It was also great to receive my first comment, from which I found the blog of The Learning Librarian, who is also searching for a professional post.

I will be looking at more blogs as the programme progresses and am looking forward to hearing more of your thoughts!