Saturday, July 30, 2011

Library Day in the Life 7

For some time now I've wanted to participate in this really cool worldwide project started by Bobbi Newman.  Even though it is summer, public school librarians often have much to do.  Jumping in with two feet, I've tried to capture the variety of tasks done in preparation for the new school year.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Thing 5-Reflection

Photo Credit
(image from Photobucket)

I jumped into the Things with both feet and took off running trying to catch up and be on the same week as "scheduled".  In my rush to learn, do, see, read and meet others along the way, I think I missed the point just a bit.  The have an online, digital presence that is both authentic and professional while networking with other professionals in the field and exploring a variety of digital tools in the process. In my hurry, I've simply dipped my toes in the water of the web rather than plunging in and really taking a look around.  

There is a reason that a week is allotted for each Thing (or two).  Having time to truly absorb each part and sort through what works best for me (i.e. Twitter vs. Pushnote) would make a world of difference in...well, in a couple of ways.  Like not feeling overwhelmed and not spending hours each day trying to catch up. (Do you think the laundry is offended that I totally blew it off?)  Instead, while I am getting the hang of Twitter just a bit, I popped in over at Pushnote, took a look around and said, "Later."  I never even gave it a fair chance. I know, no matter what, this is an ongoing process and will never be finished, especially in this ever changing world wide web.  However, remembering to stop and truly explore the online tools and develop those professional relationships fully will pay off so much more in the long run than simply getting through the Things.  

Each posting so far has been both revelation and reflection, but it has been nice to sit back and reflect on where I am now and how I want to handle the remaining weeks. 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Thing 4

Check out thewikiman and The Great Library Stereotypometer!

I must finally be popular or I really belong in the UK (gin and knitting). This was just one of the gems I discovered on my path to current awareness, defined as "to network and share ideas or interesting things they have seen around the web" (cpd23 blog).  

Twitter as professional tool...never used it much.  My first posting was actually a bid for more memory for my DropBox account.  I did decide to keep Twitter professional at the time, but then immediately followed a slew of folks I was personally interested in (knitting, Firefly, SyFy, Ellen) on top of a slew of professional organizations and bloggers. In the meantime, being a public profile, I was immediately followed by folks I never heard of and most I could care less about.  Overwhelmed, I caved and backed away from Twitter.  Until now.  I began by reading what others had to say about using Twitter.  Zenhabits let me know I wasn't all alone in being overwhelmed and had great tips to cut through Twitter clutter.  Lifehacker had some gems and gave me more ideas about what to actually do with Twitter. I looked up Librarian By Day and hit the motherload of Twitter insights and how I can use Twitter professionally, effectively, and still have fun.  I'm learning, but 63 tweets later, I'm officially using Twitter professionally.  Well, trying anyway.

Thing 4 did not mention Google+, but now that it is in widespread Beta, I thought I'd comment.  I'm in and have circles. First impression, I really like it's ease of use and clean, uncluttered look.  However, as with all social tools, it's not much fun when you are all alone.  Reaching out to find other Google+ users has been slow.  Many of those I want to connect with are on FB and don't want to add yet another social network. I dream of circles with local librarians I know personally, broader circles of professionals around the world, and then small social circles that I can connect with online.  I don't use FB chat, but can totally see myself using Hangouts on Google+.

I've enjoyed my rss feeds in Google Reader for quite some time now, but like Twitter, never used them for networking until now.  Keeping up with the cpd23 bloggers has been fun and informative. I've also discovered a few other professional blogs along the way.  Reader makes it easy to organize and follow both my much loved personal bloggers and my new professional feeds.

Love the pushnote default avatar smiley face--don't know if I'll use it much as I'm hitting overload right now.  I have an account.  Withholding comment until later.

Most of all I've learned that current awareness is an ongoing habit.  Leaping from professional print journals into the digital world is not such a stretch, though it can be very overwhelming.  For me, it will be important to learn which tools work best and can be easily integrated into a busy life.  I'm very thankful I've had these summer days to catch up with the 23 Things for Professional Development, and also looking forward to slowing down my pace as I catch up.  I've learned that I gain more by interacting than by simply reading.  I guess I am very social at heart.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Thing 3-Personal Branding

Kristine Mitchell pole dancing on YouTube was quite a shock...and NO it was not me.  It was an eyeopener for sure though.  Yes, this post is about personal branding and while it is supposed to be painless, it requires much thought on my part.  The first exercise was to Google yourself...and I've done that before (couldn't help myself), but this time I really tried to pay attention to others with the same or similar names, usernames, etc.  It also reaffirmed the need for good critical literacy skills for everyone in the digital age.  How does a stranger sort through all the chaff and find the grain of truth?  How much of my information is truly public?  Do I want to be that public?  Are my most relevant digital meanderings at the top of search listings or buried in subsequent pages?  As you can see, this exercise has raised far more questions than answers.

I've filled a couple of notebook pages with my musings on image, tagline, colors, purpose.  I've even doodled with Paint to brainstorm.

I've come to the conclusion that as far as art and creative images go, I will consult with my father-in-law, an artist in his own right.  Outsourcing...yep, works for me.  

I spent some time today looking across platforms (blog, Flickr, Twitter) to make my professional digital presence a bit more cohesive.  Facebook has been a personal presence for a long much so, that to make it professional would be very difficult.  However, I like the easy Circle management in Google+ and am investigating that for combining personal and professional on a social network.  I do maintain a professional presence on Facebook by being an admin on the school PTA page.  When I dropped by my Flickr account, I also spent some time with my privacy settings so that my personal pics were set to Friends and Family and my professional Library Day in the Life pics were public.

I do need a better head shot type photo....after my hair appointment though.

So, what are your thoughts?  Are the choices I'm making working so far?  Tips?  Pitfalls?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Thing 2

Exploring the blog world has been a learning experience, even for a proud geek girl like me.  After successfully registering my blog last night, I jumped right in exploring a few of my fellow cpd23er's. The list of blogs is rather daunting, but a neat tool (and new for me), Delicious, really helped with sorting and prioritizing where to start.  Here is where I learned the importance of a great blog title. With all the sorting features available, I still clicked on blog titles that caught my eye or had personal meaning to me.  I pretty much stayed away from the ones that seemed to be titled just for this workshop, though that is probably unfair as most create blogs simply to work through the exercises and then put their learning into practice with a new blog.  Still, I couldn't help myself and a I looked for blogs that seemed to have great titles.

This project is based in the UK, so quite a few participants are from the UK.  I love that I will get to interact with librarians from across the pond!  I am completely ignorant of librarianship in other countries, so, wow, global connections.  Love this.  I did eventually select a couple of blogs from the good ole USA too.  I also tried to choose some blogs from the public school setting, though I like that there are so very many kinds of librarians in so many places.

I read a lot and subscribed to a few feeds for Google Reader.  Haven't tried this yet?  I have found that Google Reader makes managing my blog list so much easier and convenient.  Along with the app, it makes keeping up with the blog community painless and portable.  Just to keep me on my toes, I learned how to create folders today as I wanted to organize the cpd23 blogs together for reading convenience.  The list will change as I continue to explore the cpd23 blog community, but I wanted to cheer when I found Libraries Are Dead.  "Libraries are dead. Long live the library," is quite a rallying cry and I hope that the author offers us more in the future.  It's a Library Thing made it to Thing 3 and has blogged her journey.  Love the tagline, "the quest is constant", on her blog.  The others I chose were late starters like me, and so limited in postings for now.  I'll choose some older blogs as the week progresses, and hopefully, gain insight into my own cpd23 journey.

Photo slideshow in the sidebar courtesy of Library Day in the Life on Flickr.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Thing 1

I often get crazy great ideas whilst clicking around on the Internet...and today was no exception as I caught up on my Google Reader feed and caught Librarian By Day's Top 10 post.  Man this girl is good!  I love following her blog and can highly recommend it to any and all out there wanting to be informed in our profession.  'Course, there's a lot of other great stuff and I find that too, but today, Bobbi's post brought me to 23 Things for Professional Development.  Professional development, especially leadership, has been on my mind and in my reading for the last couple of years.  We've been focusing on it at work, and I've been particularly interested in the librarian's role in leadership. Interested in a hands on, what can I do today, kind of way.  Asking myself all the time, "How can I be a better me?"

Now we have a familiar format (i.e. 23 Things) applied to professional development.  I'm so in...though late (yes, those that know me are not surprised)...and hoping, really hoping, this helps center me professionally.  I have a huge personal digital presence, but am almost nonexistent professionally online.  I have a lot to offer, but no platform from which to begin.  As I move forward through the steps, developing a personal brand seems like it will be my hardest challenge.  Any tips?

I'll keep this blog going professionally, though it begins with 23 Things.  I like the name.  I was dubbed best "bookatarian" by one of my small patrons and it makes me smile each time I see or hear the word.  Wishing smiles to each of you this week too!