Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Thing #14

I seem to have stalled on thing 14, I find I currently don't have a need for bibliography's, I know this is just my current situation so will be looking into this more but I don't use FireFox, so can't use zotero, I haven't had time to download Mandalay at home, and sadly am still working out what delicious is!

The start of the new term for school librarians is taken up with the library skills for the new first years and as I am over half way through (as of 30 mins ago!) I can finally see light at the end of the tunnel and hope it isn't an oncoming train (like normal).

I now realise that thinking at glacial speed has meant that I haven't done thing 15 or 16 yet but I hurt my arm at the weekend and have spent last 3 days in allot of pain, mehh, I live. I am still keeping my reflective diary which has done me some good but find I cant keep it over the weekend as I am too distracted! but now I know! I can do so much and achieve this much and more isn't realistic, for that alone I think the CPD23 is a winner!

I must go and sort out the next Library skills class and the next things! while keep track of other things in planning, I need a secretary not a diary! applications accepted, pay nil, hours awful, conditions ad hoc! lol.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Thing 13

Well I am finally following my lists again and find a note to self to do thing 13 :-) which I have done last week and I have been using the google docs to upload and download info I need at home and school with out losing the flow of it. Sadly I have found the format it changes it to makes it impossible to take back and forwards the way I need and I have just been back to my Glow to use it here instead.

The council it moving towards shared folders and cloud storage, so Ultimately I can save in one place and open in another, luckly I have the same spec at home as at work so can transfer seemlessly!

I can't add software to my work mahcine and part of the good of drop box is file share, so that isn't an option for work. I shall be trying and useing it in other circumstances but for now I have tried and won't keep using google docs.

This is a problem that needs to be solved as printing and posting things gets less practicle and my last job application was compelety electronic!

Head back to front

I have had a rough few days, I am not sure if the sad death of Kevin finally hit or the new job moved too fats or if lack of sleep hit, what ever it was I didn't get more than 6 hours of broken sleep form Thursday until Tuesday evening, and last night I spent a few hours trying to sort out my world. I took up my reflective journal and wrote screeds, I replaced my lost Kindle after reporting it to the Police as I lost it in Town! Husband recons it will get sticky one day and I shall put down the new one and find both together when I pick it up! took time to sort that out and get my books back and running again!
Hospital appointment went well, and consultant was happy. Funeral had gone well and Husband was able to tell me who all had gone. Had a nice supper and online play and an early ish bed, asleep by midnight! so when I woke at 7.30 after a good rest I don't know which of my things helped but I shall keep it up!
Stress filled am as I had my first lib skills with new 1st year and not all was in place! but it ran okay I just have to iron out the bumps! next is tomorrow! Just checked the book and I cant get to the roadshow and get the library skills done! I shall see if I can get to another one. So I must go and do work.
Roll on UFO day this Saturday, I need to peace!

Friday, 19 August 2011

Thing #12

Thing #12

Before I came back into Libraries and just after my return I had a very large and very supportive online group, they were based all over the world, form Australia to the US to Asia and Africa, we had a basic interest in common but beyond that we were just chatting and helping each other get through each day and week, some had dependants others had long, hard or no jobs. We chatted whenever we were online and had much fun, but I noticed as I got more into the online group I had less and less real life contact’s until I wasn’t going out and my day was spent sneaking online or waiting impatiently for time to go online.

I do like social networks but I am aware that for me they are an addition and must never be a replacement for real life links, They can help keep links and contacts alive, they can add depth and value to your work and friendships and keep distant ones closer. They are a means to an end not an end in itself and while they have a lot of value they are only a tool like the majority of the Things have been to use as much or as little as suits you.

Being so remote I do find that social networking helps keep my professional awareness up, I was at one time the only qualified, employed council librarian for nearly a hundred miles with one academic librarian in the next town and a few retired and one self-employed one in the whole of the county. We all know of each other if we needed help.

Drawbacks to social networking is the vast differences between situations, There are very few Librarians in the same situation as me and even my colleagues are different. This led to limited help and only those who also use the same network’s as me, e.g. Facebook, yahell, etc. Also the hardware I had has changed and some would not let me in to some chats or networks, while others ran fine for me but not others.

I have been following The CPD23 and have made some new links though it and will hope to keep that up, I am aware that I could ‘friend’ everyone but never know who was who or why I had them in 2 or 3 years’ time! I have added a few new people to my networks and found a few new networks, I will be adding more as I get to know them through blog or RSS feeds etc.

I did use social networks for work before but wasn’t sure what is the best and the sheer number available needed me to be helped through it, and that is the joy and best of CPD23 for me. I plan to keep using and developing my own skills long after this has finished and I shall be redoing this in a year or so’s time to refresh all these skills and to help me re-find any lost aims and interests!

Final question is the easiest and the hardest, my opening paragraph about my obsession with online group and not real life shows that I found a community there, the problem for me was if the Internet was down I was bereft and as it wasn’t any work side I didn’t keep up with the work I needed to do. Yes you can foster and keep a community alive but it takes commitment that you must put in to get out. It is easier to not bother if you have never looked a group of people in the face than if you know they are sat in a hall without you and wondering what has happened to you today! Tomorrow is my favourite craft groups’ monthly meeting which I missed due to holidays last month and I can’t wait to get in and share new things and ideas, and take fresh baking and have fun.

Social Networks are good and can help and keep things alive, but nothing beats a good old sit and chat, face to face. Body language makes up so much of our input and emoticons don’t fill the gap J.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Things #8 to #11

Things #8, #9, #10, and #11

I have been working away in the back ground and getting things finished and sorted but not always blogged about. I did Thing 8 which is the Google calendar which set me off thinking about making one for the library to allow staff to book the library and see when things are busy etc., but that needs to be separate from me as I need the calendar to keep track of me!

I am still keeping my reflective diary from thing #5 and week 4 and I have filled in where I have been, what I have done, how good it was and what I plan to do. This was fine when I was at home more days than work but now I am back to work full time I find I need somewhere to put my plan notes and calendar helps me keep track and mark off I have done or not!

When I first read the 23 things I knew I may get lots out of this option and have been looking forward to it, I was right it has opened new vistas for me and I am working much more efficiently. If I stopped now I am already showing the benefits of this CPD and must thank you for it, and the chance to participate.

I did like thing #9 Evernote and will be using it on-going but I also can’t download it to my work computer and so can’t use at work, I am hoping if it is good and very useful to make a business case for its inclusion in our software bundles. Here’s hoping.

Thing #10 and #11 are Training options, #10 is the courses and accreditations you could do, I looked into an MA/PG course distant learning, which is done by one of the university’s up here, which would fit in round my work, I would love the chance to do a PG and being a bit of a student again would be fun, sadly the cost was very high at over 7k for the 3 year course, current family circumstances means that my children are just off to college etc. now and in the next 3 or 4 years, after that I may go and get an MA of my own J But currently being a mentor for chartership is fulfilling my need to keep active along with cpd23.

Thing #11 is a good one for me as I have been doing this without planning it for years, I tend to find people who I can ask questions of and share that with others newer than me, I am currently just starting buddying a new network librarian who is taking on a big post not far from me (in highland terms) and am just getting my first mentee ready to submit! I have a semi-formal mentor who has been a great help to me for nearly 20 years and as I have moved up and on so she has ahead of me which makes our connection very strong. I also have had informal mentors over the years in many areas, some over lapping but all have been who and what I needed at the time. I have never had a formal mentor, even my chartership mentor was very hands off, so I may have not always gained here but my semi-formal one has always been there and has taken an active interest in my work even when I worked for other companies and places.

Other issues have been back to school which is a big thing, but staffing changes meant the library timetable is torn up and I shall have to start again. Sadly we also lost a dear friend and colleague last night, while driving home with another colleague they were hit by an oncoming campervan on the wrong side of the road and he was killed outright and declared dead at the scene, the driver who had to be cut out is not being sent to a bigger hospital to get her arm put back together and this is all very sad to us.

My thoughts are with his wife and sons.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Thing #7

Thing #7

The task is to write about my experiences with professional
organisations, what involvement have I had, how it has affected my career, what
I learned, why I am not a member or why I am, and which group am I now
interested in.

I am and have been a member of the Cilip since 1988, and have used various
parts of the organisation and its groups over the years. No matter what else I
have done over the years I have kept my membership and kept up with the information
they are sending out. I also have kept
informal track of what is going on and even done some evening classes and open
learning courses, to help me as well as following my own interests for work and
have been lucky enough to have the right skills at the right time.

The main issue with face to face networks is where I am. I
live in the
far north of Scotland
and Inverness is nearly 3 hours south of us. When the council deleted the Principle
Librarian's job several years ago, us school librarians decide we would
organise a meeting every term and chose the third week back, we also set an Inverness
and outside Inverness groups so one term it was one and the next term it was
the other. Nobody got to all meetings and every meeting was in a new library or
location, which made for an interesting visit too. This helped us support each
other, share good practice and help develop a sense of community. We did this
as there is no other thing organised just for us.

I have explored the links in the blog post for Thing
and while some are USA based and a few UK there are none this far north.
I am part of other professional groups for my craft work and the CANSCDG of
which I am chair. I am also part of a Nesta supported group called
Northern Loops. I am also
very interested in the
which I learnt more about at the Umbrella Conference, and hope to bring to the
Highlands. I must confess I didn't feel any need to add to any of my groups I
am part of and I didn't find anything new to go to or enjoy up here, but I am planning
to change that and will be passing the info about when I have it sorted out.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Think #6

Thing #6

network sites, which I had been looking forward to, like most of the things hasn't
been what I thought it would be. I have checked all the ones suggested and found very differing reactions and results to them.


I did like
this and it had loads of info but it also scared me at this time, very full of work and networking, almost a CV online in many cases, and I am sure that is
its function but while I will check it and may join one day I chose not to at
the moment, as I have enough in my life with work and world changes and
currently have no need of more work or a new job, one for my future bit not


This one I
have been on for years and I love the games and keeping a gentle touch on lives
of distant friends and family, I also keep a closer link to friends and colleagues
closer and to relax, less of a social network as a social need for me :-) I did
add the pages to my likes that I didn't have yet, but I also have others already and in my twitter. Due to work constraints I can only access all of facebook at
home but can use RSS feeds like to access the main info.


This one
was new to me and I have joined to see more, I like the idea of sharing news
and ideas and while I graduated 20 years ago that only means I have to work harder to keep relevant, and tools like this will help me. I also left my forum comment for the Hi section, with my blog in, I must confess I have a blog and
blog often but rarely tell anyone about it :-)


Being in
education and knowing that every librarian is a teacher either formally or informally, I joined this one automatically, I am also planning my library
skills at the moment and making it much more hands on...


I knew this
existed but haven't been on it until now, I had some time to wander and amazingly found a long lost friend on it and we have linked up again after 10
years gap and it is nice to find she too has work in this world of fewer jobs,
and is doing well. For all that this one seems like it needs some love or a
push as there wasn't much there beyond people search!

Over all I
have enjoyed doing the social network thing for CPD23, I have picked up new
ideas and joined a few new groups, I have also worked out how I can track my RSS from last week (yeh late I know) and I am getting more out of each thing
than I expected, It helps to have it laid out and one at a time, but now of
course I am off to check on thing 7 :-D.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Thing #5

I am here:
Spent a morning cooking and washing, Laughing at my kittens discovering how wet the rain is and not going out :-). Also got my self a blank book and started a reflective journal last night to round up my day and made a list of what to do to help me sleep, and it did so I shall be keeping it up when I can. Work is so close to change and the new job is already filling my inbox, but I am coping and looking forward to it.
Where I have been:
Trying to sort my life and work out, I had big plans at the start of the summer and I have fulfilled some of them, I went to the umbrella conference and came away all fired up! I have contacted some and have others to contact, I have set some ideas in motion and have others held for when I need them.
What I think:
I am making changes and seem to be able to keep them as long as I stay small and doable, I would love to make great big ones but I wont keep them going! I am more aware of my own style, I seem to be RIA more than ROA, I need to continue my Reflection in action but I must start also reflecting on actions and looking at good as well as bad, I often see what didn't work, but forget to acknowledge what did work and to celebrate this, and help set success in my work and life.
Plan for the rest of the CPD23:
Keep doing the tasks/things in order, to use the new skills I am learning and to help pass them on which helps me to reinforce them in my own life, I find doing and then stopping things easy, but if I have shared others will ask how is it going and I have to keep going rather than give up :-) peer pressure is a very big incentive in my life.
I have been enjoying blogging and while I do heaps online for fun I don't blog it, nor have I been using these skills for work very much. The CPD23 has made me more aware of what I can do. It has also helped me address issues that are new or now relevant due to work changes.

Life and Times

Life is strange as I have one week left as a school librarian, and the night terrors woke me too early today. The kittens who have been a constant source of fun get bigger.
Midnight the dark Torty and Smokey The odd torty/tabby. (Or more commonly called alien and monster)
My oldest got most of his results, good but didn't quite get the conditional offer but it was for next year, so we have a year to plan, and do the HNC instead. I also learnt to basket weave yesterday I shall finish my big project soon :-) see more at the castlehill website.

Thing 4

Well I have just spent a while doing thing 4 for the CPD23 and it was interesting, I use netvibes already and so didn't find this as a great new thing, I like being able to save RSS and I have been twittering for ages, and I liked the new suggestions and added a few as well as adding Shappi Khorsandi who I have come to really enjoy! With Netvibes I can see my twitter ongoing and even from work and miss so little that way, and one of my faves is the Scottish Book Trust! I am not so sure I will get as much out of the google reader but I haven't tried much on it. I don't know what I am doing with pushnote! I have joined it but don't know what more to do? I don't run the browsers that support the button and am not sure what I should be getting out of it? I shall ask on my fb and twitter.
I was visiting a colleague who I am mentoring through her portfolio last week and we had a wonderful time, she is my first mentee so I worry that she is getting what she needs. I am a fairly over bearing person, I take people with me in ideas, I wander off on tangents, and occasionally roll over people and don't always notice. One of the lessons I brought from the training many moons ago was I don't do the work I help facilitate them doing it, I bring a fresh eye and an open mind. How things get done may be different from how I would but that is because it isn't my work. I did tell her about the 23 things and other sites I was enjoying, and I left her all fired up and with some work to set out and to do a few sum ups and I hope our next visit will be the final polish, and to make the final form physically. I am so happy with her work, she has done all I could possibly have asked (even if I haven't) I hope her portfolio is as good to others as I think.
One week left of being a school librarian, found myself awake at 7.30am pondering the changes to come, worrying, turning it all over in my head, pointing out the rational and sensible aspects my awake mind knows but my sleeping mind ignores and forgets, a nightmare isn't right, it was fear just mind bothering. I just hope it is a glitch and a one off as a week of broken nights will just about shatter me.
Chatting to a friend doing a OU qualification last night and asking 'good' questions. Found out she missed the last deadline so asked her about the next one, confidently she named the 26th of September but she hadn't done any work yet! I asked again later (cause I am nosy) what her unit was and she pulled out her paperwork to find it is due the 6th! of September which gave her a shock, and sent her off to look over it then. So the moral of this tale is I have to leave 'work' at work, and she needs to write her deadlines on her calendar :-D.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Thing 3

Well I am in my second week of 23 things and I am enjoying the fresh look at my world. I am a great starter of things, as my craft friends can tell you I am happy to start a new project, idea, plan and run with it, I get all excited and wound up about new ideas and can motivate a rock into doing something if I really get going, but it starts to wane and I lose interest, and I have great ideas left round my house forgotten and unloved. I make lists to keep my head above water so to speak and I know that my biggest problem is finishing, I start to tidy and get distracted, I start to work and go off on a tangent, I start to blog and get on my soap box instead!

By following the weeks plan and may be a bit faster I can catch up and do with others, I plan to try the NANOWRIMO one year and will make a big song and dance so I am shamed to keep it up. I am also going to share this at our meet day and hope that by being ahead and having others catch me up I will keep motivated.

Thing 3 was this week and my brand, this had me thinking and I did do this a few days ago but it has been until now to get my head round it, I don't have a clear brand, I like open world and tend not to put me in the picture. I have now changed my picture to be me, a resent shot which I can live with, and shall slowly do for all my sites, I don't have a personal/professional sides apart. My children inspire my work and my work is part of my life. I try to be as professional in my life as I can be and that is across the board.

My vanity search was fun, I haven't been to rate my teacher for ages and I don't have a good rating, too bad, but they also don't play up in my library nor do they waste resources! Also threw up an old twitter account I must find and either change to current or remove, I did go to second pages etc and yes still me (I do have an odd name) and nothing I wouldn't want a boss to know and some I had forgotten and am proud of.

I think I shall be thinking about my brand and how to bring it all under a few simple images/icons I did spend a while on the web under various aliases I shall look over them and decide on who I am, as this is the way this 'thing' has taken my mind. I have found each thing taken alone is fine and I hope by doing each in turn I don't wander away...

I was reading a blog about hope from a friend and she was saying how hope is double edged, as when things go wrong you not only have to deal with the problem but also cope with loss of hope, and her final thoughts were to live in hope but plan for the worst. :-) I will finish these Things, but may be not as they were first planned ;-D