Monday, 25 November 2013

New four letter word for me, Time.

This last week has been one of retrospection, I have been looking back over a series of interactions to try and identify the point I could have made a change, could have made it different. My current job is so very different from what it was only a few years ago, I know I have talked about change and moving forward and I have been. What I need to do is the part of the reflective practitioner where you then look at what you would change and do that. I have let myself become an only forward looking person, this has been needed but now I must start looking round, I felt I could not in all honesty tell others who depend on me to do things if I wasn't doing them myself. So the current work I am doing is more of an assessment of my world and finding my own balance point, then I shall be off again like some manic toy!

Instead of whats new I am revisiting some of my old favorites, my blog of the week must be the History Girls, like any good site sometimes the post does not speak to me, but like any adult I can accept this and move on with out writing off what is a fun read most days. I often find a topic that I would have passed over contains lots of things of interest, and it helps to know you have value no matter who you are from the past. Another Blog I have been enjoying is by Michael Logan about writing and writers, again a well balanced blog, which covers all sorts of info, latest post is about how and how not to accept an agent and what you must think about when doing it. My final for now I shall mention is Letters to a Young Librarian which has the power to make me stop and reflect on my own world. Their latest post is on writing papers for conferences which is new to me so I got lots from it, even if I am not a new librarian.

After doing some homework and realizing that the one missing piece is now in place to apply for my fellowship of CILIP, I must now consider all the other parts, like my aforementioned Time. Until I sat and looked at what I do and what I don't get done, I hadn't realised how little time I get to do 'other' things in. My creativity and my craft things are now home focused and practical, I do not do an art class any more (no time and local college changed what courses offered) My design of things for the kids at school and my displays of facts and new books have gone almost completely, my plans for making the extra things more exciting has again gone. I hadn't felt their loss until I sat down and started to think about it all. I do wish I had more time to do this, but the challenges that have come about due to the changes are fun to me and the rising to the challenge have given me a whole new way to be fulfilled.

Why I do what I do?, what do I get out of them?, what could be done better? apply to my world. The basic steps for reflective practitioner. I enjoyed doing the CPD23 and I hope to get my own group of this going in the new year, so that others can get something out of it, even if it just these tools are not for me. The new North branch gives me the chance to potentially do more for others and to learn for myself, again I have plans and hope to make more of this and run events for all come the spring. But I must sit and do the 'why am I doing this' bit first! and then more on. A timely reminder that I need to support all I do and not go off tilting windmills as I no longer have the time to make big mistakes and still get my work done.
The Road is ongoing.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Keeping going

I spent most of last week running on auto pilot due to a nasty cold. In the past I would have curled into a metaphorical ball and hibernated in my work chair so I was here but not very active. Last week was the first week I was ill and couldn't do this. Now this week should be quieter, operative word being should! I also have a meeting in Edinburgh to go to in march and another in February in Inverness and best of all one possibly in Glasgow in January! hmm all of these are during our snow time, I am planning already...

Talk of planning, my oldest gets very worried ahead of anything and we do lots of relaxation things and how to cope things, but he had his driving test today. The instructor and I organised it and made the date, we made sure he was ready and kept him totally in the dark, at 9.31 he was directed to park by the test centre, and told that he would be taking his test now! I made sure he had his paperwork, and between us we kept it quiet, he may have slept well last night, I woke several times. The whole smoke and mirrors worked and he passed with flying colours which I am thrilled about but then I realised I have now lost my car!

This happened when the new post came up and I was lucky enough to get it, I spent ages planning the interview and the way I would help and do but didn't think what I would do if I got the job, I didn't want to jinx it!  of course all that happened was I sat at my desk the next day and realised that all that work was now mine! took my normal paperwork pile from a small pile to a much bigger one overnight and made me the one who gets called if there are issues, and there have been. I had no idea just what would cross my desk with this new job, little things that I wouldn't dream of taking to another but others bring to me, to massive employment rights and peoples lives. There are some things I write down at night to stop them becoming things that haunt my sleep. But I now feel I make a difference or know if I can make a difference, I have some control over life and what gets done, and I feel I can make a difference.

Sometimes the most fun things come with out plans, some come from hard work and minute planning details. The best skill I have learnt is to keep going, when ill I keep going, when challenged, I keep going. I am looking forward to Christmas though, then I can stop even if it just a few days! As long as I am enjoying life I shall keep going :-).

I did try to register for revalidation the other day with Cilip but they had a note saying applications suspended so I shall have to wait. I have been through it and I seem to have enough to go for the fellowship, which is strange but when broken down I have done enough to try at that level. The revalidation is only 250 words showing reflection! plus 20 hours over the year! When I listed what I have with bullet point just for the last year I am at 184 words :-) so I may just jump straight into the Fellowship application. Scary though... watch this space.

The winter is trying to settle in this week and our first snow warning is out for today, I like snow through the window! I do not mind it if I can keep me warm, but the cats hate the snow, they sulk in the house unless it is crisp and clear then they can sneak along and catch more prey! but as the ground gets cold and hard the litter trays become a battle point, as does the water bowls and the food bowls. I have no idea why my cats fight so much, everything is a battle, last night I had one in my arms and my lap was clear, the other kitten came for my lap, the one in my arms just had to start a fight so they both got tipped off and dumped on the carpet! I sadly predict more of this as the nights gets darker and the ground gets colder.

This morning I drove in to a sunrise not yet up, and the sky looked cold but clear above a line of cloud on the horizon. by home time it is getting dark, this is the time of year that gets the hardest, the getting to work in the dark and the coming home in the dark, weekend are precious, but I had a lie in Sunday and that meant by the time I got up I only had 4 hours of light left for the whole day! The flip side is this picture I took on Friday night on my way home.
It is one of several, but each time I upload one I chose a different one to see.
And even though this was before 4pm like everything else I just kept going :-).

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Differences and similarities

I am a day or so late as I had the pleasure of being considered as a person to be job shadowed, I was flattered and scared, and I ended up enjoying it but making some realizations of my own. The point was to allow my colleague an overview of the differing jobs that all come under the same job heading!

My own desk is not a great example of all the tasks but is a good example of working with the different staff and their needs. Also due to a prearranged visit I got to take her to another venue and another library visit. Which allowed me to think about how we are all individuals and while we all do the same job the actual on the ground things done varies so much! I can't think of another profession where so much of what we do is not outlined or pinned down, where the person and their own strengths and weaknesses makes such a difference.

We are due a new school build in the not too distant future, I would like to say a date but they have changed it and I fear that may yet occur again. Current plans are for summer 2016, and the plans are getting shaped and knocked together so fast now. The changes and differences in my own work life will be immense, I have no idea how it will be once I am there and I could worry about it but I have learnt to only worry about what I can change. In hope to keep a handle on my worry and stress I go to a regular Yoga class for Hatha Yoga where the emphasis is on meditation and relaxation, and gentle stretching, 'only as far as you feel comfortable'. The teacher is a retired school Librarian from Edinburgh way and is a very calming lady, sadly for my rather generous body she can get her nose to her knee or both hands flat on the floor, while I 'only go as far as you feel comfortable' quite often!

The email call went out this week from the Cilip Scotland for a request for shared practice. The plan is to make a database of shared practice for us all to tap into when we need and to hold a record of our own shared practice for when we want to promote an idea or an event that worked. The page asks for either a detailed return or a form to fill in, which ever is the most successful for you. I will be looking over my own work and seeing what I can put up and hopefully once it is running I can go and find ideas to bring back to my own library world.

The difference between my fairly neat desk and my home work space was illuminated by the kitten when she flopped over my desk and I took a picture, then I looked at it and realised it was a mess! but the kitten looks so good!
She was on my lap but found my hot water bottle on the top and just curled up, her tail end was on the keyboard, while her head is propped on my Mouse! her belly is being warmed and I just hadn't got the heart to move her. Another difference, at work the kids think I am a scary lady who makes them follow the school rules, at home my own teens just roll over the top of me, and the cats.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Who keeps stealing my weeks?

I am sure it was mid October last week! now its November, where is my autumn going, it nearly winter!

I missed a week of blogging, I have no real reason but I just forgot. I had so much in last week, I had things planned to go in and I didn't get them in. I shall re-find them for today I hope so a double issue to try and make up for the lack last week.

First up a smile I have found, and one of my main giggle sites, Fake Library Statistics and the Halloween post. I love the pseudo stats and how they are presented, the cat lover one that was posted earlier still gets me sniggering into my coffee! I am part of the school literacy committee and when I saw this I had to save it and give the group a copy! Literacy at its best! Its from the Savage Chickens Site that also also linked to amazon for you to buy copies of his very funny books (mine are all on Kindle to allow me to have a quick smile while travelling, and to stop random passers by and share my humour, sorry if you get that from me.)

On  more serious note I saw this from Infoism and it made me worried, I was a child in the days of 'tell sid', and the public companies sell of times. It was heralded as the way to go the way forward, and now I look at my energy bill, my phone bill and now the post and wonder if we got it wrong?

A recent meeting included a feedback note from someone about MOOC's which made some of the group scratch their heads and frown. I love MOOC's and the flexibility you can get from dipping in and out when you get time but the community you get around you! Joeyanne explains it well in her post.

One of our Teachers won the talk talk digital teacher of the year for Scotland and they made a little clip to celebrate it. Here. I am not sure how I embed it, new skill to learn!