Thursday, July 28, 2011

CPD 23 Things 1 & 2: Blogs and Blogging

This post is part of the CPD23 Things Programme.

Following the completion of the Oxford 23 Things programme, and after hearing much ado on Twitter (#cpd23) and Helen Murphy's presentation at the CILIP New Professionals Conference in Manchester, I thought that I might give the CPD 23 Things a go. It is becoming increasingly important for information professionals to become tech-savvy, and having an on-line presence is also invaluable, both for prospective employers and as a record of professional development.

For Thing 1, I thought that I would be a bit lazy and continue to use this current blog, L-Space Lab Bench. I also blog on the Oxford Graduate Trainee blog, but now that my traineeship has ended, I hope to make my own way in the blogosphere. I have also set up another Blogger blog, Librarian Leap of Faith, on which I have yet to post, but hope to make a forum for my work in the Theology Faculty Library at Oxford University. 

Blogging has always been something which I find both interesting and also somewhat nerve-wracking. While I like writing, I feel that I need to do more of it, and I also worry that my blog posts are not very profound or merely state the obvious. I hope that the CPD23 Programme will not only enable me to "improve" my blogging, but also help me to develop and hone my current professional skill set whilst learning some new skills. Finally, I hope that the CPD23 programme will also enable me to connect with other LIS professionals and further both my commitment to librarianship and becoming an "information professional" in both the real and virtual worlds.

So, now that I have completed CPD 23 Thing 1 with this initial blogpost, I will list some of the blogs that I have explored for Thing 2. I really enjoy reading the posts by Simon Barron (@SimonXIX), as I find them both inspiring and insightful. His blog, Undaimonia, is well-written and thought-provoking. Likewise, Helen Murphy's blog, Library Wanderer is entertaining as well as "practical" in its structure. I regularly follow my colleague, Ollie Bridle (RSLBiochem) at the Radcliffe Science Library, as his ideas for uses of technology in the libraries is quite interesting, and often link to thought-provoking material of interest to a subject librarian in the biosciences (one of my career aspirations). I have also been followng the blogs of Sarah Maule (Sarah Said Library) and Laura's Dark Archive. Finally, as I have a great interest in natural history, museums and the sciences, I have been following the blogs of the Royal Society Library and the Library and Archives at Kew, among many others. These blogs provide a great glimpse into other types of librarianship, and are very useful resources. I'm looking forward to my next forrays into the blogosphere...

Thing 23: Until the Next Thing Comes Along...

This last post has brought me to the end of the Oxford 23 Things Programme. I was very glad to participate and have learned many new tricks and handy tips for uses of various social media and web 2.0 in a library environment. While it took me some time to finish the programme (as I marathon post until the end), I felt that this programme will be highly important to my own IT literacy and has provided me with some useful tools for future library work.

Some of the things I found more to be more useful than others. Delicious has been wonderful for setting up a list of useful links for research and databases in the plant sciences for the Sherardian Library, and I am now using Twitter almost daily for keeping up-to-date on various library, science and art happenings.

As mentioned in previous posts, it would be useful to learn about SlideShare (or even Prezi, which looks very impressive) for producing presentations and podcasts. Also, LibraryThing has been used quite extensively and successfully by some libraries in Oxford, and it would be useful to examine LibraryThing as part of the 23 Things. As new social media types emerge, I think that the library will be a good testing ground for these, as a source of information and a centre for research of various kinds, it is important to examine new ways with which this information can be conveyed to library users: both staff and readers. One recent example of this has been the use of QR codes at the Radcliffe Science Library, where readers could access more information through web-linked "Q-Points".

At a recent library and information science conference that I attended in Manchester, one speaker introduced another set of 23 Things, the CPD23 for Continuing Professional Development. Maybe after completing the Oxford 23 Things, I will now attempt this!

To echo Ruth in her post, I also feel that learning about blogs and blogging has been an important part of 23 Things. Thinking reflectively about your progress and learning is an important step for professional development, and I am glad to have been able to share some of my thoughts through this media.

Things 21 & 22: Gadgets and Widgets

In agreement with Claire, I feel that adding Gadgets and Widgets for Flickr and Delicious feel like a step backwards (should these have been included with Things 7 - 10?). Adding the gadgets and widgets to my Google account was very easy, and, particularly for the Delicious links, very useful as well. I agree with Claire in that I probably would not use the Flickr widget frequently, unless it were something related to my library work.

Things 19 & 20: GoogleDocs, ThinkFree Office and Social Editing

I have used Google Documents in a research setting, where I had to send an article between colleagues and supervisors for editing. Google Documents is very useful in this sense, as it allows for comments and alterrations. Claire had a really great idea of using GoogleDocs to create a form which we could then fill in. Read her investigations of GoogleDocs here.

I have also signed in with my Google ID to use ThinkFree, which is similar to MS Office in function and format. It reminds me of OpenOffice, which is also uses Java and, like GoogleDocs and ThinkFree, can be used as an "Office in the Clouds" (Cloud Computing, that is) for sharing and editing documents between colleagues.