Monday, May 7, 2018

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Thing 23: Career Development Round-up

There is no task to do, other than remember the C in CPD stands for continuing! I've done all the tasks. I've applied for my fourth badge. I will see what the future holds. It's a pleasure to be part of the librarian community in Ireland and to do Rudaí 23. Slán go foill.

Thing 22: Reflective Practice

It's that time again! For Thing 22, I'm writing another reflective account - this time of Things 19-21 in order to apply for the Engaged Professional Badge. This badge is particularly important to me as I think it's really important to be an engaged professional!

Reflections of Things 19-21 using Gibbs Reflective Cycle
We are invited to choose other models of reflective practice. However, it's Sunday evening and the deadline for applying for badges is tomorrow and I'm on the late shift so my advice to myself is to stick with what I know.

1. A reflection of Thing 19:

Description: I created a podcast where I reviewed a book. I used Audacity and then saved it on Soundcloud. The music was my partner's and he helped me with the task.

Feelings: I felt that this was a hard task. It was very technical, unlike me! I've been told I'm resourceful and I am happy to avail of the help of this software developer and former musician! In turn, I love helping people in the library with computer issues whenever possible. I did like making the podcast. It was the rest of it I didn't like so much!

Evaluation: I could record using Audacity but needed help with saving it properly, adding music, and putting it on Soundcloud. I know if I had to do it I could (eventually) or if I was doing it regularly I'd get better at it.

Analysis: I was well aware of the Librarians Aloud podcast and it was nice to have a small insight into what's involved in making a podcast.

Conclusion: Making podcasts is a realistic task for librarians and could be a handy way to self-advocate or promote a service that may be of interest to library users.

Action plan: I can't think of a way to use podcasts at the moment. I don't think it would be possible in my work. If I was ever active in a committee again that might be the way.

2. A reflection of Thing 20: Advocacy and Engagement

Description: There was a lot of writing in this task! I answered 9 questions on the topic.

Feelings: I really enjoyed this task as I can see what an important issue it is. I just worked my way through the questions and answered them as the answers naturally came to me. I do feel sad that I failed to have success when I tried to advocate for a library service in the past. I did have some successes but the bottom line is the library service was reduced to a very serious extent.

Evaluation: I answered the questions and was reminded how valuable libraries are and how privileged I feel to work in libraries and to have the opportunity to advocate for them. I'm remembering now about Aoife Lawton's wonderful book The Invisible Librarian. I do love this topic.

Analysis: Everytime I interact with a customer (or a colleague) I'm promoting the library service. Sometimes working with the public is exhausting, especially if there is a difficult interaction, but each time you have one chance to be nice to the person so that they will hopefully come back and maybe even tell a friend.

Conclusion: I really admire Marie O'Neill and I enjoyed answering the questions. I think I can be a good advocate for the profession, because I believe in the importance of libraries.

Action plan: I ask my boss about evaluating our events. I'm as nice as I can be to borrowers. Sometimes I'm tired and can do better but most of the time I really do make an effort. If I get called for an interview in the next few months I will think of more ways to advocate.

3. A reflection of Thing 21: Professional Groups

Description: I wrote about my involvement in some groups that are part of the LAI.

Feelings: I'm glad I've had the chance to be active. I'm unsure of what opportunities there are for involvement within the public libraries section.

Evaluation: I've given what I could because I know it's important but I wore myself out with a previous committee and so I know my limits!

Analysis: I'm reminded that I could do more like PKSB and applying for LAI Associateship.

Conclusion: I know I would like to be more involved in professional groups again in the future.

Action plan: When the time is right I can see about doing PKSB and applying for Associateship. I love the way R23 is on for a particular time and everyone is working away on it and there's a sense of being part of something big. If there was something similar for PKSB and Associateship I'd be interested in participating. That would motivate me more. I love a good deadline!

Reflection after Rudaí 23?
I'm being asked if I'll use reflection again. I intend entering a librarian competition so reflecting on work I've been doing is important. I also reflect in general so I can learn, since I'm in my current job since October and am learning loads! Also, I'm doing a Montessori course (two modules to go!) and I've had to do a reflective journal as part of that before and I think I've to do another one!

Wahoo! Time to apply for the badge! :-)

Thing 21: Professional Groups

I'm choosing option 4.

4. Are you a member of a professional organisation?  If so, write a reflective blog post on your experience with this organisation and the impact it may have on your CPD.  For example, has it provided you with the opportunity to be involved in any committees?  At what level is your involvement?  Have you gained any project/time/event management skills?  Have you attended/presented at conferences through this organisation?  Has it increased your library network and knowledge base?  Are you happy with the organisation?  Would you like to be more involved - can you investigate this possibility i.e. join a local committee, apply for your Associateship (your Rudaí 23 work load and digital badges will prove excellent evidence of your CPD activities if you apply for your LAI Associateship).  If you are not a member, what has held you back, is it awareness, funding or a time issue?

I'm a member of the LAI. When I worked in health libraries I was an active member of the HSLG and I was on the committee of the CDG for two years, including as Secretary for the last few months. I was really impressed by the work ethic of the CDG. Also, I had been on another committee for years and devoted a lot of time and energy to it so when I joined the CDG I took a back seat and learned about it before taking on many tasks. It was a large group and there was time as a new member to take it in. I preferred helping before or after events than during them. During them I'm better at talking to people. I organised a post-event survey and I marked answers at a table quiz as part of an event. I took the minutes on a number of occasions. As Secretary, I sent out the agenda. I liked being organised in this way. I applied for accreditation from the LAI for one of our events. I was really impressed by someone who could generate great ideas and catchy titles for events!

As for the HSLG, when I started in health libraries I had so much to learn. It was my first professional library job and I had been working as a clerical officer before then and my library work was limited to a summer in the public libraries over 6 years earlier. I learned so much from the group. I was a solo librarian, though did have a library assistant colleague for the first few years and also another librarian who worked in a different part of the organisation. The HSLG has a great ListServ where you can post queries. I attended many HSLG conferences. I got to know many wonderful librarians. They are inspiring. They are very aware of the need for self-advocacy (as am I). I gave a lightening presentation at one of their conferences and did a poster presentation at an A&SL conference and gave a short talk at a WRSLAI conference. These were valuable experiences. I won a poster competition (co-won) organised by the HSLG. It was about promoting the role of your health librarian. The HSLG printed up copies of my poster for everyone! I asked my boss to be in a photo with me which I sent around the organisation!

I would have liked to be on the committee of the HSLG but I'm no longer working in health libraries. I moved to public libraries and I love it. I would like to be more involved and if I see any call outs I'll consider them carefully. I don't feel there is the same level of engagement that I was used to from the HSLG. Maybe the need isn't there. I would like to apply for Associateship of the LAI at some stage and to do PKSB. I forgot about it when doing up my PCP. Maybe another time.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Thing 20: Advocacy and Engagement

I've to answer 9 questions on this topic!

Exercise 1: Name three detrimental effects to a local community when a public library is closed.
1. Teenagers lose out on a safe place to do their homework  / study for their exams.
2. Parents miss out on being able to bring young children to the toddler group, which is free and is good for social interactions for both parents / guardians/ grandparents and children.
3. People lose out on having a free space to practice their Irish or other languages. 
I'll give a fourth one: I work with a lady helping her with literacy skills. If we couldn't use the library we'd have to go to a cafe where I'd have to purchase a drink I don't want each week, in order to avail of the space! The library suits us, and in addition to a space provides access to reading material. 

Exercise 2: Find a Library Strategic Plan in Ireland or beyond for a library of any size.  Identify three ways in which the strategic plan also advocates for the Library Service.
The national strategy for public libraries in Ireland from 2014-2017: “Opportunities for All: The public library as a catalyst for economic, social and cultural development”
1. The Foreword talks about public libraries working to "strengthen and expand their place in the local community, in local government and at national level."
2. Libraries position themselves as being "the frontline service of the local authorities and lead in community engagement" (page 9).
3. The libraries give themselves a broad remit: "The public library supports and promotes the spectrum of Irish culture showcasing and providing access for the public to all aspects of literature, Irish language, music, arts, dance, theatre" (page 11). 

Exercise 3: Name three ways in which you can demonstrate the impact and value of the library service that you work in or use.
1. There were internet classes provided in our library for senior citizens. They could give specific examples of how they can do particular things online now that they couldn't do before. 
2. People with intellectual disability used the computers for a number of weeks. They could give evidence of any positive changes from using the computers (e.g. learning how to make a CV which led to them getting a job) or the library service in general (e.g. discovering they like to listen to audio books). 
3. Parents of the toddlers attending toddler group could be asked to complete a survey giving any benefits they find, e.g. reducing loneliness, building friendships, introducing their children to books. 

Exercise 4: Identify three key people (name their role) outside of the library in the wider organisation/community that you need to network with in order to advance the development of the Library Service.
1. Teachers (to organise class visits and to develop the relationship as their pupils / students are current or potential library users. Good for them also to be aware of the library's book clubs for young people and what resources are in the library)
2. Intreo staff (they refer people to the library for printing and they could do so for the computers to find job information)
3. Local health staff (Healthy Ireland programme run in the libraries)

Exercise 5: Write down in 200 words or less an idea for Library Ireland Week for a library you work in or use.
A free yoga class. It would be held in our activity room and places would be limited. The local yoga centre could be asked if someone would take the class. It could be tied into the Healthy Ireland initiative and is good for physical and mental health. 

Exercise 6: In your opinion what are the three best features of the My Library, My Right Campaign and why?
1. As soon as they are aware of proposals they seek more information. That's good because they act fast so hopefully before anything negative happens. They remind people they are there! 
2. They engage with the media. It's important to have a voice and traditional and social media are both important platforms. 
3. They have a hashtag campaign. Such a campaign has been shown to be a powerful tool. 

Exercise 7: In 200 words or less, describe a new area of librarianship that you are passionate about. How would you go about promoting it within the library that you work in and/or the wider library profession?
I'm training to be a Montessori teacher. I'd introduce a Montessori session in the library, where there would be access to some basic Montessori equipment and the children would be shown how to use it properly. They would also listen to a story. It would be for an hour a week. They would learn to take great care of the books and maybe help repair any damaged ones they come across. There would be a child size dustpan and brush for cleaning up anything. I would hope they would develop a great appreciation for the library (I'm not saying they don't already). I'd advertise it through the toddler group and the library's What's On guide. Apart from that, I'd like to have a greater role helping people with their IT needs and in promoting the library service to entrepreneurs. 

Exercise 8: Choose an area of library practice that you feels requires debate.
Helping the public use the computers requires debate. Some people believe it's self service and that's that. The desk can be busy and you might not have much time to help people. But I believe we can and should make a difference. People can feel comfortable around us if we are kind to them, and their IT confidence can grow. I think staff should be encouraged and facilitated to help as much as possible. 

Exercise 9: Open up the ALA Frontline Advocacy Plan. Complete the plan for a real/fictional advocacy campaign.

1. The goal is to secure the future of a small health sciences library

2. The objectives are:

- To maintain a physical library for the staff
- To maintain a half time librarian post
- To provide a library service for people who use the wider service

3. Strategies:

- Use the HSLG's Evidence Informed Healthcare campaign but to run it internally and send the results to management
- Run high profile in-house events such as computer assistance days, read an article days, request a literature search days
- Have coffee mornings in the library for those who use the wider service

4. My message is:

- The library is an important enabler for staff to provide evidence informed health / social care

5. Data / stories to support the message:

- Whatever is completed on the forms!
- Thank you emails
- Feedback forms from items 2 and 3 under strategies

6. My target audience is:

- Senior management and my line manager

7. They should care because:

- They want to be able to demonstrate that they are a great (or the best) organisation at what they do. The library service can help them achieve this.

8. Best tools to reach them:

- Winning a prestigious award or helping someone else to do so and being acknowledged for it
- Demonstrating that money has been saved

Thing 19: Podcasts

I made a podcast a few days ago using Audacity but when I went back into it today it's gone! My boyfriend has advised me to start over! Here goes!

Okay, I did it. I had to delete the ending and rerecord it, so that was some editing practice. My boyfriend showed me how to do it. Then came the real fun of adding a music track at the start and end. I didn't know about rights for this. I didn't figure it out by Googling it either. I was looking at Google Play and wondering if I could purchase a track from there. Luckily Gustavo is a retired musician so I was able to use one of his recordings. He sent me the track via Facebook as a JPEG but it isn't really a JPEG and it didn't work or open so then he shared it with me using Google Drive and we downloaded it. He put it on Audacity for me - 15 seconds at either end. He then uploaded the completed file onto Soundcloud from where I'd saved it in Dropbox. He gave me a lot of help. I am keen to get the task done as the deadline is very close and I'm on Thing 19 out of 23.

Here is the podcast. I talked as Gaeilge - mostly! - about a book called Foclóiropedia: a journey through the Irish language from arán to zú.

I didn't feel there was any point in me selecting the other option - where you listen to, subscribe to, rate, and review a podcast of your choice. I have listened to Librarians Aloud before and often listen to the podcasts on Today FM. I'm not keen to subscribe to a podcast as I prefer to find them when I would like to listen to them! It was much more of a challenge to make my own, and I am fortunate I was able to get help. I had a friend who used to have her own radio show and I remember her spending hours editing. It takes a lot of dedication!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Thing 18: Reflective Practice

For Thing 18, I'm writing a reflective account of Things 14-17 in order to apply for the Critical Thinker Badge.

Reflections of Things 14-17 using Gibbs Reflective Cycle

1. A reflection of Thing 14: Personal Information Management

It's a good while since I did this Thing. I'm reading back over my blog post to remind myself what it was about.

Description: I gave Evernote, Pocket, and Feedly a go.

Feelings: I felt like the task was unnecessary as I think I'm fine with managing my information already! However, I worked my way through it and enjoyed it.

Evaluation: I found my way around Evernote after spending a bit of time on it. Pocket and Feedly were handy enough.

Analysis: The task took a long time but it was good to learn what's available.

Conclusion: I'm able to use these personal information management tools, should the need arise.

Action plan: If someone is talking about the tools I will know what they're referring to and that I'm able to use them.

2. A reflection of Thing 15: Evaluating Information

Description: I made a slight change to improve an entry on Wikipedia.

Feelings: I was delighted to have the opportunity to do this, as I'd seen invites to do so before on the HSLG mailing list.

Evaluation: I made a simple change to improve the content of an entry about a school. The importance was in going through the process.

Analysis: Once you follow the steps, it's easy to improve Wikipedia.

Conclusion: I felt like I was doing my bit to ensure the accuracy of information on the web!

Action plan: If another call goes out and if I have time this is something I could do again in the future.

3. A reflection of Thing 16: Your Digital Footprint

Description: I ran a diagnostic of how I protect myself against violations of my privacy on the internet.

Feelings: I felt I was pretty good at this.

Evaluation: As a librarian and interested citizen I'm quite aware of the need for care online, though it's not something I'm overly concerned about.

Analysis: This was an easy, systematic task.

Conclusion: I'm fairly mindful of my digital footprint.

Action plan: Today I read about how Facebook uses our information. It seemed reasonable to me.

4. A reflection of Thing 17: Sharing Your Work

Description: I talked about my experiences with my work being on Slideshare, in a digital newsletter, and on Lenus.

Feelings: I'm aware I have nothing new in the pipeline in this regard, which I feel a little bad about, but I can keep my eyes peeled. I have other priorities at the moment. I did send in items for Twitter to my organisation's Twitter account managers.

Evaluation: At least I have used the sharing tools.

Analysis: I am aware of the ways to share information with others.

Conclusion: I have shared my work - or my work has been shared - over the years. Perhaps I will share more again in the future.

Action plan: If an opportunity comes up, I can go for it if I have the time.