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Friday, 9 December 2011

Who am I and what am I doing here?

Hi all
this post is for the The Library Routes Project I heard about in the 23 Things project.  Here goes..

After being made redundant from a knitwear factory in my home town, I decided no more factories for me.  The previous couple of years saw me going to night classes at the local college to do a CLAIT course and typing, from which I gained qualifications.  I was ready to leave the factory to seek employment in the admin world.
However I put that on hold when I met my husband and we started saving up for a house etc.
At the end of 2000 I had no choice but to seek admin work as the factory closed it's doors for the last time.
I then decided to join an agency and gained a little experience filling in for people at various offices in the area.
After a few months I landed a part time 6 month job at a local hospital in one of the offices, as office junior [!]  I'm not very 'junior' , not in years anyway, however young I call myself!  That contract ended and I had another spell on the dole.
Another job became available - this time a permanent full time job with the same hospital as Undergraduate Secretary.  This involved supporting medical students on placement at the hospital.  I was there for a few years before I got itchy feet and decided to do something else, that's when the post of Senior Library Assistant became available where I am today.  I have been at this post now for 4 years.

Not sure I want to further this and become a librarian.  If a post came along it would probably mean I have to travel a lot further than I do now to come to work. Not sure I want to do that, even if it is more money!  Also it is a very competitive market out there, not wanting to be too negative and appear not very confident but I probably wouldn't stand a lot of chance.  I'm not a young whipper-snapper either!  Someone like me at my age of ... ahem.... and without a lot of experience in libraries would be beaten by some young graduate I'm sure!
I am happy with what I do and happy to plod along as usual ..  for now anyway.

thanks for reading!

Thing 20: The Library Routes Project

Have signed up for this..  I don't know if anyone will read what I've put - but it is there for all to see if they want. It's a good idea and it gives people an idea of where people started from, why they wanted to follow their library careers etc.  

Thing 22: Volunteering to get experience

I have no experience of volunteering for any sort of work.  As an ex-factory girl at the time there were plenty of jobs around so no need to volunteer unpaid services.
As a library assistant I just applied for the job and got it.  I didn't seek out to be a library assistant or any sort of library staff, so volunteering my services didn't apply.
I can see the potential of volunteering however, especially someone who has recently graduated as a librarian and want to gain experience in a library.  After leaving printing college [that's another story] nobody would take on college leavers because of a lack of experience, so I can definitely back up the need for experience.  At the time nobody from the printing college mentioned about volunteering so it never occurred to the students - that's if employers would take on volunteer staff.  All water under the bridge now..

Thing 17 : Prezi / data visualisation / slideshare

Well I am liking this Prezi business.  Have played around with this and had great fun.  I will probably give this a go when they let me loose on the Medical Student Inductions.  I have already started creating a Prezi for that.  It won't be for a while yet, but I think it's best to prepare while I've got a spare min or two.  Hopefully I will knock their socks off and they will actually sit up take note of what I am telling them.  Powerpoints they've all seen before so it can be a bit boring.
The other 2 data visualisation / slideshare I've not really looked that deep into.  I don't think it would benefit me in my line of work.  There wouldn't be any use of them for me.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Thing 23: Reflection - What next?

Well then – this is it – the final ‘Thing’.  Reflection time. 
I quite enjoyed the course.  I learned some new things and got to read what other people get up to.  I was surprised of the various locations of people who took the 23 Things on too.
I even had some new books for my birthday after reading a review by one candidate and putting them on my birthday list!
On the subject of PDPs our organisation has this on its staff appraisal and review processes.  So I will be planning what to do next.  At this stage I’m not really sure.  At my last one my colleague made the suggestion of joining CILIP.  As you have to pay to be a member to have letters after your name, I said I would look into it to see if I thought it was worth it.  At this stage I am not looking to change my job or ‘further my career’ as in becoming a librarian, I am happy where I am as Senior Library Assistant. 
Not sure if I will keep this blog on or not, I suppose it depends if I’ve got anything interesting to say!
So for now ta ta..  happy blogging to you all..
Bev

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Thing 22: Volunteering to get experience

I have no experience of volunteering for any sort of work.  As an ex-factory girl at the time there were plenty of jobs around so no need to volunteer unpaid services.
As a library assistant I just applied for the job and got it.  I didn't seek out to be a library assistant or any sort of library staff, so volunteering my services didn't apply.
I can see the potential of volunteering however, especially someone who has recently graduated as a librarian and want to gain experience in a library.  After leaving printing college [that's another story] nobody would take on college leavers because of a lack of experience, so I can definitely back up the need for experience.  At the time nobody from the printing college mentioned about volunteering so it never occurred to the students - that's if employers would take on volunteer staff.  All water under the bridge now..

Thing 21: Promoting yourself in job applications and at interview

Part 1 Identifying your strengths.   To be honest I can't think of anything that my hobbies and pastimes have linked with my job.  The only thing I can think of is liking to be tidy and my stuff at home put in some sort of order much like our library shelves.  Although I don't really like shelf-checking and tidying!  On the other hand when it's done I can think - there goes a tidy library and look back at a job well done.  Oh yeah and I love books, so there's another connection, if you can call it that.
I suppose thinking about it I like to create posters and notices for the library.  Part of my pastimes involve being creative, i.e. my greeting card crafting.  I used to like painting and drawing too but never get time now.

Part 2 Applying for a job  Not looking for another job at present! Took me long enough to get  this one.  However there are some good tips on Thing 21 for your CV etc.  I have recently updated mine with important details of my current post.

Part 3 Interviews  See above.  Good to have tips for interviews however because in this really competitive world we live in now we need all the help we can get!  If asked about your hobbies they might make you stand out from the crowd.  The people interviewing you may see you as a good academic etc, but perhaps the other candidates are too, your hobbies say a lot about you as a person.  You may even have your future colleagues having the same interests!  I haven't got any tips for interviews except: ladies, don't wear a low blouse - it don't work.. ;-)

Friday, 14 October 2011

Who am I and what am I doing here? Thing 20: The Library Routes Project

Hi all
this post is for the The Library Routes Project I heard about in the 23 Things project.  Here goes..

After being made redundant from a knitwear factory in my home town, I decided no more factories for me.  The previous couple of years saw me going to night classes at the local college to do a CLAIT course and typing, from which I gained qualifications.  I was ready to leave the factory to seek employment in the admin world.


However I put that on hold when I met my husband and we started saving up for a house etc.
At the end of 2000 I had no choice but to seek admin work as the factory closed it's doors for the last time.
I then decided to join an agency and gained a little experience filling in for people at various offices in the area.
After a few months I landed a part time 6 month job at a local hospital in one of the offices, as office junior [!]  I'm not very 'junior' , not in years anyway, however young I call myself!  That contract ended and I had another spell on the dole.
Another job became available - this time a permanent full time job with the same hospital as Undergraduate Secretary.  This involved supporting medical students on placement at the hospital.  I was there for a few years before I got itchy feet and decided to do something else, that's when the post of Senior Library Assistant became available where I am today.  I have been at this post now for 4 years.


Not sure I want to further this and become a librarian.  If a post came along it would probably mean I have to travel a lot further than I do now to come to work. Not sure I want to do that, even if it is more money!  Also it is a very competitive market out there, not wanting to be too negative and appear not very confident but I probably wouldn't stand a lot of chance.  I'm not a young whipper-snapper either!  Someone like me at my age of ... ahem.... and without a lot of experience in libraries would be beaten by some young graduate I'm sure!
I am happy with what I do and happy to plod along as usual ..  for now anyway.

thanks for reading!

Friday, 16 September 2011

Thing 19: Catch up week on integrating 'things'

To reflect back on the 'things'  then.. Well I think I have learned quite a bit about techy type stuff over the past few weeks.  I probably won't find a use for all of them but it was interesting to find out what's 'out there'.  we may have a use for them in the library, we shall see.  It has certainly gave me some things to think about.  I have learned how to blog, something I had no clue about before.  I even know how to put a picture on here now.  I have also set a personal one about greeting cards I make.
I don't think I shall become a Twitter addict.  I signed up for Linkedin and LSPN, whether it's worth it I don't know.  I'm not a librarian or a 'new professional' but I will keep them up for now.  I have posted a couple of things on the LSPN forums too.  Someone's post was interesting on the subject of the virtual world of Second Life.  I decided to sign up for it to give it a test out.  It seems there are a few library people using it for training and discussions.  It is very fascinating and you could be 'in there' for hours!  You have to remember you have a real life as well!  If anyone is out there who uses it, I would be interested to 'meet' them!

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Thing 18: Jing / screen capture / podcasts (making and following them)

Not a lot I can write about this one, because all the marvellous things on this we need to explore our place of work has blocked them.  So unless I download them on the pc at home I can't really comment.  On the face of it though they seem a very good tool.
Actually showing a small video clip of how you do things on the computer is very useful as some people can't grasp what you are telling them just with words.  I have seen the small training videos on EBSCO the site that manages journal issues.  They are quite comprehensive and if you don't get it the first time you can replay the clip.
While I can see this sort of thing being useful in training sessions I would have thought it would be just as easy for the  trainer to do 'live' what he teaching the class.  Obviously distance learning is another matter and it would come in very useful.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Thing 16: Advocacy, speaking up for the profession and getting published

Advocacy is a very important thing if you are sort of service desk, shop, museum curator etc etc.  You are  there to promote your wares.  Unless you are just a Saturday girl at the local supermarket who couldn't give a damn about the shop or customers, everyone should have a mind to serve the customer to their best ability.
Every day I help to advocate our library.  Whenever I serve a customer from issuing books to helping them find a journal article I promote our library and what it can do to help them find what they want.  If you are seen to do the best you can even if they walk away empty handed - you can congratulate yourself on a job well done and be seen to do the best you can for them.
Our library is a hospital library, so most of the staff here know we are there and know that we can or try to find them the best information they require.  New staff inductions are where we promote our library as well.  We provide training on how to find the best evidence based practice and literature searching.  Or for busy doctors we can do their literature search for them.
To advocate our library to our other staff and not just clinical staff, we set up a non clinical book selection.  This includes novels, non fiction, food and drink and gardening books.  They are donated books that anyone can bring in.  This has proved quite popular with clinical and non clinical staff alike.
Although there is unrest in the library fraternity I don't think we need to get out our banners and march to Downing Street just yet.  I think the health library in particular is seen as important to get the medical evidence for patient care.  The library is funded by the University Deanery which hold a special budget, so I think we are safe for now, although there has been cut backs elsewhere.
I read with interest on people's ideas for advocacy especially the knitting pattern idea!  Brilliant!  I am compelled to find other interesting ideas myself, particularly to get more of the non clinical staff in.

As for 'getting published' - this is definitely over my head.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Thing 15: Attending, presenting at and organising seminars, conferences and other events

To start on a negative note - I have absolutely no intention of speaking at seminars!  I was never one to speak out in the classroom and comments on my school reports all said "Beverley never puts her hand up to speak in class", "Beverley is a quiet girl..." you get the picture.
My job as Snr Library Assistant does not demand public speaking of me.  If the need comes up then I would have to shake off my fears and get a grip.  It would only be to library users anyway, probably an induction to the library type thing.  I don't do any training.
On the positive side, I have attended 'learn and share library days' with other libraries in the region.  These are good because you get to talk to people and if you see them again at another event you can say Hi and feel a bit more involved.  The 'sharing' bit was good because I felt like I was contributing and not just sitting listening to other people.  Obviously the learning bit was well... learning - different ideas and new things.
As to organising events.  That wouldn't be up to me.  I could help organise, I'm good at PowerPoint!  but I wouldn't be saying 'I think we should do this sort of event'.  I suppose I could suggest an event then it would be up to my boss to say yay or nay, but this has never cropped up as yet.

Thing 14: Zotero / Mendeley / citeulike

N/A to me.  However it may be something my colleague could use to help our customers.  Perhaps I will suggest it as part of the library training calendar..

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Thing 13: Google Docs, Wikis and Dropbox

Here we are at unlucky for some Thing 13.
File sharing.  In our library and indeed at the hospital where the library is based  there is a thing called the Workgroup on the 'W' drive on each of the computers.  This allows each department to share their documents and files.  Every department only has access to their own Workgroup.  So.. the ideas here like Google Docs and  Dropbox are in themselves very clever and useful, but we wouldn't be using their services at my workplace.

Of course I can see their usefulness outside of the work place.  If you wish to share your files and documents with another party this would be an excellent way to do it.  Regarding Dropbox - very handy if you don't want to send loads of photos via email and clog up someone's inbox.  Also very handy that the other person doesn't have to have an account with Dropbox in order to view your files.
At home however a wireless connection that allows pcs to 'talk' to each other would be the answer here.  We did buy one at home ages ago, which allowed a wireless internet facility too, but we couldn't get it to work.  Perhaps we'll have another go at some point...

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Thing 12 - Putting the social into social media

There's something to be said about social media, it can be for either good things like the 23 Things or bad things such as the recent riots.
Tools like Facebook and Twitter can certainly be very useful and a quick way of getting the message across.  Also with working in the NHS I can see the great potential and extreme usefulness when it comes to sharing important info such as healthcare.  Our library has a Twitter account which we can share information with our patrons via our Intranet page at the hospital - such as informing them of the latest editions of journals.  Assuming not all of our users have Twitter accounts it was decided that we should add a feed to our Intranet page.
I think social media has become an important asset in linking up with others.  With the likes of Facebook we can discover old friends and maybe re-kindle the flame as it were.  On the professional side it can useful to form contacts and also gain knowledge to further one's career.
Social media will never replace actual face to face contact however, but in these times where travel is expensive and a lot of hassle! contact via a computer is very handy and convenient.  Also with the web conferencing quality getting better all the time, we can 'meet' people from almost anywhere!
On a personal basis I have only used Facebook for personal use.  I have never done conference calling and I have only just set up an account with LISPN.  Not sure if it's worth it, because I am not really a 'New Professional'... but I will carry on for now.  As for blogging I don't think I will carry this on in a professional capacity for myself, unless my manager wants me to set up one for our library or something like that.  I am currently thinking about setting one up for my hobby which is greeting card crafting.  I never know who might 'notice' me...


Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Thing 10 & 11 Graduate traineeships, Masters Degrees, Chartership, Accreditation & Thing 11 Mentoring

Thing 10
Not wanting to sound negative but it seems like these 'Things' are more for people who want to be or already are librarians.  I suppose that's the next step from being a lowly SLA.
However I'm not sure if I want to be a librarian or Chartership etc etc.. so what else is there for SLAs?  It would be nice to further my career and maybe even get a better job with more money, but I'm not really sure what is out there for non-librarians who want to work in a library.
Also being a bit negative again... is it worth becoming a librarian when a lot of libraries are closing with the cut backs?  If anyone can help me be a bit more positive please feel free!  :-)
Thing 11
The only time I can say I've had a mentor is my manager when I joined the library in my current post.  I had never worked in a library so it was all very new to me.  It was the manager's job to show me the ropes and supporting me in the library, which my other colleagues have also done.
I can say my other mentor was my NVQ assessor, which you all probably know what they do.  She was very good, calming me down when I panicked because it was as clear as mud at the beginning and at the end when I didn't think I'd finish on time.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Things 8 & 9

Thing 8 was all about Google Calendar.  I haven't looked at it. It may be brilliant, but I don't really need another calendar.  We use Outlook at work so everything goes in there.  At home we use a real calendar - you know the  ones made of paper that you can write in the little squares.  Good enough for me.  Not used yet, but mobile phones have calendars on them as well, which I should use more, then when out and about I can refer to it.

Thing 9 was about Evernote.  Never heard of it before.  I have signed up for it and found it quite good.  I can definitely see it as a good tool for saving things like web pages and other notes.  I will have another dabble and see what else I can do with it.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Networking Thing 6 & 7

Networking with other library people can be useful.  It can give you an opportunity to share what you know (I don't know much) and get some info and ideas from them too.
I have been to a couple of library networking days where there are presentations and 'workshop' sessions, where you can choose which group you would like to do which is more relevant to your job. Not sure about there being another one of these as last year's was cancelled because of lack of attendance.  Reason being their Trusts wouldn't pay the travel fairs..  but cutbacks are another story...
The other networking I did was the NVQ.  There were monthly sessions where candidates could meet up and work and have opportunity to talk to their fellow candidates and their assessors.
As for online networking sites, I hadn't joined any except for the LISMED and JSCMAIL mailing lists.  On recommendation on the CPD23 I joined the LISNPN.  It says New Professional which I'm not but I thought there may be some library assistants on there.
I set up a Twitter and Pushnote account, which I don't think I will be doing a lot with especially Pushnote, which is largely a waste of time and will be deleting my account soon.  I'll give Twitter another chance, I may have to follow more relevant people.  Also I will have to follow more of the blogs.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Reflective practice. Thing 5

Well.. I've had a look at the various tools that are used to send info to anyone who is interested.  I'm not convinced any of them are useful to my workplace to get the customers in, if that's what you are after.  We have a Twitter feed to our Library Intranet page and anyone who looks at our page will see our tweets.  Looking at our list of followers there very few,  if any, members of our Trust listed.  As for Pushnote - no idea.  I set myself up on it and tried looking for people and gave up.  One person was recommended to me as soon as I signed up and that was Stephen Fry, I thought he must have something interesting to say, so I recommended his link about his interview with Lady GaGa.
The only people who will see our blogs, Twitters, etc etc, are people who have also got blogs Twitters etc etc.. so I'm thinking this is probably a waste of time.  We can put various updates on our webpage on the Intranet using Sharepoint instead.  I suppose the Twitter feeds are useful if you want to add a link to somewhere interesting.  That's all we need in my opinion.  The people who can be bothered to view our Intranet page will be Trust staff, who are very busy people, so I think the last thing they will want is to have to read too much - they want a quick comment and a link if they are interested in it.
I will carry on with this cpd23 thing and see what happens..

Monday, 11 July 2011

Info overload...thing 4

I'm not sure about all this.  I can understand why Twitter can be useful, and its a quick way of sending out information to people.  Blogs are just a longer version of Twitter in my view.  RSS feeds are probably useful too.  As for Pushnote - I haven't even gone there as yet.  I think doing them all is probably silly.  Just see which one you like the best and choose that one to use.  Blogging is ok, but do people really have time to read them?  I suppose it depends on the nature of your work.  It's nice to read the musings of people and some of them are quite entertaining but do we really need them for our work?  I was dead against Twitter - in fact, I was cringing as I signed up for it, but after looking at it, I've drawn the conclusion that perhaps a few words and a link is all it needs to get the message across to people you want to send info to.
I shall have another review and perhaps look at Pushnote....  and reflect what I've seen on here... if I can be bothered ;-)

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Thing 3 - Personal Brand

Well I have had fun Googling my name and coming up with all different Bev and Beverley Wrights, including a poet, a lovely teddy bear called the Wright Bear and an obituary..(!) I came to the conclusion that it all depends on who you want to find you.  Do you want your old school mates and perhaps old colleagues to rediscover you, on the likes of Facebook or MySpace or will future employers hunt for you?  If you type in Beverley Wright Library Assistant I am at the top! I am on the list of the A to Z of the NHS Health Libraries Group.
For the 23 Things thing, my blog will come under a professional capacity, so I have decided to keep my personal and professional life separate. Although I have added some interests and hobbies that I currently have on my profile, I haven't linked them with anything like other forums I may be on, relating to the interests I have.  After saying that I will try not to be too much of a closed book if someone asks me about my interests - if they're interested..

To Blog or not to Blog.. Thing 1 & Thing 2

Well here goes - my first ever attempt at a blog..  After spending ages faffing around creating it and making it look pretty I am finally writing something!
The idea of putting my thoughts on a computer programme for all the world to see has never been a desire of mine - I mean it's a bit... well.. vain, isn't it?  Who'd want to read it? So...Why am I doing the 23 Things?  Well I would like to learn more about this technology malarky for one thing, not having a lot of experience in things like blogging, Twitter and the like.  It is the future after all, and I am interested in learning more about it.  Also if it's going to help my professional career then it's for the good too.  You never know it may be fun along the way if I'm not tearing my hair out wondering why something doesn't work when I want it to.  (I'm not the most patient of people when it comes to computers - I gotta admit).  Well here goes...
To infinity and beyond!.........
Thing 2 - exploring other blogs
wow people are really professional in their blogs.  Some of them look really nice.  Some really know what to say in them too, I could never think of that much to write!  I struggle with this one!  I have sought out a few to follow, mainly other library assistants because I can't really 'relate' to what the librarians are saying.  Some of it I don't have a clue what they are talking about if they go off on a techy tangent!  Anyway will continue to follow the other blogs, am always interested what other people say on their 'things', librarians as well as assistants.