Thing 13 – Professional Organisations

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I am a member of the Library Association of Ireland (LAI). As membership runs from the start to the end of the calendar year, I joined for the first time at the start of 2015 instead of towards the end of 2014. The website is pretty good and has links to all the Special Interest Groups (SIG’s). However, I actually find out most of the information I need about the SIG’s through social media like Facebook and more recently Twitter.

Joining the LAI has been a really great experience, it doesn’t matter what stage you are at in your LIS career, everyone is very friendly and supportive. I have learnt a lot from attending various conferences and events organised by LAI SIG’s. However, the biggest advantage to joining a professional organisation is the support network you build and the skills you develop from participating in different professional development activities such as Rudai 23. Recently, I joined the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) and I’m looking forward to getting involved in more activities when I relocate to London.

Image from here.

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Thing 12 – Attending Conferences

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The most recent event I attended was the Publishing and Peer Reviewing Workshop at Maynooth University Library On Thursday 29th October. The workshop was delivered by the publishing company Taylor and Francis but organised by Deputy Librarian Helen Fallon.

In order to attend the event I had to get permission from my employer and send an email to the organiser a few weeks in advance to register for the event but it was free.
This was a great networking opportunity as I met lots of people at different stages of their LIS career. All those that attended are interested in publishing journal articles, this was a good way to network with other professionals who might be interested in collaborating on future projects.

My record keeping for this event was not so detailed, I mostly listened and took a few notes. I don’t remember everything the speakers said but I got some great takeaways that I will put into practice. You shouldn’t put yourself under pressure to remember everything its impossible. Try and focus on a least one takeaway point from the workshop/presentation you attended and put it into action.

This was a busy week for me so if I was going again I would have packed my bag the night before and included a note book. As well as being better organised with transport and know exactly what time the train leaves at. All the little stresses you have before you attend an event can effect your concentration and ability to enjoy the experience.

Here are some key points I got out of this workshop:

Never be afraid to admit you need help from the editor, they are there to support you.

Always find the journal you want to be published in and write your paper to suit their style and subject matter.

Always read backdated issues of articles from the journal you want to write for. Follow the same style and make sure your subject mater is relevant to them.

Some good blogs to follow:

Helen Fallon’s Academic Writing Librarian.

Pat Thomson’s patthomson.net.

A great video with some tips for authors from Taylor and Francis:

 

Image sourced from here.

 

Thing 11 – Reflective Practice

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Reflections from the Ha’penny Bridge, Dublin

I haven’t been doing a very good job at keeping on top of all the Rudai 23 Things as life always gets in the way. When the course started back in July I was halfway through the final requirement for the Masters in Library and Information Studies at UCD and working full time. I finally got started with Thing 1 at the end of August and have been doing chunks here and there. However, life is starting to slow down a bit so over the next two weeks I’ve made a plan to focus on Rudai 23 and finish everything by the end of next week.

I looked over all the tasks and made notes in my diary as to which tasks I will tackle. Some days I put in more than one task to complete so that will be a busy day. Even though I am new to the LIS profession I attended a lot of professional development events while working as a teacher. Thus most of the upcoming tasks will take less time to complete than the previous more techie tasks.

I am doing the course alone, I know a few others doing it but because I was going at my own pace I haven’t been able to follow their progress. I’m sure most people are closer to the end than I am at this stage, the only advice I can give is to go at your own pace. If you try to keep up with everyone else but don’t have much free time then you will just get stressed out and not get the full benefit of the course.  Thing 9 probably took me the longest amount of time to complete as it was my first time to make a video for CPD but thing 10 and 11 were easier so I took a break for a while from it and started to write drafts for those posts. When I was happy with the video I published all the draft posts I had been working on. I found making a plan in my diary for the rest of the tasks really helped me to keep track of what I have to do and made the prospect of completing the final tasks more realistic.

Good luck to anyone still catching up 🙂

Thing 10 – Live Streaming

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Its nearly the end of October and I finally made it to Thing 10. As this task was posted in August I missed the live Hangout-On-Air that some Rudai 23 participants took part in. However, I did watch the YouTube video that was posted later.

Live streaming is an excellent way to share events with a wider network of people. I know that many conferences are live streamed but I haven’t been able to watch any these streams as I was either working or at another event.

Being a live stream viewer is very different from watching a video of an event as there is no editing. You can see everyone and everything that happens in front of the camera. The first live streamed event I tuned into was the winter solstice at Newgrange, Co. Meath in 2011. At the time I was living in South Korea so I had just finished work for the day when RTE started the live stream of the sunrise. This is a big event, even though only a lucky few are allowed inside the chamber on this morning large crowds gather outside the tomb. Even though I live near here and visited the site many times I had never been there during the winter solstice so it was kind of exciting. The strangest thing about this stream was that you could hear what people were talking about. Even though I was sitting in my office in South Korea I could hear people I know talking about how they were getting home but they had no idea that I was looking in. I felt like a fly on the wall, it was a strange feeling.

The next time I organise an event I will definitely explore the option of live streaming it as it is an excellent way to reach a wider audience.

Image from here.

Thing 9 – Video

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In Thing 9 we were tasked with making a video of at least two minutes. Videos are an excellent learning tool and a great way to promote any event, place or group. However, at first I found this task very daunting as I wasn’t sure what topic I would choose for the video and I wasn’t so keen on recording my voice. However the Rudai 23 blog post was very clear and concise. I chose to use the Screencast-o-matic app for this task.

I finally decided to make a video to promote a LIS blog that I co-manage. I used a slide show that I developed on Google slides and then downloaded it to my desktop. I then went searching for music to play in the background that had no copyright restrictions and came across a great website called Purple-Planet. When I had everything ready I recorded my PPT presentation using Screencast-o-matic. I had to do it a few times as I was pressing play on my chosen music, then presentation mode on the PPT and then the record button. As I was using the free version of Screencast it only records the speakers and not the actual computer sound so the audio quality on the final video wasn’t bad but not really what I wanted. I recorded the video again with no sound and uploaded it to Youtube. This was really easy.

When I uploaded my video to Youtube there were lots of editing tools, I could use from a wide range of copyright free music. The only issue I had was that I couldn’t add the MP3 music file I had chosen to go with the video. It took me a long time to work around this as I was also having some tech problems and had to change laptop to finish the project. In the end I imported the video and MP3 file into Windows Movie Maker and edited it slightly. This was really easy to do and the sound quality of the video is now much better than my original recording.

Even though I was dreading this task at the start I really enjoyed doing it and would have no problems making a second video. If I was doing this again I would upload a dummy video to Youtube and go through the different types of music they have available. I find it much easier to plan what way I like to lay out my content on a video when I know what tempo the music accompanying it is.

Image from here.

Thing 8 – Curator Tools

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I decided to use Storify for this task. I chose this over the other apps because it seems to be used more widely by the groups I follow on social media and figured it must be easy to use. Even though for some reason I have a Flipboard app on my phone that I can’t get rid of, I’ve never used it and can’t see myself using it in the near future.

I signed up for the free version of Storify using a Twitter account and it was really easy to navigate. The only problems I had was that I was trying to curate a Twitter chat from almost three months ago so I couldn’t use the hashtag to find the tweets. It did however still have the tweets from just less than 2 months ago. Moral of this story is don’t leave it two long before you curate an event on Storify. One workaround you can use to try and remedy this is search each person who was involved in the chat and import their tweets related to the discussion topic. However this is very time consuming and not ideal. Also you may not know everyone who was involved in the chat, but you can at least start with one person you know and then look at who they were tagging in the chat.

I think this is an excellent tool for libraries to use as they all have a social media presence. It’s a really good way to curate the interactions the library the library has had with its clients during a special event hosted in the library. At the moment these tools aren’t useful for my current position but I co-manage a library related blog and related social media sites so it is very useful for curating all the live Twitter chats we have had.

Image From:

https://instructionaldesignfusions.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/using-storify.png 

Thing 7 – Podcasts

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The task for this challenge was to try creating a recording and uploading it to your SoundCloud account. Then embed it into your blog post. and/or Listen to one of the podcasts mentioned in this article.

Podcasts are really useful educational tools but at this current point in time they aren’t relevant to my current position so I chose to focus on reviewing some of the podcasts recommend on this challenge.

It’s been a few weeks since I completed Thing 6, in between then and now there has been a number new library related podcasts launched on line. The first podcast that I listened to was called Libraryland Podcast. This podcast was set up by a group librarians in the US/Canada and focuses on a number of library related issues in each episode. In each episode they discuss two different topics, I found the discussions both informative and practical, I picked up some useful tips. The tips about social media were particularly useful as everything that we do needs to be promoted online and these tips will be useful for some of the projects I’m working on. Each episode is divided into two segments, the only criticism I would have is that both segments are uploaded in one file and average at just over 1 hour long which makes it difficult to follow from start to finish. If each episode segment was uploaded individually it would be easier to follow and dip in and out of while working.

I’m looking forward to the next episode , you can follow Libraryland Podcast on Twitter @LibraryLandPod and listen to their podcasts here:   http://librarylandpodcast.blogspot.ie/

The second podcast was produced by the Academic & Special Libraries section of the Library Association of Ireland (LAI). They have only published one episode so far but it was excellent. Their podcast focused on influential people in the Irish LIS community and interviewed Jane Burns for the first episode. The podcast was over an hour in length which made it a little difficult to listen to from start to finish. I think it would have been more effective if they divided the recording into individual sections based on themes from the interview.

I’m really looking forward to the next episode, you can follow the Academic & Special Libraries section of the LAI on Twitter @ASLIBRARIES and listen to their podcasts here:  http://www.aslibraries.com/#!librarians-aloud-podcast/cj6y

The third podcast I listened to was called Beyond The Stacks which documents LIS professionals from the US and Canada career paths. These podcasts were relitively short compared to the other ones I listened to, around 30 minutes but this made it easier to listen to while working and will definitely tune into the next episode.

You can tune in to their podcasts here:  http://beyondthestacks.info/

These three LIS podcasts are really useful for keeping up to date with current LIS issues so I will incorporate them into my routine.

One podcast that was recommended on the Rudai 23 Thing 7 recommendations was Serial. Although not related to LIS it is an excellent example of how to make a podcast and I am hooked to their 2014 story. It’s  “a 12 part thriller based on true events which was one of the most listened to podcasts in 2014” (Thing 7). Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to listen to this because you will be hooked too.

You can tune in from here: http://serialpodcast.org/

Image from:

http://blog.lionbridge.com/marketing/2013/05/29/incorporating-podcasts-into-your-marketing-strategy-2/

Thing 6 – Reflective Practice

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Reflections in Pisa, Italy

I’m a big fan of reflective practice and even though I have been using it a lot for professional purposes I still find it difficult to do especially when its in a public space like a blog. 

Its  September and I’m only on Thing 6 but this has been one of my favourite challenges so far. I’ve had a really busy summer and wasn’t able to start going through the things until recently so I was feeling a bit stressed about being so far behind. However, when I looked at a few other blogs I realised that I’m not the only one and a few people have just done thing 1 so far. This made me realise that its ok not to stress about keeping up and that I can work at my own pace.

Another thing some people mentioned in Thing 6 was that some blogs were really impressive and had features that I couldn’t find. When I first started blogging about Rudaí things it was useful to see what other people had written but more importantly it helped me to gauge how long my blog posts should be and what kind of information to include.

Best of luck everyone 🙂

Thing 5 – Online Networks

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This weeks post is about online networks such as Facebook and Twitter. I first joined Facebook in 2008 but didn’t use it so much until I moved abroad in 2010. Life abroad would have been more difficult without Facebook as it was a great way to keep in touch with home and friends in other places. One useful thing was the Facebook groups that were set up for foreigners living in a particular city. The first group I joined had useful information about where to get certain products from home but they also had a lot of stupid things like questions about where to buy ice cubes which are available in every corner store as well as someone trying to sell a second hand toilet brush.

I just joined Twitter a few months ago even though I heard of the professional development benefits a long time ago. I finally took the steps to set up an account the morning of the launch the Abbey Ballroom Indoor Football: An Oral History Exhibition in order to promote the event using the hash tag #AbbeyBallroom. At first I found it kind of difficult to use and I’m still getting used to expressing all I want to say in 140 characters during Twitter chats but it has opened up whole wide network of information and people. I highly recommend everyone to join Twitter but I still need to do more work on my profile.

Thing 4 – Google

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I’m a Gmail user so I’ve used Google hangouts in the past but I just signed up for G+. From first impressions it seems like a much neater version of Facebook and the settings seem much easier to navigate than LinkedIn so it seems like a happy medium between the two. I’m not sure if I will really use it but I will see how it goes.

I mostly used the hangout app for instant messaging and occasionally used the video chat but probably due to internet connection the video chat didn’t work very well. I recently completed a group project with five other team mates based all over Ireland and found Skype to be invaluable to the success of the project. We were able to have group conference calls and share our screens with each other when needed. We did use many of the google apps while working on this project alongside Skype. During the final stages of the project we would have Skype conference calls and work on our final report through Google Docs. One app we didn’t utilise during the project was the Google Calendar. This would have been really useful for updating team members when it was their turn to update the task log and other general notifications.

Image credit: http://cksolutions.ie/advantages-google-calendar-business/