Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Teen Years (CPD23 Things 11-16)

It has been a very busy last few weeks, between a vacation/conference, then preparing my children for school days to begin. I thought the Labor Day holiday would be a good time to run through some of the topics that I have yet to touch upon for CPD23.

When I was finishing my degree I took a half-year practicum in the acquisitions department of the university library. The head of the department became a mentor to me, in the broadest sense of the word. Afterwards I learned from various people in my jobs, although none took a real mentoring role. In 2009, I was fortunate enough to get a place in the Library Leadership Massachusetts, a leadership conference for Massachusetts librarians and library staffs. Besides working with two facilitators, we worked in groups that included two mentors that assisted us with sessions.

Thing 12 - Putting The Social Into Social Media

Social media has definitely had a large influence on my professional life. I have made contact with other librarians and book professionals from around the world, and have gathered a lot more information than I could without it.

Thing 13 - GoogleDocs, Wikis, and Dropbox

I am a fan of two out of these three. I have used GoogleDocs for a long time, not only personally but professionally. I maintain work documents here for the Digital Commonwealth, as the sharing feature makes it easy for people to not only view but also edit collaboratively as needed. This function is a necessity, and having it cloud-based means I am not trapped within my work domain to use it.

Dropbox has similar features, although I know that they had a rough go earlier on due to privacy concerns. I think that with cloud-based storage, there is always going to be that concern. However, the benefits so far outweigh the risks.

I have never been a real fan of wikis. I think that may have to do with the sometimes rough editing features that many wiki programs have. Of course, this was in the early days of wiki constructs, and I am sure that there have been improvements.

Thing 14 - Zotero/Mendeley/citeulike

I am sure that these reference management systems are very useful, however not being based in an academic environment, I have not used nor see it likely that I will use these features. The only possibility would be if I decide to pursue my thoughts on publishing articles myself. Does anyone outside of academic libraries use these on a regular basis?

Thing 15 - Attending, Organizing, Presenting at Events/Conferences/Seminars

I am lucky to have attended a few conferences through the years, both at the state and the national level. They have ranged from the Massachusetts Library Association Annual Conference to the Public Library Association. I have also attended quite a few specialized conference and seminars for working within my Integrated Library System and learning more about web design and features.

I have been part of a couple panel presentations before, dealing with digitization and our repository. This past spring I spoke for the first time alone at the Digital Commonwealth Annual Conference, giving our "Introductory" session. While speaking always builds up some anxiety, I do enjoy the opportunity to share my experiences.

In regards to organization, I have planned workshops at the library level for our members dealing with ebooks, and now with the new Evergreen public catalog I am creating both screencasts (which will be highlighted more with Thing 18) and will do some Go-To-Webinars for online training. I have also been invited to help the New England Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (NE SCBWI) Conference review proposals for next spring.

Thing 16 - Advocacy

Advocacy is an important part of working in librarianship. Funding and public support can wax and wane - people want the services, but find it hard to buy into the "we need tax dollars to run" argument. I have been to Boston to visit the Legislature on the topic. Most are willing to listen, at least. It is wonderful that we do have such a broad vocal backing, but I know that it is not always enough. Libraries still close, others are decertified. It puts a strain on the resources of the neighboring communities when a town does not support their library. We have to keep talking.

I know that Thing 17 has been postponed, but Thing 18 has to do with Jing, which I plan on taking advantage of this week with my catalog screencasts. I am looking forward to some up-to-date experience - and posts!

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