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Thing 2/Part 2

I’ve been exploring other library blogs for a while before the course, and had found there were a lot of library people out there who are willing to share ideas and experiences. Here are a few of my favourites:

The Wikiman A fascinating blog full of information and tips and advice. By Ned Potter an Academic Librarian at the University of York- the founder of the LIS new professionals network. I really like his writing style and the originality of his blog posts.

Screwy Decimal A public librarian who blogs about her day-to-day library thoughts. Genuinely funny and a different perspective for me as I’ve only ever worked in an academic library.

Musings about librarianship A senior Librarian at the university of Singapore. Obviously higher education orientated but with a strong focus on technologies in libraries.

Joeyanne Libraryanne A research Librarian at Birmingham City University. She blogs on a whole range of topics from marketing to networking to mobile technologies.

It’s also been nice to read the blogs from people in the course who are in the same position as me when it comes to blogging, and are also at similar positions in their career. I’d always thought blogs were a place where more experienced people shared their ideas and thoughts when actually, it doesn’t matter where you are in the process, because all ideas are valuable.

Above all, reading other people’s blogs have inspired me, and made me think about other things I would like to write about, as well as aesthetic ideas about how I would like to set out my blog eventually, although this has resulted in information overload, so I’m going to have to pace myself. I’ve liked a few blog comments but at this point was unsure about what comments to put on a blog, other than general encouragement. Probably as the weeks go on and topics get a bit more in depth that’ll change.

Thing 1: Blogging

So I’ve known about cpd23 for over a year now- I was introduced to it on my MA Librarianship course last year. At the time I was super busy with course work and commuting between Sheffield and York that I didn’t feel I could devote the time the project deserved. Although a year on, lots has changed and now I have my new role at York St John University as Acquisitions and Inter-Library Loans Assistant, I’m hoping participating will broaden my horizons to all different types of web 2.0 technology which should be useful in my job and otherwise.

The things I’m looking forward to the most…

I like the look of the organising myself week- I’m always trying to find new ways to organise myself efficiently at home and work, so hopefully these tools will really help. Presenting information and getting involved also look interesting and hopefully I’ll be able to link them directly to my job.

Things I’m looking forward to the less…

Probably the online networks in week 5. Although I use Facebook and Linkedin pretty regularly, I don’t think I use them to their full potential. Also, week 3 looks a bit daunting: “consider your personal brand”, but I’m sure what that means, but I’m sure it’ll all be explained later.

Well, there seems to be more things I’m going to enjoy than not, so that’s always promising! I think overall I’m going to enjoy blogging; cpd23 is an excellent way to get into it as well because it gives me direction. I hadn’t started a blog before because I didn’t feel I had anything of value to say, but now I’m in a different position than I was last year, I feel I have much more to write about.

Hopefully as time goes on, I’d like to be more inventive with my blogging (including links, images and presentations maybe) but for now I’m at the beginning with a long way to go.

My New Library Role

As of April 23rd, I am now officially an Inter-Library Loans and Acquisitions Assistant. I’d been working in this post on a casual basis at my institution for about a month or so because I had worked in inter-library loans at the same institution previous to studying for my MA. At the same time, I’d been working as a weekend information assistant and had also been working extra hours during the week. Life was busy. So, now I work 20 permanent hours in this role as well as hours in the week AND during the weekend. Hopefully this will all change; I’m due a meeting with my line manager to discuss my hours.
It wasn’t an easy path to get to this role. The post was advertised externally, so I knew there’d be more competition and I had to really sell my skills to get noticed. I couldn’t assume anything. The thought of not getting the role was rather unpleasant and I don’t know how I’d have coped if it hadn’t turned out this way. But it did, so onwards and upwards. I was interviewed by people I knew, which I think is more of a problem, but I had the direct experience they needed so it was ok.
Now that I have the role I feel I can definitely relax and enjoy learning and developing new skills. I’m part of a small team (there’s two of us including our manager) and we’re responsible for supplying inter-library loans to other academic and health libraries. We check, verify and process requests as well as sending out requests to other libraries. The Acquisitions part of the role is yet to be explored, but hopefully in the next couple of weeks I should be introduced to the system, and I’m very excited indeed.
What I like about the role
  • It can be a very quiet background role. It mostly involving emails and going through the various processes with the inter-library loan requests and therefore doesn’t involve much face-to-face interaction with staff or students.
  •  I have the opportunity to use my research skills This is something that attracted me to the profession in the first place. Finding especially tricky articles which staff or students are unable to find is rewarding.
  • Looking for articles on different topics. It’s amazing the different types of articles and books people ask for.
  • I am able to fulfil the needs of others. So, my enjoyment not only comes out of finding the resources, but also informing the patrons and providing this value-added service.
  • The role has a largely methodological weight to it which is something I revel in- I feel I excel most with organisation and systematic thinking, so the job can be quite calming for me.
  • Being able to (mostly) make judgement calls. If a situation comes up with a request, I feel I have enough knowledge to make the decision by myself. However, there are many times when a second opinion is needed!
  • Working in a small team is comforting. You inevitably build a closer relationship with your team, especially if you work with them on a daily basis.
What I like less about the role
  • It can be quite isolating. As the other half of the team works mornings and I work afternoons, there can come times when I haven’t spoken to many people for a while, and I find myself switching off and forgetting my surroundings.
  • There may be others, but I can’t think of them right now…
What I didn’t expect about the role
  • We will be getting involved in projects this will hopefully mean collaborating more with the subject librarians as well as academic staff. This is a really exciting part of the role, and I think it’s a vital for us as a department if we want to remain relevant with other departments. We’ll be able to raise our profile and make build positive relationships within the university.

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