Posts Tagged ‘Twitter

CPD23: Reflecthing

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I have mainly one thing to say about Thing 5 of the 23 Things for Professional Development programme, which is all about reflective practice. And that is read my blog. This whole CILIP Chartership thing means I’m all over it. Oh yeah.

Ok, gloating over. I thought I’d use this Thing to briefly reflect on what I’m getting out of CPD23, and what I need to concentrate on in order to get the most out of the rest of the professional development Things coming up over the coming weeks.

So far, CPD23 has prompted me to revisit and review how I’m using particular online tools for personal and professional development. I’ve been trying to look at my online presence objectively and I’ve come up with some actions to help me get the most out of blogging, Twitter and RSS feeds, amongst other things. It’s also exciting to explore new tools, like Pushnote and later this week, LinkedIn, and I’m hoping by the end of the programme, I’ll be starting to use some of these.

The other positive about doing this is that lots of other people are trying these tools out at the same time. I’m enjoying reading about what other people think of online professional networking, and what’s working for them!

What I really need to do now is use these reflections to inform my actions and interactions, and get on and do the stuff I’m suggesting. The most difficult bit of the CPD23 programme for me is just keeping up, because the weeks and Things seem to move really quickly. However, I’ve subscribed to the single feed of all the CPD23 blogs set up by Shannon Robalino (I want her surname), and it looks like I’m not the only one out there who gets a bit behind from time to time, which is reassuring! And the way I see it, I can always look back over my posts after the CPD23 course finishes and spend some more time on some of the Things at my leisure.

The other thing I’m slightly concerned about is progressing with my Chartership work at the same time as taking part in CPD23. There’s definitely professional development activities I’ve been doing over the last few weeks that I need to spend some time reflecting on. Work and life doesn’t stop, after all!


Written by missrachelsmith

July 18, 2011 at 12:35

CPD23: Feed me

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Ok, so I’m already slightly behind on the 23 Things for Professional Development programme, despite being only a few weeks in. And the theme for Week 3, somewhat ironically, is Current Awareness.

I think that one of the most useful things about social media is that it helps me to keep up to date. Now, I tend to find out about industry, national and international news first through the people I follow on Twitter – the 140 character posts can’t give me all the details, but often link to further information. Before newspapers and television came word of mouth, and I think it’s interesting that things seem to be coming full circle in terms of the way news circulates.

And I totally love RSS feeds – I’ve supported teaching sessions for academics on using RSS feeds to keep up to date with new research, so I’m pretty familiar with RSS technologies. Subscribing to blogs and news feeds means that I don’t have to go to lots of places to find out information, or repeat searches – instead I can sit back, and relax, and current awareness material comes straight to me.


I’ll admit it, I’m just plain lazy with the way I manage my Twitter account and the RSS feeds I subscribe to. Are things in useful folders or lists to keep my different interests organised? No. Do I ever go through and weed my RSS feeds, or the people I follow on Twitter? Not really. Do I try and match up the Twitter accounts I follow to the blog RSS feeds I subscribe to? Nope, although it sometimes happens by accident. I’m like a kid in a sweet shop – I just gobble up all the information I can get my grubby mitts on.

In fact, the more I think about it, the more I realise that as an information professional, I sure could do more about organising all that current awareness material. I do not want to become the information equivalent of Audrey Junior (the man-eating plant from the Little Shop of Horrors).

So I’m going to use Thing 4 to:

  • Attempt to follow a few more organisations and other libraries on Twitter to keep up to date with current news
  • Investigate my Twitter followers and followees – do any of them have interesting blogs which I haven’t explored?
  • Audit my RSS feeds in Outlook. Which ones do I actually want to read every day alongside my work emails?
  • Look at my Google Reader account, which I rarely log in to. I’m going to try to use this to organise most of the RSS feeds I subscribe to. I also want to create folders so I can find things more easily.

Feed me, Seymour…

Written by missrachelsmith

July 11, 2011 at 13:45

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CPD23: Branding – a piece of cake?

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CPD evidently now stands for Cake & Professional Development. Image courtesy of M i x y on Flickr

Last week, I celebrated one year of tweeting using my missrachelsmith Twitter account! I’ve also just reached the 6 month mark with the missrachelsmith blog. The turning of a year is often a good time to reflect on the year past and think about the year ahead, so week 2 of 23 Things for Professional Development, and Thing 3: Consider your personal brand are quite timely for me.

Now, communications and marketing is kind of my bag, baby, so in theory, this personal branding Thing should be a piece of (tweetanniversary) cake. But for me, using social media for professional development was kind of an organic thing which just happened. I never really planned or structured my personal online ‘brand’. So what do my current professional social media profiles say about me?

What I think

Well, I think that I present myself in quite a straightforward way. Both my blog and my Twitter account are named after me and I also proudly display friendly mugshots of myself (although the photo I’m currently using, taken during the Toon (lib)TeachMeet, maybe isn’t the most obvious).

I write about what I’m doing at work, about professional development activities and about ideas I have about libraries and information. I don’t go into a huge amount of detail about out of work stuff, but I don’t divorce my work life and my personal life entirely, as it tends to creep in. And I write quite honestly; the whole point of my CILIP Chartership work is to be reflective, and that means telling you how I feel about the things I’m doing, as well as what I think about them.

I definitely think that there’s room for improvement, however. Visually, my blog and Twitter account don’t look all that enticing and a strong online visual identity could be easily achieved through using consistent headers and backgrounds. I’ve also been keeping an eye on my blog stats in recent weeks, and a lot of people seem to find their way to my About page, which currently tells you very little about me. These are things that I need to look into and would be quick improvements to my personal online brand.

What my colleagues think

I decided to be brave and go for the optional extra activity, so I asked a couple of colleagues for their opinions on my blog. My colleague Vicki called it (and I quote) ‘the most professional blog I’ve ever read’. I’m guessing this is because there are other people at my workplace who blog – see Helen’s Bright Inside, a blog about interior design, or Ben’s bloggin’ bones, subtitled ‘musings of unremarkable idiot’, for example –  and don’t write about professional stuff at all. But still, as I’m blogging about work, professional is kind of what I’m aiming at, so I was fairly pleased with that response.

What Google thinks

I’ve learnt that I’m not amazingly easy to find or ‘googleable’ – I blame this mainly on having the world’s most common name. I did consider changing my surname as a teenager, to something a bit more exciting and glamorous, but my mother was quite offended when I suggested it. Actually, if you search ‘Rachel Smith’ on Google, you mainly come up with results relating to an American beauty queen (don’t be fooled – if I looked like that I wouldn’t be doing this job).

Can I improve my Google result rankings? Well, I’m sure there’s a few SEO-type rabbits I could pull out of my library marketing hat, but I don’t think I can improve my visibility that much, without changing names. I’m planning to use the missrachelsmith ‘brand’ for at least the course of Chartering, but maybe I should rethink this further down the line, as and when my blog and twitter activities have a change in purpose/emphasis.

And lastly, what do you think? I’d love to know.

Written by missrachelsmith

July 1, 2011 at 12:42

Posted in CPD23

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Library Day in the Life Project, Round 6

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This is the second time I’ve taken part in the Library Day in the Life Project. In Round 5, I tweeted about my week. In Round 6, I’ve decided to use Twitter to document my working week, but on Bobbi Newman’s advice, also incorporate these into a blog post.

So here is my round up of #libday6…

Monday 24th January 2011

9.22 AM New week, new blog post: http://bit.ly/f0rcbX Thoughts on my Chartership PPDP and my first mentor meeting later this week. #libday6

9.41 AM My day starts with opening the Education Library, uploading a new blog post http://bit.ly/f0rcbX and dealing with new book requests #libday6

10:41 AM Organising my diary for the next few weeks, the service desk rotas are v tight due to staff turnover & it’s difficult to find cover #libday6

12:59 PM Scanned some journal articles on the world’s clunkiest scanner for an intersite copy request for the other university campus #libday6

1:04 PM Just emailed the Librarian about appearing in a promotional video for the institutional repository, and now it’s time for lunch! #libday6

2:38 PM Although most of today I’m on service duties, have some spare time this afternoon to work on e-resource benchmarking exercise #libday6

4.36 PM Just planned my travel to see my Chartership mentor tomorrow – looking forward to meeting Jackie and seeing Teesside Uni Library! #libday6

5.03 PM Ended my #libday6 trying to solve a procurement conundrum around cancelled printed marketing materials – but it’ll keep until tomorrow.

Tuesday 25th January 2011

9:38 AM #libday6 Arrive, check emails, add agenda items for AS team meeting, phone printers, email procurement, check Library’s facebook & twitter

12:05 PM Spent an hour on the Collections desk issuing laptops & sorted the procurement mix-up with the printers of our marketing materials #libday6

12:10 PM Put in training form to attend next North East repositories group meeting, now I’m off to catch a bus for my CILIP mentor meeting #libday6

Wednesday 26th January 2011

12:28 PM Positive meeting with my Chartership mentor yesterday at Teesside – need to get my PPDP sent off now #libday6

12:30 PM Busy morning spent digitising book chapters and sorting out emergency cover for our instant messaging service for the next few days #libday6

12:32 PM There’s a film crew in shooting a video to promote the Library – trying very hard to keep out of the way so I don’t get roped in! #libday6

Thursday 27th January 2011

8.25 AM Saw band of horses last night – excellent gig, although pretty tired for my early set up shift this morning #libday6 #inneedofcaffeine

11:26 AM Spending most of my morning on current e-resource benchmarking project, almost through all of Glasgow’s databases, almost… #libday6

3:40 PM Had lunch with my friend Nick, an engineering PhD student, and then into a meeting assessing our new book request service #libday6

Friday 28th January 2011

About 5 hours ago Last day of #libday6 and one filled with service desk shifts, as providing cover for colleagues. First up, Enquiries…

About 3 hours ago Next I am off for my weekly shelving hour, then onto the Collections desk…. #libday6

7 minutes ago This afternoon, to complete my day of back & forthing & never being at my desk, I’m on Enquiries, then Meebo, then Collection desk #libday6

And that about sums up my week… for the next round of the Library Day in the Life Project, I might even manage a proper blog post!

Written by missrachelsmith

January 28, 2011 at 13:45

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