Lost in the HQs

Lost in the HQs

Friday, 21 September 2012

Thing 4: Current awareness - Twitter, RSS and Storify

I have been using twitter on and off for the past year or so.  Initially I used twitter for personal purposes, mostly to 'follow' musicians I liked.  When I started doing CPD23 I set myself up a new twitter.  I use it to follow librarians and also political pundits I am interested in.  I'm trying to increase my use of twitter, but sometimes find it a bit overwhelming! I think I should make more use of lists as I have trouble keeping up with the number of people I follow.

I use RSS feeds through Google reader.  I have added a number of blogs that I am interested in keeping up to date with.  However I confess I have yet to get in the habit of reading the aggregated feed.  Instead I tend to see when someone has posted a new post through Twitter and read it this way.

I had heard of Storify but not used it before.  I'm not quite sure whether I would use it day to day, but  could be useful if I attend a conference or seminar.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Thing 3: Consider your personal brand

My personal brand and online identity was something I have spent quite a long time agonising over!  Although my primary aim for starting the blog and twitter was for personal development in my professional work, I was aware the professional networking would be an inevitable by-product of this.

  • Name used - I confess I spent quite a while trying to think up a name for online CPD profiles.  I wanted something that included my first name, but didn't necessarily give my identity away.   I'm not very good at thinking up bon mot's, especially when I'd told myself how important it was, and read all the blog posts emphasising the importance of a brand and a name!  In the end I went with my first name and something relevant to my interests: Helen_HQ. HQ in the LoC classification scheme covers Gender, Family and Sexuality Studies books.
  • Photograph - Ah yes, the 'what constitutes a professional photo?' conundrum.  I confess I have slightly more piercings than the average person, a couple more tattoo's and occasionally a pink/purple/what I choose streak in my hair.  When I go to interviews it's long sleeved shirts, clear piercing retainers and hair a 'normal' colour.  I wasn't quite sure how to approach the photo for this.  I have initially gone with what I consider one of my 'safer' photos: facing away from the camera etc.  Now I'm a bit braver I'm tempted to change to a photo I prefer I will ponder on this for a week or so and see.
  • Professional/personal identity - I'm still getting into the swing of twitter and blogging.  For the moment, most of my posts on these platforms have covered library related themes.  I have a couple of blog posts saved in drafts that cover the 'HQ' aspect of the online name, however I haven't yet worked out whether to post them.
  • Visual brand - My theme is to be based around purple (my favourite colour), I also have the same picture of books in the HQ section for my blog and my twitter account.  I intend to use the same photo for blogging and twitter, although I'm not quite set on what photo to use yet.


I have quite an unusual surname, so I have always been aware of controlling what comes up in Google searches as it could potentially be very easy for an employer to find me.  My LinkedIn profile is the first search result that comes up.  This is good as I created this so I would have an online professional presence.  The other search results concern the few other name-twins that I have (in Australia and the US).  On the second page my role in the library I work in comes up.  My facebook page, blog and twitter don't appear in the results, which I am happy with!

Saturday, 11 August 2012

'Supporting Researchers: information, support and community' by Jenny Delasalle

This week I attended a talk by Jenny Delasalle (@JennyDelasalle) on how Warwick University Library supports their researchers.  Below are my notes from the talk itself.  I liked the focus on community and collaboration.  These are facilitated by dedicated spaces such as the Research Exchange and online services, such as Research Match.  We were also very interested in their use of student 'ambassadors'.  These are paid posts, for around 10 hours a term.  Students are trained in what the library can do, and then go into their departments to talk about this.  They also help market events, such as those going on in the Research Exchange.  They found social scientists most likely to apply so had to actively recruit for those from the scienctific disciplines.  Crucially, there was good support from their university who recognise the value of the peer support model.

I also found the integration of web 2.0 very interesting, for example a blog appears on the 'Support for research' page and also their guides (see here) aggregate blogs and other content.  I also plan to look further into their reworking of 23 things to 'Digital skills for the researcher'.
Brief notes from the talk:
What [Warwick Library] offer:
1. Space:
Research Exchange - wanting to build community, enable interdisciplinary research.
Postgraduate hub - with facilities such as 'dissertation station'.

2. Experts
Offer various workshops / courses on the usual topics: literature searching; reference management; citation management; Open access publishing ; social media etc

3. Training:
Research student skills programme has an information strand that the library delivers.
Re-branded 23 things to 'Digital skills for the researcher' (see http://digitalresearcher.wikispaces.com/Course+Outline ).  Instead of having 23 compulsory modules divide into core and optional modules.
Held publisher workshops / visits
Guides on website
They found peer support to be a very successful model.

Research exchange:
Advertised for paid posts. trained students on how to write for the the web, they produce online guides (see http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/library/researchexchange/ecr/resources

4. Disseminating research:
WRAP repository deposit.

5. Community and peer support:
PhD network, including PhD life blog.
Research match - 700 profiles, proactive matching.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Measuring and optimizing social media - a talk by Johannes Neuer of the NYPL

On the 1st August I went to a talk organised by Staff Development on 'Measuring and optimizing social media'.  The talk was part of 'Bodleian Libraries’ Digital Know-How Day' (#BODdkh1).  It was given by Johannes Neuer (@johannesneuer) of the New York Public Library.  Below are my brief notes on the talk.  The library I work for is thinking of expanding their social media use, the talk gave a lot of very useful links for measuring and evaluating Web 2.0.  I plan to investigate these more in depth at a later date.

I found this talk an interesting counterpoint to my MSc dissertation.  One of my main findings was that libraries do not set goals, or measure social media ‘success’ in a quantifiable way.  It was interesting to hear the practical tools used and how he displayed the data.  It was also interesting to hear, that despite the current comprehensive measurement, evaluation and reporting done by NYPL, social media was started experimentally. 

Regarding setting up Social Media JN emphasised the importance of goals.  They should be 'SMART' goals:

There should be a focus on outcomes and you should actively think about how you are going to measure success.

I made a note of the tools described.  It looks like the most useful one for a library looking to set up a twitter account would be Hootsuite, as you can collect data about when specified words are mentioned in other peoples tweet (eg SSL etc).  You can also collect @mentions.

Socialflow.com was also mentioned.  This website publishes blogs. It was of use in NYPL as they have 150 bloggers.  The website can look at conversations in Twitter and Facebook and send out, or tweet, the most relevant posts.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Dissertation presentation = trepidation!

I've always found public speaking (or performing) very nervewracking.  For giving Cello recitals in High School, to giving presentations in University.  Even preforming as part of an orchestra!  Consequently this has always been something I was aware I needed to work on.  My line manager asked my to give a presentation on the findings of my dissertation 'Bodleian 2.0? : an exploration of Web 2.0 use in the Bodleian Libraries' at our staff away day.  Even though I was presenting in front of my (very supportive) colleagues I still found the experience scary.  Despite this, I think many positives came out of it.

Instead of writing my dissertation, submitting it and then burying it away.  It forced me to go back to it and read it with a critical eye.  I had to think about how best to present my findings to a group of people didn't necessaserily have any background (or interest) in social media and Web 2.0.  To do this I created a mindmap of my findings, this formed the basis of my presentation.

I also found that I had confidence in presenting once I got through the initial panic.  I enjoyed telling people about this project that I had spend around 14 months working on.  I'm planning to see if my findings would be of use in the organisation I work in.  I've realised that I spend a long time working on it, and want the research to be of use.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Thing 2: Investigate some other blogs

(After an unscheduled hiatus (damn RL!) I am back and attempting to get back on the CPD23 wagon... )

I already knew about the vast online presence of Librarians before starting CPD23.  I keep up to date with a variety of Library-related blogs, initially I did this using the CILIP blog feed.  However, I rarely commented on blogs so this is a wee bit of a diversion for me!  I think actively engaging with the online librarian world will be a good, confidence building, experience for me.

I explored CPD23 blogs through using their delicious site. I admit I was initially attracted to those with interesting names! I have posted comments on a couple of posts I was interested in.  I am going to take the next couple of days to have a more thorough look through what's out there with the aim of commenting, instead of just reading.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Thing 1: Blogs and Blogging

I currently work as a Senior Library Assistant in an academic library in Oxford.  I have recently completed my MSc in Information and Library Management.  I have always read library-related blogs and  been very interested in the discussions that go on, but have never interacted or taken part.

In a post-dissertation lull I have decided to start CPD 23 things.  

I have a few aims:
I want to become more confident in my writing.
I want to network and become more active in the library blogosphere/twittersphere.
I want to keep track of relevant things I have done at work.  I have recently undergone an annual review at work and realised that this would make it easier to keep track of.