Last week I gave my first ever webinar as part of the American Library Association (ALA) Library and Information Technology Association (LITA) Mobile Computing Interest Group (MCIG) virtual meeting.* It took place instead of a physical meeting at ALA Midwinter to enable more people to attend and present. There were five presentations in 90 minutes so we each had 10 minutes to present and 5 minutes of Q&A. If you're interested in the topic, you can watch a recording of the webinar - see the blog post I wrote for our m-library community support project blog.
I thought it would be useful to reflect on my experiences of presenting a webinar - I'm noticing more and more webinars set up to enable more people to attend virtually across different time zones and without the expense of travelling, so I imagine presenting at webinars is something we'll be seeing a lot more of in future.This is my setup - home office with laptop for webinar software, headset for listening/speaking, iPhone for timing, and iPad and notepad for presentation prompts (and all important glass of Ribena!):
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Webinar setup"][/caption]
I get asked this question a lot, and I often struggle to answer it. My job is pretty unique so there's not really much to easily compare it to. I'm part of an academic library but rarely set foot into the library. I have an office on a University campus but don't visit it very often as I regularly work from home or on the go (the train is a favourite of mine!). My job title is Evidence Based Researcher; if you asked me I would probably tell you I'm an academic researcher/librarian, but my partner would probably say he wasn't really sure how to describe it but I'm a sort of information consultant. So what do I actually do?
The Special Libraries Association (SLA) have organised an Alternative Careers webinar to help introduce some of the more alternative jobs out there in the information profession. Bethan Ruddock, who is the webinar host, asked me if I'd be able to answer some questions about my job to help her research for the webinar (Bethan also has a pretty unique job but wants to get some other examples to share). I was happy to oblige and am reproducing what I sent her. So if you're not sure what I actually do, this might give you more of an idea...
I found last year's resolutions useful in helping keep me on the right track last year, and am pleased to say I kept most of them - here's a review:
Complete my MSc dissertation - finished in July
Attend more conferences - I attended lots of great conferences and events in 2011
Implement the Getting Things Done system at home and work - I seem to have this sorted for electronic information, though need to work on physical organisation of paperwork and notes
Participate in Library Day in the Life - I took part in both rounds of Library Day in the Life in...
My MSc Econ dissertation titled 'Strategic marketing in academic libraries: an examination of current practice' is now available on Aberystwyth University's open access repository.
I know a number of people said they were interested in viewing it so I've included the details below. I have also added it to my publications page.
Strategic marketing in academic libraries: an investigation of current practice
The purpose of the research is to investigate strategic marketing in academic libraries, incorporating elements of organisational orientation, strategic planning, and processes and procedures to support these.
Aims and objectives
The aim of the research is to build on existing literature, extending the knowledge of...
At Online Information 2011, I presented in one of the European Librarians Theatre panel discussions. The discussions are hosted by EBSCO and SLA Europe and bring together librarians from different parts of Europe to discuss a topic and the experiences within their country. My session, 'Everyone is talking but is anyone listening?' focused on social media. It was chaired by Sara Batts (see tweet below), and my fellow panelists were Katrin Weller and Dennie Haye.
I think the panel discussion flowed well - there was largely agreement across the board on a number of different factors, suggesting that libraries across Europe are at a similar stage with social media (the panel had representatives from UK, Germany and The Netherlands). There were some really interesting examples from my fellow panelists - one example of Yammer being used for internal communication (in an international organisation with staff dispersed geographically), and one example of Facebook being used by a University before students arrived to help answers queries and help them begin to make friends.
The main messages I took from the session were that libraries and librarians should experiment with social media to see what works, and should aim to understand more about their users as no two libraries will use social media in the same way.
You can see the tweets from the session at the #elt2011 hashtag (thanks to @WoodsieGirl and @EBSCOUK for such comprehensive tweeting!) and there is a write up of the session on the SLA Europe website.
As mentioned before, I decided to get information for my section of the discussion via a brief survey - many thanks to those who gave feedback. The main themes emerging from the results of this are shown below.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="180" caption="Tuff-Luv Spark Kindle Cover with Light - by joeyanne, on Flickr"][/caption]
It's coming up to the holiday season, and I know a number of people are considering getting a Kindle. There have been quite a few questions on Twitter and interesting conversations with both Kindle owners and those thinking of getting one. I noticed however that some features of the Kindle that I mentioned were unknown to some other Kindle owners, so I thought I'd share a few tips about the way I use my Kindle that you might not know about.
So it's finally all over - today I received confirmation that I have successfully passed my Masters, in fact I passed with distinction!
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="586" caption="Pass with distinction"][/caption]
I've been asked to take part in a panel discussion as part of the European Librarians Theatre at Online Information next week titled 'Everyone is talking but is anyone listening?'. I've got some ideas from my own experience and conversations with others, but as I'll be representing the views of the UK I wanted to open it out and ask you to help me.
If you work in a UK library, please complete the form below (or complete the online version) to let me know your views. The feedback is anonymous - though if you have something you are particularly proud...