Blog - Jo Alcock Consulting
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This week I’m participating in the Library Day in the Life project which charts the day-to-day activities of library workers at different points of the year. This is the fourth time I’ve participated; you can see my earlier posts from July 2009, January 2010 and July 2010. I’m currently a full-time Researcher at Evidence Base, Birmingham City University, UK. This will be the first time I complete the project in this role and I hope it helps explain a little bit about the type of work I do. Today I chose to work from home - I find it easier to...

This week I’m participating in the Library Day in the Life project which charts the day-to-day activities of library workers at different points of the year. This is the fourth time I’ve participated; you can see my earlier posts from July 2009, January 2010 and July 2010. I’m currently a full-time Researcher at Evidence Base, Birmingham City University, UK. This will be the first time I complete the project in this role and I hope it helps explain a little bit about the type of work I do. The eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed that today is not actually Thursday (I was tempted to change the publication date but I can't bear lying to myself). But then this does tell you something about a day in the life of a librarian - it can be unpredictable and plans can change throughout the day so you have to be flexible. In my case it included a rather entertaining conference call (that's a whole other blog post!) which took far too long and ate up most of my afternoon.

This week I’m participating in the Library Day in the Life project which charts the day-to-day activities of library workers at different points of the year. This is the fourth time I’ve participated; you can see my earlier posts from July 2009, January 2010 and July 2010. I’m currently a full-time Researcher at Evidence Base, Birmingham City University, UK. This will be the first time I complete the project in this role and I hope it helps explain a little bit about the type of work I do. Today was the second day of the event in Edinburgh, and the focus of the day was open source software (OSS) library infrastructure. Some of the mashups used yesterday are examples of open source library software, but today concentrated on the fundamentals of OSS, benefits and barriers of OSS, and discussed ways to progress in future.

This week I’m participating in the Library Day in the Life project which charts the day-to-day activities of library workers at different points of the year. This is the fourth time I’ve participated; you can see my earlier posts from July 2009January 2010 and July 2010. I’m currently a full-time Researcher at Evidence Base, Birmingham City University, UK. This will be the first time I complete the project in this role and I hope it helps explain a little bit about the type of work I do.

This week I’m participating in the Library Day in the Life project which charts the day-to-day activities of library workers at different points of the year. This is the fourth time I’ve participated; you can see my earlier posts from July 2009January 2010 and July 2010. I’m currently a full-time Researcher at Evidence Base, Birmingham City University, UK. This will be the first time I complete the project in this role and I hope it helps explain a little bit about the type of work I do.

I read an interesting blog post earlier today from Andy Burkhardt who wrote a guest post for ACRLog titled Don't Make It Easy For Them (read it - it's not too long). It really struck a chord with me - one of the bugbears in my previous job was when colleagues (in my opinion) spoonfed students. I shared the post on Twitter and an interesting discussion began about whether or not we, as librarians, should make it easy for students (I'm referring to students but the same applies to most library user groups). My personal view is reflected in my comment on the blog post (currently in the moderation queue):
I agree with the idea that information literacy sessions can be more rewarding both for the students and the teacher if students are able to discover the tools for themselves, however think some initial guidance is needed (perhaps which databases to use and how to get to them). This method of teaching is also intensive and therefore often needs more than one member of staff to support the session as students explore. It’s certainly my preferred method of teaching though; I found many students learnt more this way. I also agree with your point about the reference desk, I see the role of a librarian as one who can show people how to find the information for themselves, therefore empowering them to do it in future. Having said that, many of the students I encountered on an enquiry desk didn’t want that – they see the librarian as a resource to utilise to get you your research. They pay their fees and expect us to offer a service – doing their research for them. It’s a difficult thing to address. I always took the approach that I would try to show them how to do something, but I had some colleagues who would just do it for them. Some students preferred learning to do it for themselves, others just wanted us to do it for them and found my approach frustrating. I think a balance is needed but it can be difficult to know what is best and I think this probably changes depending on the situation and the persons involved.

I don't usually make public resolutions (or any resolutions come to think of it), but I'm a very reflective person always looking back and planning for future, so I thought it would probably make sense to record some of my hopes for 2011. I'm not going to make anything too concrete - the nature of much of my professional work is very flexible so it's difficult to plan longer term. But here's a list of some of the things I would definitely like to do this year. Complete my MSc dissertation - so it's obvious that my motivation has slipped on...

[picappgallerysingle id="302609"]Continuing on the tradition from 2008 and 2009, it's time for my end of year blog post. As a naturally reflective person, I find it very useful to reflect back on my achievements of the year and consider what to focus on next. It's also useful to look at my previous end of year posts and look back at what I've done in the last few years. So what did 2010 bring? Well, I certainly satisfied that itch I mentioned this time last year!

I've been meaning to get round to writing this blog post for so long but work projects and Christmas have taken over my life somewhat recently (I also think I've been putting it off because writing about it might make me want one even more!). I borrowed an iPad for just over a week (thank you BCU eLibrary team!) and I loved it. Unlike my experience with the Kindle, everything I tried to do on the iPad just worked or was even easier than I had expected. I'm going to try not to let the shiny shiny aspect of it overtake my thoughts though and give an objective view of what I liked and didn't like about the iPad. NB: I wrote about the iPad as a reading device as a guest blog post for the eLibrary team, but this post is about the device more generally. [caption id="attachment_1152" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Mobile RSS on iPad (click for larger image)"]Mobile RSS on iPad[/caption]

I was recently invited to present at a UKOLN Cultural Heritage event on using the social web. Ann Chapman facilitated the workshop which introduced people to the basics of social web and encouraged them to think about how social web could be used in their own organisation. There were attendees from libraries, museums, and archives and the small group size (less than 20 delegates) encouraged open conversation throughout the day. I attended the whole day, supporting facilitation in the morning and presenting my case study in the afternoon.