Blog - Jo Alcock Consulting
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Blog

Apologies in advance for the shameless self-promotional nature of this post. I like to use this blog as a personal record (I'm also hoping this will come in handy when I do my Chartership), so I'm just sharing a few things I've been up to lately elsewhere in the blogosphere. I spent some time last week writing blog posts for various places, and some of these have now been published and may be of interest. I also want to share a new project which I'm really excited about.

Last week, I was invited to give a presentation to a school librarian conference from the perspective of a university librarian. As the conference theme was digital natives, I decided to focus on the transition between school and university and how school librarians can prepare students for university life. I took a different approach to the presentation, and decided to take a journey with a typical student through the first month or so of university, and at each milestone consider what he needs to do and how school librarians could help him prepare for that. I had initially hoped to try using Prezi to illustrate the journey, but my artistic/creative skills are somewhat lacking (as is my experience of using Prezi) so I didn't manage to find time to do this. I know there were both school and university librarians interested in this whilst I was preparing the presentation, so I have embedded my slides below, and have also included the rough script. NB: I didn't stick to the script when I presented (I prefer the presentation to involve the participants in discussion), but I used it to help me contextualise the presentation before the event. All the resources mentioned are on Delicious using the sch2uni tag; if you know of any other useful resources that I didn't mention, please add them to Delicious using the sch2uni tag. I really enjoyed preparing for this event, and the actual day was fantastic (see my earlier blog post). I think there is a lot that can be learnt by bringing together school and university librarians, it's definitely given me food for thought about how we can work together to improve digital literacy and help the transition between school and university. If you have any thoughts on this, please let me know (either by email or in the comments).

[picappgallerysingle id="210560"] What a fantastic event! I was privileged to be invited to speak at the 2010 Independent Professional Development Conference for school librarians to give a perspective from a university librarian. The theme of the event was digital natives, and we had a host of different speakers giving different perspectives; a school media specialist, school librarian, resource suppliers, hardware suppliers, an independent consultant, and myself. Before I talk about the sessions, I have a slight confession to make; ever since my first experience in a library (which was at a local secondary school), I've been longing to go to a school librarian event. I absolutely loved my time at the school library, and worked with a fantastic school librarian who ignited my passion for librarianship. Since then I have worked in mainly university libraries (and a public library), but I've always followed some of the work going on in school libraries. So I was delighted when Rachael Guy, who organised the conference, contacted me to see if I would be interested in giving a talk. I jumped at the opportunity and really enjoyed putting together my presentation. I'll do a separate blog post about the subject of my presentation, but wanted to share a review of the whole day first.

This is part of a series of blog posts about event amplification. See this introductory blog post and the event amplification tag for other relevant blog posts. Following event amplification I've discovered and followed a number of events through Twitter (usually through one of the people I follow mentioning an event) and online. I think Twitter is the most commonly used way to follow at the moment, although it's great to see more and more events being livestreamed either by audio or video, or incorporating a group chat feature for online followers. I've shared below some of the things I have learnt from following...

This is part of a series of blog posts about event amplification. See this introductory blog post and the event amplification tag for other relevant blog posts. Supporting amplification (as an organiser) As Marketing Officer for CILIP West Midlands, I've organised events and want to encourage people to share their experiences to widen the reach of the event. For a recent CILIP West Midlands event (The Library Debate) we had a member of the branch tweeting on behalf of the branch account @CILIPWM, and we hope to do this again in our upcoming hustings event. Here are some of the things I've learnt to...

This is part of a series of blog posts about event amplification. See this introductory blog post and the event amplification tag for other relevant blog posts. Acting as an amplifier Whenever I am fortunate enough to attend an event, I know there are others who may be interested but were unable to attend, and often those who may not have even been aware of the event but could gain value from it. I always try to blog the main points from events I have attended (usually after the event rather than live blogging), and in the last couple of years I have...

[picappgallerysingle id="231085"]I started this blog post in a conference break at the JISC Future of Research conference. I wasn't actually at the conference (it was held in London); I was in my office in Birmingham following along using various event amplification tools. I hadn't come across the term event amplification (i.e. amplifying the event beyond the physical location, for example by using livestreaming or Twitter) until quite recently, through Brian Kelly's blog and a subsequent discussion I had with him. However, I have been involved in event amplification in a number of different ways before. Event amplification (although I didn't term it as that) has been an important consideration of mine both as an attendee, an organiser, and a remote participant.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="Amazon Kindle - from dvdmerwe on Flickr"] Amazon Kindle - Black Leather Cover and Book Titles[/caption] One of the things that has stood out for me so far in my new job is the vast amount of reading I now have. I've always used the commute to and from work to read (study modules for my diploma, journal articles, reports, work related reading etc.), and tended to prefer to read these on paper than on screen. But in this job the volume of reading is a lot higher, and I was conscious of the amount of paper I was using (and also having to carry around between home and work), so I wondered if an e-reader might be a better way of doing things. I do read a fair bit on my iPhone but I'd never tried a dedicated e-reader. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to borrow a Kindle for a couple of days thanks to BCU eLibrary team. I had a couple of days of travelling so knew I'd be spending a lot of time on the train, so I decided to use the opportunity to see if the Kindle suited my needs. As some of you may be aware (particularly those of you who follow my tweets), I had a mixed experience with it. I thought I'd share the main pros and cons from my experience as I know there are others wondering about getting a Kindle at the moment.

It's been a while since my last post, longer than usual anyway. I'm not going to apologise for this; partly because I get fed up with reading posts from people apologising for not blogging (personally, I'm all for organic blogging rather than forcing blog posts), but mainly because it's sort of been a conscious decision whilst I've been contemplating.

I've been settling into my new job (almost 5 weeks now, gone so quickly!), and with that a whole new institution (and accompanying procedures and acronyms) to understand, and a whole new way of working. So far I am really enjoying it, and it's getting more exciting now I'm getting stuck into the actual work, but it's a very different world to get used to.  Technically I'm still part of an academic library department, and I still refer to myself as a librarian, but truthfully my job role doesn't need any library experience or qualifications (although it is an advantage), and I could successfully fulfill my job role and very rarely set foot in a library. I know I'm not unique in this way, there are a number of people within the profession who don't work in libraries; information specialists, independent consultants, and others working on library/information service related projects such as myself. But it's taking a bit of getting used to after 5 years of being fully immersed in working in libraries.

View as I left my last day working in a library
View as I left my last day working in a library (imagine it's changed a lot since!)

Apparently these are the roles I usually take on in a team, according to Belbin anyway. As part of my induction in my new job (which I'm loving by the way!), I completed a questionnaire about the role I play in a team. I was interested to know this anyway, and it's useful for my colleagues to know. I'm now part of a small team so if anything it's even more important to know these things about each other so we can work to each other's strengths and make sure we're working as an effective team.