Blog - Jo Alcock Consulting
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[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.

Today, 20th August 2010, is the last day of my contract at  University of Wolverhampton (last Friday was my final working day). Having begun employment as a Graduate Trainee on 1st September 2005, I worked there for almost 5 years. During that time I had four different contracts, three different bosses, two different job titles, and worked at three different campuses. I worked with some fabulous colleagues, many of whom I am sure I'll keep in touch with.

[picappgallerysingle id="195600"] As some of you may know, escaping the echo chamber has been a concern of librarians for a while now. American library bloggers, and more recently UK library bloggers, share their experiences and discuss innovative ideas for developing their libraries, whether they are public, academic, law, health or special libraries. For approximately four or five years now, I've been reading about all these fantastic developments and joining in conversations with other library and information workers in the profession.There's some great stuff happening and some even greater stuff being developed for the future. And yet, we find ourselves in the unfortunate position whereby libraries are facing closure threats, funding is being cut drastically, and staff are facing redundancy. Obviously, these new stories are due to the economic climate, but why are libraries suffering worse than some other areas? Is it because libraries aren't seen as important as some of the more vital areas of public spending such a healthcare and education? Possibly. Is the problem exacerbated by the lack of communication outside of anyone working in the profession or our regular users? I think so.

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 third time I've participated; you can see my earlier posts from July 2009 and January 2010. I'm a Resources Librarian at a university library in UK, and work part-time (3 days a week). This will be the last time I complete the project in this role as I have a new job to move to soon (more on this in a later blog post). Over summer I've got two main projects...

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 third time I've participated; you can see my earlier posts from July 2009 and January 2010. I'm a Resources Librarian at a university library in UK, and work part-time (3 days a week). This will be the last time I complete the project in this role as I have a new job to move to soon (more on this in a later blog post). Over summer I've got two main projects...

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 third time I've participated; you can see my earlier posts from July 2009 and January 2010. I'm a Resources Librarian at a university library in UK, and work part-time (3 days a week). This will be the last time I complete the project in this role as I have a new job to move to soon (more on this in a later blog post). Over summer I've got two main projects...