Monthly Archives: May 2012

Thing 5: Reflective Practice

Even though I’m working towards my Certification I don’t consider myself to have done much reflective writing. After courses and training days I often make notes for myself (and have even used these as a basis for writing articles of the CDG West Midlands newsletter) but I haven’t considered it reflective writing as such, more a reminder for myself for the future.

In preparation for this Thing I found a Portfolio Building guide on the WiSH (West Midlands Information Service for Health) website – a site for sharing resources for the West Midlands Health Libraries Network (WMHLN) – which very helpfully included a section on reflective writing. There seems to be two approaches, one is to write it all out, starting with the context/description of what it was, writing out your thoughts and feelings and how this changed your behaviour. Another example given is a table for a reflective record starting with the date and activity at the top and then filing in the following sections:

  • What I enjoyed
  • What I found difficult
  • What I learned
  • What this learning connects with
  • Ways in which I intend to follow up this activity are
  • Other things I need to record

This seems like an easy way to start off reflective writing – answering the questions on the sheet to help you get the feel for it before you let yourself loose on the first style. I can’t shake the feeling that I should go back over my previous notes and make sure these questions have been answered; maybe that’s a job for the long weekend … or maybe not!.

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Thing 4: Current Awareness

RSS feeds

I’ve been subscribing to RSS feeds for a while and I have to say Google Reader makes this so easy. I can easily subscribe either by pressing a button (if there is one) on the source web page or by copy and pasting the URL of the feed into the subscribe box in Google Reader. (It’s easy to unsubscribe too, which is always helpful!) Email subscriptions are easy, but if you subscribe to a few, I imagine they would clutter up your inbox quite quickly. With Google Reader, if I’ve been away or haven’t checked them for a few days I can easily mark the contents of a feed as having been ‘read’ and without all of the tick boxes that you get with emails.

Two that make me smile are Clients from Hell and Times Educational Miscreant (my sister’s a teacher and she pointed me to this one, but it’s still funny even if you don’t teach!) Good Library feeds include The Daring Librarian and Ned Potter’s The Wikiman.

(PS – I’m reading Accidental Health Sciences Librarian, by Lisa Ennis and Nicole Mitchell, and they’ve written different sections on Blogs and RSS feeds which got me thinking that I when I say/see ‘RSS feeds’, I’m often thinking ‘Blog’ – but that’s not necessarily accurate! Non-blog RSS feeds that I subscribe to include the BBC news feeds and Journal Tables of Contents (Health Information and Libraries Journal amongst others) although the latter tends to be email subscriptions, rather than through Google Reader.)

Twitter

I’ve been on Twitter for just over two years and I have to say, I actually prefer it to Facebook in some ways. I can search topics easily, even if they don’t appear in my news feed and I can follow anyone, (usually) without them having to approve our ‘friendship’; so I can follow Terry Pratchett, even though he has no idea who I am, and he can chose whether or not he follows me (I doubt he does). The one thing I would like is to be able to privately reply to someone without the whole world knowing I’ve complemented a friend on his new haircut, but that’s not really in keeping with the idea of Twitter. Let’s face it; if I really wanted it to be private I wouldn’t be sending it via Twitter.

It’s only since I’ve started my Certification that I’ve been using Twitter to keep up to date with Library related things, but it has been very useful and I’ve learnt a few things that way that I wouldn’t have heard about otherwise (although I can’t think of an example off the top of my head). It was also good after the West Midlands Branch Information and Networking Day I went to in April as I could see what other people had thought about the day, as well as look at a few of their photos (there was always people in the way when I tried to take them!) as we had all put the same hashtag on our posts. Phil Bradley is on Twitter, as is Jo Alcock (from Thing 3) as well as the West Midlands branch and the HLG and CDG special interest groups which I belong to.

Storify

I haven’t come across Storify before and although it looks likes an impressive mashup site I have to say I can’t really see the point. I may be a bit biased – as part of my MSc I studied a programming language called PHP which is used in websites; it means that I can (and did for my dissertation) get feeds from blogs, Facebook and Twitter (amongst others) and post them as part of the webpage code.

If anyone is interested my test page for my Dissertation webpage is still online: http://mi-linux.wlv.ac.uk/~0821606/index.html (it’s a mock up using feeds from various local libraries)

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Thing 3: Personal Brand

When I started writing this piece I didn’t think I’d have much to say, but as my musings took on a life of their own I’ve ended up saying quite a bit! I’ve divided it up the different topics to break it up a little!

Online Identity

Last year one of my university friends on Facebook set the challenge to look up your name on the American Census website and see how many people shared your name. I didn’t expect any results, but there was one, and a quick Google search told me that there is a Lisa Basini in New York who runs a bakery (she took up the entire first page of results). I’d always thought my unusual surname would make me fairly unique, but I was wrong!

As far as my personal brand/identity is concerned my name clearly isn’t unique enough on its own. My CILIP Communities page is automatically named with my middle name included and even prior to this, I’ve often wondered if I should use it more – I usually just write my full name as Lisa Basini. But I have to wonder if including the ‘Marie’ more often would help me stand out in Google searches etc. If I used it for everything it would also provide consistency, making it easier for people to connect online with the right ‘Lisa Basini’.

Brand / Image

Realistically the name of my blog is a part of my identity as well. When making phone calls within the hospital I usually say ‘it’s Lisa in the Health Library’ and the reason for this is two fold: I’m either not familiar enough with the person to recognise my name in which case the Health Library is the important bit; or I am familiar enough with the person to be on a first name basis, in which case the Basini isn’t necessary and the Health Library just adds context.

I’m heading to my first national conference this summer – the Health Libraries Group Conference in Glasgow – and I feel like I should bring business cards, or similar, with me. I also want to personalise my blog and I’ve been thinking for a while about my own website, so styling my brand/image is feeling a bit urgent, but I don’t know where to start. Having had my hair cut this weekend, I might start with a half decent photo for my twitter and blog pages and work from there.

Personal vs Professional

I don’t consider my Facebook use as being professional, I generally consider that I keep ‘work’ and ‘play’ separate, but I do ‘like’ work related stuff such as CILIP WM Branch’s page – so maybe the line isn’t as clear cut as I thought. I did recently clear out a few pictures that I wouldn’t want my boss/future employers to see, mostly because I felt that they weren’t a “grown up” thing to have posted online, but I think that it’s a good marker for deciding what to post. Having never been a big drinker or done anything hugely embarrassing the pictures I took down were still mostly harmless, but I think it’s always worth asking ‘who might look at this?’ before you post something online.

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CPD 23 Thing 1 (and 2)

Thing 1 is to start a blog (check) and write about what you want out of the program – I’ve done quite a bit with Web 2.0 over the last few years, but I’m still hoping to learn new things and mostly to meet a few new people.

I’ve recently started my CILIP Certification and I’ve been to a few training days and networking events already so I’ve started making some new friends and I’m hoping to make a few more doing this. And if I get some extra evidence for my portfolio then even better!

Thing 2 is to browse other people’s blogs so I’m off to peruse the list on the CPD23 blog and I’ll leave you some comments in the hope the you leave some for me!

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My first blog post!

I have started this blog to take part in the 23 Things CPD, but I want to use it for other things too – I guess we’ll just have to see what happens!

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