Sunday, 27 May 2012

Thing 4 Sunday evening

The 4th Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Librarianship Conference (QQML) was my whole existence last week, 22nd May to 25th.  It was great fun, learned loads and will blog about it for libfocus in the next couple of days.


To jump to the end first, QQML2012 is Storified!  Finally sat down to complete this part of Thing 4 late Saturday evening.  I thought Storify was going to be gimmicky and that it'd be a chore.  But no! love, love, love it!  Incredible easy to use and of course there was a ready made story in the conference.  What there was tho' was a problem with the site which said it was over capacity and just stopped working.  All fine when logged in this evening but it didn't have the last edit I'd put in.  Dunno if that be my laptop which is hopeless, or Storify.

But it was very cool to be able to use the tweets from the conference #qqml to tell a tale.  The story was there to be put together and in this my task was a compiling and editing one.  Being able to pull across images or websites was pretty much like preparing a presentation heavy on graphics which is modus operandi for me having had some cpd about presentations and read Slide:ology by Nancy Duarte.


Well, this one got put on the long finger also.  Had one attempt and did everything back to front.  Hitting the orange button was easy - but where were the feeds?  D'oh!  Dim memory of a librarian friend using Blogspot or some such.  Back to cpd23things advice and the light dawned - so I subscribed to Google Reader.  Hey ho.  Subscribed to an RSS on a blog that happened to have found thru Twitter - you can see how one things leads to another in this adventure - and when I logged in tonight there it was in all its glory.  Great.  Now it was time to replicate this success and lo, the RSS for all the 23cpd blogs has now been successfully netted. 

But my learning is like a spiral, I trace and retrace, it's like, iterative man.  And have to laugh at my own twerpiness when something comes clear and and it's been staring me in the face and waving its arms in front of me.


Ah but yes, am loving Twitter.  Did set myself a goal to tweet live from QQML.  So cleverly alerted all (!) about my talk an hour before the session, and did a teaser implying that all would be revealed.  Super.  Well it would have been super if I'd actually tweeted afterwards.  But I didn't.  Hmm.  However, Storify came to the rescue on this and you'll find it there.

Still, next attempt was better.  After the talks in one session were complete I remained in the room and sent two tweets.  It took an age to compose them on the smartphone as adeptness still to happen there.  But I did it.  Really tho', there is a discipline here and it is a writing task.  Admire the tweeters who can write sensible 140 characters whilst listening to the talk.  This is in my future!  I was taking notes with pen and paper.  So the material is all there and how much does it matter that the tweet is done during the talk?  I'll let that play in my head a bit.  Experimented then and tweeted hours later on another talk just to put it out there.  I'm definitely going with the style that the tweet is a piece of info and has a link but aware that this might evolve.

On Twitter for about 3 to 4 weeks now and it is - Cheryl Cole quote alert - right up my street.  In creating the account I knew there would be tweeting this time round.  Had four years previously set up an account in a training session, never tweeted and still had 4 followers.  Never even looked at it in the intervening time and didn't call it anything that would link it to me - I thought. One intrepid librarian found it though, still don't know how!

I am finding really great curiosity-sating and knowledge-building stuff thru Twitter. 

I'm curious to see what picture emerges over time of what interests me enough to tweet and retweet.  Have had some fun in summarising in 140 words, and sometines punning with intent.  A policy developing that a retweet must be something I've read to the end.  Not so much thinking of an audience on the subject front tho'  because it is so easy come, easy go on twitter and it would be inhibiting.  Because I retweet some science stuff as well as library stuff there's a mix followers which is kind of fun. 

These are all useful tools and all have application to work.  Have set up a twitter account for the library and will use it as one stream in reaching our users.  The RSS feeds mean that I'll stop using my gmail for blogs, and I'll start to use lists in twitter as per A Library Lady who includes some very useful links in her very readable blog.

There are workflows to be streamlined for sure but happy to be in exploring and learning mode right now.

Thing 4 complete and looking forward to Thing 5.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

QQML First day

Today I arrived in Limerick for QQML.  It's been a completely packed day with the keynote starting at 10.40 - I missed that - and parallel sessions starting at 12 and running through to eight, with breaks for coffee and lunch.  Pretty full on but very interesting.  Have taken lots of notes and will write up in a bit more on the libfocus blog. 

Talks today ranged from the use of focus groups in a US library to the UK DREaM project, from the development and use of methods to quantify levels of work effort to mooting a global eLibrary.  The delegate body is truly international, speakers today have come from China, Korea, Malaysia, Spain, the UK and the US.  Shared lunchtime with a Danish library manager and a Guatamalan librarian who works in Saudi Arabia.  That's only in the talks I've attended and there are 57 nationalities represented at QQML this year.  Fact. [source: one of the conference organisers]

And yes, worked out how to hook up the smartphone on the wifi network by the early hour of dinnertime ! so hope to #qqml tomorrow on twitter...

Monday, 21 May 2012

Thing 4 ish,

Attending QQML in Limerick tomorrow - that's the 4th Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Libraries International Conference.

What be the link to Thing 4?  I propose to send a live tweet from the conference composed on the fly using an actual smartphone.  There's a lot going on there. 

I'm presenting on the Wednesday morning "Do clinical staff and managers in an academic teaching hospital use library services and the published literature in their working lives?"  As I type this looonnng title it occurs to me that it's more than 140 characters.  Nope, just checked - it's 137 including spaces.  Dilemma.  How will anyone tweet my talk?  I've made it impossible.  Perhaps it could be acronymised: dcsamiaathulsatplitwl anyone?

It is a packed programme and I hope to learn lots.  But tweeting is gonna be a challenge because there are many talks with titles that are even longer than mine.  Today's learning is to make a title snappy and tweet-friendly.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Thing 3 Sunday evening

Have skootled thru a few Thing 3 posts and really enjoyed them, lots of common themes.

My name does not brand me.  I share it with four other people in my workplace alone, and that is before you get into adding tiny variants in spelling or adding in another first name.  When I set up a gmail account, like for many people my name was already taken - no surprise there, but my solution was to incorporate "librarian" into the address.  It is for the professional me rather than personal me, as is a common thread in the posts read tonight.

Onwards to Google.  You won't find me for pages and pages and pages, and like one or two other cpd23-ers I imagine my parallel existences.  A quick surmise has me mostly being American and a lawyer.  Magically add the word librarian to my name in Google and I'm in the first page but I'm not even the sole librarian!!  But salvation lies ahead:  add uksg to my name and you find the talk I gave:  video, slides and blogs.  It says a great deal for how media savvy and organised UKSG is.

Onwards thence to Bing, incidentally an idea from another blog - reading the blogs is not just sharing of experience but source of ideas and knowledge! - and I am even more obscure.  Interesting to contrast with the big G.

But.  Anna Librarina unique to me.  Only 3 hits and they are all me - so the power of choosing a brand is in evidence.  It comes from a typo.  How often have I typed helath instead of health for instance?  Or hopsital instead of hospital?  Likewise, librarina is my typo of librarian, but having studied Italian in uni it had a certain resonance, and of course, the actual word for a female librarian in Italy is bibliotecaria - not very lovely as a word, and libreria very confusingly, disappointingly, is a bookshop! 

Have not used it as my handle on twitter but may change that.  Just at the moment it means that the link from my twitter is there to find on this blog but not reverse-wise.  And this being my instance of the commonly expressed concern about actually committing thoughts out there about what feels very personal, musings about oneself. 

I intend to start adding in the links to the blogs that are referenced.  Just seems a good librarianly and courteuous thing to do - Thing 3.5 if you will.

Buona notte.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Saturday evening

The blogs are great to read and so much of interest.  The design aesthetics are in evidence and motivating me to do something with mine.  The blog names are very appealing and witty, love the punning ones in particular.

This would be the first time have left comments on anything online - goodness, how timid I've been.  It's been interesting leaving comments as it's much like writing email but with awareness that the comment is there for "the world to see".  However, it's a good contrast to the advice that you should write an email as if it will be read by the world.  Commenting on blogs just skips the several layers...

Am writing pretty straight onto the laptop and not going back and editing which is not my modus operandi at all.  A Grand Experiment in putting words flow onto the page and seeing if it makes any sense.  I normally write like this with pen and paper but use the keyboard for carefully composing deliberate texts for work.  Want to practice free wriitng a la Rowena Murray to see if there is any added value or material released using this technique. 

Have wondered too, if in leaving comments that the well would run dry by the time I reached writing up Thing Two in this blog.  Thus far it doesn't seem to be a probl...

Only joking! 

I am really looking forward to going thru the Things, and as one of the bloggers said, it is a great thing to be able to undertake cpd that is valuable and costs nowt.  So feeling very grateful to the cpd-ers right now.  Was the Things name inspired by the Cat in the Hat's little helpers Thing One and Thing Two.  That story used to terrify me - the disorder! the chaos!  Clearly the love of order already driving me towards a career in librarianship.  Creating order out of  chaos, now that's a tenet to live by. 

Thing Three in two days time.  Intend to read more blogs, comment and do something about the look and feel of this blog!

Sunday, 6 May 2012

23things - 1 down, 22 to go

Great news that cpd23 is running again - looks fun - hope to get social-media savvy, try things out and learn as part of a community.