There’ve been a couple of blog memes going round the UK biblioblogosphere ( library bloggers!), so I thought I’d join in.

The first is a post about how you got into librarianship, which I’ll write later this week, and today’s is Reading Habits (so far completed by WoodsieGirl, Jaffne, stupidgirl_no1, iOverlord and infobunny). I’m writing this one first as Infobunny asked us all to write it and I must obey Bunny – as should you, so please feel free to carry the meme on with your own reading habits.

Do you snack while you read? If so, favorite reading snack?

Not usually, no. If I’m reading on the sofa or outside during a nice relaxing day I may snack on sweets (Haribo Tangfastics are my sweet of choice), but I usually read in bed or on the bus – not really prime snacking locations.

Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you?

I don’t think I’ve ever written in a book, but I do sometimes use those annoying sticky markers. If it’s a borrowed book I always remove them before returning though, good librarian that I am. Writing in books doesn’t horrify me, but I do think you should only write in a book you own.

How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears? Laying the book flat open?

I usually use one of those boring clip bookmarks, I do have a couple of nice bookmarks that I use occasionally though. I can’t stand it when people leave a paperback book open, my books tend to look almost brand new after I’ve read them. In all fairness though I think this probably stems from when I used to sell my books on after reading them rather than because the books are sacred and it might hurt their feelings.

Fiction, Non-fiction, or both?

Bit of both, but usually fiction in my own time. Having said that, I read a lot on my commute which currently takes 60-90mins each way, and that reading is usually non-fiction – journal articles, textbooks, reading for work etc. I did a lot of my course reading for my distance learning MSc whilst on the bus.

Hard copy or audiobooks?

Hard copy, I downloaded an audiobook once to try but kept getting distracted when I was listening to it. I’m not very good at doing just one thing at a time as I get distracted (when listening to music it’s normally as background music), so I find it very difficult to concentrate on an audiobook.

Are you a person who tends to read to the end of chapters, or are you able to put a book down at any point?

I prefer to read to the end of a chapter (one reason I love short chapters like James Patterson!). The book I’m reading at the moment doesn’t have chapters and I’m finding it annoying having to leave it midway through a page.

If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop to look it up right away?

No, I don’t think I’ve ever looked a word up unless it’s something I’m reading for a course. Usually though I can figure out what it means from the context.

What are you currently reading?

“This Charming Man” – bought as a holiday read but didn’t get chance to read it, struggling to read it now as I’m not enjoying it. Also Paco Underhill’s “How We Buy: The Science of Shopping” which I’ve only just started but is really fascinating.

What is the last book you bought?

Holidays reads from Amazon – A Spring Affair, Rumour Has It, and This Charming Man.

Are you the type of person that only reads one book at a time or can you read more than one at a time?

I usually have one fiction book at a time (which I tend to read each night in bed), and at least one non-fiction (usually relating to work or studies).

Do you have a favorite time of day and/or place to read?

I actually enjoy reading the work related stuff on my journey to and from work – I use that time as reflection and it’s quite good to have some theory to read about and relate it to work. As for fiction, I only really tend to read it in bed as I’m drifting off to sleep, but if it is a particularly good book I may read it at weekends/evenings and during the commute.

Do you prefer series books or stand alone books?

No real preference. I tend to read stand alone books, but I enjoy James Patterson’s Women’s Murder Club crime series, and also the Harry Potter and Twilight series (shameful I know but I loved the Twilight books!).

Is there a specific book or author that you find yourself recommending over and over?

Not really. You may have noticed I don’t tend to read many serious books, in the same way my TV choices are mainly trashy; I like to not have to think much when I read fiction. Sophie Kinsella books fit the bill perfectly, and I have recommended the Shopaholic series to people in the past. I recently really enjoyed Mike Gayle’s To Do List (non-fiction) and recommended that to people – I also saw him at the Library Show just after I read it and was all starstruck!

How do you organize your books? (By genre, title, author’s last name, etc.?)

I don’t organise them apart from into piles of to-be-read and those I’ve already read. I don’t tend to keep many books – most go to the local charity shop, so there’s no real need to organise them. I did used to organise my CDs though, they were all alphabetical (in the loft now as they’re all on my PC!).

I met Kathy Ennis from CILIP at the New Professionals Conference earlier in summer and she asked a few of us from the day if we could also speak at the CILIP Graduate Open Day. The theme of the day is marketing yourself, which was also the message in my talk at New Professionals Conference, so I was happy to accept the invitation to speak. I’ll be presenting a similar presentation to before, and will be focusing on using blogging, microblogging and social networking to market yourself and your skills online. As well as a series of presentations, the day also includes the opportunity to speak to CILIP themselves to get career advice, and also a speed networking event which I’m informed was very popular last year!

The day is open to anyone (you don’t have to be a CILIP member) but is particularly aimed at students, graduates and those new to the profession. It’s a free event at CILIP HQ in London, although registration is necessary. You can see a full timetable of the day and register a place from the CILIP Graduate Open Day website.

I’m looking forward to another speaking engagement, and I’m really looking forward to meeting up with some of the people I met at the New Professionals Conference, such as Emma Illingsworth and Ned Potter who are both now blogging too. 🙂

The latest issue of CILIP West Midlands journal, Open Access, is a special edition on Web 2.0. It contains articles from librarians throughout the region,and I was pleased to be asked to contribute. The editor, David Viner, asked if I could write about professional networking using Web 2.0 tools and I was happy to oblige – a similar article from the viewpoint of Amelia Luzzi, an information professional currently working outside a library is also presented which gives an interesting comparison. There are also practical guides for using Web 2.0, overviews of Web 2.0 projects within the region, and a look at the Semantic Web and Web 3.0.

CILIP members living in the West Midlands will receive a print copy of Open Access soon with their CILIP Update, but it is also available online for anyone to read from today. You can visit the website (previous editions of Open Access are also available from the Issuu account), or view the embedded version on here (trying out a new plugin!). Comments on the issue are welcome, although you do need an Issuu account first.

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Hope you enjoy the special edition, I found the other articles really interesting and it’s great to highlight work going on in the region. 🙂

We’re coming to the end of Fresher’s Week and as the title says I am feeling shattered! We’ve spent a long time preparing for inductions over summer, and this week has been really hectic (with staff illness, last minute sessions, and general running around like a headless chicken!), so I can’t wait until I finish work today so that I can rest!

I always look forward to the students coming back though, and this year is no exception. The University seems so empty without them, and one of the most rewarding aspects of the job for me is working with the students.

This year is the first year I’ve done the induction week as a librarian (last year I was still in my old post), and I did my first big lecture group (approx. 180) which I was really apprehensive about. I needn’t have worried though, it was nowhere near as scary as I had thought it would be thankfully.

I think it’s all the extra stuff that tires me, during Freshers Week you are pretty much always on the go and spend so much time helping lost students, managing and organising unexpected groups of students (who always come at the worst times!), and going over the induction process over and over and over again. Don’t get me wrong, I love it – but I feel like I need to hibernate for a while to catch up on sleep/rest!

This year I’ve had a really busy summer vacation too including conferences (and my first time speaking at a conference), visits to other academic libraries (hopefully a post on these soon), establishing a department wide shared calendar for information skills sessions, major weeding and rearrangement of the Teaching Practice collection, and a re-vamp of our induction process and materials. Oh, and an actual holiday away too, which was lovely.

It’s a busy time of year for an academic librarian but I’m looking forward to the rest of the year – we have some really enthusiastic new students. 🙂