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 on the go; collection management for the Teaching Practice collection (for trainee teachers), and managing a project working on development of induction activities for the VLE. I also usually have two enquiry desk duties per week, each of which is half a day (this week mine are Wednesday afternoon and Friday afternoon).

Work activities on my desk this week

Work activities on my desk this week

Today I spent most of the day on the induction project, although I did spend a little bit of time weeding.

Morning activities today included:

  • Sorting and responding to emails – nowhere near as many each morning since I recently reorganised my folders and accounts, using my librarian skills to good effect!
  • Reviewing induction material sent to me by one of the project team – gave feedback for a few minor amendments
  • Moving the HTML content from one VLE topic to another, uploading images to new topic, and changing the structure slightly (splitting a long section up into component parts)
  • Adding the complete structure to the new topic (with blank marker pages) to get a better idea of the overall induction package
  • Weeding the Teaching Practice collection – finished Music and did the Sport/PE section so just Geography and History to go now

Afternoon activities included:

  • Reviewing more induction project material to ensure we’re sticking to the project brief and covering the areas we need without going overboard – a real threat to this project has been creeping into more advanced material, so it’s important we establish and stick to what we believe is necessary information for induction level
  • Helping a colleague rearrange furniture – he’s swapped desks and needed to rearrange all his PC equipment (he’s a lucky so and so who has two monitors!)
  • Adding some of the quiz questions to the VLE including feedback – remembered I could include images as answer options which makes the screenshot questions easier to understand
  • More photographs, screenshots and image editing
  • Starting to think about what, if any, files (physical or electronic) I need to handover before leaving – I’ve been at this workplace for almost 5 years, but most of what I have produced is publicly (or internally) available. Hopefully my meeting with my manager next week will help me think about all the things I’ve likely forgotten about!

Probably reads as a pretty boring day, but I’m excited about the induction activities project and want to make it a really useful tool for all our new students, taking into account different starting knowledge points and different learning styles. It’s all starting to come together nicely now so fingers crossed it will be complete before I leave!

If you’re interested in following other librarians, go to the wiki and use the links to people’s blogs, or use the #libday5 search in Twitter. Looking forward to #libday6 when I should be in my new job! 🙂

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 on the go; collection management for the Teaching Practice collection (for trainee teachers), and managing a project working on development of induction activities for the VLE. I also usually have two enquiry desk duties per week, each of which is half a day (this week mine are Wednesday afternoon and Friday afternoon).

Current to do list

Current to do list (I also use RTM for smaller subtasks)

I took some photos of my workplace today (including the one above of my overall to do list), you can see them all in this set on Flickr. Others have also been adding photos for the project, I find it really interesting to look at where people work.

Morning activities today included:

  • Sorting and responding to emails
  • Finding examples of different types of material for the induction activities (book, CD, DVD, and chapter from edited book from well known or general study skills material) – always amazes me how long it can take to find a good example!
  • Taking photos and screenshots of example materials and example searches on OPAC (library catalogue)
  • Adding the images and brief explanatory text to the VLE
  • Putting together some multiple choice questions for the induction activities
  • Covering the Lending Services Helpdesk for 90mins whilst other staff were at a meeting (this involved selling some withdrawn books and binding materials, issuing reservations, renewing a laptop loan, helping students find books, and helping a student with a corrupt USB drive – oh and cutting my hand whilst guillotining some scrap paper!)

Afternoon activities included:

  • Adding more induction material to the VLE (think this will be repeated every morning and afternoon for the foreseeable future!)
  • Glancing through the CILIP Defining our Professional Future report, and printing a copy to read soon
  • Flicking through the online version of Library & Information Update from CILIP
  • Organising my calendar for the next few weeks before I finish this job role (including arranging some meetings with my manager)
  • Trying to sort out a crashing issue with Photoshop (using advice from Twitter) before editing images ready for web use – it seemed a little better later on, but still crashed when I tried to open multiple files so more investigation needed tomorrow!

If you’re interested in following other librarians, go to the wiki and use the links to people’s blogs, or use the #libday5 search in Twitter.

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 on the go; collection management for the Teaching Practice collection (for trainee teachers), and managing a project working on development of induction activities for the VLE. I also usually have two enquiry desk duties per week, each of which is half a day (this week mine are Wednesday afternoon and Friday afternoon).

Morning activities today included:

  • Sorting through emails and responding to a couple of email enquiries (local college librarian re-arranging a visit to discuss inductions and education student researching pedagogy and andragogy for her dissertation)
  • Changing loan status of some books which are no longer in such high demand
  • Selecting books for withdrawal in the music education section of Teaching Practice (found some gems which I’ll photograph to share!)
  • Organising classmarks of books to be changed where they would be more findable from another area (Teaching Practice is usually browsed, not found by searching OPAC, so logical placement in terms of the area of the curriculum it supports is vital)
  • Returning books I’ve been too lazy to return and kept renewing even though I have finished with them (librarians are such rebels!)
  • Enjoying a lovely slice of gluten free chocolate cake made specially by a colleague (this was definitely a highlight!)

Afternoon activities included:

  • Answering a couple of phone and in-person enquiries – mainly just directional enquiries though, no meaty research enquiries this afternoon
  • Briefly covering the Lending Services Helpdesk (and helping a lost student find a book)
  • Looking at the latest issue of SCONUL Focus – read part of a particularly interesting article about improving support and liaison links with academic staff and researchers
  • Discussions with a colleague about changes to the curriculum and how our soon to be developed induction activities can be embedded into the new modules
  • Discussions with a different colleague about the progress on the induction activities (this turned into an epic conversation but I think we both had a clearer idea by the end!)
  • Drafting some ideas and activities for my areas of responsibility in the induction activities (mainly activities using multiple choice questions with clear feedback at each stage)
  • Testing capabilities of the VLE – thankfully inserting images into multiple choice questions is relatively straight forward!

I forgot to take photos today so I’ll be sure to take some tomorrow and add them to the blog posts.

If you’re interested in following other librarians, go to the wiki and use the links to people’s blogs, or use the #libday5 search in Twitter.

Earlier this week I attended a workshop for the Academic Libraries of the Future project, held at Cardiff University. The aim of the project is to examine potential future scenarios within society and how this could impact on academic libraries. Read the rest of this entry »

Emma Illingworth and myself at NPC2010

Emma Illingworth and myself at NPC2010 (from sarahjison on Flickr)

Having gained a lot from the use of Twitter as a communication tool and conference backchannel at recent conferences, I was keen to encourage this at this year’s New Professionals Conference. Thankfully, the organising committee agreed and I was appointed the grand title of “Twitter Officer” (despite what some people thought, this was only my title for the conference and not for my paid job!).

The Twitter hashtag

A hashtag of #npc2010 was agreed early on in the conference planning, and a TwapperKeeper archive was set up by Ned Potter, one of the conference organising team, in February 2010. The hashtag was promoted mainly through Twitter, being used by the conference organising team, myself, and other tweeters interested in the conference.

The Twitter list

A Twitter list of all delegates and speakers was established so that people could follow all tweets from the group. The list was populated by adding people who used the #npc2010 hashtag in the run up to the conference, as well as from the responses to an email which went to all delegates requesting Twitter usernames if they wished them to be added to conference badges and the list. As each was added, they were notified via email or Twitter and the link was shared so that they could follow the list if they wanted to.

Before the conference

In the run up to the conference, Twitter was initially used to promote the conference, and later to confirm attendance. It was also used by first-time speakers to help them gather evidence to support their talks, and share their experiences as they developed their presentations. Closer to the conference, discussion using the hashtag increased as people began to discuss their plans for the conference and organise face-to-face networking opportunities.

During the conference

Despite the lack of wireless access, a number of attendees were able to tweet throughout the conference using their mobile phones. Main points from each of the presentations and some of the workshops were tweeted throughout the day. This proved particularly useful during the workshop sessions, as those who were in a workshop could also read tweets from the presentations they had missed. There was also conversation on Twitter amongst delegates; reiterating points made by others, adding opinions to topics covered during the day, and building network connections.

Twitter usernames on delegate badges helped those who had previously communicated on Twitter identify each other and continue networking face-to-face. The prominence of Twitter throughout the day, and Bethan Ruddock’s Twitter workshop also encouraged discussion about Twitter during networking opportunities.

After the conference

Discussion on Twitter has continued after the conference, with people sharing feedback on the day, links to blog posts, photos from the day, and other information which may be of use to those attending or following the New Professionals Conference. Conversation has also continued on from topics raised and conversations held during the day, extending the networking opportunities available after the conference.

Key statistics

Using data from the Summarizr for #npc2010 and the NPC2010 Twitter list, the following key facts emerge:

  • 796 tweets have been made with the hashtag #npc2010 (as at 11th July 2010)
  • 119 different people tweeted using the hashtag #npc2010, demonstrating engagement from those who didn’t attend as well as those at the conference
  • The Twitter list contains tweets from 30 delegates, and has 20 followers
  • 80 different URLs were tweeted along with the #npc2010 hashtag (including links to blog posts, presentations, and the conference details)
  • Numerous conversations between tweeters were encouraged through use of the hashtag; it also enabled conversations with speakers, many of whom use Twitter

Future recommendations of good practice

Use of Twitter certainly enhanced the conference and I would recommend its use for future events, but there are a few further recommendations:

  1. Wireless access at venue – this is something that I imagine is frequently mentioned on feedback forms at venues without wireless access. Over the last couple of years it has become more common to have access to wireless network throughout events, and is therefore expected by many. Wireless access would have enabled more people to be able to tweet during the day, as many bought along devices which required wireless access. It had been hoped that the venue would have wireless but unfortunately that wasn’t the case – it may be something to place more priority on when choosing venue if future events are likely to include tweeting etc. during the day.
  2. Wider promotion of hashtag – the hashtag was mainly mentioned on Twitter, but if you weren’t already following people like myself or the conference organisers it may not have been obvious. It was also publicised by email but looking back, it could have been more widely promoted. Details of the hashtag would be useful on the conference details page, in the delegate pack, and on the welcome screen as delegates arrive. It should also be mentioned at the beginning of the day with housekeeping information.
  3. Twitterfall wall at venue – I know this wasn’t possible for this particular event, but I do think it’s something to consider for future events. It was used successfully at the Librarians as Teachers event on a large screen near the back of the room. This way it doesn’t interrupt the main presentations or distract people’s attention, but can be looked at during the break, even by those without mobile phones or laptops with them. It can also be interesting for speakers to review the tweets made during their session. If breaks are held in a different room, this may be a more appropriate place to display the tweets.

Conclusion

Twitter was used successfully at New Professionals Conference, and tied in well with the conference theme – many presentations discussed the importance of CPD via peer networking, and the use of Twitter encouraged this at the event. The Twitter list was a useful way for people to follow all delegates at the conference, and the #npc2010 hashtag was used extensively before, during and after the conference. Tweeting enabled some who couldn’t attend to get a feel for some of the key themes of the day, and supported networking and sharing information for delegates and speakers.

P.S. Many bloggers have reported on the New Professionals Conference, check them out if you’d like to know more about the actual event:

You can also view more photos from the conference at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sarahjison/tags/npc2010/.

Looking forward to NPC2011! 🙂