I found last year’s resolutions useful in helping keep me on the right track last year, and am pleased to say I kept most of them – here’s a review:

  • Complete my MSc dissertation – finished in July
  • Attend more conferences – I attended lots of great conferences and events in 2011
  • Implement the Getting Things Done system at home and work – I seem to have this sorted for electronic information, though need to work on physical organisation of paperwork and notes
  • Participate in Library Day in the Life – I took part in both rounds of Library Day in the Life in 2011
  • Continue to blog – I posted 44 times on this blog in 2011, and also blogged for Evidence Base and for projects I’m involved in

As it was a useful exercise for helping me focus last year, so I’ve decided to set myself more resolutions/goals for this year. In common with Erin, these are general aims so cover all areas of my life.

  1. To work on CILIP Chartership (reflecting on achievements and updating wiki on at least a monthly basis)
  2. To improve physical organisation, particularly in home office – notes and paperwork etc.
  3. To achieve a more productive balance between different parts of my life ensuring I make time for professional, personal, and social activities
  4. To continue to blog about professional issues and ideas as well as reflection on activities
  5. To publish at least one paper (preferably peer-reviewed)

Bring it on!

I’m a creature of habit, so I’m continuing the tradition of posting an end of year blog post (see 2008, 2009, and 2010). It’s actually really useful for me to look back and see what I did each year. So, what has 2011 involved?

2011 mosaic

1. My ALA 2011 badge complete with ribbons!, 2. Louisiana State University, 3. Osney Building at University of Oxford, 4. CILIP signage Read the rest of this entry »

I’ve recently written a couple of guest blog posts for Kiyomi Deards, who I keep in touch with via Twitter but whom I haven’t actually met in person yet (I think she kept avoiding me at ALA Annual in June, I’m hoping to track her down at ALA Midwinter in January!).

Kiyomi asked me to write a guest blog post and complete an interview as part of her leaders of tomorrow series on her blog. I decided to write from an international perspective about my experience at ALA Annual, and share my top tips. Hopefully they will be relevant to anyone attending a large conference for the first time, whether it’s ALA, SLA or any other library/tech conference. The blog posts are now both available on Kiyomi’s blog:

I’ve subscribed to the comments for both posts so please feel free to add any additional tips or ideas, or ask me any further questions on the interview.

Found out about a great resource today which you can use to get an iPhone version of your blog (found via Ned Potter).

Bloapp is a tool you can use to create a customisable mobile version of your blog (great for institutional blogs although the customisation is a little limited). I followed Ned’s instructions to create a mobile version of the Joeyanne Libraryanne blog as shown below:

Joeyanne Libraryanne on Bloapp

Joeyanne Libraryanne on Bloapp

If you’d like to read my blog this way, you can download the Bloapp app to your iPhone (it’s free) and then scan in the QR code below.

Scan from within Bloapp to add Joeyanne Libraryanne

Scan from within Bloapp to add Joeyanne Libraryanne

It’s a really easy tool to use – I’d recommend giving it a go as it really does take about 30 mins – 1 hour (depending how much customisation you need). Great idea for library blogs – though of course it will depend on Bloapp’s success as to whether people use it. If you want to create your own for your blog or your library’s blog, follow Ned’s comprehensive guide.

CPD23 logo

CPD23 logo

Many readers are likely to have heard of the 23 Things staff development programmes (also known as Learning 2.0) which have been used in a number of libraries across the world over the last few years. For those not familiar – it’s an online self-discovery learning programme used to introduce library staff to some of the technologies relevant to libraries (particularly social media). It’s achieved via a reflective blog which serves as an introduction to blogging as well as recording progress on each of the 23 ‘Things’ thoughout.

In the UK, a number of public and academic libraries have run the programme, including Cambridge who did it last summer. Some of the Cambridge librarians loved it so much that they’re doing it again – in fact this summer they are running two versions! The first is a repeat of the initial programme, whilst the second is what this blog post is about – 23 Things for Professional Development. So what’s that then? Read the rest of this entry »

I don’t usually make public resolutions (or any resolutions come to think of it), but I’m a very reflective person always looking back and planning for future, so I thought it would probably make sense to record some of my hopes for 2011. I’m not going to make anything too concrete – the nature of much of my professional work is very flexible so it’s difficult to plan longer term. But here’s a list of some of the things I would definitely like to do this year.

  • Complete my MSc dissertation – so it’s obvious that my motivation has slipped on this as I have favoured speaking at conferences and writing for publications and blogs, however this year I must complete my MSc as I have a deadline of September 2011 (a whole 5 years since I started my course in 2006). I’ve finished paying for it now too, so it’ll be worth the effort to complete the qualification. I am really interested in my topic area (strategic marketing in academic libraries), I’ve just been bad at bringing it to the top of the priorities as it didn’t have to be done, but now it does.
  • Attend more conferences – whether it’s speaking or attending (I gain a lot from both), I really want to get out there this year and attend some great conferences. I learn so much from attending events and chatting to people, so I’m hoping I’ll be able to do more of this in 2011. I’m currently exploring and applying for funding, so we’ll see if anything comes of that. I would particularly like to attend ALA Annual this year so a lot of effort/planning is going into that (keeping everything crossed I can organise funding), and I’d also love to go to CILIP Umbrella as I haven’t yet been to the biennial CILIP conference and it would be great to attend.
  • Implement the Getting Things Done system at both my home office and at work – I’ve always been keen on using to-do lists and calendars to manage my time, but I’ve recently been learning more about the GTD methodology and would like to properly organise both my workspaces at home (I often work from home) and in the office (we’ll be moving offices soon so this will be a good opportunity to get properly set up).
  • Participate in Library Day in the Life – many people have asked me what I do in my new job and it’s very difficult to describe, so I’ll be participating in the Library Day in the Life project again this year to hopefully share a bit of what I get up to nowadays. It’s a really great project to get involved in so I’d encourage anyone reading to consider joining in too, you can read all about it here and see some of my previous Library Day in the Life posts.
  • Continue to blog – obvious one this, and I don’t imagine it will be a difficult one for me. I find blogging so incredibly useful to gather my thoughts, get feedback from my peers, and reflect on what I’ve learnt. I contribute to a number of blogs now, and the number continues to grow, but I hope to continue blogging here as my main area for sharing my thoughts and experiences. I’ve been thinking a lot recently about what it is I’m genuinely passionate about and what drives me to do the work I do. I think my blog changes direction to reflect my interests, but I like having the space to share these thoughts and keep a record of them.

Those are the main things I hope to achieve in 2011, let’s hope I manage to achieve them. If you have any resolutions you’d like to share (I know for some people this acts as a motivator), please feel free to add them in the comments.

Man and woman toasting martini glasses, close up of hands

Continuing on the tradition from 2008 and 2009, it’s time for my end of year blog post. As a naturally reflective person, I find it very useful to reflect back on my achievements of the year and consider what to focus on next. It’s also useful to look at my previous end of year posts and look back at what I’ve done in the last few years.

So what did 2010 bring? Well, I certainly satisfied that itch I mentioned this time last year! Read the rest of this entry »

Apologies in advance for the shameless self-promotional nature of this post. I like to use this blog as a personal record (I’m also hoping this will come in handy when I do my Chartership), so I’m just sharing a few things I’ve been up to lately elsewhere in the blogosphere. I spent some time last week writing blog posts for various places, and some of these have now been published and may be of interest. I also want to share a new project which I’m really excited about. Read the rest of this entry »

Today marks the three year anniversary of Joeyanne Libraryanne! I first set up the blog back in June 2007 when it looked a little like below (I couldn’t find any old screenshots so this is the current blog with the original theme applied):

Original Joeyanne Libraryanne blog theme

Original Joeyanne Libraryanne blog theme

With a little help from Cookies and Java (my boyfriend’s marketing and web design company) it has since developed into the brand you see now (pictured below for those using a feed reader!):

Joeyanne Libraryanne current theme

Joeyanne Libraryanne current theme

Read the rest of this entry »

Taking Notes

So, as I may have mentioned (I think it’s taking over my life at the moment!), I’m currently writing my dissertation for my MSc Information and Library Studies course. I’ll be doing my research over summer, but in the meantime I’m actually writing it in the correct order rather than leaving the literature review until the end, which I may have been guilty of when writing my undergraduate dissertation (on gender stereotyping in sport, bit of a change of subject!). I’ve noticed during this process though, that it’s incredibly easy to get out of the habit of writing in a more academic style.

I initially set up this blog to record my studying progress, although it developed into something more reflective and practical. Most of my blog posts either report on events I’ve attended, discussions I’ve had, books/articles I’ve read, my experiences… etc. There is usually some reason to my blog posts (although I appreciate at times it may not seem like there is!), and I usually refer to these reasons throughout the post. Most of my posts refer to background information, although these are primarily other websites or blogs to allow ease of follow up for anyone reading the post. I do think that most of my thoughts emerge through consideration of research and evidence, and although in a practical sense my blog posts might not be as detailed as my assignments and I don’t always seek out the opposite point of view, I do generally try to consider other points of view to help develop my own.

As an academic librarian, I spend quite a lot of my time working on an enquiry desk (almost half of my working week!) helping others find research. I’ve learnt to use different databases and use different techniques when searching specific research databases or search engines. I’ve become pretty good at tracking down research, and knowing the best places to start researching different topics (although there’s always more to learn!). So once I’d finalised my dissertation topic (strategic marketing in academic libraries), I was able to go off and find loads of really useful research relating to lots of different aspects of my topic.

Now that’s it’s actually time to write all this research and knowledge I’ve learnt from it up as a literature review, I have to confess I’m struggling a little. It’s not that I find it particularly difficult (although there are times I struggle to get my head around some of the more complicated research analysis despite having a Statistics A Level!), but moreso that the style of writing just doesn’t come naturally to me anymore. I think my time blogging, writing reports at work, and short articles for journals had changed my writing style to be more practical in nature and less formal (I guess more like conversational English). I’m now having to pad out my writing with extra points which I probably wouldn’t usually if they don’t add a lot to the purpose of the article/report/blog post.

I know which I’d rather write, and I know which I’d rather read (give me practical, experienced based advice any day over purely theoretical information), but for academic purposes I have to adapt my writing to prove that yes, I do always research my sources and try to discover alternative points of view, and yes I can critically evaluate research.

I can see the importance of demonstrating these skills, but I’m really beginning to appreciate why I find it easier to blog than to write assignments – of course there is also the fact that I can blog about whatever I choose to, but mainly the issue for me is adapting my writing style to use language I wouldn’t ordinarily use and include more of the theoretical rather than a focus on practical and experience-based information. Don’t get me wrong, I do actually love researching and am really looking forward to starting my data collection for my dissertation, but I’d be a whole lot more enthusiastic if I could write it in a more informal, reflective way.

What do you think? Do you think we may see a shift in the future to more assessed work being written in a similar way to blogs, or is it important to ensure academic writing standards remain the same? Do you struggle to adapt your writing style or is it just me? Am I just lazy and need to kick myself into shape?! I do recognise the irony of procrastinating by writing a blog post about how I’m struggling to write my literature review – almost 800 words added to my blog, zero to my literature review! I’d appreciate other people’s thoughts on my ponderings though.