Our Enduring Values (image from Google Books)

The next Twitter chat for the Library Leadership Reading Group will be on 22nd January 2012 at 8pm (UK time). We’ll be discussing Our Enduring Values: Librarianship in the 21st Century by Michael Gorman.

If you’d like to join us, please do – just start tweeting using the #llrg hashtag. To follow the conversation you might want to set up a saved search and use your favourite Twitter client, or you can use a tool like Tweetchat.

If you’re wondering what the Library Leadership Reading Group is all about, please read my earlier blog post, and visit the Google Document which is used to list ideas for things to read (it’s editable so feel free to add yourself to the list of people interested, or add resources to the list).

 

As I’ve now successfully completed my CILIP Chartership, I won’t be scheduling any more chartership chats as they’ve served their purpose for me. Since submitting my portfolio, I’ve had a few people ask me when the next one will be – it can be whenever you want one! I wanted to ensure people knew how to set one up so that going forward, candidates can continue to schedule these chats if they find them useful.

Twitter icon from Iconfinder

Twitter icon from Iconfinder

Why #chartership chat?

We all learn in different ways, and seek support from different methods. For me, chartership chat on Twitter had the following benefits:

  • Enabled me to share my ideas and get advice from others (including other candidates as well as mentors)
  • Helped motivate me to keep going
  • Gave me regular time points to check in which I used as mini deadlines
  • Gave me dedicated time to both discuss chartership and work on it (I often worked on something in the background whilst chatting)

Think you need something similar to help you with chartership? It’s really easy to organise…

Organising the chat

The following stages are all you need to do to organise a #chartership chat on Twitter:

  1. Set a time and date that you know you’ll be able to make (and preferably at least one other person, it’s usually helpful to propose it on Twitter using the #chartership tag to see if others can make it then)
  2. Publicise the chat – via Twitter, the LIS-CILIP-REG mailing list, and any other methods you think would be useful
  3. Send reminders closer to the date (e.g. the day before or the morning of the day)
  4. Be there at the time, and start tweeting using the #chartership chat. Keep an eye on other tweets using the hashtag, ask questions, answer any if you can, offer support, and help each other work to your deadlines

Optional: you might want to archive the tweets and/or write up the chat and record details on the Chartership Chat page on the CILIP Quals wiki. You may want to host a conversation about a specific topic rather than general chat – if so just make this clear in the publicity.

Hope this information is useful – I found it really useful in keeping me on track and providing me with ideas to help me with my chartership – both the process whilst working on my areas of development, through reflection, and when it came to writing up the portfolio. Also of course it could be another potential piece of evidence!

If you’re working on chartership at the moment you may also be interested in joining in with #chapowrimo (Chartership portfolio writing month) which is encouraging people to do a little bit on chartership each day in November. See #chapowrimo tweets and Emma, Niamh and Katie’s blog posts for more information.

WARNING: long blog post!

I’ve been promising a number of people a blog post on how I archive tweets. I set archives up for lots of reasons – often for an event I am attending to record tweets to refer to at a later date, or sometimes for projects I am involved in to keep a record of conversations. There are a number of different methods of archiving tweets, some of which are outlined below.

NB: This post covers archiving tweets made using a specific hashtag from all users, not archiving personal tweets.

  1. TAGS (Twitter Archiving Google Spreadsheet)
  2. Twubs
  3. Eventifier
  4. Tweet Archivist
  5. TweetDoc

There is also HootSuite (with Pro subscription), but I’m just focusing on the free options in this post.

My preferred tool at the moment is TAGS, but in order to try some other options out, I set up archives each of the five services for the CILIP Cataloguing and Indexing Group conference which took place on 10th-11th September 2012. The conference has an official hashtag of #cig12, though we noticed some people are using #cig2012. Unfortunately, during the CIG conference, another event began which was using #cig2012 as their hashtag so we also collected their tweets! With the exception of TAGS (which was set up on 5th Sept) and TweetDoc (which collects tweets after the event), all the archives were set up on 9th September.

Read the rest of this entry »

Highlights from the first Library Leadership Reading Group discussion held on 31st August 2012.

Highlights from the first Library Leadership Reading Group discussion held on 31st August 2012.

It’s almost time for #chartership chat again (comes around so quickly!). The results of the poll gave a tie so we’ll take the first one in the list for this week and the second for the next chat. So this week’s chat on Thursday 29th March at 6.30pm BST will be Writing your evaluative statement.

Poll results

I know there are some people on Twitter currently at, or approaching, this stage and for those of us just beginning it will still be useful to start considering how we’re going to turn our evidence into a portfolio with the evaluative statement.

Please join us and if you know anyone who has chartered, please ask them to join us to share any tips and advice too. I’ve even prepared a tweet for you – just copy the message below to let your followers know about the chat this week.

Join us on Twitter to chat about writing your evaluative statement for #chartership this Thursday 29th March at 6.30pm BST.

Following the success of this week’s chartership chat (kindly written up by @Library_Quine in her blog post), which had a theme of recording and collecting chartership evidence, we now need to decide a topic for the next chat on Thursday 29th March. I’ve put together a quick poll below of some of the ideas suggested, though please feel free to suggest another – we can always add it to a future list even if it’s not the most popular for the next chat.

Please do vote and pass on the link to any others you think might be interested in joining in the next #chartership chat – the direct link to the poll is http://poll.fm/3lnco.

What?

Wow, what an experience! I thought there might be a few of us interested in the #chartership chat myself and Tina had organised (a Twitter chat to support those working on CILIP Chartership), and had already had positive messages from people who were hoping to join in, but I certainly wasn’t expecting this…

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/rachel_s_b/status/170222392210243585″]

That’s right – we were the number 4 trending topic on Twitter in UK – imagine that!

Chartership chat trending in UK (thanks Katy)

Chartership chat trending in UK (thanks Tina)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was all a bit frantic so apologies if people were struggling to follow the conversation at times. Great that so many people were able to join in though – thanks to all of you who joined us.

I set up a TAGS archive for #chartership to collect all the tweets and made sure it was all working just before we started the chat this evening. Fortunately it has captured all the tweets so if you want to see the full list you can view all the tweets on the public archive.

Tina and I originally thought an hour would be plenty so we scheduled 6.30-7.30GMT but much of the conversation continued until 8pm. During the time, there were around 90 tweeters participating and a total of around 500 tweets were posted. Ever likely it trended, us librarians are clearly a chatty lot!

We decided not to set an agenda and let people discuss whatever they wanted to, though Tina and I did have some backup questions in case people needed something to respond to. This wasn’t needed though as a number of common topics arose and lots of spin off conversations started to happen. The tweet below warmed the cockles of my heart and there were plenty of others like it:

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/greebstreebling/status/170221406473289728″]

The conversation

A number of people have asked for a summary of the conversation. I couldn’t possibly cover everything that was discussed but below are a few of the topics that were raised during the chat and some of the advice that was offered. (EDIT: @ellyob has also shared her own version of the conversation using Storify).

Choosing a mentor

Some people are currently looking for mentors due to starting the process now or because their previous mentor has left. Advice included whether to choose someone within your organisation or outside, within your sector or outside, and how to use the lists on the CILIP website. It was pointed out that these are not always totally up-to-date so even if it says someone is full it doesn’t hurt to contact them as they may no longer be. Also discussed was the location of your mentor – some prefer to be very close so that regular face-to-face meetings can be arranged, some prefer a more virtual relationship with fewer face-to-face meetings.

Finding time (and money) for CPD activities

Some people were concerned that they didn’t have time or money for CPD activities, particularly as budgets tighten and employers can no longer support these activities to the extent they once did. However, there are loads of very low cost ways to develop skills and knowledge (including one everyone was using – Twitter!). Fortunately, there was an excellent blog post on a similar topic earlier this week – see Katy Wrathall’s You can’t continue to develop professionally when unemployed – or can you? which has lots of tips for professional development opportunities without breaking the bank. Time is more of an issue, though I think everyone agreed that it’s more a matter or prioritising activities and doing little bits each week if possible, but that as it is a personal experience it’s fine to go at a pace that suits you.

Reflective practice

I know for many people the reflective focus of the chartership puts them off (for me personally, I like it, but still…). Different options for reflection were discussed including the very private (only things you see like personal learning logs) to the very public (like a public blog). Some mentors mentioned that reflection had been something they weren’t keen on when they started the chartership process themselves but by the end of it they really appreciated it.

Linking your professional development to your day job

Something that I know a lot of people can find tricky is linking the extra professional activities together with the day job (particularly applicable to those working in para-professional roles or for whom the majority of professional development is outside the scope of employment). Advice was given by experienced professionals who recommended trying to get management support, speaking to your manager about how you can work together to align your work activities and professional development, and linking PPDP elements to your work (e.g. in appraisals).

Collecting and organising evidence during the process

A number of different tools were discussed to help organise evidence. Some prefer to use paper copies of documents, whilst others suggested using online tools such as a wiki (see Wiki-ing for chartership for more information), Google Docs, or an e-portfolio tool such as FolioForMe (using Maraha). Different techniques were discussed for organising the information – by area of PPDP, by criteria, or starting to think about the structure of the final portfolio.

Selecting evidence for your portfolio

The consensus here (confirmed by a number of mentors, thank you!) was definitely quality over quantity. There are no strict guidelines over the number or type of evidence to collect as it varies for each individual portfolio. The main thing to bear in mind is to ensure that each piece of evidence shows how you are meeting the criteria for assessment – if they don’t show that then they shouldn’t be in your portfolio.

Common pitfalls

Common pitfalls in submitted portfolios include lack of information on organisational aspects (linking to organisational strategies etc.) – many people commented that they do not currently have these or cannot link their work to them as they are too broad. Advice around this included speaking to your manager about developing strategic aims for your own department/area and possibly working on this together. Another pitfall is a lack of breadth of professional knowledge. It was great to see people starting to set up partnerships to support this element – some of the ways it can be achieved are by visiting other libraries, interviewing librarians to find out about their jobs, or just having conversations with them. Hopefully #chartership chat will help form links to support this aspect.

Support from CILIP

I was delighted to see many CILIP staff involved in the conversation and keen to listen to conversations and hear how they could help support us. Simon Edwards mentioned that CILIP are currently scoping requirements for a VLE which would clearly be of interest to anyone studying for a CILIP professional qualification:

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/SimonEdwards75/status/170221600187224064″]

I’m sure Simon would welcome any further feedback if you have thoughts on this. @CILIPcpd was also joining in with the conversation, and Annie Mauger (CILIP CEO) was keeping an eye on the discussion to see how CILIP might be able to help support chartership candidates (and she is also going through the fellowship process herself at the moment so can relate to what we’re all going through and shared some tips!).

What next?

I think we can definitely say that #chartership chat was a success – I never expected so many people to join in sharing so much useful information. I certainly made some new connections and have lots of ideas to follow up, and I hope others got the same. We’ll definitely be holding another #chartership chat, so the next one will be two weeks from now at 6.30pm GMT on Thursday March 1st (if anyone wants to request a different time, please let me know or feel free to organise something – I’m not precious about it!).  I think we’ll do the same again in keeping it unstructured – that way people can bring their own questions and discussions and the conversation will depend on who is there. If anyone has any feedback/suggestions or thinks there is a better way please let me know, or jump in there and sort it.

Just one final note – a huge thank you to those of you who joined in and made it such a success, and those who helped spread the word to let people know about it.

 

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 sixth time I’ve participated; you can see my earlier posts from July 2009January 2010July 2010January 2011 and July 2011. I’m currently a full-time Researcher at Evidence Base, Birmingham City University, UK. Although my job title doesn’t include the word librarian and I don’t work in a library, I still consider myself very much a librarian – our research helps support the library and information communities.

Day in the office today – which ironically usually means I get much less done (too many interruptions and errands). It took me longer than expected to get in this morning (had forgotten what traffic was like during peak times!) but I travel by public transport and always have my iPad with me so I can work on the way in. I finished drafting comments for the report I’ve been reviewing during the journey, and caught up with news on Twitter.

When I arrived at work I found a lovely surprise parcel of goodies from Lisa Jeskins who is part of the LILAC Conference organising committee. I’d been telling lots of people how much I love the LILAC conference whilst I was at ALA Midwinter last week so had joked that I should be on commission. Lisa clearly thought I should be so sent me these:

I’d also had some new stationery delivered so I had quite an exciting start to the day (I know I’m sad but I love getting new stationery!). After a quick catch up with my colleagues, we decided to bring forward a discussion we were planning for next week (it’s rare that we are all together). We’re getting our communication in order and have devised a new system to help share news from our department with the rest of the library and with those external who are interested in our work (most of our work is external). Internally, we’re using the library newsletter whilst externally we have an Evidence Base blog (and may later set up a MailChimp mailing list once our new website is sorted). My colleagues aren’t very familiar with blogging so I agreed to help them get started and provide some informal training for them. Unfortunately we had many hurdles (it seemed to take ages to get their accounts sorted!) and then we got interrupted by an IT guy so we didn’t get as much done as I’d have liked.

I went out for lunch with Damyanti, but we went slightly later than expected and lost track of time whilst we were there so I returned back to work later than expected. Oops! Time for lots of grovelling to manager and quickly preparing for a project Skype call – I’d done my own preparation but hadn’t had chance to discuss with my manager. The call was for the JISC m-library community support project, and we’re at the point now where we know broadly want people want from an m-library community and we need to make decisions on how we can best deliver that. It was a productive call and I certainly feel a lot clearer about our activities for the short term at least. I’ve been interested in investigating how libraries can utilise mobile technologies for a long time, and I’m really enjoying working on a project I’m so interested in. There’s lots of really innovative work out there and we’re hoping to be able to share this with the wider community to prevent duplication and help drive developments further forward.

After the call (and after adding actions to my to-do list and tidying up project documents), I did a bit of work on the Twitter account for another project, the Journal Usage Statistics Project (JUSP). We’ve had a Twitter account (@JUSPSTATS) for a few months now but we haven’t been using it often, partly as it didn’t really have clear ownership or purpose. I’ve worked with some of my colleagues on the project to discuss our intended use and have developed some guidelines. Today I shared them with the rest of the project team, answered some questions about Twitter use to a colleague who is new to it, and set up some saved searches on Twitter to keep an eye on. The Twitter search interface is a lot better than it used to be and seems to work well – I didn’t know it was so easy to set limits such as language and geography in addition to keyword and phrase searches.

That took me to almost the end of the afternoon – there was just time for a few emails and actions to be added to my to-do list regarding the JUSP project, then I visited the library general office to return the travel insurance card (I took it to Dallas for ALA Midwinter) and headed home. Thursday and Friday I’ll be working at home so hopefully able to get some real work done!

I’ve been asked to take part in a panel discussion as part of the European Librarians Theatre at Online Information next week titled ‘Everyone is talking but is anyone listening?‘. I’ve got some ideas from my own experience and conversations with others, but as I’ll be representing the views of the UK I wanted to open it out and ask you to help me.

If you work in a UK library, please complete the form below (or complete the online version) to let me know your views. The feedback is anonymous – though if you have something you are particularly proud of which you would like me to mention as an example of good practice – please feel free to include links in your response, leave me a comment on this post, or email me.

EDIT: Thanks for the responses, I have now removed the form as the panel discussion has passed.