All 10 entries tagged Communication

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January 24, 2009

Excellent – we need more of this. . .

Writing about web page

Check out the recent Guardian piece on studying for Librarianship.

September 20, 2007

Library Legs!

Writing about web page

A few months ago Antony Brewerton put together a set of short articles by new librarians, or those currently working towards chartership, to show what the apparent vision of the future of the profession might be from our point of view. This was published in Sconul Focus and can now be viewed online.

I was one of the people who contributed and sent him a piece about stereotyping, and how really, if we are to survive as a profession, we need to change the perception that seems to be so rife in the public eye, of librarians spending all day stamping books and saying "Sssshhhhhhhhhh!" and wandering about in pearls and twin sets with our grey hair up in very neat buns. I wont go into any further detail about the content as you can read the whole piece for yourself on the Sconul web site, but I am quite chuffed that I have now had something published outside of the relative safety of the Warwick Library internal staff newsletter "Off yer Trolley" (viewable by Warwick Library staff only). 

What made it even better was that the Cilip Gazette picked up on Antony's article too, so the whole thing got published there as well.  And this time they asked for photos of the authors. Well, clearly I couldnt send them a standard head-shot of me looking all Librarian to go with an article on challenging stereotypes, so, this is what they printed, and yes, they are my legs (unfortunately the fishnets dont come out so well here, the pic in the gazette is better quality). 

Library boots

Some of my colleagues (who requested not to be named) also joined me for the photoshoot - I thought it best to give Cilip some choice over what they published as this was no ordinary picture, and the results were as follows (personally I like the one with the stripper shoes standing on the law journals (appologies to our Law Librarian, Helen Riley).

library legs1 library legs 3

September 13, 2007

URC networking event

Last night I attended a networking event organised by the West Midlands University, College and Research Group (a special interest group of CILIP). It was held at the IKON Gallery in Birmingham, which was a fantastic setting given that the weather was so good!

It was good to meet people from other organisations and to discover that we are not the only University library that has a very odd version of LCC classification all of our own!

The tapas and wine were much appreciated and  though we didnt venture inside to check out the exhibitions (far too busy discussing the pros and cons of centralised services and the effects of student tuition fees on customer service expectations!), the view from the patio was lovely. 

June 14, 2007

Presentation Design Training

Blogging on my lunch break again - oh well . . . . . .

I went to a presentation design course in the University IT Training Suite this morning. I'm still determined to do anything I can  related to presenting until my brain just gives in and I become good at it. It has to happen sooner or later.

The course this morning was full of common sense tips about not overusing Powerpoint animations and being careful about slide structure etc. probably things that everyone has heard before, but there was some stuff that was very new to me including:

  • Pack and Go function in Powerpoint
  • Downloading "viewers" so you can still run your presentation on a machine with the wrong, or no, version of powerpoint
  • The Powerpoint Heaven website

This will all be useful in the new academic year as, when term starts and we are running inductions again, we will also be part way through our Library Remodelling. This means we will probably have to go out to academic departments to do most of our presentations - considerations about available facilities will be important.

As far as overcoming nerves or actual speaking skills go the course did touch on this, but in a very common sense way, and there was no practical part to it, it was all presentation by the facilitator. But then the course was more aimed at presentation design and preparation than at delivery.

I will be on another presentation course in a few days - and probably any more that I can find over the summer, to get me ready for the new year. I really want to crack this.

May 23, 2007

Inspire visit

Writing about web page

Jess and I met with a lady through the Inspire scheme. She is currently working in an FE library and is trying to decide whether or not she wants to make the move to HE (where she has previous experience). This lady is already Chartered but has been out of the Library sector for some time so is in the process of making decisions on her future career, and is considering applying for jobs similar to the ones that Jess and I do.

She wanted to meet with us to find out about what we do and how we fit in to the University.

A whole day was planned for her within Warwick Library, including meetings with various members of staff and visits to various departments. She spent one hour with Jess and myself discussing our roles.

We prepared in advance by finding and printing off various documents, such as our job descriptions and the terms of reference for the working groups that we each belong to etc. We also found examples of some of the work we have produced or been involved in (resource guides, customer guides, publicity work etc.) which she could take away. She had a lot of questions and we tried to answer them, but I did feel a bit like the session was not really long enough to cover all the things that Jess and I had planned for it. 

I also felt that the session could have been better planned, more structured and then we may have covered more material in a way which she might still have been able to absorb. I think this illustrates one of my many fears of teaching. I am not great at planning sessions or putting materials together. Structuring things for other people is not one of my strong points.

It also highlights the fact that there is little time in the day to do these things.  Jess and I had about half an hour to meet and plan for the session and after that we had to find the written information, print and collate it, book the room, set up the pc, log in to the LMS and various bits of web sites we wanted to use and generally figure out what was going on. The first and only meeting we had about it was the afternoon before, and this left us with preparation to do at home. 

Being involved in things outside of my normal job is important to me. But again, I have to be careful not to take too much on (see this entry).

May 18, 2007

Enquiry desk working group

I have been asked to join a working group to look at the kind of enquiry service the Library will provide following the remodelling. There will be large changes to service due to the developments in the building. For example, the new lay-out of the first floor will allow for more student space and for the accommodation of the short loan collection (currently on the 2nd floor), so the provision of just one desk for issues and enquiries will be required, rather than the 2 desks, and separate services, we currently have.  Also staffing will change, for example, Academic Support staff, who currently are rotaed on to the main enquiry desk will be involved in the running and development of the Teaching Grid (which will be a new library provision following the remodel) so they may not have the same amount of time available to devote to the desk.

The group is made up of a cross-section of the existing Enquiry Desk team along with 2 members of the LMG.

Today was the first meeting of the group and there was much discussion of the basic building layout and the high level management decisions that have already been made. Now the group is required to fill in the detail of how the service will run, which staff will do what and what training and preparation will be required.

Next meeting planned for 31st May.

Follow-up entries will be added. 

May 06, 2007

Registering with Google

Follow-up to Technorati from When I grow up I want to be a Librarian!

I am working on a (non-library-related) web site for a family friend at the moment, and she is concerned about how to market it when it finally gets up and running (it is taking rather longer than expected).

By way of research (and just playing with online stuff in the middle of the night) I have just registered this blog with Google. Apparently this may or may not mean that it gets added to Googles index, and that may or may not happen any time soon. And I also don't know how I will know either way about either thing. But I suppose it is worth investigating in the name of research for when I launch the web site I may or not finish in time.

May 04, 2007


Writing about web page

I have just added this blog to Technorati. My understanding is that Technorati is a searchable web catalogue of active blogs. You choose whether to be listed or not (and the process of adding your blog seems easy, but took me about 5 attempts) and you choose, I think, which of your entries are made available via it. You send a "ping" (see Netlingo for what seems like a reasonable definition)  with each entry you want Technorati to know about. 

Technorati also ranks the blogs listed there, I am ranked 676,464 today (this changes all the time). I think this means that 676,463 blogs listed on Technorati have more other blogs linking to them than mine has. Initially this number can make you feel a little insignificant, but when you realise that (today) Technorati tracks 79.2 million blogs world-wide, you begin to get the bigger picture.

Hopefully adding it to Technorati (starting to sound like a silly word as I have used it so many times in this entry already) will increase traffic to my blog - thats the idea - makes it easier to find. You can also add tags to your blog so that people searching for your topics get pointed in your direction. 

I will track this with Google Analytics, but I think Technorati do a bit of that for you as well - I'll have to look into it. Anyway, I'll be interested to see if adding the blog to Technorati - (I really have typed it too many times now) actually does increase page views.

Anyone else used T......?

April 21, 2007

I'm on facebook

Follow-up to Facebook from When I grow up I want to be a Librarian!

Well, I am now registered on Facebook and have been using it to contact all kinds of people, from those I see everyday anyway - work colleagues and my flat mate for example, to people I havn't heard from in years, such as old housemates from Uni.

For the uninitiated, Facebook is basically some free web space you can sign up for to communicate with your mates (or just random people you find there) online. You can send messages, add photos and write on eachothers "walls" (which is like a really basic blog - kind of).

There are some interesting groups on there made up of Warwick students and some of them are surprisingly childish and lacking in imagination. I guess that access to all this exciting and spangly technology is no longer a thing of wonder, and is fast becoming a way to kill the time for anyone who wants to excell in work avoidance tactics.

There are a lot of groups which are really quite impressive, such as The Great Facebook Race (there are now 3 groups for this, boys, girls and British) - do look them up if you have a spare minute. Another interesting one is Random Acts of Kindness - although some of their suggestions for such random acts are a bit dubious.

Anyway - how does this relate to Chartership?

Well, it is yet another new means of e-communication that I am making myself familiar with, it also gives me an opportunity to see how the Library is viewed by students, there are groups on there which relate directly to the Library and to student opinions of it. There is also an academic librarians group - which I will probably join - and I'll see what other groups there are which may be relevant.

I am, however, also using it a social tool, and will continue to do so.

April 11, 2007


Writing about web page

I have just been invited to join Facebook by a friend at work. I've never used it before and I'm not really sure what it's for, but hey, why not? It could be another interesting addition to my recent spate of e-learning experiences and might tie in nicely with the Chartership Blog.

I'll add details here when I have an account set up. 

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Most recent comments

  • Hmmm, presumably if you "stole" the image in the first place then you didn't have permission to uplo… by Katharine Widdows on this entry
  • Here's a scenario. You upload a pic onto Facebook without copyright permission. Facebook then "acqui… by Andrew Noble on this entry
  • Hello Katherine, I have just put in my chartership submission – posted recorded delivery last Wednes… by Vivien O'Carroll on this entry
  • Hello katharine, I've enjoyed your blog and want to say thanks for the Guardian link. Good luck with… by Michael on this entry
  • Hi Ken and Genevieve, Many thanks for your comments. This is certainly something I would like to kno… by Katharine Widdows on this entry

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