January 24, 2009

Reflection question

Hi All,

As a lot of my evidence is not really reflective enough I am considering adding a reflective piece to the end of each section of the portfolio to bring it all together and add in something about my professional development etc. This would mean I had 6 refection pieces included as evidence that would all be written together at the end of the evidence collection period (next month).

Do you think this makes sense or do you think it will detract from the value of the personal/evaluative statement at the beginning?

Any ideas?

January 11, 2009


Writing about web page http://www.slough.gov.uk/news/articles/archive/9242.aspx

I just saw thisand it really made me smile.

I wonder if Libraries could do more of this stuff - get kis in right from the start to show how varied and exciting library jobs can be.

The program of things for this kid to do during her day in the library looks perfect - I wonder what she made of it all, and I wonder if she will grow up to be a librarian?

December 19, 2008

Oh my Oh my!

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

Well, that was easy, about 10 mins work and we now have a Warwick e-journals search on the Facebook page which connects users to serials solutions.

It must be Christmas.

Oh My!

Writing about web page http://onlinesocialnetworks.blogspot.com/2008/12/code4lib-reaching-users-through.html

This looks interesting - one for the New Year I think. . .

December 12, 2008

Maybe I dont have 3 months!

I was planning on getting my portfolio in for the 11th March Chartership Board, and this means I need to submit before the 11th February.

I still hope to do this, but it only gives me December and January to work on it and well, between now and then there is that little thing called Christmas (which, by the way is going to be fab because my boyfriend is taking me away - but thats another story) and there is also a LOT of work to do at work (surprisingly :-P ) and a PGA to think about.

Hmm, perhaps I shouldn't be writing this now, perhaps I should be doing something more constructive. . . . .

November 28, 2008

3 months to go – counting down

I'm hoping to submit my portfoilio in February 2009, 2 years after registering to charter. (Two years, because I am an "extraordinary" candidate having skipped that part about a Masters in LIS)

I've started putting sections of evidence together and I hope to be able to show my mentor a draft, of the evidence at least, if not the compulsory documents and evaluative statement, at our next meeting on December 8th.

As I wont have any spare time over Christmas (I'm going to Prague with my bloke for a chunk of it) I felt it important that I have a draft before hand, and then I can just work on editing and formating and being generally anal and librariany about it in January.

I've seen a lot of emails about the final agonising months flying about on LIS-REG.

How is everyone getting on?

November 07, 2008

Interest is growing!

Writing about web page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Coventry-United-Kingdom/University-Of-Warwick-Library/6168162503

Yesterday I had an email from Heather Dawson, the editor of ALISS Quarterly (Journal of the Association of Librarians and Information professionals in the Social Sciences).

She had seen Jane Secker's slides from the presentation she gave at John Moores recently and was asking if I would be happy to write a piece for ALISS Quarterly on the Warwick Facebook Project for the next issue, which will focus on supporting researchers.

I will, of course, be very happy to write for ALISS, and I am very pleased that the Facebook Project is getting so much attention, and that it is giving me the opportunity to offer information and feedback to other professionals looking at similar projects.

This is great for Chartership too, and the Facebook Project is quickly rising to the top of my list of possible portfolio evidence!

October 30, 2008

Finding Chemical Information – Royal Society of Chemistry seminar

Writing about web page http://www.rsc.org/Membership/Networking/InterestGroups/CICAG/meetings.asp

Yesterday I found myself at the Royal Society of Chemistry at a seminar on Finding Chemical Information. (My manager had planned to go but something came up at the last minute and I went in her place).

There were 7 presentations, and 30 atendees so I will make no attempt to cover any detail of the content here, but there were some basic principles which were very useful and the day made me wonder if there are additional services we could offer from the Library to support Chemists at Warwick.

The basic idea behind the course was that often Chemists are looking for specific quantitative information on a given chemical (boiling point, mass, etc) or perhaps information on reactions which create this chemical, or industrial uses for it, or processes which require it. (The focus was not on searching for bibliographic information). The chemical you are looking for may be one that has many different names registered with many different companies and may therefore be difficult to track down. Or it may be easy to find information from one country, but the same chemical may be marketed under a different name in another part of the world, where it is used in a different way, and so on.

To make it extra difficult, there are various options for searching for chemicals in other ways, such as by typing a chemical formula into a search, but there is no real standardised method for putting the formulas together, especially for complex molecules, or newly created chemicals, so you may still be missing synonyms (sic) in your search.

So, what can we do to find the information?

The idea discussed at yesterdays seminar was using the chemical structure itself as a search term. There are packages available which allow you to draw the chemical structure of a substance and then search for that structure in a database of chemical information. In the collection of resources being discussed the results from the structure search would then give you a registry number for the chemical which can then be used as a search term across a number of other chemical information databases (including some bibliographic services).

Warwick does subscribe to some of the services discussed, but they are not tools I have used or ever been asked about by our users. I do think this could be a useful skill to have and to promote to the department once we have conquered it. I have a meeting coming up with the Science Team leader to discuss possibilities.

Does anyone receive and deal with this type of chemical query?

What software do you use?

How easy or complex do you find it?

October 27, 2008

facebook symposium at Liverpool John Moores

Writing about web page http://elearning.lse.ac.uk/blogs/socialsoftware/2008/10/whose-space-is-it-anyway/

On Friday last week Jane Secker gave a presentation on the use of Facebook by Libraries. She has uploaded her slides to slideshare.

I would just like to mention that her entry, "Who's space is it anyway?" over at the Social Software, Libraries and E-learning blog on this is well worth reading and the slides are well worth checking out too.

I'd also like to say a big thanks to Jane for choosing the Warwick Library Facebook Page as an example to show in her presentation and for contacting me in advance to let me know about it :-)

October 24, 2008

PGA developments

There is renewed potential for me to get this PGA off the ground! After discovering a few weeks ago that my initial project idea had been made largely redundant by work done by the User Education group over the summer, my manager has discovered a possible project and we are meeting with an academic next week to discuss ideas. I'll post further details when I have them, but for now I'll post this:

I have just had a consultation with Jess in the Teaching Grid regarding possible approaches to an e-learning project. This is a slightly edited version (so that it makes a bit of sense outside of Warwick) of the email I sent her as feedback for the TG.


For this department my Team Leader already runs an annual training session with a particular group of students in their second year. They currently get no first year Library training and seem unsure of its direct relevance when they arrive for their second year session. My Team Leader suggested that if I could build an e-tutorial for next academic year it might either help to engage the students more with the Library and get them some basic knowledge in the first year, or back up what they do in their second year taught session (or perhaps both).

Current Situation:

My Team Leader and I have a meeting scheduled with the tutor of this group next week and I wanted to see what was available for us to suggest to him. Also this same group of students will be in a whole-day Library/Resources session in the Teaching Grid early next month and (thanks to the Teaching Grid Manager's networking skills) we are due to be involved in that session. There is an additional level of usefulness to all of this because I am also registered on the PGA E-learning for Professional Practice and links with the TG are potentially going to give me a great opportunity to engage with students as they are involved in TG sessions. If I do end up building an e-tutorial for this group of students I will be able to use a great deal of the preparation work that will go into it as evidence for my PGA.

Consultation with Jess:

Jess showed me various available technologies, including MacBook, Captivate, Quiz Builder, QuestionMark Perception, etc. highlighting different aspects of them that work for different purposes. She was also a great person to bounce ideas off about my original idea of embedding different media into PowerPoint and using its more interactive functions to create a tutorial which could then be linked to a QuizBuilder page (or similar) for student assessment. (I want to get away from having to use SiteBuilder applications for the whole thing).

As we have already consulted this group of students once, (asking them to complete a short survey on whether e-tutorials on Library skills would be useful to them), Jess also suggested gaining additional value from the TG session coming up, by using part of it to ask student opinion of various existing tutorials and find out what kind of technologies they prefer and engage with. (If the tutor agrees we could potentially run a few one-to-ones with the students during the day and get them to look at various options and offer feedback. If I have time I could even put together a very rough draft of the kind if tutorial I am thinking of building and ask them to look through it). We could even ask a few of them if they would be willing to be contacted later on as a kind of focus group to test later drafts and give feedback during the process of creating the tutorial.

Jess also raised the possibility of following this up with feedback to Academic Support to demonstrate the non-linear/interactive/audio possibilities of PowerPoint, as we suspect that there are many people in the department who are unaware it can be used in this way. (Perhaps I could even run a session in the TG on this?)


It is excellent that Emma (TG manager) is building such strong links with Subject Teams and is actively encouraging collaboration between academics and librarians via the TG.

It was really helpful to be able to talk to Jess, who not only knows the technology, but also knows the Library and the kinds of issues we face with User Education (especially as she has direct involvement with the User Ed Group).

I came out of the consultation with loads of ideas and feeling quite enthusiastic about all the possibilities for this  project.

I really like the idea that the whole thing has the potential to come full circle. (Starting off with me going to the TG for advice and, if successful, ending up with me running a session in the TG based on what came out of that advice).

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