March 23, 2011

Completed my CV

I have just completed my CV and it is 4 pages long.  I know the CV for the chartership is an extended one, but I think 4 pages is probably too long.  But another reason why it is so long is that as I'm completing my chartership retrospectively I need my CV to cover 3 jobs in quite a lot of detail including all the training I have done.  I will have to show it to my mentor to get her opinion & I'll ask my fellow library colleagues about the length of their CV's at the Love your Chatership meeting that I'm going to tomorrow.

As I'm meeting with my mentor next week I have completed or almost completed some of my action points.

  1. CV completed (draft only)
  2. Spoken to Sue Bennett to arrange talking to her about the strategic plans of Student Careers & Skills
  3. Almost but not quite yet fixed a date up with Antony Brewerton to talk about library marketing

I still need to ask about study leave to write my personal statement I will do this on Friday.

I will blog again later in the week as I'm off on a SharePoint training session all day tomorrow, to see how it can be used for Student Careers & Skills,  particularly the calender aspect but how we could use it for our intranet.  Coventry University library already use it for their intranet but I don't know how to build one.

March 15, 2011

Sitebuilder managing your web content

Today I went on the ITs course - Sitebuilder managing your web content

It was a 3 hour long course about best practice and the tools that Sitebuilder has to help you manage your web content.  As Student Careers & Skills are currently go through a restructuring of our website I thought it would a useful course to go on.

The content of the course included:

  • Content Strategy
  • Identifying your audience
  • What makes a good site
  • Writing for the web
  • Stock take
  • Post audit
  • Planning and restructuring your site
  • Statistics on traffic to your site
  • Sitebuilder's useful tools

The course did cover a lot in 3 hours. Although I knew a lot of it already as I've been doing research into best practice with usability, navigation and being given information from SCS IT officer & Ops & Info Manager as they have already met with Elab for advice.  It was to good to get the full picture.  It didn't necessarily make me feel better about the restructuring as we need to really need do an audit of all of the current pages and the website has over 900 pages.  That will take ages to do!  It reinforced to me how we need to test our proposed structure with the users of the website to make sure we are thinking like them.  

The handouts from the course are useful.  The content template for a website page, we could modify this and use it for our template of our new pages.  The web style guide handout, I have already written a web style guide but I can compare the Elab version to mine to see how I can improve it.

I feel that this course has backed up my own research into website restructuring and given me good guidelines to work with.

To find out more about the course go to:  Managing your web content

March 04, 2011

Handling Difficult Conversations course

I attended the Difficult Conversations Course (LDC) on Thursday 3rd March .  

The course was very interesting and gave an insight into the theories of conversations, importance of body language.  The skills used in having conversations and the different levels of listening.  It also covered transactional analysis and handling aggression.  

We were given a template to use for a fierce conversation, breaking the issue up into different parts, name the issue, describe your emotions, clarify what is at stake, identify your contribution to the problem, your wish to resolve the issue and invite your partner to respond.  We all had to fill out the template with a "real fierce conversation" we would like to have.  We then used role play to act out the conversation.  I don't really like role play but I could see the benefit of this practising before your undertake a difficult conversation working on your body language, tone and meaning.

I feel that this course has given me the confidence to tackle a difficult conversation and has given me strategies to work through problems rather than just ignoring them.  So beware you may be my next difficult conversation!

If you are a Warwick University Staff member and want to find out more go to: Handling Difficult Conversations

March 01, 2011

Met with my Library Chartership mentor

I met with my Chartership mentor yesterday to see how much progress I have made on my Library Chartership.  I don't feel that I have made much progress, but I have completed some things that were on my ppdp and am reflecting at every opportunity.

By the next meeting on the 28th March I have to:

  • Find and read a copy of Coventry University's Library Strategy.
  • Find and read the University of Warwick Strategy.  I have already done this,  if you want to find out more go to Strategy
  • Continuing building my portfolio
  • Arrange a meeting with Sue Bennett the Director of Student Careers and Skills
  • Arrange a meeting with Antony Brewerton about marketing academic libraries
  • Find out if I'm allowed study leave to compile and write up my portfolio.  As a way to find out what areas I need more evidence or experience in.
  • Finish my CV add in training courses

As I have a major project just about to start in Student Careers & Skills restructuring the website to make all the various websites more integrated and easier to navigate,  I didn't know whether this should be included in my portfolio but that will delay my submission date as it will not be completed until September.  I probably won't include it unless I feel that my portfolio is lacking in some way.

Will blog again later in the week after I have completed my Handling Difficult conversations course.

February 24, 2011


Last week I completed the MBTI questionnaire and received my results on Friday!

The MBTI is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and was developed by a mother and daughter in the 1930's to help people understand their personality type.  The questions on the questionnaire are very easy to understand but are hard to answer as your answer may change depending upon the context.  It only took about 20 minutes to answer the questions and I felt that you see were the questions where leading too (introvert or extrovert).  A careers consultant assessed answers and gave me the feedback on Friday in an hour long session.

I was quite nervous at getting the results although I know it isn't related to my ability to do my job and I also thought I had a good idea as to my personality (introverted).  You get a report booklet where the different parts of the MBTI are explained to you and you are asked where you would rate yourself.  After you've done that you then get the results from the questionnaire.  

My results came back as a INFJ but after discussing it with the careers consultant and emphasising that you only really know yourself I think I'm a INTJ.  The main difference between the two if that the F stands for Feeling and the T stands for Thinking.  When I read the descriptions through I do think that I'm more of a critical thinker than someone who seeks harmony.

The careers consultant asked as to why the questionnaire results were different as to how I felt I really am and I suppose it is that you want to appear caring especially in a work environment. 

I did the MBTI out of curiosity and from a career development aspect.  It is a good process to do and has made me think a lot about myself and other colleagues personalities as to how they react in different circumstances and hopefully to make me more tolerant of others.

To find out more about MBTI go to: Aptitude and Psychometric Testing if you are a Warwick student you can sign up for one of the sessions on myAdvantage

February 15, 2011

Effective applications careers workshop

Attended an Effective Applications Workshop on Friday 11th Feb 2011.

I have referred lots of students to this workshop as they need to attend this before being able to get their CV checked.

I found it very interesting, but it is a very quick overview on filling out applications, CVs, covering letters and personal statements.  It does give the students basic information with relevant links to the Student Careers & Skills website.  Also explaining how they need to research the sector, company and themselves and tailoring the  application or CV to the job they are applying for.  The workshop used powerpoint presentations and was broken up with exercises, bad CVs, good CVs etc). 

The students have the chance to ask questions through out the session and can ask questions relating to their own CVs at the end.  On the particular session that I attended I observed that the students didn't ask many questions.  The reason for this could be that the students had already written their CV and were only attending the workshop to enable them to have the one to one check of their CV.

It has encouraged me to get writing my CV for my chartership course, I know all the links to the website and books etc, but it takes a long time to do. I've only just finished the education and haven't started on the hard part of summarising jobs.  I will aim to get my draft CV finished by the end of this week.  (Although life does seem to get in the way).

February 05, 2011

Article on using Skype for information workshops

Eva, N (2011) Using Skype for distance information literacy instruction.  Multimedia Information & Technology, 37 (1), 10 - 12.

This article is very informative and interesting as to why an academic library (University of Lethbridge) decided to use Skype for Information literacy courses.  The courses/ workshops were being held on satellite campuses and it wasn’t economical for the librarians to visit these campuses to give the workshop.  They looked into using online tutorials but decided that it would be better for the students to have a personal “live discussion”. 

University of Lethbridge researched literature and attended courses on blending learning to find out about all of the different types of e-learning and how to present a workshop via e-learning.  In the end they decided to use Skype as the type of communication as it is free and cheap to set up as all they only had to purchase microphones and web cams.

The sessions were deemed to be a success by the students as they could ask questions and felt it had a personal touch.  University of Lethbridge will be conducting more elearning in the future.

Virtual workshops can work if the proper thought and research goes into them.  They could also work for guidance sessions as students / graduates would be able to see the person they are talking to respond to body language and be more personal.  A good alternative if you can't make it onto campus.

Posted off PPDP

I posted my PPDP to CILIP on Wednesday. 

I haven't done my framework template, but I will try to get some thing drafted up by the end of this weekend.

Have visited my local public library as it's "Save our Libraries Day" today and borrowed some books.  The library did seem quite busy, but I don't normally visit on a Saturday so I don't know if their visitor numbers are up today!  Am off to my other job this afternoon (Coventry Uni) but I'm sure that if it is busy it is due to assignments or presentation deadlines coming up.

I will also try to some reading done, there was an interesting article in MMIT on using skype for information sessions.  Some careers centres are using skype for guidance consultations so it will be interesting to find out if there is similarities in the benefits for students whether it is being used for careers or information.,uk/mmit

You have to be a cilip  member to access this journal.

February 01, 2011

Will send my PPDP tomorrow

My mentor has looked at my PPDP and it's ok to go! I will post it off tomorrow.

I have arranged to sit on an effective applications workshop on next Friday 11th February 2011.  So that will help me with drafting my own CV and to see how the Student Careers & Skills workshops are used / valued by students compared to me showing them web pages or referring to books for CV examples.  May also help me to answer some of the questions I get asked by students.

I will start drafting a template to use for reflection this week!

In meantime you may want to look at these useful information / library blogs.

Karen Blakeman blog 

Phil Bradley's weblog


January 31, 2011

Finished my draft PPDP

I have just finished my draft PPDP and have emailed to my mentor to see if it is ok.  So now it's wait and see!

I need to start looking at examples of good CV's.  I'll have to have a look on the CILIP website to see if there are any examples and will have a look at work (CV Example Library).  I'm going to sign up to attend the "Effective Applications Workshop".  As I'm sure it will help me to produce my CV.  

Attending this workshop will also be good for my chartership as I will be able to learn more about the role of a "job search adviser" and will increase my customer service skills when I'm working on the Helpdesk. As I will be able to enthuse about the workshop and answer more of the students questions (and I like it when I can answer with first hand experience).

I also want to develop a template to use as a reflective tool for projects, events, workshops or courses that I have attended or completed. I will get that finished by the end of this week!!! THINK POSITIVE.

It's save Public Libraries day on 5th February 2011, we'd better get doing our bit & borrow some books or tweet why you love your public library.

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