This post is part of the Rudai23 CPD Course.
Just prior to starting my Rudai 23 course I created a professional twitter ID (@thedinobrarian) for the purposes of networking and generally discussing library-related things. This was something which had actually been suggested to me by others
at a Booktrust ‘Start the Story’ Event, where BookLoverJo gave a quick talk about the various benefits of twitter.
I’ve been a Facebook user for personal purposes for eight years and have spent a considerable amount of time studying their privacy settings and the various other features. Whilst I can see some advantages of Facebook usage for professional
purposes, I think that there are also advantages of keeping the two entirely separate. Pages are useful for this purpose, as they allow other users to interact with the page as well as providing analytics data. Groups are good for collaborative work. What
really lets Facebook down is its constant determination to provide you with ‘top posts’ and hiding more recent items. Whilst this can be worked around, it is really detrimental to the overall effectiveness of it as a tool. As a result I decided not to really pursue Facebook as a tool for professional purposes.
I have also been a user of Twitter for several years for personal use, though I admit that I rarely used it for anything other than interacting with companies when parcels went missing or were damaged! However, my more recent use of twitter has been far more productive. I instantly discovered the #MGBOOKBATTLE hashtag, and spent a considerable proportion of the month of November discussing middle grade books with a wide community of librarians, authors and others interested in children’s books. This has led to further discussions which are still continuing.
I have previously set up a LinkedIn account, but hadn’t given it much thought since starting at my current post three years ago. Whilst it is a good tool for job hunting, I’m not sure how useful it is for general networking from a libraries point of view – everything on there feels quite contrived. I have found that overall Twitter has been more useful for starting discussions with other users about libraries. The discussions there seem to flow in a far more relaxed manner, which allows people to be passionate about a subject in a way that seems far more natural than LinkedIn. For this thing I updated my LinkedIn as well as working on the biography for this blog.
Google Drive, Skype and Doodle are fantastic resources for anyone to use. Drive is essentially a cloud storage platform, which can be great for collaborative efforts between staff. The school in which my library is based already use Google Drive for collaborative work with other nearby schools, though I have also used it for university project work over the last five years.
Skype is excellent as a VOIP tool, and I can definitely see some situations in which it may be useful. I have previously used it for University work as well as conversations with friends for many years, and whilst I think it has seen better days, it’s still a very good tool which could easily be used for ‘virtual author visits’, where an author communicates with library users via Skype. I have seen this set-up in other situations and think it’s definitely worth looking into.
Trello is a tool I have heard much about but rarely used myself. As a project management system it looks like a really good tool and I hope to get the chance to use it again in the future, as I can see that it might have some good applications for my library.
Doodle is also a great tool, and whilst I have used it before, the Rudai course made me realise that I may be able to use it within a library setting. It could also be a useful tool for our local School Library Association to use to decide on meeting dates and times.
The blog post for thing 12 was surprisingly hard to think about. Formal group work is something I am not often involved in within school, and whilst I’ve done quite a lot through university courses, I didn’t really want to use those as examples for this course. Once I thought of a particular example from my place of work, the blog post really did give me some ideas for how to improve my practice within school, which is, after all, what this course is all about.