Thing 23: Making it all Work Together

I have often wondered how people manage when they are in charge of running multiple social media accounts for work / on committees but hootsuite seems like a good way around it. I like the fact that you can have separate streams for mentions / retweets/ messages etc.

 

At the moment my personal needs probably don’t justify using a tool like this though I can see how it would be massively beneficial for social media managers. I’ve enjoyed having a flit around checking some of the features out but for me, I like keeping all of my social media accounts separate – in my mind I can distinguish each network as each one is used for a slightly different purpose. Having them all in one place would probably just confuse me!

 

I never really gelled with flip board the first time we explored it in thing 8 so I didn’t bother doing it this time (particularly as it’s public to all and I don’t want my twitter and Facebook mingling). It’s useful to bear in mind for future instances though as I enjoy using twitter and I’d love to do it for a special interest group or committee as I think there’s actually quite a lot of scope for creativity (just look at the Orkney Island Library’s twitter account for an example of this).

 

I can’t believe this is the final “thing”! I just want to thank all of the librarians who have devoted their time to making this a stimulating and educational experience. I’m so glad I made the off the cuff decision to take part as it’s been really rewarding and I’ve learned so many new things.

Advertisements

Thing 22: Mobile Things

smartphone-431230_1280Considering the fact that I’m a product of the mobile generation, I was a particularly late bloomer. This was due largely to the fact that I was banished for an entire four year period from owning a mobile device. Before you pity me I can only highlight at this point that this was wholly accountable to my own stupidity.

When smart phones became available at a reasonable price on contract I went straight to the shop and emerged with a shiny new phone which I had no idea how to use. Within the space of a week I had gone out into town and had come back phoneless – I won’t go into detail but all I’ll say is that the truth of what actually happened versus the embellished story I used to explain the situation to my parents were somewhat at odds with each other. In the latter I’d featured as the downtrodden victim of a facetious criminal who had targeted me with nothing but malicious intent whereas the former (more realistic) version featured a pair of high-heels, a shiny, alcohol laced floor and a spread eagled Jordan Murphy whose inebriated brain could only focus on one operational task at a time, the consequences of which led to a considerably extended window of time for fellow dance-floor inhabitants to seize as yet, unclaimed scattered handbag items.

As if this story were not terrible enough, after waiting painstakingly for the two year contract I had signed to end so that I could finally be on par with my, by this time, much more technologically advanced peers, I walked into the shop, re-emerged with said desired smartphone and repeated the same process all over again. Four years after the beginning of this woeful tale began, I experienced a “third-time-lucky” situation and you’ll be glad to hear that my wiser and much more sensible self has had the self-awareness and organisation to be able to hold onto my smartphone!

By the time I finally had such a device, apps were already a well-established phenomenon and it has taken me until now to fully feel comfortable with and actually enjoy using them. I have in fact crossed to the other side and can now say “I couldn’t live without my I-phone”.

Some of the apps I’ve found really useful, aside from the obvious social networking sites and other tools we’ve covered in this course are Evernote and Google keep which are great for personal organisation, facilitating what I essentially consider my own personal database of files which can be accessed anywhere on any device. Though an internet enabled sign-in is required on PCs, the app on my phone allows me to access documents without the internet. Evernote allows users to create “Notebooks” in which any type of file is stored. For instance I have a travel notebook in which I keep a tube map, train timetable, any ticket booking confirmations and also quick notes I’ve jotted down about how to get somewhere. I have a recipe notebook, a work notebook and a “Tickets and confirmations” notebook. The free version has been more than adequate so far for my personal requirements as I only use it for current documents and delete any I no longer need. I suppose it’s nice to know your files are saved in an additional place which is easily accessible that requires no internet connection.

A very useful feature was the provision of an email address for my evernote account which could be used to email documents to although this is limited and I have now reached my capacity. All in all though a very useful app.

I also love functional apps such as mobile banking and the BBC weather app because, well, I have to live up to the British stereotype of constantly checking the weather despite the fact that one can be pretty safe in the knowledge of grey, cold, wet.

I will also check out the GUM app and see what happens with my copy of John Green’s novel which I’m fairly certain is sitting on my bookshelf.

 

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Thing 21: Creating Infographics

So here’s my inforgraphic! I hope you like it. I’ve used this tool once before but I think improvements have been made since then as there seem to be lots of additional features, templates and graphics.

I’m a big fan of conveying information in this format. I’ve read a few articles about just how effective it actually is for our brain to digest data in this way.
My end of term assignment for the “information studies” module is to produce a bibliography for a research enquiry. One component of the assignment is to produce a concept map of the topic and I’m really glad I’ve been reminded of these tools as I’m definitely going to give this a go.

I’m very pleased with pictochart; it looks professional and sleek and will be an invaluable tool in future instances for a variety of purposes.

Thing 20: Presentations

team-720291_1280I remember being truly horrified at university when a fellow student had the audacity to suggest an alternative to power point in a project we had to present. How dare they? I truculently reasoned that we had enough change to deal with when Microsoft updated their packages, why on earth would we inflict more strife upon ourselves? Prezi was a relatively new tool and I was resistant to computers back then, never mind new applications on computers that was just one step too far. 

I had taken one look and knew instantly by the professional veneer of it all that it was far too advanced for me. Years later, bad attitude amended and fear of technology semi-subsided, I return to my old nemesis and am surprisingly delighted to find a user friendly application that looks pleasingly polished. 

Having overcome the slightly nauseating slide transition I'm coming to the conclusion that Prezis are in a format that's very conducive to expressing conceptual ideas.

I watched the "learn prezi fast" presentation which did what it said on the tin and away I went. I just used some notes I've made for my course as the content, just to get an idea. 

It seems quite simple but one thing I haven't yet quite conquered is how to change the dimensions of a text box if it wasn't already pre-inserted to the template. The thought has just struck me however that perhaps I can copy and paste one of the text boxes I can seem to change. I did have a look in the searchable know how box but this didn't seem to be covered.

I've enjoyed this "thing" and would be inclined to use prezi in the future for sure.

My presentation is rough around the edges due to the textbox issue I've mentioned but finished is better than nothing - you have to draw the line somewhere! Here it is!

Image from Pixabay.com (License CCO)

Thing 19: The Legal Side of Things

copyrightI’m really glad this week’s topic is exploring the legal side of copyright and would also like to add a massive thanks to Caroline for her informative blog post which I think is a fantastic introduction to some of the issues to be aware of (I’m also reminded at this point how useful the Rudai 23 pinterest board is for collating all of this invaluable information). Without meaning to summon angry librarians with pitchforks to my door, I have to admit that it was only since I started my graduate traineeship that I ever even considered ensuring a work is referenced properly / checked for restrictions (excluding University essays!).

In an effort to redeem myself – I will point out that it is a topic I’ve found extremely interesting since I became aware of it. It became particularly prevalent almost a year ago, last October / November when a campaign called “#Catch 2039” was rippling through museums, archives, libraries and cultural institutes last year. You can read my blog post from last year about it here. I’ll sum it up briefly by explaining that tensions rising in the arts and heritage sector climaxed as the centenary of World War I approached and institutions across the country were prevented from displaying relics of the period. This was a sad thing for lots of institutions because they were severely restricted in curating and displaying material; many amazing artefacts like letters and journals were not permitted to be used and so remained gathering dust under lock and key away from public sight. Many establishments like the British museum for instance highlighted the issue by displaying empty display cases with a note saying:

“In this display there would have been *a letter from a First World War solider to his sweetheart*. Because of current copyright laws, in this instance, we cannot display the original. Join the campaign to free our history. We must reduce the term of copyright of unpublished works from 2039 to lifetime plus 70 years”.

It's a  tricky thing to police and it's admirable that organisations like WIPO (which I believe CILIP were granted "observer status" to last year) are in place to establish fair practice. Whilst Caroline's post highlighted the protection that artists and creators are rightfully experiencing, the #Catch2039 campaign reminds us of the flip side and the hindrances that can be caused by copyright laws which don't serve their society most efficiently.

When I look back to my university days and recall how seriously plaigerism was taken and how important proper referencing was, I feel silly for not considering that other media forms were similarly proptected. I do think this highlights the need for better education in schools about this - I certainly don't remember ever being taught anything about it and considering the evolution of the internet and media sharing, guidelines need to be taught to young people. Perhaps this is now a aprt of the curriculum, i'd be interested to know what "Subject" this would fall under.

Throughout my posts I've used a mixture of my own photographs, some off of my university stock photos database and admittedly, nearer the beginning, some from Pinterest. I wholeheartedly admit that in none of the above scenarios have I checked thouroughly enough, the implications of copyright law. I have been making some very niave assumptions! Now I reflect on this I just don't think I viewed images on sites like pinterest to hold the same rules as one you'd get in a book. I feel really silly admitting this now! 

I also made an assumption about the database of images that my university provides for its students - I wrongly assumed that because we can use them we don't have to worry about citing them but I must check if this is the case. 

Reading the terms of the creative commons highlighted an interesting point which I'd certainly never thought of before - protecting my own images which I use on my blog. To be honest I don't really think I mind people re-using my sunset images if they wish, I'm happy for the beauty of my area to be perpetuated but it's certainly something I didn't consider before now.

This "thing" has been a real learning curve for me, it's certainly changed my perspective for the better and I will continue to bear in mind the importance of re-using the intellectual property of others a little more mindfully. I'm a little gutted that the reference must be directly beneath the image, perhaps there's a way around this. I must investigate further! For now though I've had a quick flick around on some of the creative commons sites and have familiarised myself with the terms - using these two images has given me a bit of practice - I got the first one from the commons courtesy of the Welcomme Library and the first was from pixabay and didn't require any attribution.
V0010962 A angry mob of villagers protesting outside the house of a d Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images images@wellcome.ac.uk http://wellcomeimages.org A angry mob of villagers protesting outside the house of a doctor, he responds by squirting a syringe at them. Watercolour. Published: - Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

V0010962 A angry mob of villagers protesting outside the house of a d
Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images
images@wellcome.ac.uk
http://wellcomeimages.org
A angry mob of villagers protesting outside the house of a doctor, he responds by squirting a syringe at them. Watercolour.
Published: –
Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Thing 17: Reflective Practice

photoI first saw the Rudai23 things blog through another participant’s blog whom I was already following. Aside from looking fun and interesting I thought it would be a great way to really push myself to learn about all of the Web 2.0 tools that can enhance learning, professional development and personal organisation / current awareness. I spend 90% of my time at work keeping lawyers abreast of the developments in their industry so why should I not strategically plan how to do the same for myself? Additionally I thought it would be a great way to ease me in to the routine of learning and evaluating right before starting my masters next week (eek!).

My main concern initially was the practicality of whether or not I had time to commit to this; one of my pet hates is people committing to something without being realistic about what is involved and then flaking out halfway through. My reasoning here was that if I’m going to learn how to fit a master’s degree around my full time job then I should be able to time manage this relatively small to medium personal side project. Another preconception I was fostering before beginning the course was the worry that I would be held back by my questionable state of affairs regarding technology and money (or lack of) in order to complete all tasks but the course has been constructed to allow pretty much any one with access to a computer to participate so that this really hasn’t been an issue. The only time I have been slightly let down was my inability to participate in the Google hangout. I don’t have broadband at home and rely on coming into work early to use the computers in my pre-work “breakfast power hour”. I do have an I phone to my advantage though and have found it an invaluable device throughout the process; it means that I can maximise my efficiency and work on tasks en route each day. As a person who spends roughly two hours every day commuting it’s crucial for me to use this time effectively.

I feel really positive about the time management skills I have honed and have found a routine that works for me which allows me to incorporate spending time each week on the “thing” at hand. There have been some things that I’ve felt very confident with; as a product of the social media generation, I have been reminded throughout both my educational and professional career how important building a good professional brand is. Recruiters and employers alike have advocated the integral nature of, not only to having a “clean” profile but also one that demonstrates your interests in the profession. I’ve found that my increasing interaction with online professional networks and my gradual cultivation of my professional brand has now left me in a position where despite my status as a (for now) unqualified information worker in an assistant role, I still feel that I have valuable opinions that are worth sharing across professional networks. To put it plainly, my participation in this course has really boosted my confidence.

In the weeks where we’ve explored things like library advocacy and membership to professional bodies / attending professional events my perspective has changed. For the handful of events I’ve attended prior to now, though I’ve enjoyed them and done my best to reflect proactively and learn from the experience, I’ve always had the sneaking feeling at the back of my mind that I’m not a fully fledged professional yet and therefore I’m cheating by being there. I’ve worried about my cover being blown and that people will find out I’m not a “real” information professional and the game will be over! Being a part of the Rudai 23 community has made me realise not only how friendly librarians are but what a diverse bunch we are;  different job roles and different levels of experience make for the most interesting conversations! As a newbie I may lack the experience that many others possess but sometimes a fresh perspective can be just as valuable. In future I hope to remember this and remind myself if I’m ever feeling a little vulnerable in a professional context: it’s so much better to put yourself out there for the gains rather than justify keeping your mouth shut for fear you’ll look weak.

Specifically I’ve enjoyed learning about some quite technical things which I probably wouldn’t have had the confidence to do without being prompted; the creation of your own augmented reality campaign is something I’ve been massively inspired by and i’m waiting for the perfect opportunity to put it into practice. The screencast software was a great thing to get to grips with too and whilst I doubt it will prove relevent in my job, it’s great to know it’s out there as you never know what you might be doing in the future. Podcasts have opened up a whole new world to me; I was aware of its existance but I’ve now been exposed to one more way to digest specialised and interesting content. Cumulatively one of the biggest benefits of learning about some of these platforms is that in addition to the learning process of the course, I feel like I’ve done a “digital audit” of my general online life and I’ve done a spring clean – I’ve got rid of the services / accounts that I feel no longer serve me and I’ve consolidated my favourite online content (whilst simultaneously discovering new stuff to) into an organised format that works for me.light at the end of the tunnel

I’ve identified that one of my downfalls is paying attention to liscencing terms regarding images. I hope I don’t make too many enemies out of admitting this (I know it’s a hot topic amongst librarians) but I’m still relatively new to being conscientious about what images I use and exactly how I accredit them. It’s duly noted as something to work on and I’m sure I’ll learn all of the intracies with my masters in Information Management.

In broader terms I think I’ve realised throughout the hours I’ve put into this course that the more you put into something the more you get out. There have been certain tasks where I haven’t put too much time into it and I’m the first to admit it, I can at least counteract the negativity of that by saying that this has been an active choice – time is a valuable resource and we should be mindful how we use it. Everyone has constraints and the more we’re aware of that the more we can mindfully choose how we distribute what we do have. For the “things” that I was already very familiar with (like Twitter, Facebook, Goggle) I put more time into the reflection and the blog post than I did the actual exploring of the platform but still I didn’t over-do it. For the weeks where everything was new to me I was far more generous with my time, I wanted to make the most of the opportunity I had (“opportunity” being 260 other librarians all pushing their oars in the same direction paddling unified into the current of th unknown!”).

I’d like to add that this very “thing”, thing 17 has actually been one of the tasks I’ve put the most effort into. Stephanie’s detailed evaluation of how refelction is a strategic self improvement proccess really motivated me to use this opportunity to assess my learning on a deeper level. I think this can be applied to anything we learn in life. I’ll round this off with a lovely little anecdote about a TED talk I listened to the other day; It was John Green talking about his novel Paper Towns (which I believe is being made into a movie right now). I certainly wasn’t drawn to the podcast because of the author or the book; I’ve never read any of his books but it was the title that hooked me “John Green: The Nerd’s Guide to Learning Everything”. Ok so spoiler alert – listening to this podcast will not teach you how to learn everything i’m afraid. Instead Green gives a brief introduction to the origin of the title of his book. He talks about a map that The General Drafting Company of New York made in 1937. He aludes to a trick that mapmakers use in order to identify breach of copyright – he explains that they make up the name of a place which doesn’t exist and if they see it on another map they know that person has copied their map. The Gernal Drafting Company used this on their 1937 map of New York and created a fake town called Agloe. Decades later a guy caled Rand McNally makes a map with Agloe and it seems he’s caught red handed. But it turns out that what had happened is that so many people had seen this famous map and visited this spot that Agloe manifested itself as a real place, an actual town – businesses, shops and cafes sprung up around this once fictional coordinate that it turned from being fictitious to reality. After musing a while about his own experiences of learning Green argues that cartography is like learning; we sail to a land and absorb it and then we’re curious about what is over the next small part of ocean so we sail over there and add this new place to the map and progressively we start building our own map of knowledge. I used to think at school that there was a capacity of information in the world, that one day If I worked hard enough I would know everything there was to know and I guess if I tie this to the map metaphore, I thought that the map was already in place and that all I had to do was visit everywhere eventually. But knowledge is a beautiful yet slippery thing and as John Green metaphorically says (yes, if you’ve made it this far I promise the map metaphors will be over soon) we are all cartographers of our own unique learning maps.

Well Rudai23- thanks – I’ve really enjoyed the journey.

(You can watch the full talk here).

 

Thing 16: Collaborative Tools

Chain made of colorful paper clips on white background

Chain made of colorful paper clips on white background

Tools like Google docs were just about in existence during my time at university though it was the very early days where caution and suspicion we’re exercised before “signing up” to things and “creating accounts” willy nilly. I could count on one hand the sources that were incoming to my inbox and for as long as I could I stubbornly clung on to this ideal.

Things have changed however and as I acclimatise to the increasingly invasive nature of maintaining any sort of digital presence, I finally feel that the exchange of a few of my basic details for the advantage of clever collaborative tools and online resources is almost fair (when I put the fact that these basic details are being aggressively culled into one big melting pot of data which will inevitably be used to my own disadvantage by corporate companies for the perpetuation of the capitalist machine – yes when I put that to the back of my mind I can just about deem it a fair enough exchange).

Google Docs has been hot in the press recently with its new features set to rival Microsoft Office. I read a great article here  about Google Docs’ easy to use templates, spreadsheets and voice typing – it all sounds like pretty eciting stuff. I like how the platform works seamlessly with word to allow interchange between the two applications and I feel that as my University course gets underway I will find this an invaluable tool. As a distance learner I imagine that collaborative applications will be my best friend and as a stringent believer in everyone pulling their weight in team projects, it’s good to know that there will be no excuses for flakes! Dogs can only eat homework in paper format thanks very much! I’m looking forward to using some of the templates which I think will be helpful for some of the less traditionally academic aspects which I am less accustomed to like report writing and audits.

Scarily I was the first one to comment on the Rudai 23 collaborative document so I hope I’ve got it right!

I’ve used Docs twice before in a acollaborative way; I once added a question to a UKLIBCHAT discussion and I’ve also used them in the context of a lifestyle blog I used to contribute to; each week the list of article titles would be available for all the writers to access and each perosn would choose two or three titles that they would cover. It worked very practically in this way and I would certainly use it again for projects in the future.

Doodle looks like another convenient tool though I assume you have to have an account in order to use it. I have created an account but aren’t sure if you would be able to invite people to events if they don’t have a profile. If I ever do need to organise a proffessional event in the future I will bear it in mind but I doubt it would be useful at work as the company already has its own collaborative share point and all meetings are scheduled on Outlook calander. It’s all useful stuff to know though!

 

Thing 15: Advocacy for Libraries

untitledAs a child my first choice of Christmas or birthday present would irrefutably be books every time. I can genuinely recall more banal details from the short yet exultingly sweet period of my life that coincided with kellogs cereal giving away free Roald Dahl books (aged around six) than any other time (and I went on the Disney Cruise Ship). Thanks kellogs, it was a magical time.

 

I’m going to take you back in time now, back to the days of rationed goods. No, I’m not talking about the war, I’m simply referring to the days where things had to be tracked down, the desire for a particular thing, and we’ll run with the idea of books here, demanded a meticulously planned traipse around the shops. Even after marching around your local shopping centre like a military maniac, said desired item was never guaranteed to materialise, especially if it was perhaps an older or more obscure title. Some several attempts later one would be reluctantly forced to call off the mission and would consign the title to the wish list of the mind and if the searcher was lucky enough, perhaps a year or two down the line, their beady scavenger eyes may gracefully skim it’s surface in some unexpected situation. Oh the joy one feels, the utter exultation when a yearned for treasure falls into one’s hands – “I’ll take it” – we greedily exclaim in a mad moment of pure triumph where all reason goes out of the window and no cost could deter this book lover from their well earned reward.

 

Though amazon and ebay have made the process of sourcing our beloved books so much quicker and easier, I can’t help but mourn the loss of the serendipitous ubiquity of books. Despite this romantic process which elicited both the depths of despair and the highest form of joy there was one big event in my life that offered stability and consolation throughout and upon it’s discovery, it was slightly like when you fall in love with a delicious man and you know from that point on, as long as this man is by your side forever you can never be truly unhappy. Things just can’t be that bad as long as you have each other. To me, that was how I felt when I was introduced to the public library.

 

“So basically you can take any book you want and all you have to do is keep it safe and return it when you’re finished?” I asked in disbelief. The real shocker was when I discovered you could order books in from other libraries if you’re local one didn’t have what you wanted. I was in awe. I no longer had to contend with the unpredictable cycle of unfulfilled desires. After a rather convoluted introduction, this beautiful moment of realisation is when I became a library advocate. As a child from a more fortunate background (don’t get me wrong there were no lamborghinis but there were also no empty cupboards) libraries weren’t a necessary service for my family however once I discovered them I was bound for life.

I love that Niamh’s post highlighted that advocacy doesn’t have to refer to regimented campaigns and structured groups (which of course are fantastic) but that advocacy can simply mean spreading your passion to as many people as possible. there’s nothing as convincing and contagious as a person who is passionate about something. This is amplified when that person is some one we look up to or perhaps some one who has been helpful – enter the librarian! And its true, it wasn’t until towards the end of primary school that I discovered the power of libraries thanks to a friend’s mum who was a librarian – I had never really cared for them and hadn’t seen what they could do for me. Her zealous affection encouraged me to go and find out what it was all about and I was a convert instantly. I couldn’t agree more with Niamh that we need to shout about the power and strength of libraries, particularly those that lay at the heart of communities serving vulnerable members of society and nurturing our future generations, enabling a democratic education.

I have long been a follower of most of the organisations, charities and campaigns that were mentioned in Niamh’s post on Twitter and it’s inspiring hearing about the work they put into fighting cuts and advocating libraries. Particularly impressive is the campaign run by EBLIDA which fights for copyright reform to be revised, allowing a much more sufficient and sustainable way for libraries to provide e-book services amongst other things. I have also followed the Sieghart story avidly and felt grateful that influential people will back important causes like the library provision of Britain.

Like a child is a sweet shop I often greedily eye up all of the ways I can get involved with my local community to endorse libraries and have recently found some excellent opportunities however I’ve had to remind myself that working full time and doing my masters alongside leaves very little room for much else. It’s a sad realisation but it’s imperative that I recognise this before over-committing. This week’s task has been a positive reflection on why I was initially interested in this career path; at this point I would like to say to myself that once I have downsized my commitments (i.e. finished my masters) I will strive to devote my voice to the cause of libraries in some way. As a corporate librarian, my job can be stimulating in so many ways but I believe that one derives an exclusive sort of pleasure from the type of unpaid work which millions of angels carry out in our country every day. Advocacy campaigns and local initiatives can achieve so much for communities and resonate with people on a much deeper level. Let’s infect as many people as possible with our passion for libraries.

#Thing 9 Screencast

During the first few “Things” of my Rudai 23 experience I drifted down the lazy river, mojhito in hand nonchalantly commenting on the pleasant scenery, occasionally mooring up on the riverbank for a short while to examine the few and infrequent alien flyingyacht43wildlife which I could easily determine the species of after a little closer inspection. Thing 9 sneaked right up behind me and pulled my  little yellow raft right out from underneath my frilly, polka-dot encased, sedentary little behind and slapped me square in the face with it. I hasten to add, before my fellow R23 participants exclaim in protest – “But where is my complimentary cocktail and why was I not introduced to this luscious yet fictional haven of a lazy river” – yes I hasten to add that of course I am speaking metaphorically here. What I mean to say is that though some concepts were new to me before now, most of them I’d at least heard of and though I’d been forced to use them in different ways and explore them on a deeper level my heart rate had, until now, remained calmly below any erratic level. And then came the Screencast!

I did however really enjoy doing this because it made me feel like a wizard! My screencast is very short, a little blurry and the integration of the subtitles to the actions on screen is about as synchronised as Cheryl Cole on stage (It’s ok Chezza – we know you can’t sing but you’re beautiful enough to get away with it).

I chose to use Screencastomatic purely on Wayne’s recommendations though considering the fact that this was based on the time constraints imposed by the other software, I don’t think my 1 minute 44 second video would have been too much of a match. I was really quite daunted by this task and therefore I hope that no one reprimands me for the length or quality of my video. I may be speaking negatively but my jove I feel victorious regardless! I’m not aware that I have any microphone capacities on my work computer (which is where I did the deed) and after fiddling around for ten minutes I couldn’t seem to determinate any sound so I resolved to add subtitles afterwards (which in my opinion was the hardest part – some things happen for a reason).

The context of my video was entirely simple –  it was a short demonstration on how to access the catalogue from our intranet, how to search for books and how to borrow and return them. This sounds incredibly simple but my goodness, you wouldn’t believe the amount of lawyers here who don’t know what it means to “check a book out”, they slip through life stealing them off the shelves only ever to return them after being prompted by desperate plea and even then they’ll sneak it back on the shelf while no one’s looking! I digress. I knew that to attempt anything too complex would be absolute foolishness and I’m glad I took this decision. As Wayne said, it was very easy to upload to youtube and once I had done this, I watched the video on how to add subtitles.

This is where it got crazy. Firstly I got a little confused and was adding “Speech bubbles” and “Labels” which I suppose would have done the trick but they weren’t subtitles. I deleted what I had done and started again. Considering the short length of my video it certainly took me long enough to add all of the necessary subtitles. What I struggled with was pinpointing the right drive-inmoment for the subtitle to appear. I also wish I could have found out how to make each subtitle stay on screen for a longer time bracket. I’m sure there is a way which I will look into if I ever need to do this in future again. I did feel myself getting the hang of it more and more towards though and once I’d finally finished adding them I was quite impressed with my work. Of course its completely underserving of this pride but, you know – the small things in life… Unfortunately the video came out a little blurred – all I can think is that perhaps my screen is too zoomed out or too large?

I won’t be going crazy to push this in people’s faces as its boring as hell and not great but the important thing here is that I’ve learned how to do it and I think it’s a useful tool which I will bear in mind for the future. In my previous library we had a new catalogue designed and when it was launched all hell broke loose amongst the members who were predominantly pensioners. I had to calm a sea of angry perms every day for weeks as the team and I spent hours and hours training and providing guidance and printing leaflets and how-to guides. This would have been a great idea for the poor confused souls!

I’ve really enjoyed this task and feel that it is acceptable to add “film Producer” as a skill on my LinkedIn profile. I shall celebrate with a chocolate mousse tonight. Amen!

Click here to see my video. Can be used as an alternative to sleeping pills. Use at own Risk. Please note I think you have to actively turn the subtitles on to see them!

#Thing8: Curation Tools

Thing 8 is a librarian’s (is wet too rude?) dream: exploring the best resources to display and present information in a variety of different ways… erm “hello, somebody called?”

I’m already a huge fan of pinterest, It’s such a simple idea i’m secretly seething I didn’t think of it first. I mean well of course I did but then the idea was stolen right out of my hands and then some one injected me with memory loss serum… Anywho, I’ve always been an advocate from day one and use my board religiously for recipes, books and pretty much anything I find Screenshot 2015-08-18 15.32.46interesting. What’s worse is that I’ve pushed family members into similar addictions and all I can say is, Lord only knows what the living room is going to look like next time I visit my parents’ house… all because of pinterest! I think it’s the simplicity that speaks volumes; I use it as a personal curation tool but I can also see it as an incredible learning tool for classrooms and as information boards for libraries.

As a child me and my nerdy little friend – I won’t drag him into my sorry state of affairs by naming him – used to love making “Information pages”, we would choose a random topic, research it and then present the information on a beautifully presented plaque (usually cut from the back of a cereal packet). I even remember choosing cereal based on the size and sturdiness of the box all in the name of my beloved information pages! Can you imagine if a time traveller knocked on our door and presented us with pinterest!? I think I would have cried with joy for at least 7 consecutive days (Though I admit I was the girl who preferred the boxes more than the presents that came inside them on Christmas day). Unfortunately the bond with my friend never progressed past junior school; we both went to different high schools and he drew a questionable self-portrait of himself which was eternally printed on our “Class leavers tea-towel” and it forced me to ask if he thought of himself as a cockroach. Children are harsh critics. So our relationship ended here but my relationship with information was just beginning.

Pinteresting is a very visual tool and I think we all know from the infographic craze that our brains digest information more easily when it is presented in a visually pleasing format. It’s a perfect brainstorming tool and easily allows you to create your own moodboard on any topic. I’ve seen everything from dinosaur classroom project boards to oddly shaped furniture boards. All you can do is marvel at the ingeniousness of a six foot bookshelf in the shape of Great Britain!

I decided to explore Storify for this “thing” as I had never used it before and flipboard looked like a similar concept to other applications I’ve used whereas storify offers a slightly unique way of presenting information. Having used it, again, I can see it being a great tool for learning. It’s incredibly easy to use and would be good for anything chronology based. I’ve seen #uklibchat’s storify of the August twitter conversation; although it worked well I found it a little too similar to the original twitter chat itself (with some of the creases and overlaps ironed out of course) but I think I prefer the good old fashioned write-up.

The only annoying thing I noticed was that when I went back to correct any spelling mistakes I had made it kept automatically changing back to the incorrect spelling again, I’m not sure why this was but it was very irritating and therefore my storify probably has mistakes in it which, after three attempts at changing I just gave up and moved on.

 

Imaginitively, the theme for my Storify was “My Rudai 23 Experience so far”. Click Here to see my storify!

I’d also like to address the fact that I have cheekily skipped thing 7 but I’m creating the content for my podcast which is time consuming so I’m treating it as an on-going side project.