Tag Archives: Yurt

Light at the end of the tunnel is glowing: Thing 23 1/2

I think I may have finished cpd23, I’ve been catching up with missed Things over the last week, filling in those gaps, etc etc.;  and I think I could probably go on ‘playing’ for a good few weeks yet, but frankly I don’t have the time with masses of books/lists/books/stuff/organising/etc waiting to be done.

I’ve covered everything to a certain extent (I hope), there are a few that I’ve glossed over because of lack of time or opportunity, and several things I want to go back to and have another go, or do a bit more, or actually use in a proper capacity.  So I am hoping to utilise cpd23 as an ongoing exercise, come back to bits of it over the months, and learn a bit more.

So, fingers crossed I’ve done enough to get the certificate, I’ll be gutted if I haven’t (maybe if I have a glaring omission the cpd23 gods will let me have an extension?!)

So, rather than bidding farewell to cpd23, I shall await to see what new treasures and opportunities emerge; another Yurt-up for a start, I would hope!!!

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Here are a few of my favourite Things! (Thing 19)

Thing 19 already (ahem, yes I haven’t actually done Thing 18 yet…), it doesn’t seem that long since we embarked upon the whole 23 Things journey, and look we are nearly at our destination.  I’m feeling quite sad, I enjoy being given a new task (or tasks) each week, ok I haven’t done all of them yet, but I fully intend to go back and plug in those gaps!  At the beginning it seemed to stretch away ahead for weeks on end, and now, now, eek what will I do in a couple of weeks time without my cpd23 fix (yes, ok I know…plug in those gaps!).

So, since the start, the Things I have mostly embraced…(apart from raindrops on roses, and whiskers on kittens)

A blog – well, the most obvious one, I now have a blog, and once cpd23 is well and truly over (sob), I plan to carry on using it, to talk about work related stuff, and embrace my inner blogger.

Since the start I have also started contributing to another blog (work related) on the rare books collections housed at Cardiff University; and currently have plans to set up another blog with the team I work with in the Cataloguing department.

Twitter – I joined Twitter, was overwhelmed at the party I had walked into, hid in a corner with my drink for awhile, but am gradually making new friends, and I think, have just about come out of the kitchen.  I’m trying to keep it mainly work based, just a few odd friends, and the occasional celebrity/author thrown in for some light relief.  Followed my first conference within days of joining (Umbrella) and am hopefully making some good links.  Follow me on @Darklecat

Events – we had a local meet up in Cardiff, in a Yurt ( a yurt!!!!) and it was great to meet some real life people, some I already knew, some I had vaguely seen at staff development events, and some were brand new.  I hope we can do this again soon (in fact I must start agitating for it).

I am also feeling more confident about trying to arrange a get together of Cataloguers in Wales (see this blog soon!!!)

Making contacts/networking – this wasn’t a ‘Thing’ as such, but it has been quietly happening since I started cpd23.  In many ways librarianship is a small world, especially in the local area where you work, cpd23 has been highlighting this, in a good way.  At the “Yurt up” one of the people I spoke to used to be involved with Cardiff Libraries In Co-operation (CLIC) – I am now the chair of the staff development sub-group, and we’ve been trying to sort the website out (getting into the website for a start was a major problem) – turned out she used to be one of the administrators.  Brilliant – suddenly we had the right contact, I passed her details onto the person trying to sort it out, and now we have a Website subgroup.  I think we’d still have been floundering if it hadn’t been for that connection.

I haven’t really fully tried out many of the tools that have been mentioned.  Partly this is a time thing, I know they will take a chunk of time to play around with, and partly because I haven’t had a real reason to use one – I think when an opportunity arises I will be more aware of some of the tools out there, and will be able to try them out in a practical way.  I am looking forward to the Prezi Thing, as Prezi presentations look really interesting (although too many in a row and I start to feel travel sick).  Coming up in the future with CLIC we are having a Social Media event in November (I will blog about that nearer the time) and I have volunteered myself to do a presentation on my experience of cpd23 – I am hoping to use Prezi for this (gulp!).

So, a  few cpd23 Things have filtered their way into my worklife, a few more will gradually do so in the future.   But so far, I have found it mostly really useful and interesting.

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Being social (Thing 12)

I had a shock on Monday, I thought this week was a reflection week, a week to catch up on those pesky Things I’d previously skipped over (intending to relook at)- but not to be, we are continuing straight on into social media.

One of my reasons for starting cpd23 was to find out about more social media tools and make myself actively try some, rather than spending months dithering about them.  I think the most successful for me so far has been Twitter – yes, one of the most obvious, that most of you were probably already using.  I gained followers really quickly (thanks to cpd23) and am still collecting them, in many ways much to my amazement, but I put this down again to cpd23, and by the fact that I tend to tweet when I’ve done a blog post.   So maybe people are reading my blog too (that would be nice!).  Aside from the real life network we held in Cardiff in the yurt, which came about with the help of Twitter and blogs, I’ve yet to really use my new community in a professional way, but I’d like to think if I started asking some  pertinent questions, that there would be some equally pertinent answers winging my way from people I have not necessarily met in real life – and that feels good (in potentia!).  And of course the week after I joined Twitter I was able to follow what was going on at Umbrella which was really interesting.

I’ve been struggling a bit with LinkedIn, but will persevere there too, not the least because yesterday I was asked to connect with someone (my first connection!) who I had met on a professional basis last year.  He’d noticed/found me on there, and is a good contact to have.  (and I’m going to count him as the ‘one new contact’ we got asked to make!)

I am certainly planning to carry on using the tools I am discovering with cpd23 once the course has finished.  I will be quite sad when it finishes as I quite like having someone telling me what new things to look at!  I am also going carry on with my blog, and am hoping to insert more work related posts in between the cpd23 ones, to ease me into continuing once cpd23 has ended.

I do think that social networking can foster a sense of community, I think it does a great job, and it is up to the individual to get as much out of these communities as they can, (whilst of course putting in to these communities as much as they can too).  They are however just one aspect of ‘professional communties’ and we shouldn’t forget our real life contacts either – nor forget to let them know about things we have learned about online.  Not everyone can/will/wants to embrace social media/networking for whatever reasons, and some people may feel isolated or left out, because they aren’t a part of ‘social networking’ as individuals I think we should try and be inclusive and informative where we can.  Hmm my head is a bit fuzzy here, but I hope you know what I mean.  🙂

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Welsh librarians do it in a yurt

Last night we had our South Wales cpd23 meet up in the yurt at Milgi’s – it was a lovely evening, and really great to meet up with people whose blogs I have been reading and who I have been communicating with via Twitter.   I found that I already knew some people (well I knew that before we met up!), other people had familiar faces and turned out to have been at various CLIC (Cardiff Libaries in Co-operation) or CILIP events (some as speakers, some as attendees).  Cpd23 people came from Cardiff University, University of Glamorgan, UWIC, National Museum of Wales, and the National Library of Wales (in Aberystwyth – so top prize to Nia for travelling the furthest to meet us!).  It was informal and relaxed, and hopefully an event to be repeated.

Photos were taken and will hopefully be posted at some point.

Thanks to cpd23 for creating the environment for these networks to emerge and flourish.

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Thing 6 – Linking up networks

I set aside time this morning to look at the online networks suggested for Thing 6, and seem to have spent most of this time sorting out my account on LinkedIn.  I admit I don’t have that much interest in using this tool, but thought I should try it out as suggested.  I’ve always viewed it as a useful place to promote yourself if you are looking for a new job, or are perhaps a freelancer.  Seeing as I am quite happy in my job, which (fingers crossed) seems secure for now, I didn’t really see the point of joining.  However, this week is all about joining in these networks and making my own professional connections, so I’ve taken the plunge.  I found it a bit clunky to work my way around, but have managed to get a fairly basic profile up, even adding a ‘publications’ section although I found the fields in this area rather limited.  I’ve joined a couple of groups, including of course 23 Things for Professional Development and CILIP, so maybe I shall have to wait and see how it all pans out, although I am afraid it will turn out to be one of those networks that I just don’t get.

I’ve been on Facebook for a couple of years now, after some initial reluctance I took the plunge and haven’t looked back – I use it for purely personal reasons, and find it is great in just keeping up with what my friends are all doing – especially those who live distant from me.  I’ve reconnected with a few people I had lost touch with, which has been good.  I also use it to help promote Pentreffest the local traditional European music and dance organisation I am involved with.

Having just said I use Facebook on just a personal level, I should admit that I am hoping to set up a page in the near future to promote the CLIC (Cardiff Libraries in Co-operation) Staff Development sub-group.  So I will have to see if that provides any kind of minor collision between personal and professional.

I tried MySpace for awhile but it seemed to become more and more unfriendly to use, and most of my friends migrated to Facebook (or had never been on MySpace) so I have rather abandoned my page there, probably some tumbleweed drifting across it as I speak.

One network I am on which hasn’t been mentioned is Academia.edu I attended a ‘Connected researcher’ workshop earlier in this year and this was one of the networking tools highlighted.  As the name suggests it is of more use to academics than perhaps many librarians, although I guess it depends on what your role entails.  There are several library staff from Cardiff University (where I work) who use it, so it can fulfil a networking need.  You can post details of your publications, and ask research questions, find people who are researching a particular topic you are interested in, orwho you might want to collaborate with.  I also like the feature that lets me know whenever anyone searches for me or my publications on Google – though I do end up wondering who these mysterious people are (Who is looking for me? Why?!).

LinkedIn has worn me out for the moment, so I will try looking at the other online networks a bit later on.  Meanwhile I am looking forward to meeting up in real life with other South wales cpd23-ers later on today in the Yurt at Milgis.

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South Wales cpd23 meet up

I am excited to be able to say that we have set a date and time for South Wales CPD23-ers to meet up!

A group of us are getting together on Wednesday 20th July, from 5pm, at Milgis on City Road, Cardiff http://www.milgilounge.com/  I’ve booked the yurt between 5 and 7 for private use, we can stay on longer if we want (though we wont have exclusive use after this).

Any librarians in the area – come and join us.  Milgis is a lovely place, great veggie food, interesting drinks (non-alcoholic/alcoholic), arty – and of course we’ll be there!  The yurt is at the back – get your drinks etc from the bar and walk on through.

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