Sunday, November 28, 2010

The DJ, The Librarian and the truth

I've been reading Ian Clark's twitter feeds with Tony Horne's poorly constructed and argued piece in the Chronicle live on the 26.11.10. Tony Horne then responded to Ian's argument in a blog post, without citing Ian as:-
"I have deliberately not linked to IJ Clark’s blog. Don’t think it’s worth your time."
Thats nice of Tony to have our interest at heart.
Anyhow Ian responded (and linked) to Tony's post here.
Anyhow, read via the links.

Advocacy in full effect

In my previous post I commented on The Observer article. Well seems the comment section has been pretty busy. In this section people like Phil Bradley , SimonXIX and IJClark responding some of the critics and queries about libraries and closures. Adocacy in full effect.

Voices for the Library gets beyond the echo chamber

After going to the Marketing Libraries Outside the Echo Chamberevent, and listening to what both Ned and Jo talked about getting beyond the echo. At the talk Jo discussed that Voices of the library she volunteers on was getting some press coverage. Well, seems this weekend thats proven Without libraries, we will lose a mark of our civilisation in the observer, in which they are quoted.
But then, as Jo knows the only reason an academic librarian tries to keep public libraries open is like, turkeys at christmas, as someone told her once.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Marketing Libraries Outside the Echo Chamber‏ event part.4 (conclusion)

So. How was the evening? Well, pretty damn good. I came away from the event feeling totally revitalised and feeling pretty glad what I do. Meeting people like Gary Green, Phil Bradley, Laura, Jo bo Anderson and Bethan Ruddock actually did make feel embarrassed at how little I have done in comparison. It might just push me to do more.
BUT. In response to Ned and Laura, I do say this. Both seemed to be critical of the echo chamber. The echo chamber has its problems. Agreed. But without that echo chamber how would those two groups from the evening of come together. Also echo chambers can act as a meme to users (which I think is a good thing?)
Finally, I should point out Laura has put up a post on the event here.

Marketing Libraries Outside the Echo Chamber‏ event part.3 (Ned Potter)

The real wikiman then took over. He discussed that instances of the echo chamber. He pointed out Seth Godin's article The future of the library, which had librarians jumping bacause of much of its inaccuracies. We responded in our own small, niche bubble, arguing about it amongst ourselves. But not all. Toby Greenwalt wrote a reprisal to Seth on the Huffington Post called To Know the Library Is To Love the Library -- But Who Knows the Library? Ned here is pointing out that we have to reach beyond our circle and inform an educate others where they may or are misrepresenting the profession.
Phil Gave example of others reaching out to the media, which was not in there remit. For example, Phil Bradley (who was actually at the event) had two days talking to radio five about libraries. Secondly, how Chrystie Hill (a librarian) did a talk at TEDx. These are media's you would not associate with libraries and librarians. But, they do make people aware of us. Ned's main point being we all need to be advocates for our profession.
Anyhow, I could add load more, but I will add Ned's closing comment, which was:-

There is no such thing as abstaining from library avdocacy.

Amen to that brother.

By the way, Ned and Laura's excellent presentation can be found here.

Marketing Libraries Outside the Echo Chamber‏ event part.2 (Laura Woods)

Following on from my earlier post (and most likely regurgating Fiona and Ned's post).
Anyhow Laura started the talk by explaining what the echo chamber. It is :-

any situation in which information, ideas or beliefs are amplified or reinforced by transmission inside an "enclosed" space. Observers of journalism in the mass media describe an echo chamber effect in media discourse.

Anyhow, Laura inderlines how librarians on both sides of the atlantic are suffering from fear of closure and how when we discuss this, we seem to discuss it within a 'library bubble' [my quote]. Laura mentioned how we as a profession are an easy target, and that we have many sceptics that see little relevance as now 'everything is online'. Laura felt we should reach beyond our users and make the none users as are (future) advocats. Laura pointed out if we (libraries) were invented today, we'd be seen as something fantastic.

She then said how her an Ned had put out the idea on twitter on getting beyond the echo chamber. Library by day started a post on the subject called Thinking Outloud About The Echo Chamber. In the article she says:-

Are we, the twittering, blogging, technology inclined shouting into the echo chamber? Are we only puffing each other up? Do we care that this defeats our purpose and goals? I guess it depends on your goals. (Some I’m sure, are just happy to have choir to preach to.) But for most of us, its not. If we’re too busy telling each other “right on man” who’s engaging in discussion with those who don’t agree with us? Because let’s face it, they aren’t reading your blog or following you on twitter.

Laura then went on to say we need to hear more about criticism, so we can see how we improve the service and jobs we do. Then Ned appeared from his journey from Leeds (les said the better).

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Marketing Libraries Outside the Echo Chamber‏ event part.1

This evening I went to Marketing Libraries Outside the Echo Chamber‏. I got there in good time and meet Gary Green and Jo Bo Anderson (apologies for my directions the previous night). We started on time and were presented to the people who worked at City Business Library (whose name I could not remember). All very nice.
Anyhow, the event started with Bethan Ruddock and Jo Bo Anderson. It was suppose to start with Ned and Laura Woods were supposed to start the event, bit Ned was in traffic from Leeds with a 3 month old child (I think most people would call that hell).
Bethan and Jo discussed there work on Voices for the Library which is trying to put public libraries on the map. It started on twitter with a hashtag of #pling. A group of librarians felt that public librarians were under attack and started using social media to contact each other. The group started on twitter and discussed the website and had it up by September of this year. They felt the need for speed to get there message out. They did this all via social media (whoops, repetition). Anyhow, it was mentioned this was the first time four of the group had been together in the same physical area.
Voices for the Library wanted to discuss positive stories of the public libraries. Voices for the Library used facebook and Flickr to get users on board.
Voices of the library sent major press release to all news organisations. Left comments with email on blog post, newspaper organisations etc. They have attempted to use the website so people can say how well we, as libraries are doing. So its shows how a successful campaign can be done via the social media.
There profile has increased and they are getting more hits and attention. They've contacted Unison who have sent out 40000 members about libraries.
Both Bethan and Jo discussed problems of Voices of the library whether it should be affiliated etc. The problem of money. The problem of time. The problem of not meeting in person.
Jo talked about reaching beyond groups you expect to reach and that she'll be talking to the WI (womens institute and not game console) the following day.
The successes as they see it is more press coverage. More people who are not librarians discussing there experiences of libraries and why we needed them.
This is just a brief synopsis. But one final thing. Gary Green mentioned he was the only member of Voices of the library who worked in public libraries, He was glad to have support from fellow professionals.
Both Bethan and Jo are passionate about libraries and it was really an awe inspiring presentation.
I'm now going to listen to the opening first day of the ashes. Oh my life is this.

How to arrange going to an event

I will going to the Marketing Libraries Outside the Echo Chamber‏ tonight.
I thought I'd point out a few things you should do before going to an event.

1. Make sure you have a place booked for the event.
2. Make sure you know where the event is. Check maps and transportationon how to get there.
3. Make sure you get the day right. Which I didn't when I walked to City Business Library last night.

Oh well. At least I know where it is now.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Job feedback

I recently spoke about a job I went for.
Yesterday I got some feedback. Seems 180 were interviewed for 3 positions. Seems I did fairly well, but was not consistent on fine payments and asking users how they search for books. Bit of a shame. Good to get feedback, as it shows where I can improve.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Librarians as activist

I've just been read Johanna Bo Anderson's blog post entitled Librarians Gagged. In the piece she discusses how in Gloucester she has started a website entitled Friends of Gloucestershire Libraries so as to stop a 43% cut in Library funding and closure of possibly up to 11 libraries.

Jo then write:-

Friends of Gloucestershire Libraries took part in a protest rally today with hundreds of other people protesting against brutal public sector cuts. A young lady who I had never met before approached me and said “My dad says your campaign website is great and everything but he says that maybe you should not say on it that you are a librarian.“ She is the third person to have individually advised me to stop telling the press that I am a librarian as it may seem as if I am running this group in self-interest. Well let me tell you something I AM A LIBRARIAN AND I AM PROUD, proud to be speaking up for libraries, library users and public library staff. In all three incidences I heard myself saying apologetically “But I am an academic librarian not a public librarian. If public libraries die, I still have my job“

What? So do we sit idly by and keep quite so a few of us MAY keep our jobs? Or do we organise ourselves in to a community of 'library activist' and show we think are jobs are still relevant to society? Jo and others are willing to use the own time, resources and attention to the cause. Jo is even a founding member of the Voices for the Library.

We need people like Jo and Lauren Smith to underline that many people still use public libraries. Once there closed there never coming back.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

How do you keep ahead of the library game?

In a recent post I discussed the new facebook page for librarians. In the four years or so of blogging, the way I've kept out to date has been via blogs. I've also used twitter to some degree to keep ahead. I did also occasionally pop into the library 2.0 ning site. I also created a daily google alert for the term library and library 2.0.
Anyhow, anybody else get there information any other way.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Blog post on interview answers

The ACRL blog has a good post entitled Interview Questions Are A Two Way Street. Looks at interview questions you MAY get and how you should present yourself. Worth a look for those with those who may have interviews coming up.

No go with the job

As mentioned previously, I went for a job interview. Unfortunately, I didn't get it. Which is a shame.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Facebook group for librarians

(Found via here). Brian Kelly blog post pointed out that Aaron Tay has created a facebook page for librarians called Library Related People Facebook group. I had heard of Aaron previously via his blog and the recently deceased Ning site for Library 2.0, in which he was a prominant member of the community.
Seems the site as growing, and as Brian says in the article:-

Will be more to do with the extent of Aaron’s professional network and his esteem in the library community.

Anyhow, its certainly worth a visit and good on you Aaron for creating it.

Interviews and preparation Part.2

The day of the interview. Up at 6am for a 9am interview. Suit ready, lucky Vivian Westwood tie. Have a showers, shave and look my best. Then get to Cafe Nero nearby at 7.45am to do some last minute studies. 8.30am make a move to the where the interview to be there 15 minutes early.

I wait and was then shown round the library. The person showig me around had previously worked at Islington libraries. So we discussed people we knew and worked with. Its always a good idea to try an enamour yourself to other staff I feel, just in case the interview may ask what you were like. They could also be your future work colleagues.

I then had a fifteen minute test using my search skills via the library website. Fairly standard questions.

I then had the interview and after the test and preparation felt fairly confident. Questions ranged from what would you do if the system goes down and there is a line of people? A standard question dealing with how you work under pressure, how you prioritise and how you cope. Other questions were why I wanted to work there. Here I made a mistake in I didn't complement them on the web 2.0 youtube videos. I also was not too complimentary to my present work place (I said I felt slightly staid, which I do). Never be critical of work. It makes you look a moaner and you may do that at the new place. But predominantly I came over fairly well I felt. They even asked for my telephone number to inform me of their decisions.

I then asked my questions. One was what training I would need for the job. One of the interviewers said 'it doesn't look like you need any'. Not sure if that was a compliment, or I came over as a bit arrogant. That was a concern.

So that was it. After the interview I reflected on where I could have improved and where I did well. I was happy with my preparation and questions. I was concerned I may have come over as a bit arrogant (but that was due to my confidence).

Anyway, no news yet on the job.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Interviews and preparation Part.1

This is a follow up to an earlier post by Meredith Farkas and Ned Potter's recent post about working in libraries. My post will look at a recent interview I had for a job within an academic library in London as maternity cover. Its just a reflection of my approach to it. What I felt I did right and what I didn't do correctly.

Firstly, I was a bit shocked, as getting any interviews in this market was a surprise. I also was a bit fearful, as I have had some faux pas at interviews.

I then saw it as an opportunity. Therefore, my first port of call was to look at the job specification. Unfortunately, I couldn't find it. Therefore, first thing you should do, is make individual folders (virtual or paper) of each job you go for later reference. I therefore looked at the job specification via the cache web page I found. I also looked at the application form. This would allow me to see what I was going for and what I had put respectively. Then, I started reading a book my girlfriend used called Great Answers to Tough Interview Questions. This is a really good book, and had a great anecdote, in which he says of a lawyer who never lost a case, was once asked why he was such a great lawyer. He said he was not a great lawyer, but the best prepared. Preparation was therefore what I was going to do.

My first piece of preparation was to look at the library website. In looking at this I discovered three things. Firstly, that they used Millenium III library management system. Secondly, that they used the same photocopying and print system than what I had been used. Finally, that this was found via the libraries youtube channel. Very web 2.0 and something that made the job more appealing. Therefore, I felt at an advantage because in the interview I could point out I wouldn't need so much training.

I then looked at the panel and checked there digital status (aka linkedin, facebook etc. This allowed me to see what there area of expertise was and what they looked like.

I then looked at the map of where I had to go for the interview, and printed off directions. Just in case I got lost. I certainly did not want to be late for an interview as that created a very bad impression.

I then proceeded to be Great Answers to Tough Interview Questions. I set up a table of questions he raised, giving a short answer to each. I then looked at the questions I should ask. I did this over a week before the interview so I was honed in on the target. Getting the job. Being this well prepared I felt pretty confident.

In part two I will discuss the interview.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Football or career? the choice of life

The Liverpool manager Bill Shankly said:-

“Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I assure you, it's much more serious than that.”

Well, on 30.11.10 I can either see my football team play play Wigan for £10 (if there are any tickets left that is?) Or do I pay £10 to go to Marketing Libraries Outside the Echo Chamber?

The evening:-

will bring together a great panel of speakers. In the first session, Laura Woods and Ned Potter will explore how the information profession is full of forward thinking professionals sharing great ideas.......
In the second part, we will hear from Jo Anderson and Bethan Ruddock talk about the Voices for the Library campaign and how they are reaching out to users and stakeholders outside the echo chamber to promote the value of public libraries.

I'm very much siding with the library event. Better be good, an arsenal better win.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Eric Schnell article

I read with some interest Eric Schnell article enitled Are Blogs Given Any Weight in Library Tenure and Promotion Cases?.

He states:-

I feel that blogging is a valid form of scholarly communication in the discipline of academic librarianship. Still the question continues to arise as to whether blogging should count as scholarship or a creative activity in academic promotion and tenure.

For those interested in academic library blogging, its well orth a read.

3 books for £ time to read them

I just got a load of books at a pretty cheap price. First up, John Palfrey's Born Digital for £6.00, which looks at Digital natives. Then I got Constant Touch by John Agar F2.50, looking at history of mobile phones (bit short on history so far though). Then, the real bargain, Clay Shirky's Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age for less than £6.00. I the joy of reading.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Article on Cornish libraries

Following on from a previous post, a local in the area discusses what could happen in the area. Interestingly it seems all the talks are behind closed doors of the councillors. Oh, the elights of democracy?

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

International Group Xmas Quiz 2010 at Cilip

For those in London Cilip is having a International Group Xmas Quiz 2010, on the 8th December, from 6pm. The Cilip blog says of the event:-

This is an 'international' quiz, preceded and followed by festive refreshments and networking. We are looking for teams of 4 -6 people. Prizes will be awarded to the best teams.

A voluntary Quiz entry fee of £5 per person will be gratefully received - to go entirely to ILIG's Emergency Fund.

Please note that, unlike our usual Informals, Quiz places are limited.

Sounds a good event for networking.