Saturday, 29 August 2015


My first reaction to this session is .... why are there so many of these things and do we need them all? But I guess it's like most things in life, if you get something that's popular and successful, then you're going to get competitors coming up with similar alternatives ... a bit like yoghurts! (Every time I go shopping it seems like there's some other variety on the shelves and all I want is the plain natural stuff).

I've already got a Pinterest account although I haven't used it for a while. When I was creating my genre booklists I was making corresponding lists on Pinterest (and I've also got a couple of other list detailing more personal items) but, as every school librarian will know, it's a never-ending job keeping genre lists up-to-date which means that task is on my to-do list so I guess when I get around to it, I'll also update the Pinterest list as well.

The email for Thing 8 states that Pinterest is like a glossy magazine and that's certainly true. You could spend hours browsing it, finding links to all your interests and hobbies. It's also very visual so I can see it's usefulness in that respect.

I had a look at Flipboard but was put off by the fact that I had to register to even have a glance at it. I don't want to sign up for another site. And none of my librarian colleagues (at the moment) use it so it doesn't really feature in my online life. The blurb on the website says that it's a way of following stories and people so what's the difference between Flipboard and Facebook?

The social networking sites I use have different security settings. Twitter is open access. Unless I get somebody offensive following me then I'm happy with anybody doing so. But I tend to use it for more professional items, which means I'll link to reports on reading and literacy, write posts about libraries or retweet relevant information. Facebook, on the other hand, is restricted to friends and family. There are a few people who are more acquaintances but they are still people who I would recognise and talk to if I was stood next to them in the supermarket queue. And my posts on there are more personal, I might put photos of my family, talk about the grim day I've had, etc. They are not things I'd put on Twitter on a regular basis.

Yet Flipboard (along with other such sites as Scoop It) link everything together ... which could be a problem with my different security settings and what I want people to see. I also can't help thinking ... how many social media accounts do I need? Or want? Because each one demands time from me, time to look it, respond to and keep up-to-date with ... time that I would rather, if I was being honest, be spent reading or pursuing one of my other interests.

Finally ... Storify. I have experienced this via colleagues gathering together tweets about an events and I can see it's usefulness. But my school has just introduced a no mobile phones policy which is going to impact student's accessing websites, QR codes, etc. during the day. I know there's a problem with phones being a constant distraction to young people, I know they have this obsession with constantly checking texts and their social media accounts, and that there is an increase in using social media for bullying but you cannot ignore technology and it can play a fantastic role in teaching today. That said, this is the school policy so I need to ensure that my promotion of resources and information is compatible with what is acceptable ... and this means not relying on online resources.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015


I am behind with my assignments! Part of the reason is that I have been away - in Croatia, which was beautiful and amazing and I would 100% recommend a visit - but also because the next "thing" is recording myself. And I've never been happy with that ... I'm usually found on the other side of the camera and don't really like the way I sound. Although I suspect many people feel the same because when we "hear" ourselves talking in a recording, it's never the same as when we hear ourselves in real life.

So I have been putting this off a bit.

And then I read the post properly and it said that if creating podcasts wasn't particularly relevant to your job then listen to some and make some comments. Hurrah!

My school library is very "traditional". I have lots of books, magazines and journals, a few PCs, a projector and screen but not much else in the way of technology. We were a Maths and Computing Specialist School so have a lot of IT suites around the place, each department has a laptop trolley and there are various iPads, etc. for people to use. But this doesn't seem to have permeated into the library. I tried some Kindles a while back but, other than an initial flurry of interest, nobody is bothered about them and even those students with their own Kindles have gone back to physical books. I'm quite happy with this, I will move in whatever direction the school wants to go and update my skills accordingly but it does mean that the use of the latest technology in the library is an area where I'm lacking in knowledge and experience .... hence one of the reasons I signed up to do this MOOC. That said, it's all very well learning how to do something but if you don't use it then that knowledge is going to get forgotten or become out-of-date. And I don't see the point in learning lots of new stuff in intricate detail that I'm never going to use.

Back to podcasts. I can't see me using them in the near future. Certainly not at work ... if I'm going to be talking to the students then it's going to be in person. And I can't see me creating lots of podcasts to share, I much prefer using written words - I have my other blog "Library Stuff" and I write articles for various publications. I have recorded a couple of talks for MOOCs before and I've also had to give talks for CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) that were live-streamed ... I have to say that I was extremely nervous about these!

So ... Thing 7 .... I have listened to some of the podcasts listed and have subscribed to "Circulating Ideas" as I think it could be interesting and useful. And I'm feeling quite relieved that I don't have to create one myself .

Monday, 10 August 2015


It's just as well that there will be a few "pauses" in this course to enable participants to think about what they've done and to catch-up as I'm already behind! However, I think two weeks in Croatia is a good excuse!

The task for thing 6 is (was?) to look at some of the other blogs, leave comments, etc. I had already started doing this and found them fascinating. So many different ways people joined the profession but all with one thing in common; a passion for what they do. We have also been asked to reflect on our own journey which is interesting as I've also been doing that lately ... I love my job and what I do but recently have felt in need of another challenge. Not that the job isn't challenging but when you've been doing something for twenty five years, albeit something that is different every day and doesn't remain static, a certain sense of jadedness can set in. However, as I can't see myself doing anything else than working with or in libraries/books/reading/literacy, I'm not quite sure what my next step, if any, should be.

This sense of "what next" isn't helped by the fact that libraries, both school and public, are being devalued and closed, librarians made redundant or downgraded, on a weekly basis - part of me would love to spend all my time advocating and campaigning but the bills need to be paid so I do what I can, when I can!

But ... back to other blogs - there are some great ones out there and it looks like Rudai 23 will add more which can only be a good thing! The more people we have talking about libraries, the better ...