Pinterest as a library marketing and information literacy tool

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Sorry, I know I am behind on my 23 things! I have downloaded Jing and Audacity and will hopefully get to play them them in depth soon.

Lately I have been involved with a project using Pinterest to create useful resources for staff, parents, and students. The library I work for is an elementary school library and runs its catalog on the intranet. As such, it is hard to reach users at home. In order to make the library more accessible I decided to use Pinterest as it is a great visual medium and provides an easy way to bookmark various resources. In order to advertise the school's Pinterest page, it is regularly included in the school's news bulletin with a brief description to inform staff and parents of the new resource available for them.

To get the ball rolling I began by creating new material boards based on materials, language, reading levels, and type (i.e. fiction and non fiction). This was a great way to ease myself and new users of Pinterest to the library. It also made great use of the visual side of Pinterest to show off our new materials to our collection.

On the side I started to create secret boards of great Homework Help websites for K-6. I wanted a good grouping of resources before I made the board publicly available. An easy way to begin such a collection is to use what you already have. I did this by perusing the saved favorites already available through the library. I then added resources that I collected through my own research. This included other great websites with homework help pages, subject searches,  and of course ALA's Great Websites for Kids website. I made sure to only include free online resources so that anyone could use them.

I am also working on a board for websites and tools for teachers to introduce them to cool online tools and resources that might be of interest and helpful to them. This board is not very developed yet as I have been focusing more of the Homework Help page to get it established. There are so many great free resources for teachers (and librarians!), its wonderful. I love discovering them.

As you can tell I love this project! I really love online resources, tools, and media. So this project is something I'm really passionate about!

Have any great resources I should know about? Please share them with me!


Thing 17: The Medium is the Message - Prezi and Slideshare

Saturday, 19 January 2013

I have looked at Prezi before but did not use it. Since I joined up as a student I was able to get the free educational account (If you have an email account with a school domain you are eligible for this account). This account enables users to have the option of making private presentations, great for those of us just starting! It is very easy to get started making Prezis by using the ready made layouts (many layouts are available and some people make their created layouts freely available). Make sure to look at some "how to" presentations for tips, especially on how to make the presentations flow well and not be nauseating. I really enjoy how it is so easy to import PowerPoint slides into the presentation. Also, Prezi deconstructs the slides so that the pieces can be fine tuned. Another thing that Prezi does very well is it's ability to embed media, such as YouTube.

Slideshare is very easy to start using. Just upload your PowerPoint presentations and off you go! A great way to make your presentations quickly and easily available. I also like the ability of Slideshare to be easily embedded into websites. However Slideshare defiantly falls behind Prezi as it is not dynamic since it cannot embed video or have the ability to incorporate PowerPoint animation schemes. It is a very straightforward medium that is great to start off with. I have a free account with Slideshare and would like the option to make my presentations private. 

Both Prezi and Slideshare offer great examples of how to present and are full of great presentation ideas! If you are just starting to bring yourself online Slideshare would be the easiest to start with. However, you should still check out Prezi to see if you like it, as it offers the ability to create more dynamic presentations and enables you to be as simple or elaborate as you like. If you are interested in embedding videos, Prezi is the way to go. 


Thing 16: Advocacy, speaking up for the profession and getting published

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Libraries have always needed advocacy, yet in today's economic turmoil the need to advocate libraries has become a necessity. From the many library closings, budget cuts, program cuts, etc. that we see all around us it is clear that the fundamental advocacy librarians need to do is that of the importance and usefulness of libraries to society. While there are many topics needed to be advocated for libraries, such as the importance of each and every program they offer, we need to start with the most basic of arguments about the place libraries have in society. We librarians need to learn how to best market ourselves and libraries as valuable and necessary services not only to administrative and government leaders, but most importantly to our users and potential users. One great marketing campaign example is from Troy Library where they sparked outrage in the community about the closing of the library by linking the closing of the library to the idea of book burning. 


Thing 15: Attending, presenting at and organising seminars, conferences and other events

I have only recently begun to attend conferences and I have enjoyed them immensely. Before conferences I have attended many webinars which I found very interesting. I like how easy they are to join and the convenience of being able to attend them from home/work. 

My first conference was Library 2.012, a great conference about so many topics. The best things about the conference is that it brings together so many different librarians from all over, large variety of topics, it's free, and you can attend from home. 

The first conference I attended in person was Access 2012. I was fortunate enough to be a volunteer for the conference and got to help out. It was a great experience and I loved every minute of it! The topics were all so interesting but a few presentations did stand out to me and really inspired me. My favorite of all the presentations was "A Library in a Box" by David Fiander. There are so many ways that this could be used! It's a great idea for small libraries or even archives to be able to distribute their own documents and public domain materials.

I have yet to present at a conference, a goal for the future!!


Thing 14: Bibliographic Management Programs

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

For this thing we were asked to try out and discuss three of the freely available Bibliographic Management Programs: Zotero, Mendeley, and CiteULike. 

Honestly, while I have learned how to use these programs (RefWorks, Endnote, and those discussed here), I am old fashioned and do everything by hand. I find these programs are very helpful, especially if you are doing major research, but for my own work I have preferred to do it myself. 

I learned Zotero about 2 years ago and found it great that it was just in the browser and easily accessible. It copies and cites websites well, which is very handy. Although, I might prefer to use Evernote for webpages as it copies them so well. If Zotero could integrate with Evernote, I think the best form of web capturing, archiving, and sharing would be created (Disclaimer: I really love Evernote!). As Zotero is the free bibliographic management program I am most comfortable with I would stick with this one as the others were no better. I found Mendeley to be useful, and easily searchable for articles and other information. However, it does not seem to be that different from Zotero and it is not as easily accessible through the web browser for convenience. CiteULike was very bare bones and I feel that it is not up to par with Zotero or Mendeley. I would not recommend CiteULike since there are far better programs out there. I would recommend both Zotero and Mendeley, which is better comes down to personal preference.


Thing 13: Google Docs, Wikis and Dropbox

Monday, 30 July 2012

Google Drive

I love Google Docs, now Google Drive! I heavily used Google Docs over the past 2 years for school and it is wonderful for group projects. The ease of sharing and working on the documents at the same time as project teammates is such a time saver. It also allows for chatting while working on the documents which enables for easy group creativity. The transformation to Google Drive has only made it better for easy transference of documents.


Dropbox is very similar to Google Drive except it has less free space (only 2 compared to 5 GB). However, Dropbox does offer many other options through great apps and inventive ways of using cloud storage. Overall, I plan on continuing to use both :)


I have made use of two great wikis so far. The first being MediaWiki which I used during Library School. The students had a wiki full of information about concerning topics and ourselves. I not only utilized this great resource I also maintained my own profile page and the McGill's Multilingual Children's Association's webpage where we kept the students up to date with information and events concerning the association. I quite enjoyed the flexibility of MediaWiki, as it was so customizable.

I also make use of Google Sites as a wiki for a project at one of my volunteering jobs. It allows us to keep all of the projects documents in an easy to access place so that we can access it from work or at home. There is much flexibility with Google Sites as you can choose whether to have a private website for yourself, share with a selected group, or make it public. It also provides several templates for pages and design for those who don't know how to make it themselves. The ability to easily imbed apps allows for complex webpages without the hassle of creating them from scratch. It also provides a free server so that there is no cost in hosting the site, a definite plus!


Thing 12: Putting the social into social media

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

I have been using FB, Twitter, and LinkedIn quite a lot since i began this program. I do follow several people and groups, mostly in LinkedIn. I tend to be more of a "lurker" or listener on LinkedIn as I like to see the various posts and conversations out there. I have posted a few replies as well, when I have some helpful information to add. Mostly I am using LinkedIn as a source of information at the moment about hot topics and trends, as well as, meeting new people. However, I do make regular posts and comments on Twitter and FB. Due to the increasing familiarity with the tools and online communities I am becoming less of a  "lurker" more interactive. :)


Thing 11: Mentoring

Monday, 23 July 2012

Mentoring is a great thing that everyone should participate in. I was lucky enough to get into the mentoring program at McGill University through one of the associations and got to meet a wonderful mentor. She talked to me all about her career path and work. She brought me along to get hands on experience selecting books from a bookstore showroom and set up a day where I got to meet with her fellow library managers to ask them about their work and insights about career development. It was a great experience that I really appreciated! I also have a few unofficial mentors that I have asked for advice from about career development. I really appreciate all their time and thoughtfulness!

In turn I have given advice to peers in school when I could. I have also passed along useful information to those who would benefit from it, like a great job opportunity that was perfect for the person. Overall, I think mentors are a great thing. In the future, I plan on not only benefiting from my mentors, but also being a great mentor to others.


Thing 10: Graduate traineeships, Masters Degrees, Chartership, Accreditation

In Canada to become a librarian, one must have a bachelors degree in any subject. Many students also have a majors degree and are returning to school to become librarians. While previous library experience is not necessary, it is taken into account and makes you more of a favorable candidate for the program. Each school is different, some like McGill University teach all streams under the same degree to allow for students to diversify, while others teach different programs for different streams. The programs are usually 2 year programs. Students can continue to study and do a PHD. In addition, there are some 2-3 year programs for library technicians, and other various certificates for semi-professionals. In Canada you do not have to be part of an association to work, but in Quebec in order to work librarians must be part of the Corporation of Professional Librarians of Quebec.

My path so far is that I have done a Bachelors at Concordia University with a Major in Anthropology and an Honors in Classical Civilization. I then went straight to McGill University to do my Masters of Library and Information Studies. I did not have an prior experience in working in a library, but I did have lots of experience using it! While I was in library school, I volunteered to gain practical experience working in a library. I volunteered at a public and special library to get diverse experiences and became part of a school association (Multilingual Children's Library). At the end of the program I did a practicum, or stage/internship, in a special medical library where I got hands on experience doing various projects as well. I really enjoyed my practicum and believe it is very important to do one as it gives direct hands on experiences with many aspects of libraries, the work done, and the thinking about the current issues and possible futures of library services.I still volunteer at my practicum site and at the public and special libraries. I have just recently graduated and am looking forward to getting out there!

I have noticed that in order to professionally develop in Canada, librarians mostly depend upon associations for courses, work environment, and alternate school programs (ex. web design). I like the idea of Cahrtership and Certification done in the UK as it gets librarians, not only continuing to professionally develop, but also to make themselves and others us aware of our work through portfolios. I have seen that some universities in the United States require students to create ePortfolios as part of their course work. I think that librarians need to learn how to promote themselves, their services, and their work more effectively and portfolios are certainly a great step in that direction.


Thing 9: Evernote

Sunday, 1 July 2012

This is the first time I have used Evernote even though I knew about it before. While it seemed like a handy enough tool I did not think it would be as useful as it is. I love it! It's so easy to use to store and share all sorts of data. I think this is a great tool to keep track of all sorts of personal interest information. it's also great as it enables users to save the webpages and articles so that if a website goes down or a page is moved or deleted, users can still have access to the information. The search function of Evernote is easy as users can add tags to each note which makes retrieval a breeze. I will definitely be using this tool form now on. However, for use as a research tool, I am not sure it would be comprehensive enough as it lacks the organizational capability of reference management tools, such as Zotero (a free reference management tool that can save webpage information and a copy of the page), for easy citation organization and management. For research I recommend Zotero instead or a combination of the two tools.


Thing 8: Google Calendar

Monday, 18 June 2012

I have used Google Calendar before but I did not find it very useful for me. I prefer a visible calendar on my wall and in hand to keep me organized. What I did not like about the calendar is that I had to be online, in some way, to see it or get notices. This is great if I am always plugged in, but there are times I like, or am forced, to be unplugged. So the old fashion way is best for me. However, I love this tools as a means of keeping teams on track for group projects. I also love  how it can be used for websites to announce and keep track of events. Overall, I think this is a great tool for libraries and librarians. It is easy to use, manage, and share :)


Thing 7: Real-Life Networks

 I have been involved with the student association McGill's Multilingual Children's Library Association (MCLA). This was a great opportunity to get involved with some real library work with Children! Not only was I able to grow professionally, but also got to spend time with these children and brighten their day with great stories and activities. I also have been able to grow professionally through associations that had chapters in the school (CLA, SLA, & ABQLA) and their great workshops and presentations that were provided for the local librarians and students. From one of these associations at school I was able to participate in a mentoring program which allowed me to get a in depth view of how a public library works and the different kinds of work done, along with the benefits and challenges of public libraries. I also got to meet so many nice people!

I have also joined the CLA, SLA, and other associations that enabled me to attend other presentations and webinars. These were great opportunities that I enjoyed immensely. I do love these events! Next on my list is to attend conferences & unconferences. I find the aspect of conferences & unconferences exciting and scary. I want to see and hear everything, but am a bit shy so I am also scared about the idea. And one day I would love to present!


Thing 6: Online Networks

Before CPD 23 I had only really used Facebook. I mostly use Facebook for personal life stuff. I do not plan on using it for professional purposes. I would certainly agree with Reid Hoffman, as FB is more of a connection with friends thing, while Linked-In is meant for professional networking. However, I also have connected with friends from library school and we have a Facebook group for topics of interest. This is kind of on the line as they are friends and schoolmates, but they are also fellow professionals, so I leave it as it is.

However, over the past year I have really gotten into LinkedIn as it offers many groups of interest which have provided many opportunities for development. While keeping current with LinkedIn and FB friends and posts is daunting at times, it is invaluable as it is a great way to get a wider view on topics, keep up to date with people, and one great way to meet new people. Also, there is so much great advice from groups for (recent graduates or long time librarians) librarians trying to find work.

Last year I did join LISPN but I have not returned to my account...Sorry LISPN network! I have my hands quite full with FB and LinkedIn. Also, I found that while its a great network, it's best for UK librarians, while LinkedIn seems more the network of choice for North America. It might have changed since I looked at it last, but for now I will leave it aside to focus on the two above.

Last year I left the Librarians As Teachers Network aside as I was quite busy, and will do so yet again. I will get to you! Librarians as teachers is quite an important aspect that I want to get more involved with. For the moment I will utilize my LinkedIn groups and blogs that cover this aspect for now.

As for CLIP, I am not a member so I cannot join CLIP communities, but I did look around where I could. The blogs and forums look interesting. Already started by RSS-ing the Blog posts and bloggers of interest that I found while there!

P.S. I love the new ability of FB to integrate libraries and their catalogs on their FB pages! It will be great to see if & how library members use it.


Thing 5: Reflection

Monday, 11 June 2012

Well I am going through and reflecting on what I have learned already by rewriting it down in this blog. I like being able to revisit my experiences and thoughts about these "Things" I have learned. From my CPD 23 experience last year, it definitely pushed me one to get more web savvy. I have enjoyed CPD 23 immensely and look forward to the rest of the program.

Personal Brand was a big Thing that took lots of time for me to really get it down. I was uncertain for quite some time about how to approach it. I think it took me until this Summer when I began to work on my ePortfolio to really get it settled. It is hard to focus yourself upon your own brand. I find it helps to focus on what I want people to remember about me.

I enjoyed the finding other blogs thing and learning Twitter, RSS, and Storify. I found that once I started I got right into the web tools. I like learning from other bloggers. Also using Twitter has become much easier as I have kept using it, although I do so only periodically.  RSS is a great way to keep up to date, and I am glad that I finally learned how to use Google Reader, makes it so much easier to keep up with all those blogs!!


Thing 4: Current awareness - Twitter, RSS and Storify

Before CPD23 I have not used any of these (Twitter, RSS, Storify) before and was very excited to have a reason to jump right in! I found setting up an account and getting started in all of them was so easy! Before I had trepidation about using them but no more, it's actually quite easy. I found some people to follow on twitter right away! And it was very simple to begin tweeting. 

RSS was always intimidating as the idea of endless steaming of knowledge was so scary! But its actually quite manageable as you can easily scan new info all in one place, which is extremely helpful! The only thing Google Reader is missing is the personal touches of the blogs themselves. 

The first time round we used Pushnote, which was the hardest of Thing 4 to get off the ground as you needed to know people by email or their Pushnote name. When your just starting this is not good enough. It needs a better search system, maybe by integrating browsing of options by categories of people/interests. While it's nice that it can integrate Twitter and FB feeds into one place it's not necessary for me, it doesn't seem worth while as I would still rather check and use each on their own. 

This time around we are using Storify instead of Pushnote. I had not used this one yet and found it an intriguing idea. This tool is very easy to use, just search and slide items of interest over to your story. I like this tool a lot. I think its a great tool to get people interested in journalism, news, and world events! And it can be used in many ways, as seen by Oprah's use of Storify for her book club. Scoop.it also looks like a great tool. I think these tools could be great for creating reader's advisory pages on selected topics, journalism clubs, and much more! I think it would also be a great tool to use with teens to get them involved with aggregating useful information for themselves and others about what they believe are important topics worth discussing.


Thing 3: Consider your personal brand

Name Used:  Here I am pretty consistent, as I use the same name across the board. Except on this blog where I just my first name. There may be problems with my name as there is at least one lady in the States and another in Britain with my exact name (minus the middle name, which I really don't use my name is long enough as it is!). (see below for further elaboration)

Photograph: The pictures I use are current pictures of me that I took in the Spring. They are a professional and I quite liked how it turned out :) I do not use my picture on all web tools as I feel that I do not need to. If someone wants to see a picture of me it is available through Linked-In easily enough, which I link to where I can.

Professional/Personal Id: These I intend to keep separate. My Facebook account is just for fun. Though I have many library school friends on FB and we do talk library stuff :) My Linkedin account and Blogging are for professional. Intermingling my personality and likes into the later is of course intended but I prefer to keep some things private. I rarely write anything personal on FB anyways either. It's more of a quick see what going on with friends link.

Visual Brand: Well at the moment I only have these 3 things going on and they all have their own interface design. However, I take note of the great tip by those running CPD23 to keep everything related and consistent. Thanks!
  -- I am recently working on an ePortfolio and am continuing to incorporate a similar design and color to keep it consistent with one another.

Activity: Well I did this one a while ago to see what I would come up with. This is how I found out about the lady in Britain with my name! I knew about the lady from the States through FB, I was trying to find myself for a friend  on FB to become friends and could not (my security settings were really high!) and I found this lady who obviously wasn't me. Which could definitely be confusing for those trying to find me! The first page of results on my Google search found my Linkedin and FB info and even a poster for a presentation I was in 3 years ago for my Undergrad. Though there were the other 2 ladies mentioned as well, problematic indeed. Thankfully, they are in other occupations and countries so the confusion isn't too great...unless you didn't know anything about me..hmm, something to work on!


Thing 2: Investigate some other blogs

Last year I began by randomly looking at some blogs registered with the CPD23 program. I found some blogs I enjoyed and followed them. I also had found The Lipstick Librarian, a very witty read. Unfortunately she hasn't posted in quite a while. I also began looking around for some other blogs and found
Phil Bradley's weblog, the wikiman, and Library Web Chic; all of which are very informative! Thank you!

Before I did not understand how people could get lost in blogs, well there are so many great ones out there with so much great information! I can completely understand how there is information overload with all of these blogs. I try to keep to a few to make sure I am not overwhelmed. I prefer blogs about the internet and libraries/librarians as this is what I am most interested in.


Thing 1: Blogs and Blogging

I started 23 things for Professional Development last Summer but stopped due to my Final year in Library School and my many volunteering activities. So now that I have some free time again I am continuing the program. I decided to create a new blog that would incorporate what I said before with some new reflection. Last time I finished up to Thing 7. I am looking forward to finishing all the things this time around! The program is great and gets us involved in many new and popular web and non web tools and resources.

Before the program I had very little knowledge/experience with web tools and resources (beyond Facebook and Linked-In) and really wanted to get into the action! Since I started last year I have gone beyond the program and have started to get to know and experiment with more web stuff. I find web technologies very interesting and have become quite addicted to trying and learning new web tools/resources. However, it can be daunting at times due to the massive amounts of tools and resources available on the web, but never fear! I have learned just to try things and if its not right for you to move on to the next. While nothing is perfect, there are many alternatives to choose from to get what you want.

I think the areas that will be most difficult for me will be Thing 15 (Attending, presenting at and organising seminars, conferences and other events) and 16 (Advocacy, speaking up for the profession and getting published) as those make much use of public speaking, an area I'm already working on! This area is definitely my weak point. But I have gotten a lot better and am looking forward to benchmarking these "Things" as personal milestones to professional development.

I'm most looking forward to Thing 4, 14, 17,  and 18. Basically all the tech stuff to make my life easier!