Thursday, 15 November 2012

Award for early career music librarians

Folks, I want all newly-qualified librarians to know about this - do YOU know an early-career music librarian, or someone who did a dissertation about music librarianship?

E.T. Bryant Memorial Prize - details on the IAML(UK and Irl) website.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

A month to remember

The month commencing 15th October 2012 will have been the most unusual month in my working career.  Last week,  I began my 3-year, 2-days-a-week secondment as a postdoc research assistant.  Considering I've never had a part-time job or a job-share in my life, this 'librarianship three days, postdoc two days' existence is very novel for me.  Being a postdoc researcher is equally new.  (OK, I've continued to do odd bits of research since becoming a doc, but I haven't been paid to do it before!)

And this isn't all that's new.  Next week I shall convene an SALCTG meeting for the first time.  I've never been a Convenor of anything else before, either. And I've an engagement as an assessor, the next day.

On either side of these momentous events, I gave a talk to Glasgow Gaelic Society on Tuesday evening this week, and I'm giving a talk to postgraduates at my alma mater, the University of Glasgow, the week after next.  The ironic thing about this is that when I was a postgrad the first time round, I couldn't imagine myself standing up and lecturing.  That's why I became a librarian.  Whereas now, I've stood up and talked to so many groups that I wasn't even bothered when the computer wouldn't open up on Tuesday night.  The group moved rooms, to enable me to show my  PowerPoint, but I wouldn't have been particularly upset if I hadn't been able to.

On the other hand, I felt decidedly guilty that I couldn't pronounce the Gaelic names of the songs I was talking about.  I played, rather than sang them - that got round one problem - but I felt a real ignoramus being unable to say what I was playing!  I've made two attempts at learning Gaelic.   It's deeply humiliating to admit that, whilst my Dad was head of modern languages in a big grammar school, and I was considered linguistically able at school, Gaelic is fiendishly difficult, and I haven't remotely got the hang of it yet.  An inability to speak Gaelic doesn't make me less of a librarian, or less of a researcher, but in terms of credibility and self-respect, I can see that at some stage, I shall really have to grasp that particular nettle!

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Peeling back the wrapper: anticipating Thing 23

I'm cheating, and I feel a little guilty!  However, I know Thing 23 is about reflecting on the 23 Things CPD journey, so there can't be any harm in a little Sunday evening reflection, in advance of the email telling me what I should be reflecting about!

How has the journey helped me?

Well, I have to say that I've already been doing/ done much of what came up along the way.  Nonetheless, there's value in validating existing practice, and taking a closer look at the various activities suggested to us.  There have been quite a few things that weren't new to me, but stopping and thinking about them, then writing about them, was new.  Anyone that knows me will agree that I was born with fingers at the ready, itching to write about something and anything.  If my observations have been of value to anyone else at the same time, then I'm even happier.  

For a start, I can add the 23 Things project to my CV, demonstrating that even fairly late on in my career, I'm willing to engage in CPD.  I can also look at the individual Things and draw from them skills that maybe I haven't highlighted in my CV in quite the same way before.

I found that I indulge in more networking than I realised.  (Talking to other librarians over lunch or on the train home has sometimes been every bit as useful as the course or event itself!)  And now there are things like the Twitter #UKLibraryChat (amongst others) to take part in, too.  I've watched with interest from the sidelines at the new Library Camp un-conference concept, but I have to accept that I can't take part in everything that comes up. I'm in a number of professional interest groups, and I've volunteered for roles, like being convenor or organising events, that I wouldn't have experienced in the day-job.  

I'm also beginning to take part as an assessor in the chartership process, picking up a thread that began when I  once supervised a candidate's chartership.  I became a Fellow (FCLIP) a couple of years ago, and it feels like time I put something back into the CILIP organisation.  Being a full-time working parent and doing a PhD simultaneously in my own time (2004-9) didn't take me completely out of the CPD loop, but obviously curtailed extra librarianship activities to a certain extent.

 Notwithstanding other pressures, I've been pretty diligent at attending courses.  Mind you, I've attended several social media events in the past couple of years, and have finally reached the point where I need to be selective.  I do a lot of social media stuff for the library - any more would feel like overload.  The social media element is a way of promoting what we do, and interacting with staff, students and outsiders; but accurate cataloguing, stock selection, reader queries and course support still require as much attention as ever!  Similarly, I can't emphasise the importance of networking strongly enough, but let's not neglect the home-team in our own workplace!

When I'm choosing events to attend, or groups to join, I try to strike a balance.  Some things benefit my workplace, and others benefit me in a general sense as a professional.  Attending IAML events, or convening the Scottish training group, SALCTG, fall into the former category.  On the other hand, it might appear on the face of it that my research (musicology, not librarianship) fell into the second category.  However, I've updated research skills, networked with other researchers on an unprecedented scale, written about all kinds of things, and gained experience in public speaking that I'd never otherwise have had.  (I'm also becoming quite adept at finding ways of combining librarianship and research, whether it's giving a talk to librarians, or addressing our postgraduates on research skills for musicians.)  I like to think that the research has also added to my authority as a subject expert - everyone will know the feeling when a query comes along, and you realise that this one is right up your street.  It happens from time to time: I'm lucky to be in the right place to be useful!

As I said, I've written about things.  That's a slight understatement!  However, I'd say that my early involvement with the IAML Newsletter, with writing book-reviews, and as Brio Reviews Editor, were all very useful for an early-career professional.  I'd recommend this kind of involvement, and it also shows a willingness to engage with your professional associations.  Other writing opportunities have just kind of cropped up along the way.  It's been very much a combination of looking for opportunities, taking them when offered, and making them.  

Embarrassing mug
And that goes for a lot of career development.  I was on #UKLibraryChat recently, when somone said that "they" (the bosses?)  should make opportunities for younger or lower-grade professionals.  It's true: a good boss develops their staff.  However, from my advanced age (nearer to retirement than qualification), I don't go along with the assumption that "they" should do it for "us".  Sometimes you get lucky - other times you have to make your own luck.

The world doesn't owe us a living; we have to prove we're worth it.

POSTSCRIPT.  Now I've seen the final posting of 23 Things, I see we're invited to write down a plan, or a SWOT analysis of where we're at and whither we're heading.  I've pretty much done the first bit.  But where I'm sitting right now is something of a pivotal point.  Next week, I'm starting a three-year part-time secondment as a postdoc research assistant for two days a week, whilst continuing to be a subject librarian in a conservatoire library for the other three days a week.  A 'mini-me' is to be appointed to cover my research hours.  I'll still be doing the same 35 hours a week that I've always done, but not all of them in our library.  Now then, I've worked in libraries full-time for 27 years, taking only the minimum maternity leave that was available at the time for each of our three sons (6 weeks before, 12 weeks after).  I've NEVER been a part-time librarian before, and I've never job-shared before, either, so this is all very new for me.  Additionally, the research topic follows on from my PhD in one sense, but is NOT my PhD topic, so that's new, too.  I'm glad to have had three years' breathing space between the PhD and this next bit of research.  During that time I've written articles, delivered papers and sent a book off to Ashgate - it comes out next March.  So I feel ready to take a deep breath and start the next challenge.

I don't really feel that a blog is the right place for broadcasting a future plan.  The 23 Things final posting suggests we might not want to post our ambitions or self-development plans online, so that's fine.  However, at this stage in my career, it's safe to say that I see myself doing more mentoring and encouraging younger professionals.  Probably more writing, too.  And as for the rest?   In the days when women retired at 60, I would have finished the research project and then had less than three years to retirement.  Now, legally, I shall finish the project and have less than eight years to retirement.  But things have changed again - our family has a personal friend cheerfully and ably working on past 70.  

We'll have to wait and see!


Tuesday, 2 October 2012

I've blogged Things 18 and 19 - and here's 22

I missed a couple of Things along the way, because other aspects of life got in the way in early September.  However, I've just blogged Things 18 and 19.  Things 20 and 21 are done.  That leaves me thinking about Thing 22, though it won't take me long to blog about volunteering.  Because I've never actually been one, if by volunteering you mean going to a place of work, and working voluntarily.

I did my postgraduate librarianship placement at the Royal Academy of Music Library.  But that's not really what people mean by volunteering, is it?, because it was an enjoyable requirement of my course.

However, what I have done voluntarily, is engage with fellow-professionals outside of my workplace.

I've been Newsletter Editor, Brio Reviews Editor, and a book reviewer, for IAML(UK and Ireland).  I was also Secretary of the North Eastern Audio-Visual Group when I was a music librarian in South Tyneside. 

I've also been involved with the SCURL Disabilities Group (now disbanded), and SALCTG (the Scottish Academic Libraries Cooperative Training Group), where I am the new Convenor.  I recently joined the Committee of the Library and Information History Group as Campaigns Officer.  And I'm a joint List-owner for the LIS Research Support Group.

Outwith librarianship, I was a Branch library rep for Nalgo in South Tyneside, and for quite a while I was Secretary of EIS/ULA, the Scottish lecturers union.  (Yes - if you were wondering - it admits college librarians, too!)  And I've just finished my term as a member of Council for the Royal Musical Assocation.

I can't imagine not getting involved in professional organisations, to be honest. How can liaising with fellow-professionals not be a good thing?  It means keeping informed, and that's pretty much a professional obligation.  And perhaps at times it also means driving the profession forward, because if something isn't moving forward, then it stagnates.  That must never be allowed to happen!

One more Thing to go.  It's been quite a journey!

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Things I've missed: Thing 18 and Thing 19

Guilt biting me by the ankles, I just checked the schedule to see which Things I'd omitted to do.  Ah, one was a reflective week, so I've only missed two Things.  Too late at night to start on them now, but at least this is an indication of intent, and at least mild willingness to play the game and get them completed soon!

Week 17 (27th August) - Presenting information continued
  • Thing 18: Jing / screen capture / podcasts (making and following them).  I have experimented with Jing - briefly.  And I've also recorded a soundtrack over a powerpoint, effectively functioning as kind of podcast.  I don't do these things often enough to get really comfortable with them, though.  The trouble is, it takes quite a bit of time, and needs a quiet office.  Mine isn't noisy, but it is busy, with coming and going and staff/student queries.  I do not have my own quiet space in which to record things.  And the other thing is, I could record all manner of things, put them up on the VLN, and then sit back confident in the knowledge that hardly anyone would look at them!  Whereas, if I put together a talk or a powerpoint, and deliver it with gusto, I know I've got the message across to my intended audience.  Not that I wish to give the impression I'm a Luddite - I'm far from it - but I do like my efforts to have maximum impact, effect and outreach.  Meanwhile, have a bit of pity - I uploaded loads of stuff onto Moodle last year - I doubt it was much used - and now I'm told that the Jing format may not upload onto Moodle 2.  I'm slightly disheartened by this news!

Week 18 - (3rd September) - Reflection

  • Thing 19: Some time to think about how you might integrate the Things so far into your workflow and routines.  If all these Things have achieved one thing, it's cemented my reputation as the team-member who "gets" and "does" social media.  My blogging habit sometimes threatens to take me over, but what I blog certainly is relevant.  Whittaker Live remains a successful performing arts blog.  I've done a couple of Storifys, and at home maintained True Imaginary Friends (my writing identity), not to mention a couple of others that get used less often.  And last week I signed the Whittaker Library up to Twitter - @WhittakerLib.  Since I already tweet as @karenmca, and have a feed to Whittaker Live, it's debatable whether we need a library Twitter identity, but I'm giving it a cautious try.  I've joined in a few Twitter chats (eg #uklibchat), and would certainly mention social media and CPD 23 on my CV.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Curled up with a good Curriculum Vitae (Thing 21)

Here we are, getting to the end of our 23 Things CPD journey.  This week, we're thinking about our CVs.

I feel slightly smug, because my CV is pretty up-to-date.  Publication achievements and speaking engagements get added almost immediately.  I regard my saved CV as a resource to draw upon, because I would never just send it out without tailoring it to purpose.  I've taken several opportunities to run it past careers guidance and job agency people at various stages, which has taught me not only that there's always room for improvement and second opinions, but that opinions vary widely as to the best way to format a CV!

The problem is that as you get further on in your career, you have to decide what threads to emphasise, and what to slim down.  TWO PAGES, did you say?  That is so, so difficult!

I'm now a career librarian with a CV which boasts as much speaking and writing as you'd expect from a keen and fairly recent postdoc - which I am - but not nearly as much speaking and writing as you'd expect from an academic of my own age who had dedicated a quarter of a century to teaching and researching.  So I'm atypical however you look at it.  And it's about to get even crazier-looking, because next month I commence a three-year part-time secondment to be a postdoctoral research assistant for 40% of my time.  Unless I'm applying for something very scholarly, I now have to summarise my published output, because it looks top-heavy for a college librarian.

I suppose it all goes to shore up the impression that I'm a somewhat scholarly type who is not too shy to talk about it!  On the other hand, I lack 'managerial' experience, which goes against me in job applications.  I'm doing my best to get experience of other kinds, like serving on or convening committees, and working with volunteers.  Not management, as in running a department with staff supervision, but certainly engaging with people, to counterbalance all the engaging with musical scores and those ghostly Scottish song-collectors who drift through my thoughts given half a chance!

And I've certainly got decades of experience working with students, their queries and foibles - not to mention now having three teens of my own to shore up that experience!  (There's still a postgraduate in our college who likes to remind people that I'm the one who told him to tie up that shoelace before he tripped over it ... !)  However, there's no mention of my personal life in my CV.  I expect to be judged on what I bring to the job, not on our ongoing struggle to bring up three moderately respectable young people!

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

No short cuts: Thing 20 (23 Things for library cpd) .

We're recommended to look at two websites - the Library Routes project, and the Library Day in the Life.  I hadn't come across the latter before - it's an interesting idea, but you can only enter yourself at designated points in time, so it's more for interest than an action point.

However, I entered myself on the Library Routes project back in 2010,  so that's that done!  

Mind you, things have moved on a bit.  I mentioned a book?  It's forthcoming in March 2013, with Ashgate.  I'm still writing research papers, and giving occasional lectures - both scholarly and to special interest groups.  And I'm about to be seconded part-time as a post-doc researcher on an AHRC-funded music project at Glasgow University.  All this flows from my research interests, but the Glasgow project particularly plays to both my strengths, as I'll be using my skills as musicologist and music librarian.

In terms of librarianship, I've also given papers at both our national and international music library conferences (2012 and 2011 respectively), experimented with and exploited social media as a professional tool, started working with volunteers in our own library; and am now the chairperson of SALCTG, the Scottish Academic Libraries Cooperative Training Group.

So, what are my professional roots and routes?  It's pretty much all there on my 2010 posting.  I started out as a scholar, became a librarian, and can best describe myself now as a scholar librarian.  At times I've been lucky, though at others I like to think I've made my own luck by embracing opportunities as they came up.  Whether as a scholar or a librarian, you have to work hard at becoming an expert in your field - there really are no shortcuts.

Now I'm going to paste this into my Library Routes blogpost, as a postscripted update.  (Apologies to any readers who end up reading it twice!)

Sunday, 26 August 2012

An extra contribution: On writing readably

After my diatribe about Prezi, I wouldn't want colleagues to think I was a wet blanket!

So, since I'm not really a grumpy old curmudgeon, I thought I'd share something I wrote last night with research students in mind - a piece entitled, On Writing Readably.  If you've got a chartership portfolio or dissertation in the offing, maybe this might offer food for thought.

Thing 17 (Prezi and Slideshare): See, here's the thing

Here we are at Thing 17: Prezi and Slideshare.  Only six things left after this one, and I'm not a quitter!

But ... See, here's the thing (to quote Leonard on BBT):-

I have tried, truly I have. I've fought and struggled with Prezi on a number of occasions, and I just end up getting mad at it.  Mad at it, and mad at myself, because I know I'm not stupid, and I'm not generally thrown by web 2.0 innovations.  I spent absolutely ages trying to master Prezi back in November, and I've dabbled on and off since then. 

Easy as pie?*
So I spent several hours of a precious Sunday afternoon/evening trying to get to grips with it today, and I've eventually decided that I'm not spending more time on something that makes me so tetchy!  I don't like zooming about.  I struggle to make slides bigger and smaller.  I don't want my audience to see something that basically looks childish and ineffectual.  Don't get me wrong - I've seen loads of other people's Prezi's, and very nice they look too.  But in the time I've spent on it, I could have done a very effective PowerPoint.  (Sometimes the old ways are the best?)

But, all to no avail.  I've got four slides in order, with a path between them, and it looks - pathetic. There's no other word for it.  I should rename mine, Karen's Shame:-

Dizzy Doctor

Slideshare, on the other hand, makes perfect sense to me.  I've only ever uploaded two presentations, but it's enough to convince me that it's a very useful way to share stuff publicly:-

Two Presentations on my favourite subject: Celtic song


* As for the pie?  That was yesterday afternoon's project.  It, too, took hours - I even made the puff-pastry from scratch.  The difference being that it was delicious, and thoroughly worth the effort!

Sunday, 19 August 2012

CPD23 - experimenting again with Storify

I just wondered if Storify would act as a kind of 'mind-map' to bring together all the different activities I'm currently involved in - partly so that I can ask myself whether and how NEW opportunities fit into what I've already taken on!

I have a tendency to say 'yes' to every opportunity, but maybe I need to be more scrupulous about not taking on extra challenges!

So - here's the Secret Life of the Somewhat Heavily Committed Music Librarian.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Thing 16: Advocacy, Speaking up & Getting Published

Here's the link for Thing 16 on the CPD23 website.  This is a tricky one.  I'm all in favour of speaking up for the profession, but as the author of Thing 16 admits, the big question is how to do it.  Thing 16 finishes with a list of suggested 'Things to do'.

So, here goes!

Rebel without a Cause?  Not me!

  • Consider why it's important to advocate for the section of library and information sector that you work for or want to work in.
  • Because music libraries are getting thinner on the ground, especially public libraries with adequate music provision.
  • Have a think about what advocacy you've been involved in. Give examples so we can pool resources and inspire others to do the same. Or, give an example of some advocacy that you think has been particularly effective – library-related or otherwise.
  • Well, I've advocated within our institution for more information literacy / user education, and that has been taken on board in the new curriculum.  (There were 'have your say' sessions, and I had mine.  I got gasps of amazement when I reported a student's mother phoning in asking for recordings to help with their offspring's dissertation.  But I think that was influential in kickstarting the drive to improve our provision.)  
  • As to other examples - the recent drive to save public libraries has been inspirational and effective, but it's not something I've been involved in.
  • If you haven't been involved in advocacy, reflect on what your skills are (or which you want to develop), what you're most passionate about and think about what you might be able to do.
  • My skills?  I'm articulate, enthusiastic, and I believe I write well.  And I've published quite a bit, on music librarianship, musicology and 18th/19th century cultural stuff.  (My first book is due out in March 2013, but it's not a librarianship book.)  I would like to help get the Wighton Database back online again.  The Wighton Collection of early Scottish music has a dedicated room in Dundee Central Library, and is supported by the Friends of Wighton.  I've joined as a Friend, and I've recently become Campaigns Officer with the Library and Information History Group.
  • If you're passionate about public libraries and want to help – let Voices for the Library know! We're keen to get more people involved with things like asking organisations and well-known figures for supporting statements, securing sponsorship, liaising with other campaigning bodies and representing us at events.
  • At the moment, I've got quite a lot on my plate, so I watch what's going on with public libraries, but haven't taken an active part.
  • If you've got any potential content for That's Not Online! let Jacqueline know.
  • That's a new one on me.  I'll bear it in mind.
  • Think about where advocacy fits in with professionalism – maybe comment on Johanna's blog post about Activism, Advocacy and Professional Identity or if you can get hold of any, look at some job descriptions and identify where you think the advocacy might fit within the requirements of the roles.
  • Again, I'll need to think about this. 
  • Publication challenge! A prize for anyone who gets a piece of library advocacy published.
  • Oh, I do love a challenge!  I can write.  I just need to find a cause to write about.  I think I have to write about the Wighton Collection, don't you?  Watch this space ...

Monday, 6 August 2012

Thing 15: I'm jumping back in!

Oh dear, I've missed something.  Some Things, to be accurate. Week 11 is where I stopped keeping up:-

  • Week 11 (16th July)-  Reflections (Thing 12: Putting the social into social media 
  • Week 12 (23rd July) - Filesharing/Collaboration (Thing 13: Google Docs, Wikis & Dropbox)
  • Week 13 (30th July) - Organising your references (Thing 14: Zotero / Mendeley / citeulike)
In fairness to myself, I already do a huge lot of social media stuff.  I wrote about it in Sunrise earlier this year, so that's effectively my contribution to Thing 12:-

Sunrise (CILIP East of England & CDG) 2012 issue 1, 2-3
‘Social Media in Libraries: Me and My Cyber Presence’ 

As for filesharing and collaboration - I've experimented slightly with a PBWorks Wiki, when I did my IAML(UK and Irl) Crowdsourcing the Celtic Bard talk at the Annual Study Weekend in Cardiff this Easter.  Here's the Slideshare presentation. I subsequently published the paper in Brio - once I'd written it up!  That takes care of Thing 13.

Organising my references?  Ah, I've used Endnote, flirted with Zotero and make irregular use of Mendeley.  But I have two big Word documents as well, formatted my preferred way, and annotated.  One is my doctoral thesis bibliography, and the other is the post-doc one.  Sorted!  Oh, and I use Diigo and Evernote.  Thing 14 also ticked off the list!

Which brings us to  ... 

  • Week 14 - (6th August) - Getting involved (Thing 15: Attending, presenting at and organising seminars, conferences and other events) 

Get involved - and keep a record of it!

I network a lot.  I'm in IAML (UK and Ireland) and the international organisation;  I've attended and presented at various events.  I'm also in SALCTG, the Scottish Academic Libraries Cooperative Training Group, and I've just become Convenor. For a long time I also represented my library at the SCURL Disability Group, looking at library support for disabled users.  I've been branch secretary for our trade union, and was a library union rep down in South Tyneside many years ago.  And I've been involved with various other groupings over the years, too.  I've also just finished serving on the Council of the Royal Musical Association, in my other incarnation as musicologist, and I've given papers both at the RMA Research Students' Conferences and at Musica Scotica.  I was on the conference organising committee for that this year, too.

Please can I emphasise here that I am not listing all this stuff to polish my own halo, but rather to demonstrate that if you steadily get on with these things as the opportunities arise, you can amass a good body of work to list on your CV.  If I appear to have done a lot, it's not that remarkable over a career of nearly three decades.  Yikes, am I that old?

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Things getting a little behind

... but only because I'm on holiday!  Meanwhile (to prove I take myself seriously), I've written and submitted an article to a journal.

Also made a debut in the THE magazine (12 July 2012, a mini-review in the What are you reading? column), and heard today that my first book is now at the editorial/production stage at the publisher's. 

But if you want to read about Karen the writer, there's more on a different blog - True Imaginary Friends.  Another of my identities!

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

The Mentor Thing: anyone need a librarian mentor?

Thing 11: A Mentor?

Now I'm beginning to feel very long in the tooth, for I suspect I'm too old to find myself a mentor!  My PhD supervisor was a wise and learned mentor in the musicology field, but I have never really had a librarianship mentor.

I've supervised a chartership candidate, and do my level best to encourage young professionals, placement students and volunteers alike.  So can I offer myself as a mentor, if there's any young librarian out there who thinks I'd be any help?  (Before I'm deluged with requests, though, I reserve the right to squeal if too many people take me up on my offer!)

Thumbnail CV
  • Librarian for 28 years: university cataloguer, public music librarian, conservatoire music librarian since before Noah built his ark;
  • Three music degrees and a postgraduate librarianship diploma;
  • Working parent;
  • Experience of working full-time and doing part-time study whilst parenting;
  • Writing addict; blogging ditto.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Thing 10: Here's where I feel old

Thing 10: 

Graduate traineeships, Masters Degrees, Chartership, Accreditation

I can complete this Thing really quickly, but boy, does it make me feel old?!

  1. Graduate traineeships - Exeter 1982-1983.  (Yesterday I made my apologies to the "other" Chief Librarian who offered me a traineeship back in 1982! We expressed regret at not having had the chance to enjoy one another's company, and pleasure that I'd got my career off to a good start regardless.)
  2. I already had an MA in Music before my graduate traineeship.  (It would have been an MLitt if I'd done it later - totally by research, all 60K words of it ...)
  3. I chose to do a Postgraduate Diploma in Librarianship because I already had a Masters.  Then bust a gut to get a Distinction because I didn't like the idea of "just" passing it.  Luckily, the gut-busting paid off!  Although I've sometimes wondered if I should have done an MSc in Librarianship rather than a diploma, I don't really think it has made any difference.  And for my generation, a postgraduate diploma was quite normal - getting a Masters  as your professional qualification was only just coming in as an alternative route.
  4. Chartership - it saddens me when new entrants to the profession agonize about chartership.  It is worth doing, in my opinion - and it isn't the big ordeal some people would have you believe.  I started preparing for mine as soon as I got my first professional job.  Seems a long, long time ago.
  5. Accreditation.  I haven't done this, as such, but I've recently done a part-time PhD and gained my Fellowship of CILIP, so I think I've demonstrated commitment to CPD!
There, Thing 10 done and dusted.  Back to that bulging inbox ...

Thursday, 28 June 2012

PhD: Practically half-Demented

Hooked on authorship?

My PhD thesis is at the publisher's, about to be moved to editing/production.  All very exciting.  But, I am already wondering what to do next - talk about a glutton for punishment!  Since all the writing manuals tell us to 'write about what you know', I asked myself what I actually did know.  And it occurred to me that what I know very well is how to do a PhD as a mature, part-time student.  I've thrown together a few of my thoughts as a Storify story:-

PhD; Practically half-Demented

Do you think there's any mileage in this?  Please let me have your comments.

Friday, 22 June 2012

1 a.m. on Saturday morning - how sad am I?

Well, Facet Publishing has just posted this at 1 a.m., so I'm not the only sad British librarian lurking on the internet!

I want us to get this book  on user centred learning!

Things 8 and 9: Google Calendar and Evernote

My Choice!

I'm going to write a couple of sentences here, then get on with the day-job!  I must confess I'm feeling a little overwhelmed.  I do use Evernote - I love it.  So that leaves Google Calendar.  I have it on my android, and it's quite useful.  However,  
  • I have my work calendar, which is web-accessible.  And I have the departmental calendar alongside it, ditto.  I use it at work.  I can consult it when I'm elsewhere so long as I have web access.
  • I have my Palm calendar, which goes everywhere with me.  It's not web-accessible.  I can no longer back it up - it's incompatible with the new laptop. But it doesn't really matter.
  • I have the family wall-planner.  There are columns for all five of us.
  • I have the family Excel spreadsheet.
  • And I have the Google calendar on my phone.
  • I really don't want to synchronise my work calendar and my home life!  If I'm at home, please can I get on with being at home?  And if I'm at work, do I have to see my whole family's dental appointments, school trips and other comings and goings? No.  Not my way!
  • In short, I don't want to have any more calendars to worry about, even if I can link them.
Here I shall depart, before I give the impression I'm a grumpy, frumpy old retrograde.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Thing 7: Getting involved professionally

This is an easy "thing" for me to write about, because I've always been professionally involved.

  1. CILIP.  I got chartered (ALA) in the Library Association as soon as I'd put in the requisite amount of experience, and written my professional development report.  Actually, it wasn't nearly as difficult as some people would have you believe, so if anyone reading this is still working towards chartership, then my message to them is, 'Please don't worry about it!'.  I'm happy to be a sounding-board for anyone with any concerns about it.  Anyway, I've been a member ever since, and I also supervised my maternity cover's chartership.  Although it wasn't easy getting away to attend events when I had young children (I only had 3 months' maternity leave after the birth of each child), I tried to keep active at arm's length, and I did write a couple of articles for Personnel Training and Development, in 2001.  I've nearly always subscribed to more groups than the minimum two, though my choices have changed from time to time.  More recently, I submitted my Fellowship application a couple of years ago.
  2. IAML (UK and Irl).  I joined IAML at the same time as I joined CILIP - as a librarianship postgrad at College of Librarianship Wales, Aberystwyth.  Within a year, I was working as a music librarian in South Tyneside, and at that stage I became IAML (UK and Irl)'s Newsletter Editor and Brio Reviews Editor.  This meant trips to London for Exec meetings - which I managed until the kids came along.  If you begin to see a theme emerging, I'm afraid it's that people without children inevitably get more involved in group activities and committees, whilst full-time working mothers with three young children tend to get less involved!  I was Brio Reviews Editor from 1989-1992, but withdrew slightly from involvement in professional organisations while the kids were young; there was a dip in my conference attendances, although I did get away to day-events from time to time.  More recently I've written for the Newsletter and Brio, spoken at a couple of conferences, and written a review and a paper for Fontes (the international organisation).
  3. Locally, I've represented the RSAMD (now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, since our namechange) at SALCTG (Scottish Academic Libraries Cooperative Training Group) for many years, and I've just become Convenor of that group.  It's good to be involved in something local, where you get to meet people with similar interests over an extended period of time. 
  4. For quite a while I also represented RSAMD at the SCURL Disabilities Group, addressing access issues for disabled readers, but the group has disbanded now.  (I gave a paper and published an article for that, too.)
  5. In 2002, I found three nineteenth century Dundonian flute manuscripts after a library refurbishment.  You might ask why I'm mentioning this here: it's because it marked the reawakening of my interest in musicological research.   In one sense, it is coincidental that this marked the start of my youngest son's school career - in another, it's perhaps just as well!  From 2004-9 I studied part-time for a PhD, alongside my full-time job.  This has led to a lot of networking in musicological circles, particularly the Royal Musical Association.  I'm currently on the Council for that, too.  I've attended RMA research students' conferences, and published a paper in the RMA Research Chronicle.  I'm also a member of the international specialist Eighteenth Century Scottish Studies Society - I've written a paper and a couple of book reviews for them, too - and I attend Musica Scotica conferences locally in Glasgow.  More presentations and another published paper.
  6. I now lurk on Twitter, which is a great way of keeping abreast of professional concerns.  More so for librarianship than musicology, I have to say.  Maybe I'm just not following the right Twitter trends.  It's more vital to my day-to-day existence that I keep up with librarianship stuff.  I haven't given up on the research - indeed, I have a book at the publishers' right now - but I earn my daily crust as a librarian.
Sometimes, I feel I haven't made much progress professionally, having been in the same job 24 years.  But looking at this lot, I certainly haven't stagnated.  That's something I can be proud of, I suppose!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Thing 4 reprise (Reflection on Maslow's hierarchy of needs)

'And what kind of a day has everyone had today?', my youngest son asked at tea.  I hadn't anything interesting to tell him.  

Do they still tell you about Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, at library school?   At the bottom of the pyramid are the 'fed, clothed and sheltered' needs.  The next level is the need to be safe.  Then to be loved and to belong.  If you've got all that - and I recognise that far too many of humanity haven't got all that - then the next level is the need for esteem, and finally for self-actualization - creativity, and so on.
With grateful thanks to Wikipedia
Well, we all have days when we feel we have made a difference and even been moderately creative.  Today was not one of those days.  I changed classmarks in part of the system invisible to all but my library colleagues.  I reclassified books which are only likely to be read by a tiny minority of our readers. And I withdrew books which have never felt as though they were loved at all!  It felt sadly as though I hadn't made any difference in my organisation.  I hadn't solved any problems, and I certainly hadn't been creative.  In a place jam-packed, indeed STUFFED with creative people, this felt all wrong.

I need another research project, or something extensive to write.  Amusing little limericks, written in my spare time, aren't going to satisfy that need.  With that thought in mind, I'm going to make a cuppa and go read a deep, scholarly book.  Maybe it'll trigger some inspiration - I sadly need it!

Friday, 1 June 2012

Peeping over the Fence (Week 5, Thing 6)

I sneaked a look at next week's 'Thing' and found it was all about networking:-

Week 5 (4th June) - Online Networks

  • Thing 6: Online networks (LinkedIn, Facebook, LISNPN, LATNetwork, CILIP Communities)
Well, that's very handy, because I'm going down south to the Big Smoke at the end of June for a social media event - networking enthusiastically with a new group of people, and I've been asked to blog about it!   (I hope all these lovely new friends won't be looking for a wee Scottish lassie, because I may be wee, but ah'm no' Scottish, and ah'm far tae auld tae be described as a lassie!)

It's the London Information and Knowledge Exchange event on 29th June, and you can find out more about it here: the event and its blog.

As it happens, I network in lots of different circles, but the first two networks listed in Thing 6 are not my preferred ones.  And I have yet to look at LISPN and LATNetwork.  I'm not over-keen on LinkedIn - people contact you wanting to link up with you, even when you can see that your working lives are unlikely ever to intersect.  And onceLinkedIn have got you, it's very hard to remove yourself.  As for Facebook - well, I've chosen to tweet professionally; Facebook is purely for family and a very small, select circle of friends.  I don't use it professionally at all.

I'm not going to look at the other networks mentioned above until next week.  However, let me mention that I'm on the Committee of LIHG, the Library and Information History Group (via CILIP), so I participate in their online space.  I'm also a member of IAML, the International Association of Music Libraries - and am signed up to both the UK and international email lists.  As Convenor of SALCTG (Scottish Academic Libraries Cooperative Training Group), I'm in email and blog contact with other members of the steeering group, and as Committee Member of the RMA (Royal Musical Association), I'm in email contact with the rest of that committee, too.

Monday.  Back again.

So, I thought to myself, I'd better investigate LISNPN, and LATnetwork.  Well, it turns out that LISNPN is for new professionals, and I'm afraid I'm not at all new.   I'm heading towards becoming an ancient monument, and even if I stop working at 70, I've only got 16 years more to go.   So there's no point in signing up to that one!  As for LATnetwork - yes, I was aware of teach-meets,  but I wasn't aware there was also a website for librarians as teachers.  However, even though this means I've learned something, I am beginning to feel that I'm in enough networks, really.  Although I had intended to attend a teach-meet a few months ago, I wasn't actually free on the day it took place, so I never made it.  This isn't to say that I might not attend another one if it was local and I was free.

After a busy day at work, a couple of computer crashes at home, a discussion with the Man from Orange, and a bit of web-browsing, I've decided to do something traditional now, for a change.  I'm off to put the kettle on and pick up a book.  A real one, with paper pages and ink!

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Thing 5 Part 2 - Reflecting on Impact

23 Things for Professional Development: librarians' career development

Thing 5: Reflective Practice

I subscribe to THE in a personal capacity, so I get my own copy to read on the subway or at work-breaks.  But my reading isn't always totally up-to-date, and that's how I came to be reading Paul Manners' article, 'Ripping Yarns' in the audiology waiting room this morning, despite it having been published a fortnight ago.*

Now, Paul Manners is Director of the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement, which 'supports researchers to develop the quality and impact of their engagement with the public'.  Impact and public engagement are therefore of paramount importance to him, and justifiably so.  And he believes that the REF (research excellence framework) process correctly asks researchers to identify the impact that their work has had, and the extent to which they have engaged with the public - which has, after all, helped fund their research.

Okay, where is this going?, you might ask.  We're librarians, not researchers.  True.  However, as I read on, I found myself asking, 'What am I?  And should I be demonstrating my impact, too?

I work as a music librarian full-time, but I'm also a musicologist.  Any research I do is done in my own time.  I have an academic affiliation, since I work in a conservatoire as a professional subject librarian, but research is not part of my job, unless it's a piece of small-scale research with a librarianly outcome - such as my recent 'Crowdsourcing the Celtic Bard' project, undertaken with the dual purpose of informing myself prior to writing a paper on a topic adjacent to but not the same as my own research interest, and to explore the merits and demerits of crowdsourcing as a modern research tool.  I gave that paper at the IAML (UK & Ireland) Annual Study Weekend at Cardiff last month, and it's due to appear in Brio, our professional journal, fairly imminently.

Thinking about impact and public engagement, I concluded that I would certainly expect to have an impact upon our readers, but 'public engagement' isn't something applicable to my librarianly role.  Engagement with the academic community that I support, most certainly, but not 'public engagement' in the sense that the REF process expects researchers to demonstrate.  Indeed, even 'impact' isn't a term we would normally use.  Nonetheless, it equates to effectiveness, when you consider the study and research support context in which  an academic librarian works.  If I am effective in my work as a subject librarian, then I would hope that my impact would evidence itself in students being better able to determine what exactly they need for an assignment; to find what they need (and know when to stop looking!); and to reference it appropriately.  Additionally, I need to ensure that the resources are there to support my academic colleagues' curriculum and research requirements, and that the catalogue is maintained to a high standard.  If I've done all that, I've demonstrated effectiveness.

So much for Karen the librarian.  However, Karen the musicologist, private researcher or otherwise, is very much concerned about public engagement.  My PhD topic was deliberately chosen to increase my expertise in a subject taught at our institution.  It was self-funded; I don't have an obligation to provide value-for-money now the graduation photo is on the wall, but since my own motivation was to undertake research in a subject that would be useful, then unless I share that knowledge, much of the effort has been in vain.  So, let's do a little reflective analysis on my success in that area.

I graduated in December 2009.  What have I achieved in the past 29 months, in terms of public engagement?  Actually, quite a bit!  I've done ten undergraduate lectures or seminars in three institutions.  Five research seminars within my institution, nine conference papers and seminar presentations outside my institution, two talks to historical societies, three 'proper' journal papers, three shorter articles and four book reviews.  (Some of it was on my research topic, some on librarianly topics or 'merged' papers on research and study skills.)  Oh, and I submitted my commissioned book manuscript on time, a month ago.  My research has given me something to write and talk about authoritatively, and I think I can safely say that I've found my voice. (I wish the same could be said for my singing voice, which sounds the untrained organ that it is!)   I've spoken to librarians, researchers, performers, and local historians.

So, actually, I think I've demonstrated substantial impact and public engagement.  It's reassuring to quantify it all.  When I first attempted a PhD, a quarter of a century ago, I used to wonder privately what use it would be to anyone else.  Indeed, I didn't finish it because I rashly started my librarianship career before writing up the doctorate, and the thesis was never written.  The 2009 PhD was a far better piece of work - and demonstrably more useful.  Not what they call a 'professional' doctorate, but a plain, ordinary research one.

I'm just metaphorically taking a breather right now, before deciding in which direction my research interests are going to go next. 

* Paul Manners, 'Ripping Yarns', in THE (Times Higher Education), 17 May 2012, No.2, 050, pp. 44-47.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Thing 5: Reflective practice

Treading cautiously!

I think I probably am quite analytical in my approach to my work, but I must confess I don't feel terribly comfortable reflecting publicly on a blog.  I mean, if I've interacted with individuals or groups, be they colleagues or readers, then this isn't the place to reflect on those interactions.

My CILIP Fellowship application a couple of years ago was the biggest personal "reflection" I'd done for a while, of course.  Then earlier this year, we applied for - and achieved - a IAML (UK and Irl) Certificate of Excellence for the Whittaker Library at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.  This similarly involved a fair amount of reflection on the part of myself and my line-manager.

Right now, I suppose it's fair to say I'm reflecting on my progress both as a subject librarian and as a scholar (musicologist).  I try to keep up to date in both the day-job and the research.  This is a continuing excellence thing, rather than a finite project.  And I do, constantly, ask myself the key questions: What am I doing?  How is it going? Have I achieved what I set out to achieve?  What could I be doing/ have done differently? 


Paul Manners' article, Ripping Yarns, in THE (17 May 2012) got me very excited in the audiology waiting room this morning. (I took THE with me, I hasten to add - the Southern General doesn't have an especially highbrow waiting room for hearing-impaired scholars.)  Scholarly impact and  professional effectiveness are surely two sides of the same coin. I shall blog about this shortly! 

Monday, 28 May 2012

Thing 4 (better late than never)

Thing 4: Current Awareness, RSS feeds and Storify

Right, this is my teabreak - it'll have to be a quick Thing!  (My wifi is down at home, so it's now or never.  A whole blog on the android would be a footer, to say the least.  "Foo-ter": Scottish for "fiddly".)

Twitter.  Ah yes, Twitter.  I've got a couple of hundred followers, so I'm fairly au-fait with Twitter, but you're never too old to learn, so I learned about lists, and following other people's.  If I follow you - watch out.  I now know where to find your LISTS!  (I'm @Karenmca, by the way.  Yes, I was gratified to get there early enough to snaffle it!)

RSS feeds.  Now, I must confess I get a bit confused with RSS feeds.  However, I've made a policy decision: from now on, I'll only use the Google one.  It's far too confusing using more than one of them!  I did set up a couple of feeds to fulfil the Thing requirements, though.

And then we come to Storify.  I wrote a story in my lunchbreak, and here it is:-

Musings on Creativity  It's a book-review of a book we recently acquired, The Fiddletree, by Otis A. Tomas.  But I won't tell you about it here - you'll have to visit my Storify story.  It's quite easy to use, and I can see myself using it again.  It's rather like blogging one-off blogs, I suppose.  Fun.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Thing 3: my brand admits a little entertainment occasionally!

Feeling fairly secure in my branding, I decided to let my hair down this evening, and write a few limericks for Whittaker Live, the performing arts blog I author for the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.  (There's no harm in a few innocent little verses for musicians, is there?!)  Actually, I wrote a few for my cellist son last week, but I'm working my way down the score; I've done woodwind and brass on Whittaker Live so far.  You can click on the link if you like!

Now I'm going to go and sort out other aspects of my life, so 'bye for now ...

Monday, 14 May 2012

Thing 3: My brand: is it creating the right impression?

Actually, I mentioned my online identity last night when I blogged about my various web presences.  So Thing 3 is really just an extension of that.

But the big question is, what do my fellow bloggers think of my brand, and are they receiving the message I mean to convey?  (Tell me, please do tell me!)

I Googled myself and thought it was quite accurate, to be honest.  (Having a distinctive name does help, of course.  Yes, there are a couple of scientists; and another Karen McAulay translates dictionaries; but I seem to be the one and only musical, scholarly librarian Karen McAulay!)   Anyway, I come up first on Academia, then on Twitter (which I keep professional).  There's a Facebook Karen McAulay who isn't me - can't help that - then comes Whittaker Live, the performing arts blog that I author at work.
After that I come up on LinkedIn (I don't use it much at all), then a researcher posting I did for Durham University.  Next, I'm found fundraising for Action on Hearing Loss, and then on

There's nothing there I wouldn't want a future employer to see.  Indeed, I believe it conveys the serious, research-minded, music information expert that I like to think I am.  I was quite gratified to find the fundraising venture came up - no future employer would object to charity activity AND serious swimming, and if they worked out that I have mild hearing loss, well, it plainly doesn't hold me back!

Right, other questions that Thing 3 asked me to consider:- 
  • Name used.  My real name clearly comes up in the right places.  Whittaker Live is named after an early professor at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (when it was the Athenaeum), and I'm blogging at work anyway, but my real name is there for all to see, if they look for it.  I'm Karenmca on Twitter, but I often sign myself as that on memos etc, so it's accurate enough. and Linked In are spot on, too.  If some of my other blog presences don't show my real name so prominently, it doesn't matter quite so much - they don't come up at the top of the Google search in any case.  However, I've just tweaked my True Imaginary Friends blog, so now my name features along the top.
  • Photograph.  I always use a smiling but businesslike picture.  As for other images; well, they're mainly serious ones, but occasionally a frivolous or quirky one to demonstrate a sense of humour.  There are no embarrassing pictures of me because I avoid getting into embarrassing situations!
  • Professional/personal identity.  See last night's post!  I keep my professional and personal identities relatively separate, and don't want too much of my personal life broadcast on the internet. 
  • Visual brand.  Generally, you'll find a photo of me (see above).  My business-cards are themed with purple flowers, because of my research work on floral and other natural metaphors in connection with historical Scottish folksong collectors.  However, I don't have flowers on any web presence.  Maybe I should - but that's open to debate, though.  I don't know that it would suit my persona as a scholarly author.  Do I really want flowers on a website that might be visited by academics or publishers?
  • A late postscript.  Today my publisher asked me to choose a colour for my book cover.  Well, what else?  I thought of my CPD23 friends, and it had to be ... the same colour as my business cards!  (See my True Imaginary Friends blog, about the forthcoming book.)

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Thing 2 again: When you author several blogs!

The Multi-Faceted Blogger!

I already have several blogs, but I started this one, Airs and Graces, for continuing professional development purposes.  

None of the others were really suitable.  Whittaker Live is the blog I run on behalf of the Whittaker Library at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.  And I have others for my persona as an author: True Imaginary Friends; and as a working mum: PseudoSupermum. So that's four blogs, and I'm perfectly comfortable with that.  Occasionally, I allow Whittaker Live and True Imaginary Friends to interact with one another, and that's okay too. PseudoSupermum doesn't have much to say for herself these days, having realised that it's actually virtually impossible to be even a 'pseudo' supermum.  (Also, as time has gone by, I've decided I don't really want to write much about my family life.)

Where the fun begins is in the other blogs I occasionally interact with.  Oh, golly, it's almost embarrassing how many corners of the internet I've got into!

I have an inactive Wordpress blog, Multi-Taskers Anonymous.  I only set it up when I was contemplating migrating Whittaker Live, a while ago.  But I use my Wordpress login when I contribute occasional guest blogposts to The Thesis Whisperer, and I must have been logged in when I made a comment on the Victorian Librarian's cpd23 blog last night.  That's unfortunate, because it means I've directed the VL to an inactive blog, rather than to Airs and Graces.  Not to worry - I've listed all my active blogs as a new posting on Multi-Taskers Anonymous (what an apt name that turned out to be!), and I'll tweet the VL explaining my schizophrenic web presence!

But there's also the occasional blogpost for (the Music careers blog).  That's a different Wordpress login, purely via, so I can't get confused there!  And I make odd comments on my page - usually just updates, but occasionally a blog entry.  Lastly, we use Moodle and Mahara on the virtual learning network at work.  That offers me the opportunity to keep a blog, too.  Not surprisingly, I only make occasional postings there.  

The truth of the matter is that I just love putting words down on paper, or indeed in cyberspace.  Given the slightest encouragement, I'll write about musicology, music librarianship, music current awareness or  information literacy, and I've been known to pass observations on working parenthood, or being the sole female in a male household (three adolescents and a retiree).

For now, however, I'll just insert a few hyperlinks and call it a day. 

Friday, 11 May 2012

Thing 2 continued (CPD23)

Write about the blogs you've visited, it says.  Well, I visited several before I remembered that I ought to keep a note of whom I'd visited/commented upon!

Take 2.  If I look at a CPD23 blog, I shall save it to a special Diigo list, tagged appropriately!

So, some of the blogs I've looked at so far are listed below.  Three in Scotland, one in Wales, and more in England!

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Thing 2: Introducing CPD23 to other Scottish librarians

SALCTG meeting in Dundee tomorrow - Scotland's academic libraries' cooperative training group.  I'm going to talk about the 23 Things initiative!  So - watch this space.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Thing 2: explore (and why not share?) other blogs

I'd like to introduce you, my new CPD23 buddies, to one of my colleagues.  Lucy Robertson is our Performance Librarian.  No, that doesn't mean she makes a song and dance about the library - rather, she is our orchestral and choral librarian.  She's going to an orchestral librarians' conference in New Orleans in just a few days; she won a bursary to get there!  Not bad, indeed.

Lucy agreed to blog her trip.  So here is her blog so far: Lucy's letters from America. It'll be much more enjoyable for Lucy if she feels her blog is being read, so please do follow it.  Who knows what you'll find out about the secret lives of orchestral librarians - a very special, rare breed.

NB I realise I've actually blogged twice today.  A bit excessive, maybe.  But I thought this was a worthwhile addition to my Continuing Professional Development 23 Things blog, so hopefully I'll be forgiven!

Thing 2: Explore other blogs

Please, fellow CPD23-ers - it's proving hard to find out who tweets.  Please do put a Twitter link or give your Twitter handle, then your fellow Tweeps can keep up with you! (I'm @karenmca, by the way.)

Equipped for giving talks!
Looking at other blogs, I've spotted my friend Yi-Wen, and also (I  th-i-n-k) Annabel? Though she's going incognito at the moment!  It's interesting to see what pictures people are posting.   Beautiful landscapes are popular, as are library-themed backgrounds.  Suddenly I realise that I haven't got ANYTHING remotely interesting on mine.  A mouse, oh yes, but that's not exactly original.  Let's see ... ah, that's better.   I bought these baroque recorders so I could play Highland tunes when I lecture on Scottish music.  (The oboe doesn't sound right in this context.  I've never learned how to play the tin whistle with all the ornamentation that a trad musician instinctively does.  The piano sounds so staid.  So a pair of handsome recorders is just fine - at least they sound nice!)

Friday, 4 May 2012

Prior experience of using social media? Yup!

Here's the link to a follow-up blogpost that I wrote after my talk at the IAML (UK and Irl) Annual Study Weekend earlier this month: Scottish minstrels and Welsh bards - 'Whittaker' went to Cardiff.

I talked about various social media tools -