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!)