Monday, 13 August 2012

Thing 14: Zotero / Mendeley / CiteULike

As I'm doing an MSc course at the moment, so having a reference tool will be very handy.  At work we have recently had Reference Manager installed, although I haven't managed to use it yet - there will be a training day in September and I decided to wait for that so I won't have to waste time trying to work things out.

As with Thing 13, I can't download software at work, so I will have to try these out at home, although I've had a look at the webpages.

Zotero looks brilliant - I have Firefox at home, and it will be easy to add.  It would be good to have at work, too, but that's not possible at the moment.  I really like the way they've made it so simple (at least according to the video!)

Mendeley looks good, with the added bonus of the social media aspect. I'm not sure how this will work in practice, and it did seem aimed more at scientific research, but definitely worth downloading to see. Zotero does seem like it could be better for more general research, and it looks like it interfaces with the web more easily. 

I can access citeulike in work, and it doesn't seem to have as many bells and whistles as the previous two, but could still prove useful, especially for sharing with colleagues online.

All of these reference tools could be useful in particular for literature searches.  It could also be something mentioned to research staff as it can help them collaborate with colleagues.

Monday, 23 July 2012

CPD23 Thing 13: Google Drive, Wikis and Dropbox

I will have to have a look at some of these at home as I can't access Google Drive at work, and I can't download Dropbox.  They both look brilliant in concept though, and I particularly like the look of Dropbox, for sharing photos with family members.  It's difficult to email a lot of photos, and you don't necessarily want to put them on Facebook, as they don't every really delete their photos, from what I've read. I definitely will try Dropbox at home for this reason alone!  It will also be a great way for my brother to send his documents to me, and I'll tell him about it so he can try it for his work as well.  Not sure how secure it is, but for regular family stuff this shouldn't matter.
Wikis - I've used these before, Wikipedia of course, as an occasional editor, and I've looked at a few others.  They're as good as their content, and editors, so particularly useful for larger groups, rather than just a few people.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Thing 12 - Putting the Social into Social Media

I have said it before, but my favourite professional social medium is Twitter - it's a great way to keep in contact with a wide variety of people, librarians, information professionals, Stephen Fry, and so on. 
I do read different blogs, but there are so many and it's hard to keep track of them all, while Twitter is so easy to just dip in and out of. I don't tend to have time to post as much as I would like on Twitter due to work pressures, but you can get away with using it like this.

Things 10 and 11 - Librarianship training options and Mentoring

Thing 10 - librarianship training options - This one is pretty easy for me, as I'm undertaking an MScEcon Information and Library Studies via distance learning from Aberystwyth University. I am fortunate enough to be sponsored by work, while I'm in a librarian position. I'm still in my first year, so it's still very general, but there is plenty to be getting on with - lots of information to plough through!  I will look at Chartership after I've qualified, but for now I have plenty to do.

Thing 11 - Mentoring - I don't have a formal mentor, but I have had a lot of help from senior colleagues without whom I wouldn't be in the position I am today!  I have found people very willing to offer advice and assistance, and it's a great way to develop your professional network.

Things 8 and 9 - Google Calendar and Evernote

Thing 8 - Google Calendar - I looked at this just a few months ago, and so I'll just review it again quickly. It's a good, useful calendar but I just don't need it at the moment.  If I ever need to arrange things online though, or while moving around, it's definitely worth considering.  My Outlook does the job for me now, and I even like to keep paper calendars at home! 

Thing 9 - Evernote - I have used this at home (there are issues using it at work due to our firewalls), and you can even download an app for your phone.  I did download it for my phone, but don't use the internet enough to bother keeping it.  It's handy to keep and organise references as you think of them, so you don't have to worry about remembering which webpage you were looking at 3 days ago.  I've still got it, but haven't gotten into the habit of using it that much, yet!

Monday, 25 June 2012

Thing 7 - Real-life Networks

I am a member of CILIP, and get regular e-mail updates from them, and have online access to their website, which are both good ways of keeping professionally up-to-date.  There's been a lot of discussion lately about the library closures and CILIP's response to this, and the voluntarisation of library staff, which has been fascinating reading.
I attended a CILIP conference in May, which had a leadership theme, and plenty of talks and discussions about the state of the profession.  I was also able to meet a number of colleagues who I'd previously only known online, and just generally get to know some new people!  I also met a couple of people who are on my MSc course, and was able to have a lunchtime chat with one of them.
I'm fortunate that my dues are being paid by my employer, but I still think it would be worth being a member even if they weren't.

Thing 6 - Online Networks

I'll just have a quick skim over this, as I previously completed it, and don't have that much to add.  I  previously joined LinkedIn, and it is very business oriented, but a good way to connect, as I've joined the CILIP group, amongst others.  I don't use it a lot, though.
LISNP (LIS New Professionals) is another group that I'm a member of, but don't really use that much.  I look in from time to time, and there is some activity, in particular about meetups and Library Camps, so it's worth a glance.
LAT, or Librarians as Teachers network is not at all busy, and not really related to my work, so not of interest to me.
CILIP Communities - I am now a member of CILIP so can access and post on these, but haven't really done much.  I do get email updates which are of interest, though.  Having a quick glance at the latest updates, there are a few discussions going on, and useful professional information being posted, so I will try to have a more regular look.
Facebook - as I've mentioned previously, I use Facebook for my personal life, although I do have some professional connections on there, but not of work colleagues!  I prefer to keep it that way.
Google+ - I have joined this, but not a lot of other people have, so I haven't used it that much.  I did try to use a Google Hangout, as Skype has gotten harder to use since being bought out by Microsoft, but it kept crashing. It really needs to get more popular, I think, before it's any sort of Facebook competitor.
Pinterest is one I haven't tried yet, I may give it a go as it seems very popular at the moment.