Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Rud 2: Actual Blogging

Seven Questions
Chosen celebrity: Neil Armstrong
This challenge would be pretty much impossible as Neil Armstrong was notorious for rarely doing interviews. Still...

  1. Why did you decide to become an astronaut?
  2. Is there a particular skill set required? Being a pilot already?
  3. In Chris Hadfield's autobiography An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth he talks about thinking like an astronaut. What is thinking like an astronaut? 
  4. If you couldn't have been an astronaut what would you have done?
  5. .....
  6. .....
  7. .....
This is no good! I can't think of Q5 - 7. We'll just pretend that that's when I was awestruck and said 'um' a lot!

How did I start in libraries?
I had to wait until I was seven and my sister could read and then we both joined the library. For years we both went once a week usually after we had done the food shopping with our Dad. After a while I stopped reading children's fiction, YA wasn't there then, and I moved to the grown-ups' section. There I read mostly genre fiction: crime and science fiction.
White, James. Star Surgeon.
UCC Library.

Undergrad Done
When I finished my undergrad someone said to me "Would you like to work in a library?" and I said "No, I think those people are boring!" Later I would become a student shelver in the library and I realised that I had miscalculated. I really enjoyed working in the library and I still know the Dewey classification scheme well for the sciences and engineering. Super useful at quizzes!

Onto the Library
I started looking into working in a library, any library really, I did a few interviews and waited for places to get back to me. This was during the Celtic Tiger when panels were formed and it might be a year before they'd get back to you. I started working in UCC Library 19th June 2006 - some days you don't forget. I remember wearing pink shoes (do I even own pink shoes now??) and they weren't comfy by day's end!

Over the last nine years I've always worked on front-line services: Customer Services, InterLibrary Loan, Health Sciences Customer Services and Information Desk, and Special Collections. In November 2012 I started working as the Special Collections Librarian in UCC and now I don’t work as much on the front-line. Instead I’m working on exhibitions, collection development and organisation, promotion of collections through blogging, and information literacy classes.

Actual Blogging
Anyone who works in library land may be annoyed, read will be annoyed, at some point that all other people think we do is read all day at work because we like to read. Sure, I like to read and I have read at work but then that's part of the job too. I'm doing this post at work as it's part of CPD. I can't magically move the information into my head without reading it. The 'fun' reading of genre fiction however, well that has to stay outside of work. There are limits!

White, James. Star Surgeon. London: Corgi, 1967.

Rud 1: Blogging

This is probably the easiest first post for me as I've had this blog for quite a while (quick check says since 2012!) but it did give me the opportunity to recheck the information on my profile page and do some quick edits.

I started blogging with Blogger because I found it the most intuitive.

Subsequently I  used Wordpress with work: The Riverside: Reflections on Research Collections at UCC Library. Perhaps because I had already used Blogger I now found Wordpress easy to use.

In an effort to separate out the different parts to my library life I kept Things: Bright & Shiny for CPD related matters such as 23 Things and started a new one on Wordpress for library musings. Well, I tried to do this but  life has a habit of getting in the way!

I'm interested in emerging technology so I tried Tumblr. I set it up to do a 30 Days series and completed:
30 Days of Sky: #skyphoto
30 Days of Tree: #treephoto
30 Days of Spring: #springphoto

Onto Rudai 23!

Monday, 13 July 2015

Bad Blogger

Oh I've been a bad blogger. It's been nearly six months since my last blog post with Things: Bright & Shiny. That said, I have been blogging on a regular basis with other blogs. Yes, I'm sorry I cheated on you Things: Bright & Shiny but it was worth it so maybe I'm not that sorry after all!

If you'd like to see what I've been up to:

And in between writing these posts I presented two papers. The first was at LAI CDG's Library Camp and although I was quite nervous about it the day went really well. I very much enjoyed meeting everyone. The second paper was at the CONUL Conference and because I'd presented at Library Camp I was much less nervous.

So what next? Onto Rudaí 23 which is the latest 23 Things CPD event from Western Regional Section of the Library Association of Ireland. I've already had a look at their schedule and to continue the Irish note I'm ar cipíní!

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Thing 5: Personal Brand

The last time I considered my personal brand for 23 Things for CPD I spent most of one morning making sure that I used the same names in each place. So across the social media world I am known as 'Walker Abroad.' It can be a tad confusing as people may expect my name to be my handle. But Elaine Harrington works in a library and yet I am more than someone who works in a library. I am walking abroad through spheres of knowledge and interests, and the world at large. The name also reminds me of a children's book. The characters said 'the walker is abroad.' I just can't remember the name of the book. It's the down-side to reading too many books! On that morning some two years ago I thought about what picture to use and not surprisingly, for me at least, I chose clouds. Maybe it's something to do with the ephemeral nature of social media or the transience of human existence. Maybe I'm reading too much into things, maybe I haven't quite embraced the need to make myself known. These are things that I puzzled about the first time round as well! At least I'm consistent across all platforms.

I Google myself on a regular basis; it's not just about what other people see but what I'm happy with of myself being available. There aren't many 'Elaine Harringtons' out there. A few writers (there must be something in the name!). I think Google has learned that 'Elaine Harrington' who Googles herself in Cork really is the Elaine Harrington who lives in Cork and not the one who lives in Dublin.

It's interesting then that Social Mention doesn't have the right me at all! Perhaps 'Elaine' doesn't exist in their database as there I'm called 'Edward Harrington Heyburn.' Despite the fact that Social Mention is searching content from across the universe and I've added additional search terms: library, Cork it makes little difference. Clearly the Social Mention universe and I exist separately.

Onto MIT's Personas Project! Perhaps I'll have more luck with this! It's a polite website as it asks for my first and last names please and the countdown begins: 5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1...Result: The network is  overloaded! I could start to worry but I think that I'll try it later. How many people from #OxEngage are writing up their blogs over lunch?!

I know the one platform that I'm most dissatisfied with is Linkedin but I can only blame myself for not adding content. At least now that I know it I can tackle it!