Sunday, 31 January 2016

Rud 23: Making It All Work Together

Ok So first I went to Hootsuite because I had already added Twitter. Whatever was happening it wouldn't allow me to add my LinkedIn account. I don't use Google+ really, I don't need to see updates from Facebook and Instagram and I have parted ways. They don't have Tumblr added which would be the most useful for me.

Let's try Flipboard. At the start nothing was working. On mobile app but I had read that as 'mobile device app' and it just wasn't working on the iPad. I had to check wiki.how instead! Finally it clicked that the photos looked different. Mobile app = mobile phone!!! Off to find the phone and try to remember my many passwords! On the plus side I can now add Tumblr!! If I choose later I can add my Soundcloud feed for when I make my podcasts, my YouTube channel for all the video I'll upload. Of course the downside is Wordpress isn't on Flipboard and it is on Hootsuite. Oh well! Back to the drawing board!

Flipboard Feed: Twitter


Rud 22: Mobile Things

Clearly time management constraints are getting to me and although I've downloaded Gum I can't get it to scan for me. Must be missing something.

I'm going to review Tumblr instead.
As mentioned earlier I have a Tumblr account: http://cloudwalkerabroad.tumblr.com/
I use it to test-drive different apps. The first one was Tumblr itself. I had to initially set it up on a computer but I made all subsequent posts via my smartphone. It's easy to tweet directly from the Tumblr post. The first time I used Tumblr I took a photo of the sky for 30 days: #skyphoto. When I wanted to change to taking 30 photos of something else I had to return to a computer to change the title. This is somewhat annoying but in the grand scheme of things it's not the worst.

One of the next things I tried was Instagram with Tumblr so on each day I would post two photos, one that had been changed with Instragram and one that hadn't. Instragram didn't grab me so that didn't last very long at all.

Some time after that I tried taking photos on a theme: #treephoto. I thought this would be a good idea if we set up a Tumblr at work and posted on a theme: beautiful book covers (though this is subjective).

I've other apps lined up to try with Tumblr: vividHDR and Snapseed. Stay tuned to see how they go!

Tumblr is great if you want to post something small with a picture and not a lot of text: it's halfway between a blog and a tweet. It works really well with a number of other apps - handy when they connect to each other.

A carpet of blossom! #springphoto http://cloudwalkerabroad.tumblr.com/image/116225782920

Rud 21: Creating Infographics

I've always admired the National Library's Infographics. They're clear, well laid out and easy to read. They use terms that anyone, not just #libraryland people, can recognise and their icons are equally well thought out.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Yl7HiIpPKZI/VAcktkf5fAI/AAAAAAAAJVw/Fm1FSxmoUP0/s1600/NLI-Infographic-491.jpg   
They're widely used on other websites. I got the above one from Irish Genealogy News. The infographic was released in conjunction with the National Library of Ireland's Annual Report for 2013 which let's face it was probably interesting to a small group of people and rather dry for a larger group of people. I'll be upfront and say I read annual reports for fun so I'd be in that small group. To most people though the infographic is a much more digestible way of seeing what it is that the National Library does. As I discussed in an earlier blog being able to communicate visually harnesses Gardner's Multiple Intelligences Theory. This infographic discusses how despite diminishing resources on all counts and being at a critical point the National Library is still there doing what a library does.

Should our library decide to go down this route I think it would work very well indeed.

Rud 20: Presentations

I mostly use PowerPoint which use to be a disaster but then I moved away from bullets. Now I try to use only pictures with a minimal amount of text. The downside to this is if anyone is looking the presentation later they really won't know what's going on.

I was late to SlideShare but after giving two presentations in the one week I thought it was silly not to get the full benefit of it and so I created a SlideShare account. The first and so far the only one I've made public is the presentation I gave at CONUL's Teaching & Learning Seminar.
http://www.slideshare.net/nzwalker/venn-diagrams-when-special-collections-meets-information-literacy
I wasn't nervous regarding the content for this presentation as it covered things that I had done with a number of classes over the last few years. What was different for me was that it was a Pecha Kucha presentation and let's face it we don't think in 20 seconds on a topic. Some bleed into each other - some take five seconds and others take 40 seconds. The trick for this one then was having them move seamlessly into the other, or not as it happened! One sentence goes awry and then you're constantly trying to get back on track. Will I give another Pecha Kucha presentation? No, probably not but I'm glad that I did one. For anyone who wishes to try one: even more practice is required than for a regular presentation! 


Rud 19: The Legal Side of Things

Over the course of writing this blog I've included a number of images. If I took the photo I didn't include a URL or citation so anyone who reads my posts will think I stole them. If I didn't take the photo but took a screenshot then I cited it appropriately, for example the Audacity logo earlier. It was only for the last post that I remembered I needed to add the URL to my own photos.

I took the photos from my Tumblr account. When I set up the account Creative Commons' issues weren't a concern for me as I set up the account to explore how Tumblr might be used and to become more used to it. Now I must explore if Tumblr can be used with Creative Commons' licenses or not and place the requisite icons on my account.

Shona Thoma used one of the photos on her blog and messaged me on Twitter to ask permission. Was this because she couldn't find the requsite Creative Commons' icons? The photo she used:
http://cloudwalkerabroad.tumblr.com/image/83726356165
Yes it's important to have attribution and proper citing of images because otherwise it's a case of here today, gone tomorrow - not unlike these leaves!
http://cloudwalkerabroad.tumblr.com/image/100318736845

Rud 18: Communicating Through Photographs

I've been interested in the power of photos to communicate since learning about Gardner's Multiple Intelligence Theory whilst doing the H.Dip in Education. Some 15, nearly wrote 165 there, years later it's on the Cert. in Teaching & Learning course too. Basically Gardner's Theory looks to harness the different intelligences so that we may learn. Schools tend to use only the linguistic and logical intelligences but not everyone learns this way.

https://flic.kr/p/C5Zy2
Flickr
I haven't used Flickr in such a long time and I didn't consider using it for libraries. Is it just one more channel that needs updating? Do we need a team of people working on communication then rather than one person and what happens when that one person goes on leave? What purpose does Flickr fill that Twitter and Facebook doesn't? There are photos after all in albums on Facebook and I can view Photos and Other Media on Twitter. As with much, I've more questions than answers.
For the challenge part of this thing my functional illiteracy kicked in, I didn't search for library related photos. Instead I searched for something that I'm interested in: #skyphotos. The one I chose has amazing colours. Markus Spring took it and it's called 'Steinhögl sky on fire.' Markus included a map of where Steinhögl is (FYI: Bavaria, Germany) and a link to the discussion on how the image was created. I think a link like this would be really useful to see how images are formed. The behind the scenes things are really interesting, peeking behind the veil.
 
https://flic.kr/p/5aNds8

Instagram
Like Flickr, I'm not 100% sure how to use Instagram for libraries. I think our library would want to be very clear in the purpose it serves and not to do just to be part a wave. I tried using Instagram with my Tumblr account but it only lasted for one day. That said, it was interesting to try.
#treephoto
http://cloudwalkerabroad.tumblr.com/image/85228600195
 Instagrammed Tree:
https://www.instagram.com/p/nyI7q4Eem2/

Tumblr
I find Tumblr works slighly better but what I don't like is the constant scrolling. Tumblr allows more to be written - not quite a blog, not quite a tweet. I've seen libraries create separate Tumblr accounts for different parts of their collections but then the collection is unified on one platform. For example Collen Theisen has one for the University of Iowa's Special Collections.  Oregon State University has a Tumblr for Oregon Hops & Brewing Archives. What I like about this account is there's a menu on the left so you can see what other platforms Oregon State University uses: the Archives' website, Flickr, Facebook, Zotero and the Library's homepage. Handy!

Rud 17: Reflective Practice Mark 3

To be honest using reflective practice in my library experience is difficult. It doesn't have a scheduled part in the day and for the various projects I've been involved in at work, reflective practice hasn't featured. For any project we give recommendations for the next iteration of the committee or we give a summary of what the project staff did to ensure that the project was completed. As far as I know no one on a project has reflected on what we did, why we did and how we would change it.

Cork Harbour

Occasionally we'll do courses at work so that we'll bond as a group (I always think that superglue would do a faster job) and part of that is reflecting on what has led us to that point and how we'll deal with it. However this reflection only lasts for as long as the course is running and while we may implement other suggestions from the course reflective practice is one that is forgotten, and very easily too.

Perhaps I do reflective practice a disservice, perhaps others are engaging in it anyway and just not talking about it. After all reflective practice is a personal activity at the start. It's only when it becomes a 'problem' in the Randy Bass sense of the word that people start to share on the matter.







Rud 16: Collaboration Tools


When we were first setting up LibGuides at work we used Trello as a way of sharing information. We were mostly all based in the one building and the other building is only 10 minutes walk away anyway. I think Trello would be handy if people were scattered more by distance or time.

I use Google Drive with my Lotto syndicate. We take it in turns to collect from each other & go to the shop to buy the ticket. It's only Lotto Quick Pick, none of that 'I got the numbers from Lost' which I play every week. It's a handy way to keep track of who has paid and whose turn it is to go get the ticket. We haven't won big just the odd free scratch card!

I also use Google Drive when I'm on Twitter. Depending on the conference people add the Google Drive link to the document they're discussing. In this way I got access to Meaningful Metrics for Incoming College Students. I'm not involved with 1st year students that much but it's applicable much more so for incoming postgrads and by the time people come to Special Collections because it's that bit different they may feel like they're in 1st year again.

I used Google Drive to get access to material on #CharlestonShooting when I was preparing my presentation for HEAnet 2015 "Archiving the Social Media Presence of 'The River-side.'" When geographical distance is a factor Google Drive is brilliant for accessing material.

From next week I'll start working on a new group for 3D printing. For this I'll use Google Doodle to co-ordinate when people are free and most want a meeting. No one wants to have weighty discussions on a Friday afternoon!

Rud 15: Advocacy for Libraries

When it comes to advocacy I am a lurker. I don't think I do enough. I see Ian Clark's work and I think 'wow.' I've attended a day seminar where Lauren Smith spoke about her work and I thought 'wow.' I think no matter what I have to say it is nowhere near as on-point as what they have to say and I'll come off looking stupid and more importantly having done libraries a disservice.

I try to advocate then in small ways. I speak at conferences and write blog posts in the hopes that someone else may see them and see what it is we do in libraries. Two years ago the Forum for Medieval & Renaissance Studies (FMRSI) newsletter linked to a blog post on an exhibition we had run on Dante.

I'm concerned though that we're just talking to each other and no one else is listening.
http://www.libfocus.com/2015/06/hslg-2015-conference-athlone-1415-may.html
How do we break out of the echo chamber? I imagine that it takes a lot of hard work along the lines of what Ian and Lauren do.

Rud 14: Augmented Reality

I've been interested in Augmented Reality ever since I started reading about them in the NMC Horizon Reports. When I got my iPad the first thing I did was download AR apps. Yes I know Flipboard isn't one but I thought it would be a good app to use with Augmented Reality.



Of course like all my other programs there they sat because I thought some special IT skill were required to use them. Now that I know that there are step-by-step guidelines I'm going to give it another go. We've an exhibition on Cervantes happening in April. I'm going to aim for that and see what I can do.

I downloaded the Anatomy 4D, not sure why because I was the person who fainted during the beginnner first aid course, but it was absolutely amazing. The skeleton was like a coloured-in Vesalius image and it just jumped off the screen. I can see why anyone interested in anatomy would like this app and I can imagine that small children would be both horrified and super interested. Win-win!

DAQRI Anatomy 4D Project

Rud 13: Professional Organisations

I love following professional organisations on Twitter. It's the handiest way for me to see what's happening in a particular area or in a particular country. For that reason I follow LIANZA even though the only time I visited New Zealand I wasn't working in libraries. I also like Historic Libraries Forum and their events are very good indeed. They have a mailing list, a newsletter and a seminar as well as one-off events.

I'm currently a member of LAI and the next thing on my LAI to-do list is Associateship. As I've been writing these blog posts I've been identifying gaps in my professional know-how and I hope that this will help when I come to write my portfolio. As part of my Certificate in Teaching & Learning I also have to write a portfolio so the two combined should give me a good foundation.

For a number of years I was a member of CILIP but last summer my membership lapsed. I didn't think I would notice not being a member but the thing is you do. I still get the general newsletter but I don't get any more information than that. Just before my membership lapsed CILIP were working on a Professional Development Portfolio tool which could be used for their version of Associateship, Chartership, as well as for other things. Do one portfolio first, and then the other, but rejoin CILIP in order to see if any of their tools can help on the LAI one.


I'm a member of the LAI Rare Books Group which as yet doesn't have a social media presence but we're working on it. David Meehan has recently changed up the website so the next step is a move onto social media. As a group we've recognised the benefits of having a strong social media presence - A&SL has set down the marker!

Rud 12: Attending Conferences

First things first, oh the shock of "Is that me?" Click on photo - it is me! Oh I remember that Library Camp - it was the first presentation, bar information literacy classes, that I'd given in over ten years. I'm not 100% sure what I said but I think it went ok. Since May 2015 I've given three other presentations and I'm about to give my fourth next week. I've become a lot more prepared - not just at having a presentation but knowing the presentation really well, and knowing much more about the area even though it won't go into the presentation. In short, I'm perfecting a system that works for me for presenting. It's not perfect now and it probably won't ever be but that's the point: continuous professional development.

I like following conferences via Twitter. It's a good way to hear what other people in #libraryland are doing in other areas and in other countries. I can never attend every conference or seminar that I'd want to attend - time, distance, money, being in two places at once (it's amazing how many activities are scheduled at the same time!) but through Twitter I get a decent overview of what's what AND I have the Twitter handles even I need to contact someone later.

One of the first conferences I attended which was nearly wholly made of #libraryland people was A&SL 2015. One person from work was attending but he was also presenting. I find that presenting is sort of like being on the wedding party. The time flies because you're involved in the preparations and all the photos. If you're not on the wedding party and just one of the guests the time can drag a little. There's only so much you can eat or drink while waiting for dinner.

However one of the first people I met at A&SL 2015 was Caroline Rowan. Caroline came up to me in what I know now is a very Caroline-ish way but at the time I was taken a little aback. She wanted to know who I was "Oh so you're Elaine Harrington. I've been looking for Elaine Harrington's name tag. There's no point looking at faces because on Twitter you're a cloud!" Yes it's the only downside to having a cloud as an avatar. That said, I think Twitter handles should be included as a matter of course on name badges. NPD do it for their days, which incidentally are brilliant. Once you've met one person then it's a lot easier.

I also try to remember "What number of people would I be happy talking to by day's end? Ok, self let's stretch that a little and try doubling it." Just to say the number wasn't very high to begin with so even doubled it's still not large. But that's that many people on one day and the same number the next day. Manageable numbers.

The other thing is I have to keep my elevator speech about me ready - 30 seconds of what I'm about, what's new with me and what I'm doing next. You'd think if I have that I could write my summary for LinkedIn but no, no dice!

The last few conferences I've attended I've also spoken at them which means getting approval is a lot easier. I know some places staff have to apply and say why their conference proposal should be the one to go forward but I'm lucky - all of the conference proposals I've handed in have gone through without hassle.

I've tried taking notes by laptop / iPad but now I stick to the tried and trusted method of pen & paper. If nothing else when then technology has changed I'll still be able to read my notes. I know that if I take notes by hand that I'm much more likely to remember who spoke and what they spoke on. For example I'd a Twitter exchange recently with David Hughes who was exploring LibGuides or an open source version. I remembered attending a LIR seminar day where Niamh Walker-Headon spoke about such matters. I would never have remembered that 18 months on if I hadn't been using pen & paper - sometimes I can't remember what I did yesterday (oh, yes writing blog posts!).

Next time I attend a conference I will have my elevator speech down and I will remember it so I can update my LinkedIn profile!

Rud 11: Reflective Practice Mark 2

Keep Calm & Blog
Am I up-to-date with my blog posts? Em, no!
Did I skip any and keep meaning to go back to them? Em, yes!

How did you know I'd get stuck on Thing 3? Next time I do a 23 Things I'll do part of Thing 3 at Thing 3 and then revisit it each time there's a reflective practice week. That way I shouldn't stall on Thing 3.

River Lee by Clarke's Bridge

Time Management
I rarely have time in work for Continuing Professional Development unless I'm going to a course. I don't get to go to every course I want - I have to find a way to make it relevant to my job and even then it depends on how much interest there is from other people at work. I suggested this 23 Things to my staff at work and I know one other person, not in my section, was doing it at work but they gave up as they didn't think it was relevant. I don't think this is so much a time management issue so much as a disconnect from what it is that we do. How do we make 23 Things relevant to all library staff?

I do get to blog as part of my job but even that is tricky. I tend to do a lot of the preliminary writing elsewhere and some of the editing later as well. I find train journeys very handy - the only trouble is my laptop is a little unwieldy. I've tried using a tablet but you know #FirstWorldProblems!

I try to juggle blogging at work with one activity outside of work. This year it was doing a Certificate in Teaching & Learning. I've done various types of courses before: full-time by day, part-time by night, distance learning and online learning. I was surprised at how much time it actually took - I thought that because I've done two other teaching qualifications that I'd be quicker at but there was a lot of reading and even more reflective practice and well it's the reflective practice that gets you.

And so, before I knew it, I'd fallen pretty behind! It didn't help that October - November coincided with preparing two presentations but again I can only blame myself. No one else forced me to apply for the seminar and conference!

Sometimes at the end of the day, one where you've spent a lot of time typing, the last thing you want to do is type some more. Sometimes you just want to read, or watch TV or go to sleep.


I read Michael Stephen's article and while I don't agree with everything he said:
  • ( It pains me when I encounter librarians who refuse to share their photo online or wear a name tag while on duty) as I think we can still be librarians without sharing a photo of our faces - sharing a photo of something is still a valid choice
  • I do like (As such, you may find yourself in a library job doing things that you did not anticipate you would do) as I think it ties in with Chris Hadfield's philosophy: 'Think like an astronaut.' 
For anyone who's interested in working with special collections it's not about dealing with old books all the time. There's a substantial part of my week spent crawling around on the ground:
  • Where is the book I have to retrieve? On the bottom shelf?
  • What do I have to dust? The end of an exhibition case? The inside back of an exhibition case - impossible to reach unless you're on the ground.
  • How do I put the barrels of the exhibiton case locks back in? On the ground! 
Doing an exhibition is like being on a children's programme but that's never mentioned in the job adverts!

Rud 10: Live Streaming

I've used streaming for conferences and I've been conscious that streaming has occured at conferences where I've presented. I imagine sports players are in the same situation but if they watch themselves on playback every week maybe they're more desensitised to seeing and hearing themselves on screen.

I examined linking my YouTube Channel with Hangouts but I'm pretty wary of that much technology interacting. It's ironic I know given the name of this blog and considering how much I've already hooked up under Google. There are limits though.

I remember when war of the streaming apps was between Periscope and Meerkat. Somehow Periscope has had the longevity factor. I first downloaded the app on my iPad and the first and last broadcast was of my feet.

Some months back I saw, albeit on the computer, Kodaline's Gig from Spike Island in Cork Harbour. The concert was streamed via Periscope. Quite often I'll see links on Twitter to Periscope streams of people attending rugby matches. I don't know why that's interesting to me but it is.

Spike Island, Cork Harbour via Google maps


We haven't streamed many events from the library. It's a bit different to recording something for later which happens a bit. We could do a crowd-streaming event where multiple staff stream to Periscope. I don't know if there's an institutional preference for a streaming platform though.


Rud 9: Video

I create video on my phone usually. These videos tend to be of landscape which makes a change because most of my photos are of books. #librarylife


I've also downloaded the Hyperlapse app to try out.

As part of my course we're given videos to watch. UCC uses the system Panopto. I've had a training session on creating Panopto videos but I've never done it. I don't like seeing playback of myself on video from conferences so I can't imagine what it would be like to deliberately create a video.


Just when you want to try something new:
Screencast-O-Matic: Sorry this Mac is running an older version of OSX that isn't supported. Go f
figure!

Instead I've uploaded the above video to my YouTube Channel.




Rud 8: Curation Tools

I'd used Pinterest before but it wasn't for me. I know a lot of people who use it for wedding idea stuff. In my mind it's in the same cabinet as Etsy - I have no idea why!

#PinterestFail
 I have the Flipboard app on my phone but again I've never really used it. It's one of my phone apps to check out when I'm in a tech frame of mind. It DOES happen!

Storify on the other hand I use quite a bit. That said, all of my Storifies are in draft. One of the annoying things I've found about Storify is the length of time that for example tweets can be searched for. The Storify has to be run almost straight away. Like everything it's easy to write but the amount of time it takes to edit is much longer.  CILIP's Rare Books and Special Collections Group collate tweets from conferences (The Future of the Past) which is a good way of reading tweets without wading through things on Twitter.

Rud 7: Podcasts

In 2012 I did my first 23 Things which included Podcasts. Shortly afterwards I got a newer laptop and one of the first things I did was download Audacity and there Audacity has sat. I haven't used it at all apart from accidentally hitting the wrong icon. Audacity sits next to my Calibre library and so it's accidentally hit quite a bit but this still doesn't have me saying "Today I'm going to learn how to use Audacity." Reading this post has got me thinking though how I might use it.

I've signed up for a Soundcloud account which I've already branded in my Walker Abroad image scheme - the same way as I have my Twitter account. I've listened to the A&SL group podcasts and they've certainly given my food for thought.

I can certainly see how I could use it at work. I've created a Special Collections' Guide and a podcast could sit nicely on the front page. Equally the suggestion about a Wordpress plug-in would work as I'm part of a team that has a blog: The Riverside and one of our recent posts had a YouTube plug-in added. It seems crazy that we hadn't needed a YouTube plugin until now but in a few years time it might seem equally crazy that we hadn't had a podcasting one added sooner.

In the meantime it's back to Battlestar Galactica Podcasts by Ronald D Moore!






Saturday, 30 January 2016

Rud 6: Reflective Practice

Hmm! I'm cheating a bit here because I'm doing all my posts at speed. Some I've had partially done and left in draft form. These are being revisited. Other posts are being done from scratch.

Reflections in the River Lee
 I'm used to reflective practice because I'm currently doing a course on teaching & learning with UCC. It's going pretty well - we've just started the second module and it's set to finish at the end of April 2016. At that point I can decide if I'm happy with the Postgrad Certificate or if I want to or can carry onto the Postgrad Diploma. Each week we have to read articles and / or watch videos about a certain topic. We're all part of a group (five others in mine) and we post to our group board each week. There are certain questions we have to answer and once we've posted on these questions then others in the group respond. We come from all academic disciplines and the way we approach things varies illustrating not only our discipline but also us as people.

I think the hardest thing about reflective practice is being honest and teasing out a particular problem. The thing is with Teaching & Learning having a problem isn't a problem but a source for research. See Randy Bass for more on this. Doing the Rudai 23 posts concurrently with the Teaching & Learning course has been really good for me.

From looking at other people's blogs it would seem that we're all in a similar boat - we find things that work for us and things that don't and being that we're in libraries we like to share this information.

Rud 5: Online Networks

Facebook
I joined Facebook because it was there. I had never joined Bebo or MySpace but Facebook seemed to garner a lot of press. Over time my activity on it has changed. I keep in touch with friends who've emigrated but I rarely post on Facebook and I am a lurker supreme. 

I use some Facebook Groups:
  • ALA Think Tank: I like how a wide range of topics are posted and the group posts conferences that I wouldn't normally come across.
  • Makerspace & the Participatory Library: Since 3D printing appeared on NMC Horizon reports I've looked into what 3D printing is. This group is great as there are always reviews about which printer is good and where the faults are but also what tools are handy to have with which printer.

From the Makingithappen article I've joined:

I don't tend to use pages as most places that have pages are also on Twitter and I spend much more time time on Twitter.


Twitter
Some people keep their personal and professional accounts separate - I can't do that. My personal and professional lives bleed into each other like a Venn diagram but with greater overlap.  I've participated in scheduled chats but mind like a sieve I tend to forget when they're on. What I find Twitter really useful for is following conferences or courses virtually. The last one I followed was #UXMaynooth which was fascinating not least for seeing what people had in their bags and how they knolled!

I subscribe to a few lists: one for academic libraries, one for special collections and one for institutional special collections. These can be handy if I just want to see what's happening in this area alone. For example at the moment #ColorOurCollections is everywhere in Special Collections' tweets. Institutions have put together colouring books based on images in their Special Collections.


Rud 4: Google

I use Google a lot although I remember when it wasn't the first search engine of choice. That would have been Dogpile which is still running. Dogpile used 10 different search engines and would give you the top ten results from each one. Times have changed! Google incorporated predictive searching which I didn't like at the start but I've grown pretty used to it. In fact it's most handy on my phone when I'm still reasonably guaranteed to hit the wrong letter. Google is now my search engine of choice but I do find that if I want results from another country that it's best changing from Google.ie to Google.ca.

The features I most like about Google are:
  • Books - useful for quotes and when I can't get a book that the library doesn't hold. I can't use InterLibrary Loan for everything.
  • Scholar - Every so often I hear rumours that Google Scholar will shut down and I really hope it doesn't. I like how it offers PDF on the right hand side menu.
  • Docs - I use Docs a lot. They're accessible on my iPad but then I can access them at work via the web too. I never lose access unlike when I forget my USB key.
  • Maps - So handy for directions from unknown place A to unknown place B. Brilliant as well for street view so that I don't walk past somewhere.
  • Translate - one of the classes I teach on is Polish History post-1918. Each time time I check if anyone speaks Polish and so far no one has. How can any student examine primary sources when they can't speak the language? Google Translate helps. Some of the translations are a bit iffy. After all Google detect language told me that Welsh was actually Indonesian but that aside, Google Translate helps out pretty well.
  • Google Doodle - I love the random things they celebrate. One of my favourites was for Debussy's 151st birthday. I love how the lights go on and off with the piano notes and of course the two rowers on the river. I like how people and institutions can win a Google Doodle competition or propose something be celebrated like George Boole's 200th birthday on 2 November 2015.

George Boole's 200th Birthday Google Doodle

I had set up my Google+ profile some time ago so that it would fit in with my 'Walker Abroad' brand. I use Google+ rarely whether it be for professional or social purposes or a mish-mash of both. To be honest if I have difficulty keeping LinkedIn and now About.me uptodate, keeping Google+ current will be a super challenge.

However because Blogger is part of the Google family I use this Carl Sagan quote:
"The library connects us with the insight and knowledge, painfully extracted from Nature, of the greatest minds that ever were, with the best teachers, drawn from the entire planet and from all our history, to instruct us without tiring, and to inspire us to make our own contribution to the collective knowledge of the human species. I think the health of our civilization, the depth of our awareness about the underpinnings of our culture and our concern for the future can all be tested by how well we support our libraries." ~ Cosmos
Before Google took over Blogger I used this quote on my Blogger profile. The subject matter in the quote is rather grand and I don't think blogging will reach such heights but it gives me something to reach for - not unlike the Chris Hadfield philospophy in many ways.

Rud 3: Professional Brand

A few years ago I decided to link as much as I could under 'walker abroad.' I felt it encompassed my view on the world: I was abroad in search of knowledge. I was walking down many avenues but these avenues were unnamed and unlimited. I was Walker Abroad. It's not quite the statement of a superhero but it'll do!

I use this photo of Lake Bohinj in Slovenia because I think it fits in well with 'Walker Abroad.' Part of the lake is unclear because the sun is shining on it. The rest of the lake and the mountains are clear because I'm underneath a canopy and I've a good view of them.

I know I could use a photo of me and I use this one for conferences but I've deliberately chosen not to use it for anything else.


I've done a few 23 Things and each time I get to the LinkedIn Thing or challenge as it becomes my participation in the project grinds to a spectacular halt. I don't know what mind block I have with LinkedIn but I am a reluctant participant. I chose to create an About.Me account as a way to counteract this mind block. I definitely found it more fun to populate as the constant scrolling with LinkedIn is tiring. I liked its layout and the way it was less serious than LinkedIn. Perhaps they're supposed to be viewed in the same way - this is one's professional brand after all - but I didn't perceive it as so. This is why on About.Me I describe myself as an 'Information Rockstar.'

I started this post in July and over the last six months I've returned to both LinkedIn and About.Me to update various parts of it. I still haven't written the summary part of LinkedIn. While I am an information professional with ten years experience in libraries I still find it difficult to get the core of what is is that I do.

For the moment I'm going to stick with Chris Hadfield's philosophy for how to view the world & myself: "Think like an astronaut."