Archive for June, 2011

CPD23 Thing 3: Isn’t branding for cattle?

June 28, 2011

I’ve got an online friend, and the other day we were talking about mistakes we’ve made in our online lives. She’s had problems, bleeding over into her real life, because she let too many people in her little corner of the internet know who she really is.

On the other hand, if you don’t let anyone know who you are, to paraphrase Sondheim, you don’t get the bad things but you don’t get the good things but you don’t get the bad things.

On the third hand (hey, I’m in the middle of a sci-fi reading binge) the library world in which I move is not very internet-savvy and is not very motivated to read English. The one thing I’ve already decided about my “brand” is that it will always mix Hebrew and English. I’m a middle aged library student. The chances that I’ll move to some English speaking country and take the library world by storm are about as high as the chances that I’ll win next year’s Miss Universe pageant. But maybe that’s not a bad place to start my brand — after all, in real life I’m also known for my mixture of languages.

I do brand in real life. To steal a method of description from Tina Reynolds, I’m the “tech savvy librarian in high heels”. In the library school cafeteria I’m the one at the corner table, explaining how to open Google Sites to public view or how to DM on Twitter. I’ve had more than one instance where I’ve gone to librarians to get help with data searches and ended up teaching them the database instead of the other way ’round.ย  And when we go on a tour of libraries, I’m the one click-clacking down the halls and asking the staff about computerization.

But branding online? I’ve never really thought of it. I have started to segment my online life to separate my work (using my English name) from my library school studies and activities (using my Hebrew name) from my knitting (on Ravelry using an establish net-name) from my sci-fi fandom (on archives using fandom-specific names).ย  I suppose what I set out to do with this segmentation was to keep my library name clear of what would be considered frivolous and irrelevant, even incomprehensible to local sensitivities, and to keep it clear from mistakes I made in being too public in my own name when the internet was young and a more trusting place.

So far it’s worked. When I did as requested for this Thing and checked my own name on Scroogle the top spots were my own Tweets. After that things got murky: my first name means “love” and a popular DJ/remixer has the same last name as I do, so his remixes of pop love songs on YouTube showed up. Of the top 20, 13 are me, and none are anything I wouldn’t want made public.

But I suppose if I’m going to put the effort into being out there on the web as a librarian-in-training, I ought to think of the visual aspect of it. (The tone I can’t help. It’s going to be snarky and mother-like. No matter what I try to do, I can’t leave that tone at the door.) I have a visual presence in real life, but how on earth do I translate that to my blog and Twitter?ย  I hate graphic design. Time to call in the troops.


CPD Thing 2: Time to meet the neighbors

June 23, 2011

It’s summertime in Israel, which means it’s moving season. As someone who has lived in the same small town for nearly 20 years, that means I’m usually shlepping to someone new’s door with a cake and a greeting, off to meet the new neighbors.

And that’s what I’ve felt like the past few days, trolling cpd23 blogs. Because I need more blogs to follow like a fish needs a bicycle.

A few things I’ve noticed:

  • I tend to click on blogs with clever names, and nearly never on those named “cpd23 blog” or the like. (Quick aside as to my blog’s name: My first name, Ahava, means “love” in Hebrew. And I’m a corporate librarian/IO. And a LIS student.)
  • I tend to run away if there’s nothing but a “hello, world post” or a lot of posts not related to either cpd23 or anything else that interests me. (I have my own cat, thanks. Unless yours turns cartwheels while reciting Paradise Lost….)
  • I want to feel like my comment is being solicited, even in small ways. I’ve gotten into a conversation with Odd Librarian Out because she asked a question about her new “comment a day” habit.
  • There are no other Israelis taking part in cpd23. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
  • I like bullet lists.

Are you doing anything to encourage others in your area to do cpd23? What? Give me ideas, people! Representing an entire country is for beauty queens, not for me.

And do you have any recs for must-read library blogs? Reading blogs and Twitter is my favorite way of productively wasting time and I’m down to only 170 feeds. Must. Get. More. Reading. Material.





Why cpd23?

June 21, 2011

I’m new to the library world, and not new at all. I’ve been an information professional (without knowing the job title) for about 15 years, and have been maintaining a corporate digital library (without knowing that’s what I’ve been doing) for the past three years.

Three years ago my husband died, suddenly, and working from home via computer suddenly became a very limiting lifestyle: I never went anywhere, rarely interacted with anyone beyond the keyboard. Searching for a program of study which would get me out of the house and which would play to my strengths (a knack for finding information, English as a native language, some life experience), I found a program in LIS at Beit Berl College.

And suddenly, everything made sense. This is what I’ve been doing, the thing which I’ve been grasping at straws to explain. The reason why people thought I worked at an intelligence agency. My life.

But the program was limited and frustrating. I’m far more technologically advanced than most of my cohort: they’re just discovering social media, find HTML a foreign language, Ebsco a country far, far away. I was getting the social life I wanted, but most of the new information I was getting was happening between classes, talking to other librarians.

So I sought out other resources, drawing on the fact that of all my cohort, I was the only one more comfortable in English than in Hebrew. RDA and MARC email lists, Web Junction webinars and workshops, following the #libraryschool hashtag on Twitter and obsessively reading every link.

I’ve been running around like a librarian without a database for the past year, gathering information like acorns, but never sitting down to process any of it. Summer vacation has started (despite all the final assignments which will be due over July and August) and it’s time to lean back and try to integrate it all, figure out how what I’m learning applies to what I do at work, how what I do as a volunteer applies to what I’m learning. But how? And then I see links on Twitter about cpd23.ย  And maybe it all begins to make a little sense.