Posts Tagged ‘networking’

#CPD23 Thing 23: The Librarian in the Mirror

October 17, 2011

So, on to the final Thing in CPD23, and time to reflect on what I’ve learned and look ahead to where I want to go.

What I’ve learned can be summed up in my 6 word story: new apps + cool colleagues = better librarian.

I was familiar with most of the apps we Thinged. (Yes, that is a word. Even if verbing weirds nouns.) A minority I didn’t know, but I knew and used equivalents. As in library school, the CIT portion was my secret super-power. But the colleagues I met while using the applications were, for me, the real benefit of the program. My RSS feed and Twitter lists are now bulging with good sources of information whose links I follow up on as a sort of every-day CPD mini-program, and that’s a habit I plan to maintain. (Thankfully, it’s easier to stick to than my post-holiday lose 3 kilo plan.)

My biggest change in the wake of CPD23 is that I realized that though my library school has no formal mentoring program I could create my own by getting my lecturers enthused about my career potential. Over the summer I did this and will soon be starting my internship a year early. My goals for the coming year (along with trying to keep up my GPA as well as I can) are to learn the Aleph catalog system and how to work with patrons and by the end of the year to have landed a part-time library job , preferably in an academic library.

And now, off to my two weeks of summer vacation!

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#cpd23 Thing 19: Cut but not bleeding

September 26, 2011

One last Thing and I’m temporarily caught up. How far behind can I get when there are only three Things to go? Yeah, right, I shouldn’t ask the question if I don’t want to know the answer.

So, what have I learned from the past 18 (chai, life: it’s a good number) Things? Confidence and Community.

I always thought, as the go-to person at work for anything computer/internet related, that I had to know everything and know it well. Have a question about Microsoft Office? I can answer it. Want to know how to use LinkedIn? I’m your woman. Need a presentation built? I can do your infographics. Need a new business card and don’t have the budget to pay an artist? Send your ideas to me.

But in CPD23 the new tools came so fast and furious that I only had time to try them, evaluate their usefulness to me, bookmark them, make a few notes, and move on. Some I adopted, like screencasting. Some I rejected, like Pushnote. Some I had already used, but started to use more, like Google Calendar. Some I had already used but started to use less, like Google Docs. But most are now a set of bullet points and a link on Diigo, waiting for the day I might need them. I know my way around them but am not expert — and that will have to be enough for now.

The biggest thing that held me up when it came to staying on track with the Things was the week we did Mendeley. I had my issues with them, but I’m not one who likes to make waves, so I held off and held off until I realized that if I put off writing until the situation was resolved through private channels, I’d never finish the CPD23 program. So I posted. And because it was part of the CPD23 program, instead of me running after them to get answers, Mendeley came to me. The situation had not been resolved in over a month, but 24 after posting my Thing all was settled. That’s the power of community.

To get from the community you have to give. While I’m not yet at the stage where I’ll be presenting at conferences, I am trying now to give back, which is why I livetweeted today’s IFISH meeting for those who could not join us.

So:

  • Stop being such a perfectionist
  • give to others
  • let others give to me

Not back takeaways, are they?

#cpd23 Thing 15: Conferences

September 14, 2011

A meetin’ of the minds to elevate hardcore, take it to a level where few have been
You brag but your brain’s like mush, hush learn somethin’ my friend
Seminar dope, smoke you cope, nope, ha I got ’em in the scope
Scramble, run and hit ’em like Op, chope, goin’ for the throat

Sir Mix-A-Lot, Seminar

This Thing makes me feel a great deal of envy. The Americans have so many conferences. The British, it seems, have even more.

Israelis? Not so much. There’s Teldan, which is ridiculously expensive if work isn’t paying your way. There are conferences from Mercaz HaSefer that are only open to member libraries. There are, once in a while, open day conferences sponsored by the different LIS programs, and there are a few meetings a year of I-FISH. None are open to student presentations, though.

I do go to the two conferences a year sponsored by my program and I’ve joined I-FISH.

I won’t always be a student. Some day I may even be able to present, and I know that public speaking is not my strong point. So I’m working on my self-presentation skills, both grammatical and physical, and reading up on presentation tools: Prezi, Power Point, video making. I may never be accepted to present at a conference, but if I am, I plan to be ready.

#cpd23 Things 6 & 7: When a global village is all the village you’ve got

July 27, 2011

Little known, but trufax: Israel is a resource-poor country. We don’t have oil. We don’t have much water. We even have to import our reality TV shows.

What we do have in abundance is protekzia. No, not the recombinant version of human butyrylcholinesterase. Not the cuspated drainage systems. I mean Vitamin P, networking to the extreme, Jewish Geography, cronyism, nepotism, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” It’s the national sport.

P Mosaic CC photo by Leo Reynolds

A few real life examples:

1. My daughter-in-law’s sister got married last month. My son was in an Officer’s Training Course, the kind where they might give you a day off for a funeral — if you ask nicely and bring a death certificate. And if the death certificate is your own and you swear to be back in uniform at 0 dark 30 the next morning. But my son’s mother-in-law wanted Sonny Boy to attend the wedding. She called around, found a relative who had been Sonny’s commanding officer’s commanding officer (back in the day) and got Sonny a night off.

2. Before Sonny Boy and DIL were married, DIL’s mother wanted a certain woman to give DIL her mandatory pre-marital religion classes, but the woman was fully booked. Turns out the woman’s husband is my kissing cousin, and though we had never met before or knew of each other’s existence. I called in Family Chips and DIL got her lessons.

So you’d think Israel would be all up in real life networks, wouldn’t you?

Ha. There are only a few Israeli LIS organizations.

The big one should be ASMI, the Israeli Association of Libraries and Information Centers. If you visited that site, I apologize. It’s a hot mess (posts from 2008 sandich posts from 2009 and from this year). You’d think LIS professionals would know better. They do offer one year free membership to LIS students, but the only value the organization adds, aside from publicizing other organizations’ events, is their job board.  Since I’m not currently looking for a job and most of the posts are public anyway, I’ll hold off on joining until I am or the last year of library school, whichever comes first.

There’s also ICL, the Israeli Center for Libraries. Most of its training is most relevant to working public, academic, and school librarians. They host a relatively expensive yearly conference, with no student discounts.

The one real-life network I am involved with is IFISH, the Israeli Forum for Information Specialists in Hitech. Like the  Israeli network websites, the website is hopelessly out of date. Membership is free, the email list is very active and very helpful, and there are a few free meetings each year featuring new technologies and services for information professionals. It was due to protexia that I joined IFISH: I went to network with one librarian who happened to be heading to an IFISH meeting that afternoon. She offered to take me with her. I hung around her library all day. (Yay for telecommuting to my day job. On the internet no one knows you’re not in your office.) I tried to register for IFISH online before the meeting, but the webform wasn’t working. No problem — the 2 founders were my lecturers in Business Information and I had their email addresses. Zipped an email over to one of them, got a confirmation, and I was in. Next year I hope to be more active, if there are any volunteer opportunities in the network.

So where does that leave an Israeli LIS professional who wants to network? On line, of course.

On line, and alone.

Image CC stonepix_de

There aren’t very many Israeli librarians in the online networks. As far as I can tell, I’m the only Israeli on LISNPN. There are a few other Israeli librarians in my Twitter stream, but they don’t network with each other, much less the outside world. I’m friends with a few on Facebook, but those are ones who are friends in real life, not just online, so I’m not sure they count; most of the time I didn’t know they were librarians when I friended them. I am making an effort to keep my Google+ more professional than personal, but it’s still a very quiet place.

Another place I’m beginning to network is over at Mendeley, where I’m a member of several groups which match my LIS interests. I may have to pull out of the site soon, though, once they decide on their policy about the Middle East peace talks. (Yes, I know. A research management tool shouldn’t really be defining political views, but if they allow one side in a territorial dispute the right to claim certain cities in the disputed area and don’t allow the other side to claim other cities as a policy decision, well…. It’s been nearly two weeks since I asked for the right to list either my hometown or the town in which I’m a library volunteer and I’ve been told they need to have a board meeting about it. If I want to claim the nearest Arab city as my hometown, though, it’s ready and waiting for me.)

LinkedIn lives almost entirely separate from my LIS persona. I don’t find the connections or the CV capacities very helpful, but the groups are amazing, particularly in the area in which the corporation I’m currently doing information work for is involved. Where else would I be, within a week, on a chatting basis with the CEOs of potential partner firms?

And now a note for Israeli LIS professionals.

תשתתפו איתי בעולם הווב 2. אני מבטיחה שזה לא עולם גדול ומפחיד. שיטת חבר מביא חבר עובד נהדר ברשתות החברתיות. תשאלו מי שניסה!