CPD23 Thing 4: Current awareness

Current awareness, and keeping up with all that’s going on, has always been a time consuming, but necessary activity. This week’s activities help with keeping on top of information overload as well as helping to satisfy curious minds!


I’ve had a Twitter account, @katefromuk, since 2008. I’ve used it sporadically since to tweet, usually during conferences and events, to highlight interesting things I’ve learnt or heard. Until the last few months I’ve probably used it more to keep in touch with what’s going on in the info industry, as well as picking up interesting things to read, in effect using Twitter as a newsfeed, much like PA, AP etc provide. Since starting CPD23 I’ve begun to interact more with others on Twitter so now see it very much as a current awareness tool as well as a way for me to highlight things I’m interested in. Not forgetting publicising your latest blog posts! Or using it as a marketing tool for your library (see my Storify entry below).

RSS feeds

Keeping up with what others have said on their blogs is a lot easier using RSS feeds. I’ve set up a Google Reader feed for other information professionals’ blogs and found it useful.


I haven’t used this before, but have seen others using it. So it was good to be able to try it out, my attempt wasn’t very grade, quite basic really. However, it fits with the theme of this post being current awareness, as I pulled together all the tweets from the library I work in, which on 23 May had a day in its life on Twitter.

[View the story “NCB library day on Twitter ” on Storify]


4 thoughts on “CPD23 Thing 4: Current awareness

  1. Hi Kate
    I also use Twitter as a newsfeed, for articles & conferences etc, and I also it to keep up to date with issues / what people are talking about, and to have discussions with people (eg today there’s one going on about whether / what hobbies and interests to put on your CV), and to be able to ‘meet’, read the ideas of and talk to people I would probably never get to meet ‘in real life’. it’s a good way to test out your own ideas too and see if people agree or have a different view, as well as to ask for help!

    1. Thanks Nicola. You’re description of what you use Twitter for is very helpful. I particularly like the way you use it to have discussions with people, like the one on hobbies on a CVs today. You are a model the rest of us should follow. I also like the point you make about being able ‘meet’ and read ideas of those you may not meet in real life.It is quite difficult to find time to do all of this and the day job as well. Any hints on how to do it all without feeling overloaded?

      1. I generally have several browser tabs open at once (two emails, twitter, google docs, blogger, etc) and switch between them all the time. In fact most of my work is browser-based now, rather than in ‘offline’ packages like Word. For twitter I tend to let a bunch of tweets build up and then skim read through all of them, clicking on links to interesting looking articles and responding to any that catch my eye or where I feel I can add something useful to the discussion.

        It does take a bit of self discipline not to keep peeking *every* time that little (1) pops up next to Twitter in the tab header! It’s the same as email though – I think it’s good to switch off the ‘new mail’ ping and only look at your emails once every half hour or hour or whatever, and deal with those in batches too. That gives me a chance to focus on whatever I’m doing in sensible blocks of time.

      2. Nicola – really useful advice about having several browser tabs open at once, and exercising self-discipline in not getting distracted each time a new message comes in. Breaking things down into small chunks is also good advice, and taking breaks between small chunks, like checking twitter etc is probably a sensible thing. Now just have to sort out how you fit meetings around all of these activities!

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