Posts Tagged 'blogJune'

#blogjune: post 30: Reflections on blogJune

It’s day 30 of blogjune, the aim being to ‘blog every day in June – or as often as you can manage, or comment on someone else’s blog every day’.

I managed 25 posts, five fewer than the whole month, but not bad given I expected work and personal life to get in the way! On the days I wasn’t able to blog I did have a look at other people’s blogs: keeping within the spirit of blogjune.

Things I’ve learnt:

  • I can write a first draft for a post in 30 mins during my commute, to or from work, on my iPhone. Then edit on the laptop at home before publishing.
  • It’s easier to write than I had imagined, or remembered. Particularly given a post is usually 500 words. Plus judicious editing is the key to success.
  • Planning helps: make sure to figure out what you’ll cover each day. Accept you’ll need to re-jig things to accommodate news & life events. Some of my most popular posts – chairing a meeting – were the result of reflections on events and that had happened that day.
  • As does being flexible about not posting every day. I’ve tried to do this, but ended up playing catch up. But I’m ok about that.
  • Write about what interests you – you’ll be amazed at what others want to read about & will comment on. My most popular posts have been on common all garden things like chairing meetings, bullet journals & scheduling. Timing posts to coincide with events is a way of garnering interest so I got a lot of tweets about my SLA campaigning & awards posts because they were published during SLA’s conference.
  • Likewise, promoting widely, via social media helps to gain readers. LinkedIn really does work as it was my second referee after Twitter. Think about when to schedule tweets for maximum impact. I found mornings & early evenings worked well for maximum impact. Those timings fit well into various time zones from U.K. To US to Australasia. 

When I checked the analytics this morning I found the following:

Top 3 referrers: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook.

Top 3 countries for viewers: UK, Australia/NZ, USA.

The 5 most popular posts:

– post 12: Organising my time & tasks: the joys of bullet journals; 

– post 1: I’m taking part in blogjune;  

– post 2: The gentle art of chairing a meeting;

– post 20: Schedule to get more done; 

– post 14: Mind the gap: transferable skills & moving sectors. 

I wanted to get into the habit of writing & improve my confidence in my editing skills. I’ve achieved that, so a big thank you blogjune. See you next year.

    #blogjune: post 22: Effective packing

    I’m just about to start my packing list for CILIP conference next week in Manchester. I thought I’d use one of my catch up blogs to outline my tips on effective packing. I was partly prompted by a packing advice article in Wednesday’s Guardian.

    My hints are all based on the last 10 years of travel, during which I have attended a lot of conferences & meetings all around the world. I picked up some useful tips on what to do & what not to do. Plus I used my librarians’s organisational & categorising skills to become a demon packer.

    1. Buy a decent suitcase, one with wheels & capacity to expand. Useful for gifts & conference swag. I’m a big fan of Eminent  and have had one of their pull along soft cases for nearly 10 years and it’s been around the world a few times and is still in fine form.

    2. Make a list – if you’re going to a conference plan what you’ll wear each day & keep that list. It’ll be a godsend to not have to think about what to wear each day. You’ll thank your forward thinking self.

    3. Always take an umbrella.

    4. Try to keep your footwear to three pairs – you’ll be wearing one pair & packing two. Footwear is heavy & you should be able to cope with two pairs of shoes. They’ll be odd occasions when three are necessary. I had a snow, sun and normal weather three week trip to USA in January 2017 and survived with three pairs of footwear.

    5. Layers are important, if you’re going to a conference in a hot climate you will need a cardigan as the air conditioning will make the venue cold.

    6. I’m a great believer in packing bags (or packing cubes if you prefer) & organise clothing by bags eg underwear in one bag, dresses and t-shirts in another. It makes it easier to find things.

    7. Roll your clothes, don’t fold them. This means you can pack things more easily & often results in fewer creases.

    8. Liquids & security – I invested in a Vera Bradley 3-1-1 bag (US term for the 100ml plastic bags) IMG_0547in 2013 & wouldn’t be without it now. It is very sturdy, for short trips means I don’t have to take any other wash bag. Only once during my travels around the world,  at Gatwick airport, have I had security staff ask me to decant my liquids into a different plastic bag.

    9. Take some empty ziplock bags – you never know when you might need one!

    10. When you get home & unpack check through what worked & what didn’t outfit wise. This is the equivalent of a lessons learned review. Make a note of what you took, but didn’t use. I count it as a successful pack if there are only 2 or fewer items I’ve not worn!

     

     

     

    #blogjune: post 20: Schedule to get more done

    Prompted by Oliver Burkeman’s Guardian column over the weekend, I’ve decided to be more disciplined in my scheduling. I know this works for me, particularly when I use something like the pomodoro technique. But all too often I opt for the easy, unstructured option of pulling a list of to do items together. Add in some things already done, so I can tick those off & feel like I’ve achieved something. Then pick the things I want to do, thus avoiding what I consider to be the hard things. Which once I do aren’t that hard at all. Case in point right now, as I’m compiling this post instead of finishing off my CILIP Update President’s column.
    I’ll persevere this week with adopting a more scheduled approach & will hope it means I’m more productive.

    #blogjune: post 25: A cardigan: lost property at a library conference #SLAYLG17

    It was a first, I’ve never been to a library conference where the housekeeping announcement includes a lost cardigan! The lost cardigan was about the only thing that was to be as expected at this conference, given it was largely attended by librarians. I’ve never worked in children’s or school libraries so I looked forward to learning more about this world.

    I was invited as CILIP’s President, and my badge said so! IMG_0541 Several people knew who I was & mentioned having read about me in Update; proof the magazine is a good communication channel.

    This week has very much been Carnegie Greenaway award week. It started with the awards ceremony on Monday, & my introduction to the infectious, enthusiastic world of youth & children’s libraries. It ended with the Lightbulb Moments: Powered by Librarians conference in Harrogate. This was a co-produced conference organised by School Libraries Association – the other SLA in my life – (@uksla) and CILIP’s Youth Library Group (@youthlibraries) attended by 260 people. Mostly women, all avid readers, who do extraordinary work encouraging reading & info literacy skills in school age children.

    The conference was over two days, with two dinners. I missed the first, with the theme of Harry Potter, & included a quiz. The second was attended by lots of authors & had honorary memberships announced. Always good to celebrate the sterling work done by members & supporters.

    What I liked:
    – The splendour of a big, Victorian hotel (the Majestic in Harrogate) faded in parts, but a glorious venue. Plenty of space, high ceilings and large rooms;
    – The length of sessions, at least an 1 hour, was superb as it gave time to go into depth & really learn something especially when there was just one speaker;
    – The mix of session format: some interview, plenary slots, others small group sessions.
    – Mix of attendees: publishers, authors & librarians. I’ve never been to a conference where you can be a fan girl & interact with not one, but two children’s laureates.

    What I felt could be improved:
    – I didn’t get the impression there were many news professionals in the audience. This is something I’ve seen a lot at other conferences & would love to see here. It’s the main driver for succession planning for the profession. Does either SLA or YLG offer conference bursaries for those in the first five years of their career?
    – Some people from outside the sector sharing their experience & case studies of how they’ve tackled questions like knowledge management & information literacy. I’m a firm believer in not re-inventing the wheel.

    What I learnt:

    • Some great ideas from #amymckay14 on how to be a stealth librarian and get children into the library, examples included: accelerated reading club with millionaire club based on currencies around the world. KS4 story time club when you read picture books to them during exam time to relax them; for pupils joining the school visit them in their primary schools before they start secondary school and give them a book and activity sheet to complete over the summer; book quests -a great way to introduce information literacy skills such as using an index, skimming and scanning by giving questions to answer using books during library time.
    • There’s a place in schools for knowledge management. Darryl Toerien from Oakham School is doing sterling work on this by becoming the school’s curriculum expert. He’s mapping what is being taught in each subject by year group, and then ensuring there are suitable resources – in print and online- available to support the teaching. In some subjects information literacy instruction is becoming embedded in classes. It sounds very like work going on in academic liaison in higher education and in some workplace libraries. All very exciting stuff.

    So all in all a great conference, in a stunning location of Harrogate, beautiful scenery on the journey there and fabulous architecture once I arrived.  Thank you to SLA and YLG for inviting me.

     

    #blogjune: post 24: Lightbulb moments at YLG/SLA conference

    img_0524.jpg

    I have arrived in Harrogate to attend CILIP Youth Libraries Group (YLG) and School Libraries Association conference entitled  Lightbulb Moments: Powered by Librarians (#SLAYLG17).

    I’m excited to be attending a conference in a sector I don’t have experience of. I’m aiming to learn a lot, talk to CILIP members and network.

    I’ve got a couple of fascinating sessions this afternoon: on stealth librarian – encouraging young people to read – and planning for learning – how to tie library collections & management into the curriculum.

    #blogjune: post 21: My work/home set up q & a

    As a participant in #blogjune I’m creating a post to answer the 4 questions for answering on 21 June that Paul Hagon  posted on behalf of Dan Bogan of The Setup .

    1. Who are you, and what do you do?

    I’m Kate Arnold, currently I am CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) President, and my day job is Information Services Development Manager at The Francis Crick Institute in London. The Crick is a biomedical research institute in central London. I’m responsible for developing the information services for researchers.

       2. What hardware do you use?

    At work I spend my day in a hot desk environment and have a Dell laptop, which I’ve failed to get the specification of for this post.

    At home I use a MacBook Pro 13-inch, Mid 2012 with 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 4 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 memory with Intel HD Graphics 4000 1536 MB.

    I also have an iPhone 6 16GB which I’ve been writing most of my #blogjune posts on and then loading them up on my MacBook Pro.

    3. And what software?

    I use Office at both work and home using Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Visio and Outlook. My personal email is Yahoo.

    I use Dropbox and Evernote for my personal files, particularly as I can use them whenever I want and with whichever device I want.

    Productivity wise, I’ve tried using some task lists but have now opted for pen and paper and am a big fan of low tech bullet journal.

    Twitter is my main social media tool, but I also use LinkedIn and Instagram.

    I use Skype to talk with family and friends and Webex and Gotomeeting to attend online meetings.

    4. What would be your dream setup?

    I’m pretty happy to work in most locations, although I find coffee shop atmosphere is very conducive to productive times when I need to focus. I do like to be within easy access of colleagues particularly when working on collaborative projects as I like to float ideas off of others.

    #blogjune: post 19: Learning a new skill is …

    27898481016_2c2198e46f_mI know it sounds improbable but I’ve been taking a ‘ballet for grown ups’ class since September last year. Needless to say I don’t look anything like this picture, but you get the idea.

    The experience has been trying & fun in equal amounts. Lots of laughter needless to say. Suffice to say I am not a natural dancer, something to do with lack of coordination & balance. But I’ve enjoyed the classes. There’s a mix of people attending, & after an hour of warm up & learning the next steps in our dance I am tired. I’ve discovered muscles I didn’t know existed.

    Learning a new skill is an interesting process. You become more attuned to how you you learn, & to style of teaching your tutor adopts. Of course learning for an hour a week, particularly when practice outside the class is minimal, makes for slow progress. I’ve mastered the basic five positions of ballet (feet and arms), but find learning dances difficult. It takes time & lots of repetition to get the choreography right.

    So learning ballet is a bit like writing blog posts: it takes lots of practice and hard work.

     


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