Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Curator Tools

Hello again, I finally have got some time on my hands to start back again at the Rudai23 course.  It has been a hectic few weeks with our first year orientations and the start of the new term.  I think curator tools like Pinterest and Storify offer libraries a superb way of visually representing in a very visual way things like events such as conferences, exhibitions et and even could be used to advertise special collections etc.
I would be very familiar with Pinterest as I would use this quite a lot in a personal capacity.  It literally covers every subject under the sun with very interesting material.  Storify is an application that I have only recently heard of. Having looked at it and explored some of it's features, it does offer potential for use in our Library. 
We have just completed our first year orientation sessions for our Business and Humanities students, with nearly 700 in total.  Our aim this year was to provide a library orientation that was fun, interactive and informative, all at the same time.  To harness a buzz around the orientation, gimmicks were used such as a raffle for library bags, all of which provided content for our social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.  I can see a role for Storify in outlining the story of the orientation with photos, feedback etc.  I think it has the potential to slot into our social media circle of connectivity, that is linking in with our Facebook page, our Twitter feed, our photo album on Instagram and so on.  The students who were involved in the orientation, might like to relive the part they played in the "story" as it were, such as when their friend asked a question or won a raffle.  One of its greatest features is its ability to provide a timeline of the event and its ability to pull together different content items such as photos, tweets etc.  It provides a very in the moment feel.
In terms of future potential library uses, conferences, seminars and training events spring to mind.  It is definitely one application, I will be keeping in mind for future use.

Monday, 24 August 2015


Well, here I am back form my holidays and ready to catch up with the Rudai 23 course. Podcasting is not something I would be overly familiar with in my day to day work activities and it is probably something that is probably not hugely relevant to me for my current position.

I could see their potential however as a learning resource/educational tool for teaching staff, in terms of introducing new ideas to students, interviewing persons of interest and as a way of kick starting the thinking process about new innovative ideas.

Rather than create my own podcast, I have listened to some of the podcasts mentioned in the module including "Circulating Ideas" and "Longform".  The "Circulating Ideas" podcast was interesting in getting an American perspective on all things Library related.  Podcast that would be of particular interest to me would cover topics such as Library Marketing, Social Media for libraries.  One name that I have heard mentioned is Ned Potter, a guru in Library marketing, social media etc.  I will definitely be checking to see if he has a podcast.

One other interesting use of podcasts, for a library point of view is the use of them at conferences.  Again there is great potential here for getting feedback on presentations, from delegates and sharing them online!

I am currently developing a space for my Business and Humanities students on their VLE environment, Blackboard.  Although, it is only at the developmental stages, podcasting is something that I will keep in mind, for further down the road.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Reflective practice

Wow, I cant believe we are up to Thing 6 already on the Rudai 23 course.  So far, I have enjoyed it immensely and have learned so much about the application of social media tools within a Library environment.  I really like the Hangouts tool in Google+ and can see great potential for using it for training purposes.

LinkedIn, I am not so keen about, I can see how it can be useful if one is seeking a job or trying to build up contacts. I feel it is probably one social media application, I probably won't use as much.

It has been interesting reading through some of the other blogs and what surprised me the most is the reasons why people have chosen to work as librarians.  A theme seems to be emerging of people accidently falling into the profession. What I mean by that is, some blogs have mentioned sitting in their college library, studying for their primary qualification, seeing the librarians at work and then exploring how they became librarians.  It also seems that people developed an automatic love for the profession.  I know it was like that for me, I got the library bug after working for the summer in my local public library.  It is interesting that people have preconceived notions about what a librarian does which can be quite different from reality on the ground.

A question I often get asked, when people find out that I am a librarian, is do I read much? I have to confess that I don't read as much as I would like. As opposed to when I was a young teenage bookworm, devouring every book I could get my hands on.  I don't have the time for that now, so maybe life has taken over.

How many librarians read avidly now?  A librarian's role has diversified so much that we are now expected to be experts in so many different areas.  It can be overwhelming but I think the secret is to keep learning, develop new skills and maybe set aside some quiet time to catch up on the reading!!

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Tweet tweaking!!

The use of online networks is something that is very topical for me currently in my workplace.  While I have had a Facebook account for a few years now, I mainly use this in a personal capacity.  I prefer to keep Facebook as a personal platform to connect with friends.

Recently I have created my own Twitter account @BredaCarey to use in conjunction with our institutional library twitter account.  This is a recent development for us here in the library and we are still on a learning curve with it.  We are slowly building up our follower base. Our aim would be to place this account within our own college community and also within the wider national library community as a whole.

In setting up this account we had to follow the parameters as laid down by our institution regarding the use of social media.  We have also consulted fellow stakeholders such as our Students Union regarding tips and advice.

Some useful tips that we have learned include:

- the busiest time for students to look at their social media feed is on a Sunday evening, when they are returning to college and are sitting on a bus or a train.  It is a good idea to time the release of important tweets/facebook posts to coincide with this window of opportunity.

- the application of the 89/20 rule in terms of the nature of your postings.  20% of postings should concern serious postings, whilst 80% of postings should be of a more light and entertaining nature.  For example, on a Friday we would have Friday fun facts, which concern some aspect of a library related theme.

- always be prepared for negative comments, it is important to be able to take the good with the bad.

Twitter and Facebook are great platforms to communicate with your student base, but it is time consuming gathering material for posts.  Overall, the effort is worth it, as it expands the reach of the library in communicating and indeed marketing and advertising services.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Googling my way!!

I have had a g-mail account for quite some time now, so am somewhat familiar with the Google+ offering.  I mainly use my G-mail as my personal email account and have of course used YouTube, Google Earth and so on.

I was unaware of the functionality of the various apps available through Google+ such as Blogger, Hangouts etc and it seems that potentially these apps could be very useful in a library setting.  Hangouts has great potential as a communications tool. Scenarios where it could be used in my work environment could be as a communications tool with  our off-campus libraries.  Similarly Hangouts - on -air has great potential as a training tool for off-campus staff.

Google+ is also very impressive as a networking platform for either, family, friends or colleagues.  Which leads to my next thought?
With the multitude of online platforms available to us such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, are we in danger of social media overkill??
Reasonably, how many social media platforms does a professional librarian need to be active on?
From the modules I have completed so far, Google+ would be my preferred option as it is so versatile and offers so much functionality.
Regarding LinkedIn, is it imperative that we have a presence on it? 

Friday, 17 July 2015

Getting to grips with Linkedin!!

I have just completed Thing 3 on creating your own professional brand.  I became aware of LinkedIn a couple of years ago when a colleague was applying for a new position.  I was amazed at the amount of people I know who have a LinkedIn account.  No doubt it is a great way of publicizing a persons achievements, exciting projects, new innovations and so on.
I have taken the first step in creating my own account and will add more information to this as I go along. What I have added at the moment is educational and job status information but will hopefully get more time to supplement this information.
I would hope to further develop my professional brand by adding in achievements, publications, library projects I have worked on etc
I would see LinkedIn as being a very valuable tool facilitating networking with fellow colleagues.
My url is

Monday, 13 July 2015

Taking the Librarian path!

I am trying to remember back all those years ago, why I followed the path of becoming a librarian.
I think the starting point for me was getting a summer job in my local public library.  These were the days when students at college had to find work in some public arena in order to get the dole.
I remember trawling through the list of approved sponsors and suddenly seeing the local public library on the list.  I thought this was something that would suit me and off I went.

I loved the whole experience, it was a new building at the time so everything was shiny and new.  There were rows of lovely new books, lovely new furniture and a fantastic colorful environment.  I also loved meeting the customers coming in and dealing with their enquiries.  It was certainly a great pleasure to work there for the few months during the summer.

After that, I went back to college and completed my course, but the positive work experience stayed with me.  I became more aware of how libraries worked and started wondering what career path my college librarians had followed to be where they were.  I did some research and decided this was the career for me.  I subsequently did a library traineeship in an academic library setting, worked as a library assistant for a few years and then attended UCD to complete the Library and Information systems course.

That was a few years now, and since then I have worked as a subject librarian specializing in the area of Business and Humanities.  What amazes me is the continuously changing nature of the role of librarian.  Not only are we doing the traditional day to day housekeeping functions such as cataloguing, identifying new material etc we are now also teachers, learning technologists, academic writers and so on.  We are also surrounded and immersed in new technological developments such as the rise of social media and how it can advance the library cause. 

I think that is what keeps our role organic, relevant and constantly evolving.  It is great to be involved in this evolving arena.