Today, as I head off to a family party weekend in the country to celebrate a much loved aunt’s 60th birthday, I bring you a link to a wonderful post by the wonderful & thoughtful K.G. Schneider over at Free Range Librarian, about resetting priorities and examining what really matters. That is all. Except that the wordle comes from the text of a few posts tagged family over on my other blog.
I tweeted today that IT at MPOW are having some trouble figuring out why dropbox won’t install on my work PC. Some background is needed. As I’ve recently changed teams I have been the lucky recipient of a long overdue new computer and I’m one of a handful of staff testing the Windows 7 environment that is to be rolled out as standard… er, soonish.
Dropbox installed fine on the old machine but something in the new configuration is stopping it. IT were able to get endnote to load and to get the system to allow me to designate Chrome as my default browser but dropbox is being problematic.
This led me to think about the tools I take for granted in my workday – dropbox definitely being one of them. Some are tech based, others not.
I use my (personal) iPad nearly every day at work, to take notes, monitor twitter via hootsuite, draw mindmaps using popplet, refer to annotated PDF documents, write meeting minutes or quickly look something up on the fly. From being initially very sceptical about the uses for the iPad I’ve become quite a convert!
I’ve just acquired the document holder you can see between keyboard & monitor in the photo & after a week I already cannot imagine how I got on without it.
I can’t imagine not having a couple of notebooks on the go at any one time. I love the iPad but sometimes I find there’s no substitute for physically writing it down. That said, I can never find a pen & have taken to haunting the stationery cupboard this week in anticipation of the monthly order delivery in case there’s new pens….
The new PC has come with OneNote loaded and I’m currently exploring its usefulness & capabilities – I’ll let you know if it becomes indispensable!
What tools do you rely on at work?
I’m a little bit obsessed with the stats page here on WordPress – I like to see how many folk are reading my blog (not very many, trust me) and what they are reading when they get here, but I REALLY like to see where they’ve come from to get here. Sometimes the search strings that have been used to arrive at my blog seem a bit bizarre but they mostly make sense and relate more or less to something I’ve written. Twitter remains the main source of visitors to this blog – emphasising the power of self promotion I guess! (Facebook is the main source of visitors to my personal blog – again reflecting where I choose to broadcast).
However, sometimes readers arrive because someone else has linked to me and that always feels a bit different. I’ve written previously about feeling a bit nervous when I discovered that students were being sent to my blog from an LIS course and I’ve just discovered another similar link. In an online training exercise about weeding, Heather Braum has linked to a post I wrote about 18 months ago.
When I look back at that post it has considerable content – something I’ve gotten out of the habit of doing (particularly during #blogjune!) as I’ve become more familiar with my job and the professional issues I encounter. I’m not sure if it’s that I understand the issues better so feel less like I need to write about them or if it’s a familiarity (or even complacency) thing, that is, do I not even notice them anymore? Sometimes it’s neither of those things and is just a lack of confidence in my ability to write about them in a way that will engage others. As the best cure for this is to just get on and write it anyway perhaps I’d best go away now and write a list of ‘things to blog about’!
I’ve been involved in a review of some material in our Library & Information Science collection and in the process have come across some gems from the past. I’ve already highlighted one book that devoted a (short) chapter to the role of women in libraries. Today I bring you a short quote about the future of libraries from 1964. The book is called Teach yourself librarianship and is from a series that includes titles such as The teach yourself guidebook to Western thought, Teach yourself journalism and Teach yourself to teach.
It is unlikely that the book will soon be superseded as the medium for escape, entertainment and intellectual stimulus. Television is thought to have encouraged quite as much as it has discouraged reading for pleasure. But if machines can be taught to read, summarize and, at man’s will, regurgitate technical information (and this now seems to be within the realm of practical possibility), then the information services of libraries may well be revolutionized…The profession today thinks less in terms of books in chains and documents in custody than of the active liberation and circulation of information as the intellectual life-blood of the community.
In some ways, not much has changed, has it?
Yesterday I finally presented back to MPOW on the Digital Humanities conference I went to in March.
Because it’s mostly pictures, to make any sense of this presentation you’ll have to go look at it on Slideshare – I didn’t realise the embed code doesn’t bring across the notes. I’d like to thank my colleagues for listening so attentively – I find presenting to people I know the most difficult thing to do. I’d rather talk to 1000 incoming undergraduates than 20 of my workmates…..
I would like to share with you a few lines from a book I found in the LIS collection at MPOW. Bear in mind that we have not taught LIS here for more than 15 years – so our collection is dated to say the least. This particular gem comes from a 1961 book called ‘Librarianship’, from a series called The Sunday Times Career Books. Chapter 15 is really called ‘Specially for Maidens’. It probably won’t come as any surprise that this book was written by a man! Here we go:
Librarianship, too, is a profession with a distinct appeal to the female sex and the work is well-suited to women. It requires at many stages such personal characteristics as accuracy, persistency, neatness, orderliness, and a liking for work with the public…Many women, of course, do not enter the profession as a long-term career. Marriage is the ultimate objective (and incidentally work in a library has its advantages in this direction too) but until then at any rate they are able to earn a reasonable salary…
The work is interesting in all its aspects, but that which is particularly attractive to women is work as a Children’s Librarian…Cataloguing work, too, is well suited to the feminine temperament, for it demands great accuracy and consistency…On the other hand, many women seem to fight shy of the administrative posts, which carry more responsibility and need greater organising ability. Perhaps this is one more reason why the majority of such positions go to men!
I don’t think there’s really anything else to say.
If you work in academic libraries sooner or later you are going to come across the issue of research data management. Increasingly, we are also working in an e-research space where everything from finding journal articles for a literature review through to making a copy of the finished work available in an institutional repository happens in an online space.
My previous posts on digital humanities send out a call for libraries to be more involved in this process and to come to the table as partners and collaborators with researchers. This is an area of librarianship I didn’t know existed before starting at MPOW 15 months ago and it has caught my interest in a big way.
I did say much of this #blogjune from me would be about data. Now I can reveal that I have a new job for the next 12 months and am going to be working in our library’s repository services team, talking about research data management all day long. It starts next week – stay tuned!