Things 8 and 9: Google Calendar and Evernote

Right! Catchup week is here, and it’s time to Catch. Up.

Google Calendar is something that we use at the Glasgow Women’s Library, and it’s a very useful way to tell who’s where when, especially in an organisation like ours with lots of part-time staff and flexible hours. We also use it to manage our events and opening times. I think it’s fantastic for libraries.

I tried to get into Google Calendar for personal use when I first got my Android phone earlier this year, but it hasn’t worked out I’m afraid, and I’m back to my trusty, old-fashioned pocket diary + pen. I really don’t like how, on Google Calendar, they show all kinds of silly hours like 4am (I’ve just found out how to get round that, using Labs), but I suppose for me the main disadvantage was having to input everything into it. There’s also something about the layout on my phone that I don’t really like – either too much information, or too little… I experimented with using a few other calendar/organizer apps, but none of them worked out in the end.

Evernote is amazing 🙂 As someone who really loves cooking, and who relies heavily on the internet for recipes, the web clipper has been such a fantastic way of collecting and organising my recipes. I used to use a bookmarks + folder system within Firefox, but then one day a Malaysian cooking blog got taken down, and I lost several recipes there and then! Luckily, with Evernote this tragedy won’t ever happen to me again. I also like how it syncs across my phone and my laptop, and how the tags make it easy to categorize dishes. I have a separate notebook for more library and general interest websites, but it’s definitely note as well-filled as the recipes notebook!

Yay for Evernote ❤

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Thing 7: real-life networks

I joined CILIP at the end of last year, when I got my first proper, paid library job. I get a discount because I don’t earn very much, and it’s definitely been worth it to sign up – the main benefits I’ve appreciated are the access to LIS journals, the special interest groups, and access to CILIP forums. Besides this, I like getting the Update magazine every month – while it’s easy and convenient to keep track of library news and issues online with RSS feeds and twitter, there are articles in the magazine that I would not otherwise look up myself, or which I wouldn’t have come across. It’s also nice to have a paper copy to browse at home in my own time.

I think it’s so important that there’s an organisation that really unites the profession and brings us together with its events and training opportunities. I went to a CIGS seminar back in March; it was my first proper library event and I thought it was a brilliant learning experience. Since CILIP is so influential in the library profession in the UK, accrediting professional qualifications etc., I also think it’s really important to be a part of the organisation and actually have some say in what goes on within it. Later on in my career I’ll probably volunteer for a committee position in one of the various groups.

My experience of other professional organisations is quite limited, I’m afraid – the only ones I’ve explored were BIALL and IAML, because these are sectors that interest me; I’d only join either one if I found a related job. Some of them, like IMRS and ASLIB, look very interesting but perhaps a little too general in scope at this moment in my career, with money a little tight. When I get the chance to attend one of their events, or discuss their benefits with someone who is a member, I’ll think more seriously about joining one of them.

Since I’m only a very baby librarian at the moment, there’s plenty of room to grow, and I’ll hopefully become more actively involved in the various professional networks as time goes on. For now, I’ll just keep track of forums/mailing lists and attend the odd event here and there 🙂

Thing 6: Online Networks

Oh my word! I’m already several weeks behind on cpd23! My laptop’s been broken, but it’s a poor excuse really… time to get cracking 😉

I’ve decided to do Thing 6 before Thing 5, because I don’t have any particular event to reflect on as yet! I’ll be attending the ‘Building Your Portfolio’ Workshop at the Mitchell Library on 21st June, so I’ll use Thing 5 as an opportunity to reflect on that experience.

LinkedIn is something that I only use very occasionally. I think it’s important to keep it up-to-date, especially as it’s one of the first things to appear in a Google search of my name! However, at this very early stage in my career I don’t see it as a very important tool as yet; later on, I could see it as being a useful way of networking with others. I keep my eye on the discussion groups, but that’s really about it.

Facebook is, for me, a strictly personal affair; although there’s nothing there that I am uncomfortable with, I think it’s healthy to maintain a separate space that’s completely free from work-related stuff.

I joined LISNPN a wee while ago, when it was recommended to me by Jen. I have to confess that I don’t visit it as often as I should, though I’ve enjoyed reading through the forum threads and there are plenty of interesting things to follow. I’ll make a conscious effort to visit it once a week from now on, I think.

LATN – I’d never even heard of this one! I just popped over and registered. I have to say, I’m a little bit anxious about how very many different networks there are – it would be difficult to keep track of all of them. CILIP Communities is another network I don’t think I’ve utilised as much as I should have, and I think I’d find it more useful than LATN because of its more general scope.

It’s certainly been an eye-opener to discover just how many different library networks there are… I’ll certainly be paying more attention to CILIP Communities and LISNPN in the future.