CPD23 2012 Thing 12 – Putting the Social Into Social Media

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I’ve probably said quite enough on this blog recently with regard to participation in social media, I really have no more to say at the moment!

And as for Google+ I’ve still not got to grips with this, if you’ve found a good use for it please let me know



CPD23 2011 Thing 12 – Putting the social into social media

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Here’s what I had to say about thing 12 in 2011 – 

I love social networking and as I wrote a little excessively on it for Thing 6 I may already have addressed some of the questions posed in Thing 12 but I do have a few further thoughts prompted by these questions –

  • are there any other advantages to social networking in the context of professional development than those already outlined above?
    – I find social networking to be a great way to network for those that are a bit shy. On the internet no one sees that you are blushing, no one can hear you stutter or has to shake your sweaty hand.
  • can you think of any disadvantages?
    – There are all the usual concerns that you find on the internet such as “who am I really talking to?”. With professional use I still try to exercise some caution over who I connect with and how much information I give out about who I am and where I work.
    – Networking online is not enough, if possible we must still get out there and meet with others face to face as well
  • has CPD23 helped you to make contact with others that you would not have had contact with normally?
    A little, I have found a few new blogs to follow but I haven’t yet made much effort to get to know their writers
  • did you already use social media for your career development before starting CPD23? Will you keep using it after the programme has finished?
    – Y
    es and yes!

Social media really needs the social to make it work. I feel that if someone never updates their Facebook page or never tweets and never interacts with their friends or followers their presence on Facebook or twitter almost becomes stalking. I have unfollowed/unfriended some such people as I get nothing back from them. For social media to work the social part is the key, not the network or website.

What will I do next? Well at last I have access to Google+, I am a bit wary of it but as soon as I can I will take a proper look at it and decide if I want to be part of it or not.

CPD23 2012 Thing 11 – Mentoring

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At the moment I am not involved in professional mentoring at all, my final CILIP mentee chartered recently and I’m not intending to take on any more candidates until I resolve whether to remain in CILIP membership or not.

I mentioned last year that I’ve never had a formal librarianship mentor and this remains the case.  I read someone else’s (sorry I didn’t note down who) post on Thing 11 recently suggesting that those of us further into our careers don’t really need a mentor and pondering on this I am happy to carry on without a mentor but with the excellent support given by the Scottish Law Librarians Group.

If I were to change careers (I’m not planning to) I would definitely seek out a mentor. My lovely friends are kind enough to act as mentors when I hit obstacles in my personal life so maybe I’m not too old for a mentor after all.

CPD23 2011 Thing 11 – Mentoring

Here’s what I had to say about mentoring in 2011 –

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This shall be a short post, I am offline for a couple of months whilst I move house so writing this on Dad’s terrible old PC and equally terrible internet connection!

I have never had a formal mentor, this is probably an error on my part as I spent the early part of my professional career effectively working on my own. I am pretty sure that a mentor could have been hugely beneficial. Looking back there were definitely times when I needed extra support or someone other than my boss to bounce ideas off.

What I do have though is a very good informal support network of peers. Although none of them is more experienced than me in number of years in the profession one has packed so much more into her career that she has at times been able to act as a mentor when I have needed her to. I am very grateful to them all for their support.

As I am registered as a CILIP Chartership mentor, I was interested to see the qualities that a good mentor should have listed. Definitely some things I need to work on as I don’t feel that all my mentor/mentee relationships have worked out as well as they could have. I am finding working with my current mentee particularly challenging but I am pretty sure that much of the fault lies with me. Perhaps I need to be brave and ask her for some honest feedback ….

New Look!

I had recently noticed that on some browsers my blog was taking too long to load so I have   changed to a new cleaner theme with less in the way of background photos which I hope will solve that problem.  I think it looks a bit more professional as well.  I’ve also updated the background on my Twitter account to match the heading photo (I know it’s a bit blurry, I’ll need to try and take a better one soon!) so I can keep my “brand” consistent.

CPD23 2012 Thing 10 – Graduate traineeships, Masters Degrees, Chartership, Accreditation

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Before thinking about the various qualifications that may be appropriate for my role it is probably helpful to describe the role.  My job title is Librarian but that hides  the range of tasks I am actually involved in – legal research, research training, I buy books, deal with subscriptions, current awareness is a big part of my job, I also spend too much time on basic library admin, and then there’s all my knowledge management responsibilities too ….

As a bit of a studying junkie I have several qualifications, two are particularly relevant to my current job.

MSc Library and Information Studies

I believe that having a sound theoretical understanding of librarianship underpins a lot of what I do in my role.  We often adapt the rules to fit the specifics of this firm but to be able to do that successfully I need to know what these rules are in the first place.  It is also proving useful in the KM side of my job, at the moment we are working on harmonising and tidying up the taxonomy/taxonomies on the intranet so I am using skills I was trained for many years ago.

HNC in Legal Studies

Having a basic understanding of law is obviously very helpful when doing research for the lawyers, I found that although I was picking things up as I went along I needed to put some structure to my knowledge and fill in some gaps so chose to study this distance learning HNC.  It’s definitely been worth the effort, I still don’t have the same level of legal knowledge as even the trainee lawyers but I have enough to get me through!

Some other law firm librarians do have law degrees, for the moment I have decided that that’s a step too far and more than is needed for the job.

What else might be appropriate and which qualification might I seek next?

The two qualifications above are the closest to essential for my role.  However each year I have been with my present employer my job role seems to have widened and I wonder if I need to gain a little more background knowledge in these areas.  In particular other qualifications which might be useful and helpful are in the fields of IT, business studies and politics.  I have been toying with the idea of constructing an Open University degree around the most useful looking courses in these areas.  And of course a knowledge management qualification would be very appropriate.

What else?

If I decide to remain a CILIP member then I really must commit to it fully and finally revalidate (I chartered in 2002 so it’s long overdue).