Networking in Neutral

The latest Scottish Law Librarians Group blog post on On Firmer Ground, an international collaborative blog for law firm librarians, has just been posted, as it’s relevant to the topics being discussed in CPD23 I thought I’d post a link to it here as well – Networking in Neutral

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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 2 revisited

cpd23 logo

Thing 2 is to explore other blogs, this is something I do everyday, I follow a large number of blogs covering work related topics and various things I am interested in personally.

I use Google Reader to keep track of all the blogs I follow, this allows me to organise the feeds by topic and then to quickly scan through the posts to pick out what is relevant and interesting.  It also means I don’t miss anything important. I’ve gone as far as to set up two Google accounts so that I can keep work and personal feeds separate and not get distracted by fun posts at work or sucked into reading work posts at the weekend.  It also helps with the information overload to keep the fun stuff separate for the weekend.

Some of my favourite library, KM, law or IT related blogs are –

Last year the main thing that I learnt from Thing 2 was to comment on a blog if I found it particularly useful or thought provoking.  I have carried on doing this and find it rewarding, sometimes a blog post can just be the catalyst for further discussion on a topic.  I’ve also found that if I take the time to interact with someone’s blog they may well return the favour and comment on my blog which has led to me guest posting on a Brazilian lingerie blog, not where I expected this to lead but why not!!

CPD23 2011 – Thing 2

Thing 2 is explore other blogs, this is what I had to say in 2011 –

cpd23 logo

For Thing 2 I have been browsing through the list of blogs belonging to the other participants. There are loads of impressive bloggers amongst us so I have my Google reader account open ready to subscribe to some.

There are so many blogs and so little time that I have used the Delicious list filtered by the helpful tags starting with law, my field and Scotland, my location.

A few that have count my eye are –

I have also dipped into a small number of other blogs, mainly drawn in by the titles, there are some inventive librarians out there!

From Thing 2 I have learnt to take the time to comment on a blog where appropriate, it may start a new discussion; and it’s just nice to give feedback when you have enjoyed a post or found it useful.

Blogging professionally is hard!

Although I have been blogging sporadically for about 3 years on a variety of topics I still struggle with finding appropriate topics to blog about.

This blog was created when I concluded that my blog had got too confused, it was a mixture of personal and work related topics. I decided that it’s better to keep the two completely separate and so this blog was born for professional posts (I really should copy over the work posts from my original blog to bulk this one up!) and the other has become for random personal musings.

Mistakenly I thought it would be easy to blog about library related topics. After all I love libraries and have done since I can remember and I’ve worked in them since I was 18.  I spend more awake time in a library than anywhere else, so why the difficulty in finding topics?

I think there are many reasons I am having problems, it’s not the lack of ideas but often when I think of something that it would be interesting to explore further I decide it’s not appropriate to do so for a variety of reasons.

Although I don’t say on this blog where I work or what my full name is I have linked to it from my LinkedIn profile and from my page on the work intranet so some readers (do I have any?) do know who I am and where I work.  As a corporate law firm librarian I must respect the confidentiality of our clients so that makes blogging about any enquiry work we receive in the library impossible. I also need to respect the confidentiality of the firm itself so there are other topics related to work that I would never discuss publicly. And the library team is very small, just me and a part-time library assistant, this often makes blogging about the day-to-day work in the library inappropriate as it’s too easy to work out the specifics of who or what I am referring to.

A professional blog not only represents me, it could also reflect well or badly on the firm I work for.  I feel it is important to present a professional and positive face to the world.  In the present financial climate this can be difficult, it would be too easy to blog a series of moans, it’s much more challenging to write a positive and helpful post. This is something I need to think about further for future posts; I know I get useful tips from reading about how others overcame challenges so I’d like to share and help others where I am able.

So far I have found the easiest posts to write to be those following a training event or a review of something I have read.  I am attending a KM networking event next week, it looks like it will be really interesting so I am hoping that will spark off some ideas for a post.

I would be very interested to hear from other law firm librarians on their experiences of addressing these issues.