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Preview: Leaps & bounds

Leaps & bounds

Updated: 2018-03-06T10:16:31.010+00:00


Final thoughts


Wasn't it only a couple of weeks ago that we had the launch party at the Judge?? How time flies. I read through my previous posts just to remind myself of what I said and I seem to have promised to investigate quite a few Things for the new academic year. Oh dear, time is not on my side. However, if they can't be achieved by then, at least I have had a taster and can come back to investigate further.Here are my thoughts about some of the Things (with links to my previous posts):iGoogle - I still use it to gather all my favourite sites together and I will continue to do so.Google Calendar - this is now being used by the Cambridge Librarians CamTools User Education group (which I'm a member of).Flickr - I want to explore this further & add pictures of the Education Library for a possible virtual tour.Slideshare - I will be looking at this over the next few weeks for inspiration for library inductions!Podcasting - When I have the luxury of more time (ha ha), I would love to dabble with podcasts.Facebook - still on the peripheral and tempting me after seeing how other libraries use it, but is this just a duplication of information which is already available and yet another site to maintain?LinkedIn - I'm not planning to use this, but it's good to know what other professionals are using it for.Twitter - Our Library has an account, but I won't be using it for myself.LibraryThing - Fun to set up, but not particularly useful for Education as we have lists of new books available on CamTools.Zotero - I now understand how this works!A wide range of Web 2.0 technologies have been considered for Cam23. With all the possibilities, it's very easy to rush into using as many tools as possible to connect with our readers. But there has to be a balance between keeping up with what our readers are using to access information, and providing the information they need. I have mentioned CamTools in just about every post, but it really does help us to provide resources to all Education students. And as Faculty students are registered onto the Library CamTools site when they start their course, we have a captive audience! Saying that, I hope this final post doesn't make me sound blinkered or set in my ways. I have enjoyed looking at the Things and I've relished the opportunity this programme has given me to think 'outside the box' and to see what potential each tool may have for the Library service and for me as a professional. I wanted to do the following during my Cam23 journey:1. Work with other colleagues within the University2. Learn more about Web 2.0 technologies3. Discover what tools could be used to improve services to readersWith confidence, I can tick all 3!And to finish, here's my pretty Wordle:[...]



The freedom of the wiki

I don't need convincing about how useful wikis are as we've been using them in association with CamTools for several years now and I love the freedom of editing something and then making it live straightaway! At Education we have developed the wiki facility on CamTools as an intranet to host the majority of library resources, which means we can provide tailored information for readers. This is particularly useful for part-time & distance students who are not based in the Faculty. It's something we couldn't do with the existing Library pages as:
a) we are restricted by the software available
b) the pages have to conform to a particular design and format
c) we have to wait for pages to be approved by the IT team before they go live

(image) List of course sites on CamTools

We have created wiki pages detailing Library resources & information for each course taught in the Faculty. Because of the flexibility offered by the wiki, we're able to change information and add links whenever we need to.
We're currently working on pages for 2010-2011 - the first group of students, MEd Herts, arrive on Friday 10th September:

(image) Library information on CamTools for MEd Herts distance students

We've also been compiling reading lists for PGCE courses - see the one for Art & Design students below:

(image) Reading lists for courses

These reading lists link through to the Newton catalogue, as well as scanned articles, so students just have one place to access material for assignments.

Wikis have improved the way we can make information available to readers, and they have given us the freedom to design pages in a way we hope students will find clear. Long live the wiki!

Podcasting & YouTube


I've been thinking about how useful a podcast might be for the Education Library, especially for the detailed Online Research Skills sessions we run. Would students find an audio visual demonstration much more appealing than a slideshow? Our powerpoint presentations are uploaded onto the Library CamTools site for students to look at, and going from the site stats detailing the number of times they were downloaded, this has been fairly successful.

The Library tour podcasts at Goldsmiths Library and the audio pods from the University of Aberdeen are useful for new readers who use large libraries I had a quick look to see if the UL has one but wasn't able to find anything on the web pages. Education isn't a particularly huge Library so we wouldn't do a podcast for orientation purposes.

It was fun to look at some of the YouTube links that Andy listed - I loved the L-Team! Goggle vision from the University of Liverpool does a nice view on Google v. databases - might be looking at this again when we come to do our sessions. And as for the Lady Ga Ga video - well, there's not much to say really...

As has been demonstrated by some of the above examples, podcasts and YouTube can be used to market library service to readers as it's another way of communicating to students, and is potentially useful for those who study on distance courses. We have 2 online courses running at the moment and students only attend sessions in the Faculty once or twice a term, so perhaps a Library podcast highlighting the wealth of electronic resources available at a distance would be helpful. As mentioned in the Podcasting in academic libraries article:

"Many libraries produce podcasts as an outreach method for distance education students, who are often unaware of available library services and unable to take instruction classes."

This is something I would like to pursue further, but as the new academic year is fast approaching, this will sadly have to wait until next year...

Google docs


(image) Saint-Briac-sur-Mer

I've just returned from a couple of weeks in Brittany and am now catching up with the remaining Things before the deadline!

I have come across Google Docs when buying e-tickets, and have accessed Google Docs throughout Cam 23, but hadn't created one before. So before I went on holiday I created a doc to send to my colleagues at Education which turned out to be a lot easier than I thought - here's a screen shot:

The idea of having a 'virtual' document which can be shared & accessed by anyone in any location is very clever. I'm not sure yet how we at Education can use Google Docs as we have a shared network whereby all documents can be accessed by staff (though not simultaneously). However, it is useful if you want to share information with professionals in other Cambridge libraries and stops an endless stream of e-mails between people.

I had a quick look at Zoho Office Suite as suggested by Kirsty, but I would probably stick to Google Docs for now.

Marketing with social media


Marketing in Libraryland...

I looked at how the Orkney Library & Archive have embraced social networking such as Twitter and Facebook, and have also created a blog so that their users can keep up to date with services. And with users based on different islands, this must be very useful.

This quote from the Illinois libraries blog made me think:

"Social media serves as a place to enhance our relationships. Since we’ve already established trust-worthy relationships with our patrons inside the library, it’s only natural that we use social media enhance our relationships with patrons virtually."

It also mentioned how Library staff were given their own social media card to hand out to readers, which included their name, job title, e-mail, plus Twitter, Facebook and other social networking accounts they had. We use CamTools as a platform to back up what we say at inductions and online research skills sessions, as well as outline in detail the nitty gritty of being a member of the Library service. This also extends the Library from a physical collection to an electronic resource which can be accessed from anywhere at any time.

We have to market the Library service in different ways to different groups because of the diverse range of students we serve. For example, distance and part-time students do not attend regular sessions in the Faculty (& PGCEs are away on Placements during Lent & Easter terms) compared to full-time undergraduates and MPhils, therefore we promote the online resources to these students over the physical collection.

Social networking does offer new ways of learning and this is an area we are starting to explore through Twitter, and maybe Facebook...



I did a search on the universal catalogue for Saxon history and added some of the results to my folder in Zotero. I also did the same search in JSTOR and Google Scholar and here are the results in my folder:

(image) Zotero is taught by Faculty academic staff within research skills sessions and to date the Library hasn't been involved in running sessions or providing documentation for readers. We occasionally receive enquiries about it, and if they are not able to find information on their CamTools sites, then we would direct them to information available on the UL Library Toolbox.

I enjoyed this Thing! At least I have had hands on experience with it and if I do receive any enquiries from research students, I can talk about it with confidence!



I've had a look at the profiles suggested by Andy. LinkedIn is a useful tool for people who would like to network with other professionals, keep track of people's career progression and to move forward in their own career too.

I read Top reasons to use LinkedIn and people have used this site to get in touch with past & current colleagues, and for career opportunities. Is this site for Librarians? Well, I don't see why not as it's another social network to be a part of, except it's more professional in scope than social.



I went straight to step 5 as Sarah suggested as I don't have a Facebook account and explored some of the Cambridge Libraries...

The English Faculty Library uses Facebook in a number of ways, including posting messages about what's going on in the Library - we use the announcement facility on CamTools to communicate with our students. The photo albums and the list of books look good too:

(image) We have started to list new books on a CamTools site created for academic staff of the Faculty, with pictures of covers and live links to the Newton catalogue:

(image) The Judge Library use HootSuite to manage postings on their Facebook page - I haven't heard of this before, but it sounds useful if you & your users are members of more than one social networking site. I had a look at the 2 videos on the Marshall Library's site about vacation borrowing - I'm not sure how we would cope at Education if we had a vacation loan for all 1500 students!

I read Libraries & Facebook and it was interesting to note that Librarians in 2008 (when the article was published) thought Facebook was mainly for social networking and not for professional use. I'm not sure if you would get the same response now!

The Education Library doesn't have a Facebook site because we extensively use CamTools to interact with our readers. However, Facebook presents the information in a much more appealing format. Caret are upgrading CamTools in September, so I'm hoping the interface will improve and the site on the whole will be a lot less clunky to use. I haven't ruled out Facebook as a way to promote Library services on another platform though, but I will explore further!



My own (not so) private Library

LibraryThing was very easy to set up and fun to add titles. I hadn't heard of it before Cam23 so I found some of the links which Kirsty encouraged us to read quite interesting. For example, the Social networking for Bookworms article suggests that LibraryThing can "connect likeminded readers - a sort of MySpace for bookworms", with the emphasis on finding more books and "not to kindle online relationships or cliques". Tagging is of course a strong element of many Web 2.0 technologies & LibraryThing is no exception, with librarians tagging their own books to "create indexes far more vibrant than anything the Library of Congress could handle".

Here's a screen shot of my profile page:

And here is the list of books I have added so far...

(image) Use for Libraries?
I've had a look at those libraries which already use LibraryThing (Central Science & Nuffield College), but I'm not sure if it's for us at the moment. Here at Education we use CamTools to list books from reading lists or titles which have recently been added to stock. These lists include pictures of the front cover, plus a link to Newton to check if the book is available.

By the way, I liked a couple of the quotes from What do Librarians do? - "Information Ninja" & "I'm what Google wants to be when it grows up" are ones I would like to add to my name badge for the new academic year!!



(image) Thinking back

I'm a little late with my reflections but I thought the most coherent way to blog about them was to use Libby's helpful questions.

And so what?
I've just re-read my first thoughts on the Cam23 programme and the 3 opportunities I listed are certainly taking shape, if not already fully formed.

How have your skills/knowledge improved?
I am much more aware of Web 2.0 technologies and how some of them may have the potential to improve library services for our readers. I certainly feel a lot more confident in approaching a new thing (note small t!).

Have the 'Things' covered everything that you need to know, or think it relevant to know?
Yes, the Things so far have been varied enough to keep it interesting each week, and it's good to be reminded of how each task could be useful to libraries,

Have the activities suited your learning style?
I didn't know what my learning style was so I did the short VARK questionnaire as suggested by Libby and I am 'multimodel' which applies to about 60% of people. So I think the activities do suit my learning style in that I like to read a description of how to do something, but I also like something visual to look at too (e.g. screen shots or a short video).

Do you feel more competent and confident?
I'm certainly getting there! There are some Things that I would like to spend more time getting to grips with (e.g. Delicious) to see how useful they could be to the Education Library, but with the summer here and Michaelmas Term not far away, this may have to wait until next year after the new students have settled in.

How can you apply this learning?
There are a number of staff at Education taking part in Cam23, and as we are planning a whole staff meeting in September, this may be the ideal opportunity to discuss our thoughts on the Things and identify those that could be applied to improve the way we work as a team and the way we present information to readers.

What would you do differently - and what might change about how you approach the next 12 Things?
I wouldn't approach the programme any differently, but if I had the luxury of time, I would love to have spent longer on some of the Things. Still, I have had a taste now and know where to find them!

Is there one (or more) Thing that you would be happy to recommend to a colleague? Why?
iGoogle is definitely worth using as it's such an easy way to bring all your favourite pieces of information together (and a member of Library staff who isn't following the Cam23 programme now uses it every day!).



I've had a look at how the Judge Business School and the Casimir Lewy Library are using Delicious and it may have potential for some resources we currently have listed on our 24hr Library pages. Tags would be useful to help readers find information in a particular area (see the tag cloud at Thunder Bay Public Library). In one of the items for further reading which Emma suggested, Tags help make libraries Delicious, I read an interesting comment:

“If our web-savvy users notice [that the library] is using hope is that they will recognize our position in the community as information providers, visit our web site, work with our virtual collection, and become engaged library users.”

At Education we continually try to think of different ways to present information so that our readers will find it easy to access what they need for their assignments. Which is why we currently use CamTools as a platform for all our resources because of it's flexibility and we are able to make immediate changes to information available on wikis.

I created a personal account a while ago just to familiarise myself with what Delicious does. I'll now look into creating a Library account to bookmark those sites which may be relevant to Education students and link it to our web pages and CamTools sites.



Kirsty has asked us to think about several things whilst exploring Slideshare - here are my thoughts so far...

I started off by searching for 23 Things Cambridge and found the following presentation from lettylib:
23 things Cambridge (cam23)(object) (embed)

And just by searching for '23 Things' I came across Implementing a 23 Things Type Program at Your Library.
I also searched 'library inductions' to see what other libraries do to promote their services (see simoneokolo & sshlibrary), as well as more specific resources such as WOS & Scopus (see Gali Halevi for a comparison of both databases) which we promote to Education students.

I'll keep Slideshare in mind when we come to writing our presentations for new students this Michaelmas Term as I'm sure we will find some inspiration over the summer!




I searched for Bury St. Edmunds, my home town, and found 19,833 results! Here is a sample (credits for photos go to Martin Pettitt):


...and I have added the RSS feed of Martin's photostream to my iGoogle page:

I like the National Library of Scotland's photostream to illustrate what they have in their archive, and the mystery photos from the Library of Congress is a fascinating way to identify parts of their collection! I wonder if people do this to try and identify faces in old family photos...


I'm very keen on the idea of creating a virtual tour of the Library using Flickr, as mentioned in the How to make Flickr work for your Library blog. I've created an account and started to upload some pictures of the Education Library. This is going to be my summer project!

Tags & tagging


Review & retag

I have now reviewed all tags in my blogs and added a lot more which will hopefully describe the contents a bit better.

The Ann Arbor District Library uses tags within its library catalogue and I wonder how helpful users find these? With Aquabrowser, there will be Word Clouds available for each record which will encourage readers to explore other records and broaden their search. Will the Word Cloud have the same role as tags?

An interesting statement in the BBC link which Emma offered as further reading said that adding tags "is a classic example of how the web is enabling the bottom-up building of categories rather than having such things imposed on users." As Librarians we are used to working with controlled vocabulary when cataloguing material, but by adding and using tags in blogs, delicious, etc, we are suggesting, through our own personal preferences, how an item should be categorised. Tagging can be quite a powerful tool...

Twitter, Tweets & Twuffers


I have had a Twitter account since becoming a member of the Cam23 Project Team and I now have a grand total of 18 followers! I'm also following 21 Tweeters, most of whom are participants of Cam23.

We have had a Twitter account at the Education Library since Michaelmas 2009. We use it to update our readers on changes in opening hours, or letting them know a new Library newsletter is available to read.
However, we use the announcement facility on CamTools to send information to our readers as they are all members of the Library CamTools site. We know then that we are reaching everyone, whereas Twitter is voluntary and relies on the reader to follow us.

I found out this week that you're able to send Tweets whilst you are away from your usual channels of communication - these are called Twuffers. Interesting...I'm not sure why people would feel the need to do this. Perhaps if you have lots of followers this would be useful so that they don't think you've completely disappeared and then stop following you - disaster!

I read an article in the latest Library + Information Gazette by Laura Woods about Tweeting whilst attending conferences and the assumption that people who do this are not paying attention to the speaker. Laura blogged about this later and raised an interesting point:

"I don’t expect everyone to be on Twitter, but as information professionals I really think we should have an understanding of how different people process information, and how some people like to use technology to facilitate that."

It started me thinking about how our students may 'process information' at Library inductions and online research skills sessions. When we speak to groups of readers, I assume that if they are looking at you whilst you are explaining how to locate books or journal articles, they are listening to you. Would I feel the same if they had their head down and were busy tapping away on their lap tops or phones..?

Google Calendar


A new Thing for me

I hadn't come across Google Calendar until I was researching it for my blog post for Thing 6. It's been very interesting to see how other libraries are using it to advertise opening hours (especially if they have several branch libraries) and publicise events, and it started me wondering whether the Education Library would find it useful or not. You're able to embed the Calendar into web pages so it could be an alternative display for our opening hours. I'm also curious to see if it can be embedded within our CamTools sites - more investigation is needed...

My Google Calendar is looking like this at the moment:

(image) I've added some of my meetings to the Calendar, with a reminder to be sent to me by e-mail. For fun, I have the weather icons displayed at the top of the columns & I have added the World Cup 2010 calendar!

Useful for the Library?

I had thought Google Calendar could be an alternative to the Weekly Sheet which we have available on the Library staff CamTools - it details staff hours, the lunch rota, events & meetings. But I think all this information would make the Calendar a little over-crowded and difficult to read. However, I will continue to use Google Calendar for meetings and events that I'm involved in. I might look into creating a general Library Calendar to add details of all the inductions we run in the Michaelmas Term as Library staff may find it an easier way to check when we will be busy with new registrations.

Doodle & scheduling meetings


I have come across Doodle a few times as it's used by other Librarians to arrange meetings, but I haven't used it myself before this Thing. It was very easy to set up and use which is probably why it's so popular.

The optional extras were meet-o-matic (I have used it in the past to organise Library Advisory Group meetings) and Tungle which is new to me. I registered my details with Tungle (this didn't take very long) - I think it is a better looking scheduler and I liked how you could 'paint' your availability onto it!

I have synced my Google Calendar to both Doodle and Tungle (for those of you who haven't come across Google Calendar, fear not as this is explained in Thing 6), and I will experiment with using both to see how they may be used for work.

The art of blogging


I've been looking at a lot of blogs over the last week, and they vary considerably from the novice (like myself) to the very experienced. Some are visually stunning (see BirdBrain), whilst others made me laugh (I particularly liked the blonde joke from Balfour's 23 Things!). There are some very witty bloggers out there and I shall enjoy following their progress in the coming weeks...

Going back...
I should have mentioned in my blog for Thing 2 that I also set up a page for netvibes:

(I like chocolate - is it obvious??)
I thought netvibes was a much more sophisticated-looking site than iGoogle and I really like its style. I'll definitely continue exploring this after the 23 Things have come to an end.

And pageflakes:

There is a US bias with pageflakes, so I went through and changed it to UK info as much as I could. Adding things wasn't particularly obvious but I eventually worked out that you to go to Menu (iGoogle made it easy by calling this Add stuff!).

The next Thing...
I will be looking at Thing 5 tomorrow and shall blog about my experiences very soon...

iGoogle & feeds (Things 1 & 2)


Revisiting some familiar territory...I came across iGoogle last year and started to explore how useful it could be. I played around with the different themes available, added a few standard things like the weather, BBC News feed and the obvious virtual pets! Since I became involved in the Cam23 programme, I have revisited iGoogle with my post for Things 1 & 2 in mind & have now added the following gadgets & feeds:RSS feed for Cam23Google CalendarCOPACDeliciousRSS feed for the BBC News Education site - as I work at the Education Faculty, it's important for me to keep up to date with all the changes happening since we've had a new governmentFor fun, I've also added a gadget that regularly shows me a different Italian scene & some vocabulary to learn each day. Today, it's Venice! Who knows what I may learn tomorrow...iGoogle & librariesBut what about iGoogle's role in libraries and with library readers? I can see that by making catalogues available as gadgets & providing RSS feeds for different services, libraries are using iGoogle as another platform for their users to access information. Here at Education we have an RSS feed for new books, and it was interesting to see other options (see 10 ways libraries can use RSS). However, having an RSS feed does depend on libraries encouraging their readers to sign up for them. We use CamTools to promote library resources to Education students, and as most readers are made members as soon as they start their course, they automatically have access to relevant information to support their studies, plus they receive announcements when something has changed or a new resource has been added (e.g. a new library Newsletter, powerpoint of a library presentation, change in opening hours, etc).iGoogle is a very straightforward tool to use as it's fun to change the theme & contents when you like, and it's useful to have all your interests in one place. I can see myself using it as a personal tool for the foreseeable future - until the next thing comes along, anyway![...]

The journey begins...



My Cam23 journey started in April when I was asked to become part of the Project Team for 23 Things Cambridge. I saw this as an opportunity for me to:
1. Work with other colleagues within the University
2. Learn more about Web 2.0 technologies
3. Discover what tools could be used to improve services to readers

I had already started using iGoogle & Delicious before the programme started, and Wikis are part of the CamTools VLE which I use daily. I don't use Facebook, but I've searched YouTube, read blogs, etc, but hadn't engaged with them in any detail.

We all have to start somewhere on the Web 2.0 road and I see the 23 Things Cambridge programme as an exciting opportunity to explore a selection of tools and see what they have to offer librarians & their libraries.