Thursday, 30 June 2011

#cam23: iGoogle tip

Did you know you can restore backed-up versions of your iGoogle page?  A few weeks ago the Google servers had the hiccups and appeared to have wiped everything off my iGoogle page.  But I discovered that you can restore automatically-saved backups very simply.  I thought it might be useful to share what I learnt.

Here's what to do:

1) Go to the tab editing page by clicking next to the little arrow next to the tab name, and then 'edit this tab'

2) Scroll to the bottom of the page, select the backup date and time you'd like to restore, and click on 'restore now'. Bingo: crisis averted.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

#cpd23, Thing 2: meeting people

There sure a lot of neighbours in this cpd23 business - very nearly 600 at the last count. So in picking people to investigate I've stayed quite close to home in a certain way - I've checked out the rarebooks/specialcollections, archives and (because I have interests in the 'heritage' sector more widely) museumlibrary tags in Delicious. One of my cpd23 goals is to meet more online librarian types with similar professional interests to me.  While there's nothing wrong with the people I've met online over the last year, not many of them actually work in similar jobs to me!

by Joe Shlabotnik on Flickr
So, the people I've found are:

Most of these had already had quite a few comments - I think because there aren't many tagged like that and they're fields perceived as interesting and exciting.  I feel a a bit like I ought to branch out in case there are other blogs not getting so much attention...

Aside from those above, I'm also keeping an eye on #cpd23 tweets and following links to a few blogs that way (aside from people I already know, this has led me to Information Overload and Life in the Fair-Middling Lane).  And, as one of the Delicious updaters for the cpd23 team, I've happened across a couple of blogs that I'm going to follow: Shannon Robalino because she knits, Gemma because her first post sounded nervous and I want to be supportive, and Sarah's cpd because she was concerned that she's not 'eligible' to take part (she is).  Hopefully in the next few days I'll have a chance to check out some of the overseas blogs, too.

#cpd23, Thing 1: introduction and blogging

It's very odd to write a post in response to instructions I wrote myself... Having, as it were, written the book on it, I won't comment further on what it's like setting up a blog.  I'll just note that I've decided to stick to the blog I already have (set up last year for 23 Things Cambridge) rather than trying something new.  I like the idea of keeping everything in one place, rather than having several different outlets that I'd feel the need to link to each other clearly for the sake of clarity.
By jakeandlindsay on Flickr

I'm part of the cpd23 organising team.  I leapt at the chance to get involved because it seemed like such a great idea - the 23 Things, self-paced format worked really well in Cambridge last year, so I thought we could definitely do something great in changing the focus to professional development and opening it up worldwide.  I'm astonished by the number of people who've signed up, and rather alarmed, too as it makes a lot of work for the team in administering it all.  Hopefully I'll still have some time left to take part!

I'm a rare books librarian working in a major university and research library.  I've been very lucky (or very determined) in my career so far.  Having entered librarianship because of a desire to work with rare books and manuscripts, since completing my MA LIS at UCL I've worked on a personal papers cataloguing and outreach project and now I've working in rare books cataloguing/customer service/collection promotion.  I'm hoping that cpd23 might kickstart my languishing CILIP Chartership efforts and that it will help me work towards the goal of achieving a permanent post somewhere in the special collections world.  I'll also looking forward to spreading my network wider.

#cam23, Extra Thing1: beautification

Having completed all of last year's 23 Things Cambridge programme, this year I'm just going to do each week's 'extra' Thing except for the odd Things that is new to the programme (and to me) this year. There might also be some overlap with Things from the 23 Things for Professional Development programme, too.

'brilliant on blue' by Brian'sLens on Flickr
A favourite colour combination
The first Extra Thing is making your blog beautiful. As I commented (probably more than once) last summer, I am an inveterate tinkerer with things, and the very first things I did when I set up this blog was to start tinkering with the CSS of the template to try and get it to look how I wanted. To be honest, I never really succeeded, so spurred on by #cam23, I've changed to a Blogger template customized with some purple and yellow.

Gadgets-wise, I've had quite a few for quite a while, but I've swapped things about a bit to include a subscribe by email option and an RSS feed of recent #cpd23 posts. My favourite Blogger gadget is the 'html/java' box, because it let's you do almost anything you want to - the 'Recently registered' box over on the #cpd23 blog is created using that Gadget with some code from Delicious (to create a 'linkroll') pasted in.

Another good way to customize your blog is to make use of the 'pages' option to add a fixed pages. I've got two: one for the basics, and one to show some some things I've proud of having done.

Monday, 20 June 2011

#npc2011: Teaching old books new tricks

Round about the time this post goes live, I'll be speaking along with Naomi Herbert at the CILIP CDG New Professionals Conference up in Manchester. You can see our slides below, and if you click through to Slideshare, you can also see the text of our paper in the 'Speaker notes' box below each slide. I'll be writing up my thoughts about the conference in due course!

Edited on 21/06/2011 to add: A huge thanks to the conference attendees for voting this the day's best paper, to the Career Development Group and Sue Hill recruitment for the prize money and champagne, to Biddy Fisher for awarding them to us, and above all to Naomi for being such a brilliant co-presenter and inspiring colleague.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Cam23 2.0

Photograph of a sign showing the number 23
'23' by Leo Reynolds on Flickr
A very brief announcement (and a test of the 'schedule post' option on Blogger).

In case any Uni of Cam librarians and library staff haven't already heard, 23 Things Cambridge makes a welcome return this summer. Cam23 2.0 starts on 20 June, with a LAUNCH PARTY on Friday 17 June from 5pm in the UL Morison Room.

Friday, 3 June 2011

23 Things for Professional Development

I'm involved in running a free, open-to-all, professional development course for librarians and information professionals this summer. 23 Things for Professional Development, as the name suggests, is '23-Things'-style self-directed course with a focus on ways to help your CPD by using social media and web 2.0 and by being professionally active in more traditional ways.

23 Things for Professional Development logo: cpd23
On the cpd23 blog you can find a list of the Things and the course timetable, a registration form (if you already have a blog ready and raring to go), and a bit of background information.

The idea of the course is to introduce you to new (or old) tools, and encourage you to try them out and think about how you can incorporate them into your career development.  People at any stage in their careers and from an sector can take part, and we're hoping that as well and individual learning there will be lots of opportunities for sharing ideas, meeting new people and developing your network. (Ugh, there's that word again). If you're interested, I'd strongly encourage you to check out the blog, and to tell other people about it (publicity info is here).

The programme starts on Monday 20th June, with the posting of Things 1 and 2 on the blog.  Looking forward to seeing you there!