Thing 13: Reflective Online Networker

I had better get on with this as I have left it for a while and don’t want to drop out as I had to do last year.  The reflection is always the hardest bit!  As I mentioned on the post for Thing 10, I want to leave Facebook as a more private rather than professional networking tool.  I have liked a number of professional organisations but I have, I hope, my profile locked down enough so that if I happen to have my photo taken with a glass in hand and is tagged by someone, only my network will see it!  The online footprint is very important.  I rarely use Twitter except for conferences I can’t attend where others share images and comment on any shocking revelations by the presenters!  I have been networking for a number of years at conferences and seminars and find lunch, breaks and dinner the best time to learn how someone is handling similar issues to myself or coming up with innovative methods.

For Thing 11, I know the advice of ensuring the professional image used is consistent across all online profiles, if only I could use an airbrushed one!  I have been on LinkedIn for a number of years even though I have not been applying for jobs.  I have had connection requests from people I don’t know so I see it being used by e.g. financial service providers as a way of connecting to potential customers.  I didn’t set up the ORCID number as I don’t consider myself a professional researcher.

One of the best things about working in a library in a higher education institute is the opportunity for collaboration with colleagues from all areas.  I was involved in an IT community of practice in relation to Teaching and Learning with lecturers a few years ago where we presented at EdTech.  the use of Google Docs for student collaboration was a colleague’s topic.  As mentioned in the Thing 12 post, our recent LMS refresh project offered the opportunity of collaboration with service providers and colleagues from other institutes.  The tools outlined; Google Drive, Trello and Skype were invaluable during the process.  I have been using Google’s suite of docs, spreadsheets and forms for a number of years and they are handy for sharing information with external colleagues.  As I mentioned, I was so impressed by Trello at a conference presentation that I started using it straight away to try to organise tasks.

Sorry, if my thought flow seems a bit disjointed.  I have to get the rest of the Christmas shopping done.  Happy Christmas!


Thing 12: Collaborative Tools

Well, I have to write about our recent implementation of our new Library System for this thing as we used a number of the tools listed!  This team project involved internal and external partners in physical and virtual environments.  I found it a very positive experience as it was busy, stressful, exciting and great fun!


A section of my (dis)organised desk

As the project coordinator, I needed a tool to organise the many to-dos that were coming up in our minds so nothing would be forgotten.  I had seen Trello demonstrated at a conference and reckoned that would be handy as I am not the most organised person and so, began using it at the time.

Starting in January, we developed task lists for tidying and backing up our then current LMS data.  I set up a board on Trello, invited colleagues, and so could assign them to specific cards or tasks.  We used Google Sheets to collaborate with external partners.  Skype calls were used for short tutorials, and when the sound element failed using alternate software!


Thing 10: Networking Tools

Having had both Facebook and Twitter accounts for a number of years, I have been using one more than the other.  I want to keep Facebook for friends and acquaintances so I tweeted a message with #rudai23 (I know, no imagination!) in my underused Twitter account @ambyrne.

Thing 9: Reflecting on the the toughest thing so far and “here’s one I made earlier”

For some riveting comments on Thing 3, please see Thing 6!

Well, I have been racking my brains as to what to do for Thing 7 and said I can’t stall again doing Rudai.  The result does not follow the requirements in that it is not based on a poster for a collection or service.  However it is what I think an online exhibition is, a collection of images, sounds or video.  I changed the WordPress theme I was using to one which included a portfolio feature.  I should have spent some time with the images, as the ones appearing larger are slightly out of focus.  I could see a use for the portfolio feature on our website to showcase, for example, images or videos of events held in the library but I can’t come up with any exhibitions!

To go to the other end of the spectrum, I have used both Canva and Piktochart recently.  Infographics impressed me immensely when I first saw them used at conferences.  I started off using Canva and have created nice posters and presentations with it, but I couldn’t get the infographic the way I wanted with it.  The icon library was too small and the colour and text layout options were not as varied as with Piktochart.  I think infographs make a change from presentations for presenting information and could be used in meetings and tutorials.

Thing 7: Online Exhibitions

I have been avoiding this thing for so long as I couldn’t find the box never mind thinking outside of it.  In our academic library, we have no local collections and copyright would come into play if I was trying to promote a collections of books and journals related to a specific subject area.  Our subject guides used to be in paper, then pdf format, so one of them could be substituted for a poster of a collection, but again, the copyright issue.

So, inspired by the few brave souls who have tackled this thing, I present a collection of local community photographs, with permission, using the portfolio feature of the Illustratr theme.

Empor/Emper – A rural community located close to Ballynacargy in Co. Westmeath, 20 km southwest of Mullingar and bordered by the River Inny and the Royal Canal.  Images are taken from the publication: Emper Community Development Group (2006) Emper: its past and present.