Friday, 24 July 2015


For some reason I found this week a tough one. I got started on Google+ as required but kind of lost the plot fairly soon afterwards. I wasn't a fan of LinkedIn in last week's task but at least it guided you through the set up step by step. It was clear and easy to follow.

I'm finding the Google+ page to be incredibly confusing! It just seems all over the place. We've been told not to spend more than an hour or so on each task and my time is up before I've even got a handle on it! I think I'm going to need to get a Google+ for Dummies book and spend some time perusing it and getting to grips with it to really appreciate its potential. But that's OK because the purpose of this course, as far as I see it, is to introduce us to these applications and the give us the opportunity to explore them fully at a later date.

On the upside, I did partake in a (semi) successful Hangout with some of the other #Rudai23 folk. Teething problems included figuring out how to turn on the mike and getting over the embarrassment that I was wearing my pyjamas! The sound quality was very poor and I struggled to hear what others were saying. I think there were too many of us participating and there were times when we were all trying to speak at once. Still, it demonstrated what could be done in Hangouts and I'm happy to give it another go to get it working smoothly.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Your Professional Brand

 The first task this week was to Google yourself incognito to get an idea of what information other people may retrieve about you when they Google you. I did it, and thankfully there was very little; mostly just Twitter posts and pictures. Certainly nothing to be embarrassed about.

Next, I'm obliged to set up a LinkedIn profile, and this is where the problem starts.

You know when I said I Googled myself and very little came up? Well, that is how I like it. I can see the use commercially for a tool like this but to be completely honest, I don't want the whole world to know every detail about my qualifications, where I've worked, for how long, where I work now etc.

As for prospective employers, when I apply for a job I'll fill in the application form or send them a CV and that will have to do, I'm afraid.

For this reason, I've completed the task by filling in the bare details in LinkedIn and will probably delete my profile once it has been assessed for this course.

I hope you don't mind Rudai 23 but we're all different, and some of us are just a bit more private than others. Maybe that's my own way of controlling my professional brand, by going incognito! Hey, my profile picture is a pile of books after all!

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Becoming a Librarian

When I was growing up, I never considered becoming a Librarian. Aged 8 I wanted to be a Farmer's Wife (!), at 11 a Solicitor, by 14 a Journalist and as I hit 20 I was desperate to work in the music industry in publicity and marketing. Now, I'm 38 and a School Librarian. I couldn't be happier.

I've always loved reading so when my local library advertised for a Saturday Assistant when I was 16, I went for it. I got the job and enjoyed every moment of my two years working there.

Then off I went to Uni to study Linguistics and I quickly realised it was wasn't for me but I stuck at it and graduated. I was 21 and had rejected all my earlier career choices but had no clue what I wanted to be. As I'd enjoyed my previous library experience I decided to get a job as a Library Assistant in the university library while I figured out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.

Within months I realised that I was not content at the university library but had loved working in the public library. Suddenly it all became clear to me. I was going to apply to do an MA in Library & Information Studies and become a Children's Librarian. So I did.

My first qualified post was as a Team Librarian in the main library of a large county library authority. I got a good grounding in reference skills and learnt loads from the team of experienced Librarians I worked with. I also dabbled a bit in the children's side of things. When a post came up in a small neighbouring unitary authority for a specialist to manage library services for children & families in 8 branches I jumped a the chance. It was my dream job.

I couldn't believe I was being paid to inspire a love of books and reading in children and their families. For me, this is the heart of what I do and why I do it. As a child, reading was an escape; a way to exercise my imagination. I could experience the thrill and adventure of things I could never do in real life. It was the door into other worlds where magic happened, an opportunity to step into another person's shoes and see things from their point of view. Not much has changed, I still get excited by those same things when I open up a book today. I want to inspire that feeling in others. My job allows me to do that.

After a career break of 7 years to have children of my own I've returned to the profession but now in a school library.

I love my job. I don't want to do anything else. I couldn't ever imagine being anything else. A Children's Librarian is what I am and will always be. Even when I was on my career break and was working as a bra fitter in the Lingerie department of  M&S in the evenings (I kid you not) I still told people I was a Librarian. Not that there is anything wrong with being a bra fitter, you understand.

PS Did I mention I also worked a Circus Skills Instructor on a residential summer camp for children when I was 18? Yes, I can ride a unicycle and juggle with fire (although not at the same time). I'm still trying to figure out how I can incorporate those skills into my current role....

Thursday, 9 July 2015


Hi folks, welcome to my blog :-)

I'm doing an online course for Library & Information professionals: the first task of which is to set up a blog. So here I am.