Sunday, 16 August 2015


Last night I created my first ever podcast and oh what fun it was! I hope it wasn't cheating to have a little help....

Luckily I'm married to a wannabe rock star who has all the recording gear you could ever need, and more. He set me up with a mic and plugged me into his mixing desk. We had a sound check where I said 'one, two, three, testing' lots of times like the roadies do when you go to a gig. Apparently my plosives were an issue but we solved that problem by angling the mic slightly away from me.

After much throat clearing and willing myself not to umm and arrr too much, husband imparted some advice: "try not to blow too much.... And try not to suck too much". My husband is a very funny man. That is why I married him.

Then I was off...

It only took a couple of takes and then we spent a little time editing. I was noise reduced, normalised and compressed. Next we edited out some of my annoying vocal mannerisms. "It will almost make you sound professional, dear" he said.

My podcast is short but sweet. I've reviewed a YA book I read and loved recently. Birdy by Jess Vallance.

Saturday, 15 August 2015


I've taken a little time to read some of the blogs from other folk who are participating in the Rudai 23 course. I could spends hours! It's interesting reading about people's paths into Librarianship and I feel like one of the few who chose it as their career from a young age.

I've focussed a little more on the blogs of other school librarians as I am relatively new to this field and as we are predominantly lone workers it is even more important to make links and share ideas with each other.

I've also realised how my tech skills are really not as up to date as I hoped they were and I'm going to need to invest a lot more time in brushing them up! I drastically underestimated how much time this course would take! I'm glad I'm doing it, but I'm just not going to be able to whiz through as fast as I would like. I'll keep plodding on...

Reflecting back on the course so far, I've been giving more thought to my professional brand. I thought about my Twitter activity and realised it is way more book focussed than library focussed. I spend way more time tweeting about books and reading than anything else. This is not a bad thing. It shows where my interest lies. If I'm not reading newly published YA and getting excited about it then how can I do my job of being a school librarian properly? How can I recommend books to my students and enthuse them to read? I see my role in school as an advocate for reading for pleasure and to do that effectively I have to be passionate about reading myself.

Monday, 3 August 2015

Online Networks

We've been introduced to Twitter and Facebook this week and had the choice of blogging about one or both. It would have been very easy for me to just focus on Twitter as I'm already a regular Twitter user but I decided to push myself out of my comfort zone and do something I've been resisting doing for years. Yes folks, I've finally joined Facebook!

I've been wanting to avoid the whole 'sharing my life online' thing with Facebook and I had never even considered it as a professional tool before it came up on this course. I still need to do lots more exploring but I've made a few connections already with other school librarians and joined a couple of groups including the Youth Libraries Group and followed plenty of authors and publishers.

Moving onto Twitter now. Love it! I've been tweeting for about 6 months now and follow authors, publishers, bloggers, librarians, organisations like Booktrust and The Reading Agency, book awards, literature festivals, book retailers, book review journals and probably many more!

It is absolutely brilliant for keeping up to date with new books being published and seeing what is popular with readers. It's been really useful to find out about literary events happening in my area and I've appreciated the opportunity to tell an author directly when I've really enjoyed their book. It is handy having links to interesting newspaper articles come directly to your Twitter feed rather than having to scour the web each day to see what's out there. As a bonus I've also won lots of books from Twitter competitions which are a useful free boost to my school library collection in a time of dwindling budgets.

I'm a regular participant in #ukyachat which is a chance to chat with other YA enthusiasts about books. Useful for increasing your book knowledge and meeting other like-minded folk.