CPD23 Hiatus: MLS journey

Well, I am back on the MLS Bandwagon, while admitting that I have abandoned CPD23 Thing Challenge. I am prideful to the notion that I finish most things that I have started.  The thorn in my side lately has been that I haven’t finished my MLS degree. While on CPD23 Hiatus, I have been working hard to position myself to finish my MLS program.  Now readers before your eye pop out your sockets- let me share with you, my MLS school journey.

Remember that feeling of not knowing what you wanted to be growing up? Well for me—I always knew I wanted to help others, but never knew to what capacity. During my last semester in undergrad, while writing a research paper and completing an independent study bibliographic guide, I discovered a love for finding information. It took me a couple of years in the social services field to realize that my time could be better spent educating clients about nutrition, wellness, healthy lifestyle management through finding resources. My intellectual curiosity for searching for information led me to an information session on library schools. It was during that time that I ‘bought’ into the idea of becoming an ‘Information Ninja’. [Wait, don’t cue the symphonic harmonies yet]. I had no idea that that the next two years of my life would play out as one faculty member suggested. In my first MLS lecture, the professor said something that now reasonates with me, ‘In the undergraduate years, YOU get in the way. During graduate school, LIFE GETS IN THE WAY.’ Nothing could be farthest from the truth. Half way through my program, I encountered some health challenges that prevented me from achieving my MLS within a two year period. Despite this minor setback, I am ready again to resume the challenge of tackling the MLS program.

Even though I do not have the credentials, I won’t let that discourage my focus. So my advice for people who may feel unmotivated, hopeless, or defeated; please know that you are not alone. NEVER give up on your dreams. I leave you with a couple of references regarding professional development.

Reflections on Mentoring–  By Tixylix

Professional Advice– By Academic Librarian

Charting My Professional Journey  By Joeyanne Libraryanne

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‘Jobs’ Humor

Hello fellow readers. I am very busy this week, but hope to devote some time over the brief holiday to catch-up on my 23 Things challenge. I thought I’d share some ‘Jobs’ Humor to end the week.

Thing 6: 411 to Online Networks

LinkedIn

Kudos to Fellow CPD23 Blogger, Lauren for sharing her experience with online networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook, LISNPN, and Twitter. Lauren points out LinkedIn profile percentage widget– a 75% completeness until you add

a profile summary, specialities, and recommendations from references. I rely heavily on LinkedIn platform to stay informed to the LISNews, colleagues, and information professionals. I consider myself shy until feeling comfortable in social environments. LinkedIn is a helpful online network because I can ask a question related to hiring trends, LIS technology, and research opportunities. LinkedIn is valuable because you can contribute to groups by giving feedback to members. Many of the groups are open, but some are open by member invitation only. [In my opinion, member only groups are more active].

My profile is complete, although I haven’t reached beyond the 75% completion mark because I have not received recommendation(s), added specialities or summaries. Several groups that I find helpful:

  • Job Skills for Future Library Careers (member only)
  • Librarianship Job Search and Careers (member only)
  • LIS Career Options (member only)
  • American Library Association

Facebook

Hmm, I have a love-hate relationship with Facebook. I find myself mildly irritated with its bi-monthly privacy release documentation. And yes…I do read them. Although, I still use my Facebook sparingly– to post photos of my latest food creation or photos of day trips. Facebook connects me with a handful of colleagues that I have met at professional conferences. I will endorse Facebook as a method of reaching out to professional colleagues to ask questions about projects or congratulate them on their latest finished project. I do not add people on my Facebook account that I do not know in real life.

LISNPN, Librarians as Teachers & CILIP Communities

I am not familiar with these networks, although I have navigated to these platforms just to be aware of their existence. My philosophy about social media tools– if it isn’t broke, don’t run out to buy new toys. Information Overload and creating a balance in work-life paradigm are my reasons for limiting my activities on social networks. I believe that social media is helpful and valuable in the right context, however I also believe that people need to also think the long-term effects on social media. Remember MySpace? I rest my case and leave you with this photo to laugh about.

Information Overload?

Thing 5: Reflective Practice

Peter F. Drucker
Words of encouragement help me to stay focused on my work as an information professional. A good story or a small sketch are also great talking points to use for starting the reflective practice process. The topic for CPD23 Thing 5 this week is to discuss REFLECTIVE PRACTICE.
 
Thing 5 Reflective Practice is very important not just for the CPD23 Thing Challenge, but also for life long career development. Using the resource guide for this week, I will identify an event/project and apply the RECALL it, EVALUATE it, and APPLY it methodology.
 
Event– For 2011, I wanted to improve my skills as a information professional by completing several goals which I wrote in an earlier post here. 1) write a book review; 2) establish an online presence  are the two goals I want to showcase in my reflective practice.
 
Evaluation: I found that the hardest part in the reflective practice process is finding time to devote to it. Write a book review- this was both a wonderful and scary opportunity. I responded to a book review request from the editor and wrote the book review on Hack Library School. This was a helpful book for aspiring MLS graduates who interested/want to go into academic librarianship. The learning point that surprised me the most while reading this book is that I am learning to appreciate assessment. My definition of finding value in assessment is that I am learning to seek out material related to libraries/technology that gives me a more quantitative edge. I am all about the ‘warm and fuzzies’, but when administrators are pressured to cut programs– assessment, statistics, Excel spreedsheets are things that excite me because then I am able to search for values in programs. As library/information professionals, advocacy should be on our agendas to ensure that funding is available for our communities.
 
Application: Secondly, my participation in the CPD23 Thing is my way of reviving my online/blog presence. It is so exciting to read other participants who are at different levels in their careers. Many of my professional mentorships/peer groups are virtual and I am very appreciative of all the support that I have received. I have had the opportunity to meet several people whom I first met via online. Skype, Facebook, Blogs, and Linkedin are excellent platforms of communication. The benefits of a MLS degree as well as taking on the CPD23 challenge– will yield a positive outcome in my opinion. I may not use Twitter or Pullnote daily, but having an awareness of how it works is important. I use Twitter for genealogy purposes to stay informed about research tools and methodology. I will continue to use reflective practice exercise as a continue in my profession. This a very helpful process to chart my professional progress as well as serve as a guide for any future research projects.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Thing 4: Twitter/RSS Love Affair

My apologies for being a week behind, but with good reason. I have officially begun my permanent full-time position after completing a six months contract. I completed a one week training and I am happy with the organization/team members.

In honor of CPD23 Programme, Thing 4: Current Awareness- Twitter, RSS, and Pushnote, I  will talk about my experience using Twitter and RSS.

Twitter Photo Credit: Google Image

Twitter is considered a micro-blogging service that allows users to publish up to 140 characters. You can follower others by subscribe to their updates. According to the CPD23 Programme Twitter summary, it is a common belief that celebrities tweet about minutiae things. However, it is believed that few users actually use Twitter for networking or sharing ideas.  My personal ‘love affair’ with Twitter is that I use it to comment on reality tv shows or use the hashtags in my FB comment posts (i.e. #CBSBigBrother). I see the value of Twitter as a consumer because I rely on Twitter hashtags from my Linkedin Profile feedreader.

I recently discovered the usefulness of Twitter in the Genealogy Community. I recently became interested in researching my family history. I have connected with a local Genealogist who showed me how to search Twitter using Tweetdeck to stay up-to-date within the Genealogy community.Tweetdeck is an extension of Twitter, which allows users to view tweets on a desktop and mobile devices.

Here are some of my favorite Genealogy Tweeters that I follow: @AYWalton, @geneabloggers, @DearMYRTLE, @GederGenealogy

Here are some of my favorite Library Tweeters that I follow @JustinLibrarian, @librarianbyday, @hacklibschool.

Photo Credit: Google Images

RSS (known as Really Simple Syndication) is my favorite Web 2.0 tool. Google has a RSS tool called Google Reader that comes with signing up for a Gmail account. I proudly confess that I have not paid for cable in two years and get more enjoyment out of my RSS Feeds. I like the flexibility that Google Reader has- it allows me to categorize my feeds by subject and also keeps up with the blogs that I have not read. A common opinion among CPD23 Thing participants is the need to balance information intake. I allow myself a hour before work to read several blogs and take a small break (i.e. 15 minutes) during the day to check out my Reader. My participation with CPD23 Things have made my RSS list longer, however, one goal I hope to accomplish by the end of this programme- organize/minimize my RSS list.

FURTHER READING:

CPD23 Thing 4 Spotlight User: Angela Pashia

Hack Library School: LIS Blogs to Follow- Edition 3

the Wikiman3 Essential Things to do as soon as you join Twitter

Thing 3: Egosurfing

According to the Urban Dictionary, EGOSURFING is defined as the act of searching the internet [Googling] for one’s own name or for information containing it to see what what happens.  

Egosurfing

 Photocredit: Google Image

In my opinion, I detest the ‘Googleness’ of things. For instance, if I Google my first name, it only shows my professional accomplishments such as ALA volunteer committee work, recent library internship experience, my high school accolades, and book reviews on a featured blogpost. I don’t know whether I should thank my mother for giving me a unique name or cringe because very few people share my namesake.

Are you still scratching your head about how quirky I am about sharing  my name. Here’s my issue with Google- the first thing that pops up is my LinkedIn profile. In the settings section, you can elect for your profile to be private. However, it does little good for those who are actively searching for employment. Eight of the top ten retrieved items were true about my name, but I am rather irritated about the many swarmy websites that have built themselves around data. Here’s another websites such as MyLife.com. These websites were created around user input. Companies like MyLife.com take user metadata to create profile mock-ups. Again, this all boils down to comfort level. How does one navigate profession/personal life digital branding? Can a middle ground be accomplished?

Further Reading:

As I have continued reading and researching the ‘Googleness’ phenomena, I found an awesome FREE e-resource called the Social Media Pro Book. It is a small book, but very valuable. Robin Richard’s Infographics Joe Chernov’s How to Organize Internally were two sections that interests me.

 

Spotlight on Diversity: Spectrum Scholarship Soars

 Hooray for the recent annoucement at the 2011 Annual American Library Association (ALA) Conference in New Orleans- The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have contributed $300,000 to the Spectrum Scholarship. The Spectrum Scholarship is a wonderful program that is committed to providing future leaders in libraries the opportunities to complete schoool, have access to training opportunities, and professional mentoring.

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