Thursday, 31 May 2012

Thing 4 - Current Awareness

So it is only a few weeks in and already I am behind with my Things and looking anxiously for when there is a catch up week, hopefully Thing 4 will be mainly straightforward and ties in with something I want to Storify anyway.  So current awareness - over the past year or so I have really tried to up my game as far as this is concerned and I have definitely seen a difference in my day to day work. 

I started using Twitter about 18 months ago, purely to enhance my professional understanding, both of the library world and the education sector (working in a secondary school with additional responsibilities - Assistant Head of Sixth Form and Careers Coordinator) means that it is just as important to keep up with the education world as it is libraries, although my chartership doesn't quite agree on this.  I took advice from a few other school librarians who were already using Twitter a lot (@thelibrain in particular) and who generally recommended starting by following about 10 people initially as it can be a bit overwhelming at first.  Gradually you can build up the number of people you follow, either through Twitter's recommendations or the ff (follow Friday) hashtag when users can recommend other users to follow.  I have recently developed my use of hashtags, joining in online chartership chats and last week tweeted my way through a workshop on online resources which I plan to storify. I follow (last count) about 175 with about 116 followers (I am always so chuffed when anybody requests to follow me), but I am always refining who I follow so as to simplify my Twitter stream.  Life is already busy without my Twitter feed complicating things further.  I protect my Tweets because of my job in a school;  I don't want to jeopardise my position of loco parentis and I want to maintain my online privacy.  My husband accuses me of being addicted to Twitter; I don't think I am, but I wouldn't be without it and its incredibly valuable information.

About a year ago I compiled all my blogs etc into Google Reader.  I chose Google Reader simply because it was the feed I had heard the most about and it looked the simplest to use.  Before then I simply had my blogs bookmarked in my Favourites and checking each one just to see if they had been updated was becoming too laborious especially as the amount of blogs I follow just kept on increasing.  I follow about 30 blogs or so, mainly school librarians, but others from alternative library sectors including law, careers, HE, public libraries and CILIP personages e.g. Phil Bradley himself.  Again, I find the information incredibly useful for my everyday work and professional development and try to catch up with Google Reader three or four times a week.

Not liking it at all.  Have signed up via my Twitter account and wanted to create a story of my tweets from last week's Credo workshop on marketing of online resources, but search is only finding 2 of my Tweets.  Looking at the online tour is not helping much either.  Very frustrated.

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