Thing 9 – Video

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I used Screencast-O-Matic to create a screen-cast of the Clare County Library Website. This was fun and really easy to use. The potential uses of it in the library are many and varied. Patrons often ask how to use the library website to request and renew books and staff spend quite a bit of time at the library desk showing borrowers the library website and how to navigate it to best effect. This is most definitely something I can see myself using a lot in the future.

Punterest – see what I did there..

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This ‘thing’ was fun! I use Pinterest quite a bit (I’m getting married next April and use it to collate wedding stuff) and like the idea of using it in the library. It looks great and it genuinely feels like flipping through a magazine that someone has put together with just the stuff you’re interested in. I also love that someone has put together a Pinterest board full of punny jokes. Just look up library puns and I dare you not to laugh! I can see Pinterest being used in the library to put together ‘best-of’ lists of different genres, recommended summer reads or simple reading activities for children.

Podcasting

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I love podcasts. One of my favourite things to do on the weekend is catch up on all the radio I’ve missed during the week by tuning into RTE podcasts. This podcast ‘Thing’ is not unfamiliar territory but the idea of recording my own podcast is frankly terrifying. I have, therefore, taken the easy route out and decided not to record one but to listen to lots and lots of podcasts. Which is no hardship at all. Hey, it’s ‘summer’ so I’m taking it easy!

I’m a particular fan of RTE’s ‘The Documentary on One’ and ‘The Curious Ear’. I think the reason I love podcasts so much is the fact that I can listen and still continue with whatever task needs particular attention at that time. It certainly makes cleaning the toilet more enjoyable! I’ve just found the ‘Serial’ podcast and will be glued to that for the foreseeable future.

Podcasts would add an interesting dimension to our website clarelibrary.ie. I can’t say that I’ll be chomping at the bit to record it but then I imagine once you do one it gets a bit easier! I really like the ‘Circulating Ideas’ podcasts and the profiles of the different librarians and information professionals. Something like this, but on a much smaller scale, appeals to me. It would be a fantastic way to show the library patron what goes on behind the scenes of their local library..

Reflections

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Having worked my way through another couple of modules I was glad of a chance to pause for reflection. I’m enjoying the course so far but I must be honest and say that I’m finding the blog writing very difficult. I used to consider myself quite good at writing. I always enjoyed writing essays in college and used to get quite the kick out of executing a nice turn of phrase. Maybe I’m just out of practice? If that’s the case, then maybe Rudaí23 is going to give me the perfect chance to dust off my writing skills. It could also be that I’m a tad intimidated by the quality of some of the other Rudaí23 blog posts. Turns out librarians are pretty good writers and pretty witty too! Must be all that reading we do in the library all day 😉 The blogs I’ve read have revealed library and information professionals who are passionate and thoughtful about their roles.

One thing that I have been really surprised by (but probably unjustly so, given the slump our economy has been in for the last number of years) is just how many qualified librarians are working in library assistant or similar ‘entry-level’ positions. One wonders what impact, positive or otherwise, this is having on service provision in our libraries. This is all food for thought as I move onto the next ‘thing’!

Adventures with Google

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Just finishing up now with Thing 4 and I have to say I learned a lot about the Google. I had never used Google hangouts before and can definitely see myself using it again. I got to briefly hangout with my one of my colleagues who is also doing the course and I also had a quick chat with Niamh who I’ve discovered was in the same year as me at UCD.  I’m going to keep this post brief so that I can move on to the next part of the course. Onwards and upwards to Thing 5 now!

Stamping and shelving…

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When I was studying for my post-grad in Library and Information Studies, a friend of a friend asked me why I needed to go to college for a year to study my ABCs. The funny thing was that she was studying to be a primary school teacher so some would argue that I could have said the same thing in reply! Of course, we all know that teaching requires a lot more skill than simply knowing the alphabet. Does the rest of the world really think that librarians simply stamp and shelve?

If this is the case, our only hope is to prove otherwise in our everyday working environment and to use all the social media tools available to us to tell the world about it. In the words of blogger ‘otherlibrarian’: “Professional status means nothing to the information world – you have to earn your entitlement”.

In the beginning..

I spent most of my childhood reading books and quite a bit of it in the local library. It’s always been one of my favourite places. It’s no surprise really that I now work in the same library that I spent all that time as a young ‘un. I visited at least once a week then and often wonder if I still would – if I didn’t already work in the place!

I completed an Arts degree in English and French in Mary Immaculate College, Limerick in 2001 and found myself soon after working as an English teacher in Uijeongbu, South Korea. I had harboured vague notions of returning to college to become a primary school teacher up to that point. I loved working with children in Korea but it soon became increasingly clear to me that teaching wasn’t for me. I returned to Ireland and tried to figure out what to do with myself. One day, I had a lightbulb moment- a Joycean epiphany if you will – ‘Why not become a Librarian?!’. I applied to the School of Information and Library Studies in UCD and was accepted.

I spent a year after graduation working in the Library and Media Centre of the National Council for the Blind of Ireland in Dublin. I learned so much there but I think I knew even then that I wanted to work in a public library setting. I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to move back to Clare and I now work in the busy public library of the town I grew up in and I love it.

Every day is different and that’s probably the best thing about working in a public library. My favourite parts of the job are reading stories to children and the lively discussion in the monthly children’s bookclub meeting.

So that’s the end of my first blog post. It was significantly less painful than I thought it would be. I’m already looking forward to the next ‘thing’!