CILIP Conference 2016: Scott Bonner shows us what libraries do best.

I was lucky enough to attend the recent CILIP Conference in Brighton on 12 and 13 July 2016.  Thanks to the CILIP Multimedia and Information Technology (MMIT) group who provided me with a bursary to attend. I am a member of CILIP and the MMIT group is one of my special interest groups (SIG). I have been a member of CILIP for a year now, and this was the first time I made real use of my membership.

Aside from reading the CILIP Bulletin, newsletters and updates, I'm ashamed to admit,  I've not explored in-depth the many things available to me as a member. There are a lot of bursaries available through the SIGs for members to attend conferences, so if you're toying with the idea of joining then this is certainly one advantage to becoming a member and a good way to dip your toe in the water.

One of my main motivations for wanting to go to this conference was to hear keynote speaker Scott Bonner of Ferguson Municipal Library. Ferguson Municipal Library was awarded Library of th…

Thing 23 : Making it all work together

Making it all work together could mean different things.  There's the 'making it work together so that you have synergy between your various social media accounts' and 'making it work so that it doesn't encroach on the rest of your life' .

Making it work so that it doesn't encroach on your personal life is a skill in itself. I've been working on a few work-related social media projects lately and trying to fit them into and around my normal work schedule has been difficult. I currently use Hootsuite and Buffer to manage my accounts, schedule posts and keep track of hashtags etc. The one thing that I don't like about Hootsuite is that when I retweet someone's tweet, it looks like my original tweet. It gives a RT @.. at the start of the tweet but I would prefer if it just retweeted the original tweet instead. I like buffer for adding articles that I come across, and then it sends them out in intervals. I use scheduled posts in Facebook also, which…

Thing 15: Advocacy for Libraries

Coming back to this one. I didn't have the energy to write about advocacy a few weeks ago. I'm not sure if I have now either but here goes.
Library Ireland Week starts tomorrow the 16th of November here in Ireland. It's probably the closest thing we have in Ireland to an advocacy campaign. It's a good programme and there has been a lot of effort put into it this year with some good coverage on national media.

Library Ireland Week always takes the general line of 'libraries are great' which is fine, we are great. I would like to see a campaign along the lines of 'what would we do without libraries' or 'imagine if all the libraries closed tomorrow' or even 'this is what we could do if we were properly staffed and funded'. The campaign highlights the wonderful things that happen in libraries in Ireland but doesn't say anything about the understaffed, underfunded libraries that are stretched to the limit. I realise that the LAI cannot be…

Thing 22: Mobile Things

I'm pretty attached to my mobile phone. For a long time I resisted the lure of the smart phone and stuck to the standard phone for making phonecalls. Eventually I took the plunge into the world of apps and I haven't looked back since.

I find my phone so handy for accessing emails and keeping up to date with all my social media accounts, listening to music, podcasts, radio, keeping in touch with colleagues, daily news etc. It's my go to device for any online work-related activities. My social media activities have really increased in the last few months however because of this course, and other work-related projects - to the point where I've made a conscious decision to delete some accounts and apps from my phone in order to give myself a break.

It's important to be able to switch off and take a break from it all. I would say that is the only draw back to the convenience of having a smart phone. It's very easy to be constantly distracted by all the dings and pin…

Thing 21: Creating Infographics

I love Infographics. To me they are a type of art-form and as such they require a lot of skill to make a good one. I have 'Information is Beautiful' by David McCandless on my bookshelf. It's a gorgeous book full of interesting images displaying some very mundane information. Whoever thought a chart on sandwich fillings could be so beautiful?

I think they are a very effective way of communicating statistics in a visually appealing manner and in terms of advocacy I think they would be a very useful tool for libraries. I think we really should use them a lot more. Even as a quick tweet or Instagram image of the monthly or annual statistics for the library. 'here's how we did this month...' Maynooth University Library do it, and they put the info graph on all their computers as wallpaper. Brilliant and inspiring!

Here is my attempt at an infograph, using some of the stats from the Rudai 23 Blog. It took hours! Far longer than I like to spend on something. I do a lo…

Thing 20: Presentations

I'm warming up to the idea of presentations. I've given a few presentations of varying length and I've learned over time a few useful things. The most important thing you need to do for any presentation is practice, out loud, more than once. It doesn't matter how many times you repeat your presentation in your head, you really need to say it out loud to get the full effect of what you're saying and hear how it's going to sound to your audience.

I recently attended a training day provided by the Career Development Group called Abstract to Audience. It was all about presenting and went through every element to  a presentation from the tiny details of what fonts to use in your slides, to how to overcome those performance nerves.

Because at the end of the day, that's what a presentation is - a performance. You have something to say, and maybe you want to impart some vital information, but you have to find the hook to engage your audience. Whether that hook is i…

Thing 19: The Legal Side of Things

By nature I'm a person that likes to follow the rules. I try to be as careful as possible when using images. I make a lot of promotional posters for work so it's important that the images that I use are free to use and not the property of someone else. Sometimes it's just not possible to find the right image though, in which case I've resorted to taking out the camera and making my own, not beyond the realms of possibility. There's plenty of editing tools and apps for phones now that allow you to make a decent looking photo. 

My problem is time. Searching for images is very time consuming. I end up wasting hours going through page after page of images and moving onto the next website when I've found nothing on that website. It's hard work finding the right one. I didn't spend too much time looking for the images in this blog post for that very reason. I use the Flickr Commons page quite a bit. Or else I limit my search in Flickr to commons license image…