Thing 23: Bringing it all together

Once a day I endeavour to check my Twitter feed.  For me, it’s the most important time of my day, as it is the source of the majority of my library-related information and PD.  I click on links, read about new ideas, new technology, library life, it’s struggles and victories, and engage with blogs via links that are posted.

I try to log in to LinkedIn once a week.  This gives me a chance to catch up on the groups I follow and to find new contacts. I don’t have a large network on LinkedIn because I choose not to link with people I don’t know. Many whom I do know, are not on LinkedIn. Especially enjoyable are the posts from individuals, groups or companies I follow.

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Social media and donuts by Photo Giddy on Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Pinterest is a social platform that I engage with when I have time, or when specifically looking for ideas on a topic.  Of course, once you start on Pinterest you need to know that you have, at the very least, an hour to spare.  It is the greatest visual fun and a real eye-opener to the innovative nature of humans.

Instagram – well, that’s a different story…I began my account as a public one, hoping to soon be in a library job, where I could share books, events, ideas, news etc., along with personal bits along the way.  However, that has not happened, so I post things of interest to me, now and then, but more importantly, I use it to follow librarians, libraries, museums and topics of interest in the GLAM sector.  In this way I get to see campaign ideas, displays, makerspaces, new books, and more.  I love it! For this, I log on probably every other day.

But, here is a secret…I operate another Instagram account, with which I engage VERY frequently every day…and were you to stumble upon it, you would shake your head with pity, and declare that that woman is touched in the head! It is my dog’s account…yes, you heard right, my dog’s account.  If you haven’t yet discovered the ‘doggie world’ on Instagram, or indeed, even the ‘kitty world’, I suggest you take a look at the #dogsofinstagram or #catsofinstagram hashtag and go exploring.

As an aside, it has opened up a world that, I believe, can only exist virtually in the social media realm!  One where people regardless of colour, nationality, culture, religion, geographical confines, age, interests, status in life, or whatever, can connect, challenge each other, support each other, chat, share tips, mourn and laugh together and love each other, unconditionally.  All through the name of the dog, or the dog’s account. No stigmas, no expectations, no mockery, no bullying…only fun and unconditional acceptance.  It is wonderfully therapeutic, brings a smile to one’s face every time, creates happiness and disperses loneliness.

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Dog by Rodrigo Monteiro on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

I use Facebook to follow library-related accounts and pages of interest, and to connect with a few family members afar off.  For me, the most beneficial page to follow has been the ‘Troublesome Catalogers and Magical Metadata Fairies’ group…I have learned quite a bit in the month since I have joined this group. Because I find that Facebook can quickly become addictive to me, I have confined use of it to my iPad, and do not log in on my PC or my phone, so that it is not constantly intrusive to my daily routine. I take a moment over a cup of coffee every other day, to catch up on the newsfeed.

The ‘Reader’ function on WordPress is a great way to keep up with other bloggers, and those I follow are all wonderful library blogs. Blogging on WordPress has been somewhat of a challenge since I created my first blog in 2010.  I discussed my lack of ‘blogging drive’ before in a previous post, but Rudai23 has put paid to that. 🙂  Posting once a week over the last 23 weeks proves that it is indeed possible, even when you don’t feel like it. Of course, from now forward, it would also mean finding content or a topic to write on, but it won’t be weekly for me. 😉  However, I am more encouraged on the topic of blogging, and have lost most of my fear of ‘being out there’ in case the grammar police are on patrol, or the syntax is incorrect.

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Hootsuite by Wes Schaeffer via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

The  above 6 accounts are the main social media accounts I engage with.  After signing up with Hootsuite, I decided to link only 2 – Twitter and WordPress.  I did not agree with the App’s permission requests for Instagram or LinkedIn, for privacy reasons, and so cancelled those.  Here is a snapshot of my dashboard from this morning…

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I found Hootsuite easy to use, although I worked through the tutorial at first.  I can see how it will help to bring social media accounts under one umbrella for ease of monitoring.  I look forward to using it to monitor the hashtag of the next Twitter chat I attend.

It must be super helpful when used within a library situation, where many social media accounts are monitored and regularly posted to, specifically because of the time constraints of a busy workday.  I love that Tweets etc. can be drafted and scheduled to be posted at different times, so engaging with different users/followers throughout the day.

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Content curation: how does it build value by Stefano Maggi via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

At this point I’m cracking open the (virtual) champagne bottle, and getting out the crisps and dip.  CELEBRATION time, as I come to the end of Rudaí’s 23 Things! Thank you to the team who developed this programme – it has truly been a beneficial learning experience.  A time of personal and professional growth.

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Champagne by CycloneBill on Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

As always, thanks for stopping by.  😀

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Featured image:  Embracing social media by RDECOM on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

 

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Thing 21: Infographics

Well, that was fun! 😀 I have always loved looking at the wonderful infographics one can find on Pinterest and elsewhere, but have never sat down to explore methods of making one.  Thank you Rudai23 Thing 21, for requiring me to do just that.

I was at a loss to know what topic to cover, not having time to research one.  As I was reading an online newspaper a few days ago, my eye fell on an article The Nobel Prizes in numbers.  Interesting facts that few of us know or recall.

I signed up to a free account on easel.ly.  I found it user-friendly, especially if you are acquainted with desktop publishing. The graphics available on the free account are limited, so I used  images  from Clipartpanda.com. I needed a little extra info which I found on Wikipedia. I have cited my sources on the infographic itself.

Admittedly, it would take some practice to make a really good infographic that is eye-catching and informative.  That said, I’m quite happy with my first effort.   I used as much as I could from the article, without cluttering the image to death.

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On second thoughts, it is a bit cluttered, but hopefully easy to read.  When I signed up to easel.ly I was mailed a link which I thought I would share on this blog: A complete guide to Infographics. There are some great tips which I would have to incorporate the next time.

These, from the writer of Thing 21, Michelle Breen, are just as important to remember:

  • Create an attention grabbing headline for your infographic;
  • Know your audience and tailor the content like you would do in a presentation;
  • Keep it simple – highlight key items in your data rather than displaying everything;
  • Cite the sources of the data used in the infographic and check your facts;
  • Keep it fun by using distinctive colours and illustrations.

Talking about gorgeous infographics…look at this: The Benefits of Handwriting vs Typing, via Stephen’s Lighthouse.  Oh my! I love it. And then of course, there are the wonderful infographics that are made by the talented Sylvia Duckworth…they must adorn many a classroom in schools worldwide.  I also stumbled upon this article claiming to present The 100 Best Infographics.  It targets North America, but has some amazing examples, with only a couple that I recognise.

Because of the visual learning experience I would imagine that, depending upon the space available within a library, it would be great to have infographics up on display, covering many different topics, throughout the year. They are adaptable to young and old, informative and decorative. A really valuable form of information presentation.

Until next time, when we discuss ‘mobile things’.  😀   Thanks again for stopping by.

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Thing 8: Content curation

(c) S Brandt
The Curating Tree | S Brandt

Thing 8 requires us to work through one or more of a few popular web curation tools. Librarians are natural curators.  We love to organise things.  In the image above, the kiddies corner of the museum library hosts this ‘book review tree’, where the children’s book reviews are placed on display.  It’s easy to curate tangible things.  We do it all the time. Socks in their own drawer, books on a shelf, bank documents in a folder, garden tools in a shed, table cutlery all in one place.

So what do we do with the info we gather from the internet? How do we store the interesting articles, funny cat videos, beautiful images, the jokes, the stories that we encounter as we surf, read or research on the web? Enter web curation tools.

A few years ago I subscribed to Scoop.it, but consistently forgot to “scoop”.  :p (I recently deactivated that account, since I just don’t get to it at all.)  A  while later I enrolled on a webinar titled ‘Using Pinterest to be a better teacher‘ presented by Shannon Holden, via Newteacherhelp.com.  Having heard of Pinterest and how its users were waxing lyrical about what they found there, I was inquisitive when I saw that it could be called a teaching tool.  I subscribed, watched the webinar and was sold on the idea. Pinning, re-pinning and searching for content, friends or like-minded professionals is easy; content display is visually attractive and wow, do you get ideas from Pinterest!

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An image of my Pinterest profile page on iPad. With only 311 pins, I am in no way a serious pinner.  I have seen some accounts that run into the thousands of pins. 😀

 

I recall going into the school library one day, where I was an intern.  The librarian had called in sick and had left no instructions.  It was the first day of the week, and the display boards needed a theme…my first thought was “to Pinterest!”.  Sure enough, after searching ‘middle school library displays’, I was presented with a host of ideas and found one that the library assistant and I could put together in the 30 minutes before the first library lesson. File 2016-07-12, 6 43 22 PM

 

Here is an image of that display idea via Pinterest.                                (c) S Brandt

 

Of course, unless you don’t mind it, the downside with these sites is the amount of time (that elusive commodity once again) that one can potentially spend in browsing through curated content.  On Pinterest I can simply know that for the next hour I’ll be out of this current zone and visiting in the cyber world. Actually, for this desert-expat it’s really fun to visit other travel hotspots, gardens, homes, kitchens, bookshops, closets, fashion stores, art galleries…the list is endless.

One particular successful user on Pinterest is Jeff Bullas, a social media marketing blogger, strategist and speaker.  Regarding librarianship, a whole world opened up for me, of fun displays, interesting books, reading lists, library challenges, activities, worksheets, innovative spaces, makerspace ideas, and fantastically techie, awesome, librarians.

It is a reality that web-links become broken (that is, the web pages are deleted or moved).  So, although one curates, some links won’t be there when you re-visit them.  That said, the value one gets out of curating and sharing with others is truly rewarding.

Here are some cool pinterest logo tips and ideas.

 

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Free image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Another one of my favorite curation tools is Storify.  A Twitterchat, for example, that has been ‘storified’ is great, because while the chat is on there is little time to read each tweet or to visit links that others might share.  The Storify makes it so much more enjoyable and it’s also accessible later on.  In thing 8’s write up, the author Christine Jordan, gives a useful step-by-step explanation on how to Storify.  Do take a look.

Here is a Storify of an #auslibchat Twitterchat, that I took part in last week, via ALIA NGAC.

Having signed up for a free Storify account, I went ahead and used it to curate some of my own tweets pertaining to my volunteering effort at the museum library.  I keep a daily record on Twitter of what I do at the museum, using the hashtag #MIALibrary.  Here is my Storify…(click on the link below the image to access the Storify).

 

Libraries can use content curation in many ways…

  • curate content to place into a library blog;
  • curate about your library’s history and development (don’t forget to MARKET THE CURATION) to engage your users;
  • curate a twitter feed, Facebook posts, Instagram posts, etc. about displays, book reviews, book lists, clubs/services offered in the library, etc.
  • news…curate for librarians’ current awareness, to keep them up to date with new tech, new databases, professional advice, new games, etc.

And finally, libraries need to market their services, their resources, their hub.  Without knowledge of their community and their environment they could not offer a valid service.  Web content curation can help to keep the library’s stakeholders and decision makers informed of what is happening and why it’s vital to meet their users’ needs. This article from Social Media Today, provides tips to content curation for marketing purposes.

This link provides ideas for more curation tools. Let me know (below) which is your favourite.

Till ‘Thing 9’ and the topic of video recording technology.  Thanks again for stopping by.

Image credit:  Pinterest logo by Family Creative via Flickr on Creative Commons licence (BY-NC-ND 2.0)