Thing 13: Professional Associations

Rudaí23’s Thing 13 page provides great information on professional associations.  There are links to various associations and the benefits of subscribing are clearly set out. Being South African, I initially looked at South Africa’s Library and Information Association.  According to the website it currently has +-1,559 members.  After two unsuccessful attempts to sign up, I decided to look to ALIA (Australian Library and Information Association), because we are hoping to settle in Australia in the near future. I was able to enrol for an international membership and have not regretted this decision. My only regret is that in not being physically present in Australia, I am unable to enjoy all the benefits.  However, thinking positively, my turn will come, I’m sure.

The weekly newsletters are jam-packed with GLAM sector snippets, news and current issues in the world of galleries, libraries, archives, and museums. The weekly job opportunity emails are helpful albeit frustrating for me at the moment, because until my visa is granted, those opportunities remain beyond reach.

The Professional Development plan is a wonderful tool, as it challenges and motivates one to build up points towards certification, and so remain current in skills and knowledge.

My ALIA PD capture

Image of my PD page / ALIA website

The PD plan provides a wide array of possibilities, is user friendly with PD suggestions for everyone, regardless of their position.  The couple of online courses that I have done through ALIA, via TAFE colleges (Cataloguing/RDA and Copyright), were both hugely beneficial and enjoyable. I have managed to garner several points in the short while as a member, probably because I’ve had more time on my hands being unemployed.  However, if I cannot find employment for at least a year out of those 3, certification will take that much longer, since my degree can only be vetted in  Australia once I have been employed (full-time) for a minimum of a year.

Sometimes one’s plans don’t work out…but what’s important is to keep going at them.  Never give up! Carpe diem, etc. 🙂

Photo 2014-07-12, 12 37 32 PM
(c) S Brandt

There is a monthly Twitter chat hosted by the ALIA students and newgrads group. Interesting topics are covered, and I always learn something from colleagues during these events. If I can’t make the live Twitchat, at least I can read the #auslibchat Storify.

ALIA’s website is loaded with resources, campaigns and events, and interesting news for all, such as the article written on the “Buy it now button” that is potentially on the card for libraries.

Here is a snapshot of what is on offer via the website.

ALIA web page snap

I would encourage Library and Information Science (LIS) students to enrol with their local library association as soon as they are possibly able to. I regret that I didn’t enrol earlier. As an expat utilising distance learning, I had to actively pursue contact (regardless of my insecurities and fears) with LIS professionals in my area.

LIS teachers and lecturers can play a large part in encouraging students to be more involved in the sector. Membership with an association is one way students and new grads could gain access to the reality (i.e. the changes, frustrations, highs and lows) of the LIS profession, making their knowledge experience that much richer.

Till next time, cheers.  Once again, thanks for stopping by. 🙂

Featured image: courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Thing 10 – Live streaming is interesting but not always pretty…

Periscope

PERISCOPE  by Ognjen Odobasic on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

The idea of broadcasting live is probably intimidating to most.  Then there are those special types, who are confident and know just how, what and when …and then you get those who throw caution to the wind and decide … what the heck…I’m going to give this a bash.  smiley_026   Yesterday I fell into the latter category, I’m afraid, to meet my commitment to Rudai23, Thing 10.

At first I was only going to watch a live event and write about it.  But then I decided first-hand experience is probably best.  Since it is summer in Doha and many are on long leave, there’s not much happening in the library world to live broadcast.  So I decided to record a tour of the Museum of Islamic Art’s library, where I volunteer.  It was an experience I shan’t forget.

I chose Twitter’s Periscope app because I felt that having the video disappear after 24 hours is probably not a bad idea…for me. 😀  But I understand how some people, wanting a longer effect from their effort, would rather go for Facebook Live, where the video is then placed on the person’s (or page’s) timeline. I had thought of what to say beforehand, so that I could concentrate on my camera skills, to ensure I don’t make the potential viewers quite dizzy in the head. When it came to being ready to press the ‘go live’ button…I found to my horror that it had already gone live a few seconds ago.  I must have inadvertently pressed the button while trying to type the video’s title in the strong wind, because I was outdoors for a courtyard-view of the city.  That totally threw me, and I lost the thread of my ‘script’…I did the tour, ended it, only to view it and find that I had, after all, made everyone dizzy.

 see no evil

{I knew I’d get to use that little guy somewhere this week… 🙂  }

Given the option to delete, I never thought twice and got rid of the offending piece; I decided it was a practice run… let’s do the real thing. *laughs out loud*  The 2nd time was slightly better, but the near 40 degrees / 80% humidity outside made me thoroughly hot and bothered (not a good move, but wanted to show the awesome view), while the stress of the actual task made me breathless.  :p  While recording, concentrating on filming and using the right words simultaneously helped me to forget that this was ‘live’. Only once it came to the end and I had to wrap up, did I again get that “OMG! This is live” sensation, and although I’d practised an opening and a closing, the words escaped me and, well, yes…you get what you get.  LOL.

One it was posted ‘out there’, I noticed that there were live viewers and even a few comments. 😀

It was quite thrilling in the end, and I can imagine that if it is a skill one could hone, it could really be fun to use in a library situation, to engage more with the community.

It’s a great way of reaching out to users to promote a special service or event happening in the library.  Different librarians could share the task of promoting the same event to make it even more interesting. The library’s Instagram or Twitter account could advertise the live broadcast beforehand.  Also, it must be useful to be able to share live events with folk who cannot attend. The importance would then be to alert everyone of the intention to broadcast, beforehand, so that they can make plans to fit the viewing into their schedule.  It is obvious why marketers would use this method of reaching potential customers. I’ve since discovered that the Periscope subscriber can decide to choose (in the settings) whether to delete in 24 hours or not, so that is an option.

An article comparing Periscope, Facebook live and YouTube Mobile Live was helpful with planning.  Facebook live was in the news a lot just recently with a tragic incident in the USA being broadcast live. There has been a lot of debate on the pros and cons following that incident. Mediashift investigates its uses, and touches on some of the controversy in its article Facebook Live Grew Up Quickly. Here’s How Broadcasters Are Jumping In. Facebook also recently increased the time period of live streaming to four hours. This article explains.

I’d love to know your thoughts on live broadcasting.  🙂  As always, thanks for stopping by.

Next, moving on to Thing 11…another reflection post.  Woohoo! I’m progressing.

Running track

Image by PhotoKanok on FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

 

 

 

 

Gif smiley image from GifAnimations.com

Thing 9: Screencast video

Sssshhhh screencasting

Shhhh by Betsy Weber  on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Oh gosh!! Rudaí23 Thing 9 was a particular challenge.  As one of those individuals who seeks tutorials on YouTube for much, I am especially appreciative of the amazing folk who take the time to teach others – even the most basic concepts of computing are needed by some.  Because this is something that I imagined I would enjoy doing, I’ve always wanted to try a screencast (audio visual recording of a process on the screen) to see how it is done.

Little did I imagine how tricky!  What I thought would take 3 mins, actually took +- 9. Apart from the fact that I once again had to listen to my own voice over and over (and over, and over…. does this give a hint of how many times I discarded and restarted…? :/ ), each time I began recording either the doorbell rang, the dog barked, or the A/C rattled in the background, until I was totally exasperated. What’s the saying…

Keep calm and carry on

Anyway…after 3, or was it 4? hours, I decided I was going to do the very last take. EVER!
Apart from the frog in the throat, and the mixed up vocab, I decided to use it, and here it is Rudaí23…my effort at screencasting. LOL!

onenote app for iphone

 

 

Opening a new Notebook in MS OneNote 

by

LibSandy

 

I used Screencast-o-matic, which was really user friendly.  I downloaded the audio file onto my PC, which I then uploaded into my YouTube channel (can’t believe I have succumbed to opening a YouTube channel! 😉 ). I decided to tackle annotations, because living in an environment where most use English as a second language, I know how important it is to get the message across clearly. I was totally amused at some of the auto annotations; it gave me a much-needed giggle.  After roughly 30 mins of editing the annotations were acceptable.

Once I had calmed down and published the video, I began to realise, once again, just how valuable a tool this is. Visual and auditory learners benefit much from this form of learning, and if it were incorporated more into teaching it might serve a dual purpose and make the teacher less…ho-hum. This article says it all.

Of course, if there are teacher librarians having a week like mine, where they struggle to meet the demands of domestic bliss with professional devoir, let alone development, this is the go-to tool, isn’t it?

screencast infographic

Narrated slide show = Screencast by Wesley Fryer  on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

A ready store of these in hand, on any given topic  is just the thing (yes, it would take time to put together – say over the year you do one every so often). In a really fraught week you could pop one on for that 20 min time slot that you are allocated to try and impart some media literacy into the always-tired-not-another-library-lesson minds. Or what about those times when the class pours in and the teacher goes…”Didn’t I book this with you? I was sure I had.” (Yeah, right!)  Librarian to the rescue…(remember above meme)…librarians are never supposed to show botheration.

I guess the more you do this kind of thing, the easier it would get.  I did write the script beforehand, but it’s hard to read while working your mouse over the screen.  That means you’ve got to know your subject and be sure of where to move the cursor, what to show and what to say. Oh, and hopefully you have a speedy internet service if you’re going to hop between windows and websites. It must be soul-destroying with a slow connection, and then having to edit out all the dead sections.  Another tip: get your vocab sorted. 🙂  No stepping into the pitfall of using one term for a thing, and then another for the same thing further on. (I think I was guilty here…but hoping whoever would want to use my video will get the idea. Lol.)

The totally awesome Kathy Schrock has penned this great article – Screencasting and Screen Recording in the Classroom.  I couldn’t explore all the links, since I just didn’t have the time, but the one on “It’s like writing a play” (also from the TechSmith blog) is spot on!  I just need WAY more practice. Challenge accepted!   This method of demonstrating can be used to great effect in all libraries – screencasts linked to the website or embedded in Libguides to show users how to negotiate the catalogue, or how to access various databases, for instance. Any experienced librarians out there that can tell me how they use screencasting? I’d love you to leave a comment below.

For an example of good screencasting I found this:  how to find Creative Commons images with Google. The video is dated 2011, but the info is valuable.

Thanks for stopping by folks.  Thing 10 is coming up and I find myself looking for that monkey emoticon …

see no evil

Till next time. Cheers.

Meme created with ImgFlip Meme Generator
OneNote image via Flickr by Alan Parkinson (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Rudaí 23 – Thing 7: Podcasts

Podcasting

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

What is a Podcast? Think iPod and Broadcast….you get Podcast. These are MP3  recording files that can be streamed or downloaded via the internet. Each mobile phone has a recording device, and most have a built-in app for listening to podcasts, such as the Podcasts app which is default on all iPhones. There is Stitcher, for Desktop, Apple and Android systems, and software like Audacity and Soundcloud to record with.

Why are Podcasts important? According to Williams & Sawyer (2013), who wrote the book Using Information Technology, podcasts are an expression of personalised media. Today there is virtually a podcast on any topic.

A few days before I read through the Rudaí 23 Thing 7 write-up about Podcasting, I spent some time thinking about what I would do with a podcast. The idea of making one for librarians came to mind. So I was thrilled to discover the link in Thing 7’s write-up, to Steve Thomas’ Circulating Ideas podcast for librarians. 😀  What a treasure trove! Food for librarians. Here is a link to his interview with public librarians attending the PLA 2016 Conference in Denver, Colorado. Bonus: at the end of this particular episode, Steve gives a talk on the ‘how to’ of Podcasting. Thanks Steve!

Dolphin-03

I took my time about getting to Thing 7. I had decided to challenge myself and record a Podcast. But with the challenge came procrastination. Well, besides the fact that it is Eid and the entire family is at home (making it rather difficult to get any serious writing done), I don’t relish the sound of my own voice. And it’s the Tour-de-France! And Wimbledon! Aaaah, choices, time, priorities…. I know that I am going to record, re-record, RE-record…etc., so I’m trying to find the moment when it’s going to (sort of) go smoothly. 😉

Anonymous_a_man_singing

How can libraries incorporate podcasts? I’d love to hear suggestions from librarians who read this, or from anyone with great ideas. One use I thought of, was to record stories from folk in the community, and to post them on a page affiliated to the library website. These could be stories of survival, historic times, how tos (from experts), mothering, business tips, etc. Whatever the community has to offer, really. Thing 7’s writer, Emmet Keoghan, provides a link to a site that is an example of this. Personally, I’m sad that I did not think of recording my parents when they spoke of days gone by in the town where I grew up, or of their young days. These are stories that belong to the community really; conversations that we should foster. In current times we are connected by various devices and apps, but we are often disconnected from each other. Libraries can bring a whole community together, building a sense of belonging.

“To be a librarian is not to be neutral, or passive, or waiting for a question. It is to be a radical positive change agent within your community.”

R. David Lankes

In libraries they can be used for book reviews, author interviews, guides to using sources, and I’m sure much more. Here is a site with ideas for podcasting aimed at teachers, but since librarians can be seen as teachers/facilitators, we can use and adapt these suggestions too.

Podcasts are great for commuting. Plug in the headset and engage your mind while you drive, ride the bus or train. Here is a site I found for 6 Career-boosting Podcasts To Listen To, or how about 51 Smart Podcasts That Will Make Your Commute Way Better. My all-time favourite list that I discovered while doing an online course is the College InfoGeek’s 21 Educational Podcasts that’ll make you smarter.   Ooooh, and this…

13 Podcasts...

Remember to subscribe to your favourite podcast by way of the RSS feed.

RSS
RSS feed

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Jin Tan on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Overdrive, the popular provider for e-books and audio books to public libraries and schools have a podcast blog, Professional Book Nerds, where they discuss new books, interview authors and do book recommendations.

I also found myself wondering about the legal side of things and discovered an article from creative commons.org, the Podcast Legal Guide.

And so, to my (8 minute) contribution folks. (Umm, please forgive the hiccups during the reading. 🙂 )  I read an excerpt from one of my favourite authors (on librarianship) – R David Lankes‘ book for librarians and their communities, called…

Expect More by David Lankes

              Image from Goodreads.com

It was hard to choose which excerpt to read from.  I chose a section about ‘walled gardens’ (he uses a classic example – Facebook) from Chapter 5, and then a piece about librarians from Chapter 7. 🙂 Thank you David, for permission to read.

I actually found a great App for the iPhone, called OPINION.  Super easy to download and use.  It also allows simple editing of a recording.  I uploaded my recording really fast to my Dropbox account, and from there I uploaded it to my Soundcloud account. Voila!

Hoping you’re inspired to search out some podcasts, or to get PODCASTING!

My thanks for stopping by. 🙂 Have a great day.

Clipart of person recording from http://publicdomainvectors.org/en/public-domain/
Dolphin clapping gif from gifanimations.com (public domain)

Reference sources

Lankes, R. David. 2012. Expect more: demanding better libraries for today's complex world. https://rilandpub.wordpress.com/

Williams, BK & Sawyer, SC. 2013. Using information technology: a practical introduction to computers & communications. 10th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Thing 6: Reflections thus far – Rudai23

Reading blogs this last month has been fun. Usually I’ll tell myself that I don’t have time, but after beginning Rudai23  I’ve made time, and in so doing I’ve proven to myself that I can, after all, spend time reading people’s blogs and not just techie sites and the news. It has been an entertaining, insightful, educational and sometimes emotional experience.

officeconference-room-workspace-picjumbo-com
Office desk (Public domain image from Picjumbo)

I summoned up the courage to comment on some blogs, even if it was just to thank them for sharing. It’s amazing how eloquent some folk are, and how willingly they share professional advice.  I have also begun to follow a few more librarians’ blogs, managed to gain 3 followers to mine and have responded to one very kind comment on one of my posts, for which I was very grateful.

 

Keeping a diary for years, where I only wrote for my personal reflection and for therapeutic reasons was, to me, a safe option.  pen_&_paper_1

Now, blogging for public view I find to be quite daunting.  My efforts left me feeling as if I’d written a few university assignments, actually. :p  I know I’m not a natural writer, so it takes many drafts before I’m satisfied enough (well sort of) to publish a post.

computer_face

Fortunately, completing the Copyright course through ALIA, just as I began with 23 Things, proved to be fortuitous, in that using images from online sources was less scary as I was able to search for permissible ones, understand the licences more thoroughly, and cite them correctly.

Working with WordPress has been a mission of sorts.  I realise that I should do a few tutorials, even though I’ve used it for a couple of years already, but time is so limited. So I plod on and hold thumbs that the post looks decent when I’m done.  I’ve pulled my hair out trying to tweak the appearance of the blog.  Perhaps it’s me, or (at the risk of sounding as if I’m blaming my tools) it could be my old laptop, but I find WordPress doesn’t always ‘play along’ and do what I think it should.  Grrrr!

Because I have  been very interested in online tools over the last few years, and have been using a few of them for just as long, a lot of the first few Things’ content was not new to me.  But even so, there were aspects that I learned for the first time, like muting a twitter hashtag or account, or  how to use a Twitter chat app.  I explored Google more fully, and opened a G+ account and began to use Google calendar.  I discovered that one can make a professional URL on LinkedIn, and I appreciated the tips for a professional LinkedIn profile.  Facebook was a challenge since I have a personal dislike for the service, but I propose to use it to my advantage this time round. And now, after exploring the site and all the settings, at least I know that if I were asked by a member of the public for help in setting up an account, I would be confident to do so. happy_2

The module on personal branding, Thing 3, was fun to engage with, but I have felt uncomfortable with placing emphasis on myself.  The write-ups for each Thing are about my experiences, and so invariably the content has too many ‘I’s.  However, I am eager to build a professional brand as I believe it contributes positively to one’s chances for employment…so here’s to brands. 😀

beautiful-peacock-portrait-picjumbo-com
Peacock  (Public domain image from Picjumbo)

These are my reflections until this point.  I look forward to continuing and learning more about online tools. If you’re doing the Rudai 23 Things course, please be sure to connect with me on Twitter, using #2016Rudai23. Alternatively, leave a message here.

Cheers!

Clipart from Clipartheaven.com, with thanks. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Thing 4: Pssst! It’s that ‘G’ word…

Google logo for blogs

Google logo for blogs, by SEO on Flickr, under a creative commons (BY-SA 2.0) licence.

 

As librarians we’re into communication and collaboration, the topic of Thing 4.  Google is the focus of this topic, but in my opinion, as educators and librarians, we are obliged to know the benefits of the commonly used communication/collaboration applications out there.   In this way we will be able to speak about them with authority, and assist others when the need arises, to make a choice or to set up their accounts.

From personal experience, making use of different services, if possible, makes for more efficient working environments.  Cloud computing has been a favourite of mine over the past 5 years, as it has kept me sane. Seriously.

4502026170_4bf31f04e6_z

Flickr photo Descending Clouds, by Gary Hayes, under creative commons (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) licence. 

I understand that there are people asking valid privacy questions regarding the ‘cloud’, but after spending years backing up stuff, first on floppy disks, then on CDs, then external hard drives and memory sticks, and backups of backups, it’s such a relief to pop a doc into a folder on your desktop and to know that it’s taken care of – probably for good. It’ll be there whenever and where-ever needed! (Unless of course, a disaster strikes at the location of the storage warehouse, but hey, it’s their job to make backups, right?) :p  Yes, I know, I know…it’s right and proper to still keep a backup yourself. 🙂

Not having to remember what to back up, or having to lug those devices around and, most of all, not having to guard them so that they don’t get damaged, is such a bonus. When my hard drive went on my laptop a few years ago, I lost a couple of unimportant documents and a few of our latest photos, but nothing serious.  My habit of placing everything in a cloud drive paid off.  When the new drive was installed, it was merely a case of carry on as before, after installing the desktop folders which sync automatically.

I use cloud services from Amazon, Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive and Flickr. Oh and iCloud, since I’m an avid Apple fan.  Because of my love-hate relationship with Google, I purposely avoided Gmail and Google Drive, until a few months ago when I began as an intern librarian at an international school. School-wide they used Google Education Apps – everyone communicated and collaborated (with parents too) using Google tools.  I saw the benefits first hand and realised that vast amounts of time and paper were saved while increasing cooperation and efficiency.  At the time I proposed to learn more about Google’s capabilities, but it didn’t happen then.  After 4 months at the school I sought out an internship at a different library.  What I did do though was to follow a few very talented and skilled people on Twitter, who are Google certified teachers, to be able to learn from them. Here are two: Alice Keeler and Catlin Tucker.

So, if it sounds like I’m selling something…I am – the Cloud! Not necessarily only Google.  Although Thing 4 focuses on the Google ecosystem (as I’ve heard it referred to) and make no mistake, it is impressive, personally I favour MS Office and its related apps. Here’s a shout-out to  OneNote logoMS OneNote…a note-taking, collaborative app that I have used for years (sadly not to its fullest potential); I use it all the time, across all my devices with great success.  I’ve heard it said that Google’s equivalent, Google Keep, is not quite up to the same standard.

Flickr photo shared by Microbiologybytes, under creative commons (BY-SA 2.0) licence.

Consequently, when I looked at Thing 4, my initial reaction was “Oh no, why the emphasis on Google!”

Oh no

Flickr photo, ‘Oh no’, by Courtney McGough, under creative commons (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) licence.  


However, I explored and worked through the tasks.  Reclaiming my Gmail account, setting up two-step authentication, checking the privacy settings, and setting up a profile took the greater part of 2 hours since it was all new to me.  But admittedly, once that’s done the hard part is over. I am really impressed with the functionality of Gmail. 🙂 It is a great email app.  Exploring the tools took another hour, after which I chose a few that I would use regularly, to link to my account:

  • Google translate: living in a country where Arabic is the first language, I often have to translate something, and this works really well for me. We’ve been expats for so long, I sometimes need Google translate to find words in my other mother tongue, Afrikaans. (I grew up speaking English to my mom and Afrikaans most often to my dad and other relatives.)
  • Google calendar: is really efficient, and just recently became even more so with this feature.
  • Google maps: saves my life regularly on the roads here in Doha, with infrastructure development taking place on an ongoing basis. Now that I have set up my Google account I can personalize the map app.
  • G+: a social app, similar to Facebook. Google-plus-iconSince I’ve only just set up my profile, I can’t comment on it, but it is nice to know of another manner in which like-minded professionals can connect and communicate around similar interests. I’m not on Facebook because I choose not to be at the present time, due to time constraints, but G+ appears to be more focused towards interests. I chose to follow an animal lovers group and a Smartphone Photography group for now. Will aim to search for Rudai23, and a couple of library accounts soon. A G+ account is also needed to be able to communicate using…
  • Google Hangouts: Hangouts_IconGoogle’s chat function, either via messenger or video.  I’ve seen it used in a conference setting and it worked well.  Yesterday, I tried a hangout with my daughter in Australia.  After initial PC sound battles, it was quite effective.  Google hangouts allows up to 10 people simultaneously on video chats and many more on messenger.
  • Google Drive: offers an impressive 15 GB cloud storage to subscribers.  It is shared across Drive, Gmail and Google Photos, a mobile feature that some like and others are sceptical of. According to Rudaí23 writer, Stephanie Ronan, Google Photos organises, categorises and even animates some images. Not sure I’ll be testing this photo app, though, as I’m happy with Flickr.

This last week I experienced the joy of using the cloud. I had a large volume of library signs and a Powerpoint presentation to deliver to the library where I volunteer.  I had designed these documents at home. Instead of emailing them, I was able to download them from my cloud storage, onto the desktop at work.  Here I could edit them, resize them for printing, and collaborate with fellow librarians on their design.  This method minimizes the correspondence by email.  We all know that emailing large attachments can be problematic, so downloading from the cloud is truly the way to go.  Sharing a link to the document by email or messenger is also a way to share, and this is used especially when you are not personally going to be at the point of download.

As an example, here is a link to the reading badges on my Google drive, for Grade 5s, that I created using online SaaS, for a school’s reading ‘Across the Genres’ programme.  (If you’re a teacher and you’d like to use these, they can be downloaded with my compliments. 🙂 )

That’s my take on thing 4’s communication and collaboration tools.

Till next time, and thanks for reading this far. 😀

23 Things: Thing 1 and Thing 2

Last year I read about ’23 things’ for PD, but was too busy to find out more. When I saw it mentioned by someone just recently, it reminded me to explore the topic. At the same time, I was contemplating blogging again, and so, much to my surprise I found that the programme I was looking at, Rudaí 23, began with registering a blog and writing your first post. The original ’23 things’ began in 2006, and is no longer monitored, although it is still being used and adapted globally, according to the original creator, Helene Blowers.

I decided to begin the Rudaí 23 online course with the start of this blog. I’m looking forward to seeing how much of the course will be new to me, and how I fare on completing the tasks. As required, I will be blogging my experiences through each ‘thing’, so here’s hoping visitors to my blog will be patient with me while I complete the programme. 🙂

So, to Thing 1, which requires the registration of a blog. This is it, done ‘n dusted! I chose WordPress, because I already had an account there and was accustomed to it. However, after not blogging for several months, I initially battled with the ‘dashboard’. Or was it just too late at night?!

Thing 2 is the writing of the first post – also done. I actually began blogging in 2010, recording my experiences (periodically) while I was studying. I never advertised that blog; it became more of a journal for private use. I felt insecure with putting myself ‘out there’ and making myself vulnerable. I am very self-critical…not a good trait when it leads to a demand within to strive for perfection – an impossibility that we often choose to place upon ourselves. The last entry from that blog site is dated January 2015. So much has happened since then; perhaps it warrants a catch up post on this blog at some point.

I still feel uncomfortable with being visible… I find writing each post really stressful, knowing that people may be reading what I have written. I wonder if the grammar is correct, if the word choice could improve, and whether I have dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s. In her article about a list of blogging rules for The Muse website, Lily Herman states that it is best to be yourself…to show your own identity.

Well, I’ve chosen to squash my fear in order to write, drumming up the courage to submit an article for the International Librarian’s Network and to begin this blog.  I’ve heard it said, over and over, that to be visible, and blogging, is good for a career. And since a career is what I want in the next few decades, I will do what I can to build on it. You see, there is no such thing as ‘retirement’ for me, and I prefer it that way. 🙂

Librarian meme

The desirable length of a blog entry is another story…an interesting link from Rudaí23, pointed to this infographic…

social-media-length-infographic
Social Media Length Infographic. From http://blog.bufferapp.com, via Sumall

It is suggested that blog entries are more often read when they are 1,600 words in length. Not sure I’ll make that with each entry, but I guess it depends on the personal passion-level of the topic. On the other hand, Lily Herman also reckons that posts of 500 to 700 words are better (Woohoo!) than longer ones, unless the latter are very well written.

Here’s my challenge, to anyone out there who may be starting the Rudaí23 programme – let’s connect and follow each other, and let’s Tweet about it on #2016Rudai23. Here’s to blogging! *raises glass* Cheers!

On to Thing 3. Till next time.