Saturday, 20 August 2011

2 for 1 catch-up

Two Things, from two different weeks and therefore from two different themes, all in one blog article! How is that for an offer?!

Thing 11 is about mentoring.
I could say I have had two informal mentors so far. The first person I have ever considered and affectionately called my "mentor" (though not in her presence!) was my manager when I first started working at Newcastle Libraries. She's the one I would ask about libraries in the UK, the profession, the organisations, etc., as well as being the one with whom I would spend time poring over the AACR2! Unfortunately, I now very rarely see her as we have moved on to working in different teams, with different work patterns. But whenever I do see her, she still kindly asks me how I am doing and whether I have applied to any jobs recently!
The professional librarians in my current team (i.e. my managers) are very nice and supportive and do not seem too bothered by me asking questions!
I have not asked anyone formally to be my mentor yet (though I might... I don't know, I don't dare - what if they say no, they don't have time, they already have more interesting mentees, they can't be bothered? Argh) My part as a mentee, I am afraid, consists of asking a lot of questions about my mentor's job - as in: "Oh, you're working on that? What's the plan? How much does it cost the library? You've decided to do it like this? Why? What are the options? How is it going to integrate with that? What happens next?" - and also about my own professional development - e.g. "Should I go to Umbrella?"...

Thing 12 is entitled "Putting the social into social media" - wait, wasn't this supposed to be catch-up week? Oh, never mind...
I was already using Twitter for professional purposes before starting CPD23. Through the programme, I joined LinkedIn and LISNPN. On LinkedIn, I have connected with people I knew in the profession, and found it great to be able to send them a message that's longer than 140 characters! However, I have not participated in the discussions in either network, and I only skim through the LinkedIn digest e-mails... I just cannot keep up with the social side of those two networks, considering I already use Facebook and Twitter regularly, and err, I have a job, and a life!
I have been thinking about the last question listed in the Thing 12 article: "In your opinion does social networking really help to foster a sense of community?" All I can say is that, personally, being on Twitter has helped me a lot to be aware of the UK library community, who was who, who was active in what field(s). Has it made me feel part of it? I do not feel completely integrated yet, but at least a little bit, yes, by connecting with persons met at Umbrella, or individuals influential in the CILIP groups I am a member of. But what about those who are part of the community and yet do not use social networking?


  1. Your blog reminds me again that I need to catch up on my Things too... hard to keep up when I'm in school. Maybe on break? It's a nice thought anyway... Keep posting! I like reading your things! :)

  2. Thank you Hayley! Your blog is so much more active than mine :-D
    I should have less shifts at the library soon so I will be working on this blog again.