Progress report

This time of year is always ridiculously busy, not just with new students but also my Masters has started again (final year!), new academic staff need to be familiarised with and that’s without thinking about all of the conferences and events which seem to be going on.

I am in the process of making a prezi catered for my final year Broadcast Media students who are starting their dissertations. As the dissertation is such a major project I like to tailor our delivery more specifically for them. As it’s a slightly more involved process I think it’s more useful to them if we can demonstrate applications like Evernote and how to manage and organise their research alongside how to actually conduct the research itself. The basis of the session is really very similar, but as at this point they will have received this information at least twice and possibly four times with refresher sessions, I think it helps to change things up a little to help them resist switching off if they think they’ve seen it all before.

I attended the CILIP New Professional’s Day on October 4th, I’ve done a full write-up of the event but I’m hanging fire with that for now as it may be appearing elsewhere!

I will also be attending the Yorkshire & Humberside ARLG ‘Can you dig lit?’ event on November 14th which is very exciting. As I only really started participating in the committee side of things after this event was set up, I haven’t really been privy to the organisational side of things but I’m very pleased to be attending, it looks like a great line-up and the last event I attended was really very good.

I am also in the process of writing up an abstract of my research for my dissertation for the Hull College Journal. It’s quite a useful exercise in more ways than one as it will help me shape and focus my question a little further and help to develop it slightly. The dissertation side of things is slowly but surely progressing. I have established what my tutor expects (one draft of everything at the end – yikes!) and I’m going to pop him an email later in the week clarifying my ideas and the changes that I’ve made to my proposal over the summer. Once I’ve done this I might write up a blog post about it – I think it’s helpful to reiterate the project in various formats and levels of complexity to really get to grips with the idea. I have also found using a red pen really helps with the editing process – this is a thing that is weird but works.  I quite like it.

In other news I am now running about 3-3.5km in my bid to being able to run 5k without collapsing in a heap which is a general effort to get a bit fitter. As I have barely run more than a few steps (to conceal the fact I tripped on something) in the past…. since I was at school doing P.E., this is a great big achievement and one I am enjoying an awful lot more than I thought I would!

So despite being absolutely chaotically busy at the moment, I am very much enjoying it all. This flurry at the start of the year doesn’t last long so it’s handy to capitalise on all the good intentions and energy that might not be quite as prevelant in the January blues time.

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Reflections & Ambitions

As the new academic year is dawning, it seems appropriate to consider what’s happened over the past year. I was full of good intentions this time last year and very excited to be starting my first professional post. Despite having a feeling of “Not Accomplished Enough!” I’m not sure how accurate a representation that really is. In the past year I have managed to;

  • Develop increasingly positive relationships with the academic staff – always a challenge! Whilst I know these need to be built upon, it needs to start somewhere and can not materialise in a matter of weeks. I’m happy with the progress that’s been made and I couldn’t identifiably have had a more significant impact in my first year than I have. These things take time!
  • Completed the second year of my Masters with distinction. I am very proud of myself for this as I was juggling an awful amount of stress at the time.
  • Created my dissertation proposal successfully! Whenever I’m dithering about how it’s going with my literature review and development of ideas, I re-read my proposal and it sets me back on the right track. This, I suspect, is a core function of the proposal so I’m very pleased!
  • Become involved in the Academic and Research Libraries Group Committee for the Yorkshire and Humber Region. This is all still quite new, but it’s very exciting. I am putting out tentative feelers for an event that may be arranged which is something I’m particularly excited about. There’s also an event being arranged that looks incredibly interesting that I’m hoping to attend as either part of the organising group or simply as an attendee!
  • I’ve been on a few outings, the Librarians as Researchers event previously mentioned and also a trip to Sheffield Hallam which was very interesting. It was a look at their new build and the process they went through. It made me very jealous we do not have the budget of a university, however it gave us a few ideas which we’re implementing in our little library which I will be blogging about once they’re complete!
  • More involved on Twitter! I have developed my Twitter network so that I am now engaging with a range of Information Professionals on a regular basis that I would not have had contact with otherwise, and it’s proved very enlightening!
  • Gained a promotion in my role as Library Assistant – I am now also a part time ILT support advisor – this brings my job-juggling tally to three separate roles! I’m looking forward to getting started though.

I am pleased with how the year has gone in a general sense. When personal issues are so overwhelming it can be difficult to keep on track with work, however I managed it and I’m very proud of myself for that. I think it’s important to recognise when you’ve overcome difficulties because it can be easy to interpret your experience in a more negative light than the reality of the situation requires. It’s very encouraging to know that even in the worst circumstances I can remain consistent in a professional capacity.

I want to have more concrete achievements for the next year  though. If I’d had specific targets over the past year then I think I would have overcome some of the sense I was failing in my position much quicker – the reality is I wasn’t, it just felt that way as I was feeling overwhelmed!

Some specifics:

  • Attend CILIP New Professional’s Day, blog about it here and in Manchester’s New Professional’s Network blog.
  • Investigate the potential for reinvigorating the Career Development Group in Yorkshire and Humber.
  • Complete my Masters with Distinction.
  • Submit my research to a journal/conference.

And more generally:

  • Become further involved in ARLG.
  • Apply for bursaries to attend relevant conferences (LILAC the big one!)
  • Use this more effectively!

I’m planning to do this yearly so I can review my progress regularly and see what it is I’m actually achieving.

Well today is the first day of the new academic year so I’m getting back to it!

Leeds Teach Meet

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Teach Meet held at Leeds Metropolitan University – 8th Feburary 2013.

I find Leeds impossible to navigate. I thought I would overcome this by catching the train instead, and promptly managed to make a fifteen minute walk last forty-five.  I need to work on my sense of direction.

I’d never been to a Teach Meet before, but the concept appealed to me a lot. The teaching element of being a Librarian is probably one of the most challenging aspects of the job for me, whilst I enjoy it I also find it rather daunting and I’d like to feel more confident about it generally.

The Teach Meet is informal and flexibly structured. It really is a bit like having a slightly organised conversation. I was initially intimidated by the idea of having to “have something to discuss or present for five minutes or so” – I had a question at hand but certainly nothing as long as five minutes, fortunately however this really is just a rough guide to keep things ticking over and most people just had one or two minute questions. The conversation was dominated by the answers and discussion the questions provoked, very beneficial indeed.

Interestingly a few questions came up which have been issues for me as well, I had imagined that the issues I was facing (staff liason, classroom management) were ‘teething problems’ that new librarians face – it seems these issues tend to hang around however!

I’m going to do a brief summary of the core issues that cropped up (and some suggested solutions) as a lot of these I imagine are fairly universal issues.

Enhancing Delivery
Overcoming nerves and making inductions more interesting is a challenge for all librarians I would suspect. Whilst repetition does make it easier, I think an element of nerves is definitely a good thing to keep you on your toes. A few techniques used for inductions include;

–          Using scenarios to hook students in – demonstrate immediate relevance to them
–          Trails/quizzes/crosswords – just be careful with these though, some students can feel patronised and disgruntled if presented with such things
–          QR Codes – obviously requires a smartphone, but can be used in interesting ways when dotted around the library
–          ‘Library Bingo’ – students can circle a word once the Librarian says it, they win a chocolate bar.
–          Bribery seems to be a big winner!
–          Remember to focus on the students rather than how you are feeling, remember how irrelevant you are to them!
–          Lecturers have similar nerves, it’s not because you’re no good, it’s because of the situation – it’s inherently nerve-wracking!
–          Focus on the friendly faces, they’ll help you get by.
–          It can be useful to co-teach, if you start to flail or lose your way they can help set you right.
–          Ice breaker sessions – ‘Choose your Information Seeking Behaviour Animal’ sheet by Philip Ashton.

Class Management

This is a big issue for everyone. Teaching in a class for one, perhaps two, sessions, makes it very difficult to foster the dynamic of engagement and authority which is desired, but there were a few suggestions for this;

–          Competition fostering is certainly a big tactic, challenging students against each other appears to work a treat. Unfortunately it’s not always possible, but where it is it appears to get results.
–          Bribery is also a big winner.
–          Reading up on and attending courses for Managing Challenging Behaviour can be incredibly useful.  (Indeed one attendee said it was the best thing she’s ever done for her teaching practice)
–          Be bold. Courage and firmness will go a long way.
–          Remember that students don’t like naughty students and will appreciate you settling them down.
–          The Lecturers role is undefined and can be intrusive and unhelpful at times. How do you manage that? You just smile and get on with it mainly!

Peer Review

Peer Review can be one of the most useful ways to improve your performance, however constructive feedback from peers can be difficult to get. What sort of Peer Review system is in place, if any? It can be difficult to get colleagues on board with the idea due to various reasons, including discomfort at having to be critical yet helpful or fear of having to receive such feedback. Be mindful of very informal peer review; the individual receiving the feedback may not respond to it if it is felt to be unfair, even if the feedback would in fact be useful to their practice.

–          It’s possible to deflect the attention from the teaching element to cover everything produced; web pages, subject guides, helpsheets – taking the pressure off the teaching element (which can be a sensitive issue if it isn’t where your confidence lies) can allow the system to develop a sense of usefulness and value without jumping straight in to an intimidating exchange about teaching practice.  Making this a routine can also decrease the ‘threat’ element, if it’s a systematic occurrence staff are less likely to feel targeted.
–          Consider Peers from other areas in the institution; ‘exchange of experiences’ as a rebranding exercise can have surprising results.
–          A buddying system – ‘co-teaching’ can be a good middle ground to offer support and develop practice.
–          “Train the Trainer” courses were highlighted as a useful pursuit

Staff Liason

Try moving the library about a bit, take an iPad and a banner and be elsewhere in the institution for a while! Just be around and remind staff you are there.

It’s a challenge for everyone, teaching staff can be tough cookies to break.

Show them new, exciting things they might be interested in to draw them in.

Send a subject-specialised newsletter twice a year highlighting new titles, new technology, things the library can offer and so on – make it as relevant to them as possible.

ESOL Students

A graded helpsheet can be useful here so they can progress where they feel able.

There may be a need to be firm about the amount of help offered, otherwise it may be dominated and sent off track to the detriment of others in the group.

The Library Language dictionary resource at Bradford is really good.

The Going Global 2012 Conference offered some interesting student perspectives – always need to keep their view in mind.

May be worth being more explicit about everything, “the author’s name is the family name of the person who wrote the book” etc.

Are students changing?

This is something which I will perhaps be touching upon for my dissertation (I’m waiting to hear back from my tutor before launching in to a grand discussion of my hopes for it!) Have students changed due to their constant use of mobile technology and the internet? Whilst their approaches and comfort levels with technology may have changed, I’m not sure their information skills have necessarily improved. Many appear to be under the illusion that they “know it all already” but this is not often really the case. Highlighting this to the students can be a struggle– one technique is to challenge them to find an article for the cheapest possible fee. This suggestion came from someone who works in a specialist library I believe, and so has very specific audience in mind, but when they return with £XX amount, it must be satisfying to show how they actually access it for free.

Using 1-1 online support for distance learning students?

Nobody is really doing this! Jing screen casts are used more instead, tutorials to show the basics of what we would do in a session. ‘Google hang out’ has been mentioned but not used to enormous success really. Nobody used live chat when the option is there – students just apparently don’t view the technology as being useful in this way.

Donna Irvine has used Skype with students to some success, may be worth a chat with her.

Desktop sharing software seems to be much more useful as with Skype there isn’t that function and it may as well be a phone call.

Measuring impact and evaluating successes

Measuring impact can be incredibly difficult. One way to achieve this is to use a post-it note for individuals to mark when they feel they’ve learned something new. This encourages them to engage, it measurable and totally anonymous. Obviously it won’t work with every circumstance, but can be very useful indeed. Just be careful it doesn’t encourage ‘fact-loading’ of the session so you get to see lots of marks!

Megan Oakleaf gave an interesting presentation on this at LILAC 2012 apparently.

Wallwisher can be a useful tool for feedback on the session.

Should short sessions be evaluated? How to do this? Email? Verbally? Good approach is to use the tutor, did the students grade improve following library sessions? Use Socrative – a smartphone app, get students to share if they don’t all have smartphones.

Useful resources

This was a long post!

The Librarian as Researcher

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Academic and Research Libraries Group – Yorkshire and Humber

The Librarian as Researcher’ – York St John University  – 25th January 2013

This is the first external ‘professional’ event I have attended, I wasn’t particularly nervous until I shivered through the door (after getting a little bit lost amongst all those lovely buildings at York St John) and realised I hadn’t actually prepared myself for the total lack of familiar faces. I’d been so focused on finding the room that I’d had no time to plunge myself in to a worry of who I’d sit myself next to, how I’d get chatting to people and all the other social basics. Grabbing a cup of tea is a good way to survey a room and pick a seat, incidentally! Of course everyone else appeared to know each other already and all the tables were full, except for one entirely empty one. I had visions of being alone all day so decided a biscuit was in order. Fortunately, others took some seats and I plonked myself next to a chap called Andrew. My priorities quickly became apparent when I realised I had tea, biscuits and no handout. I fear my reputation begins with being a greedy guts. I had really interesting conversations with everyone at the table, it was really lovely to meet people who are excited and interested in libraries! One of the first things I actually noticed was the huge variety of job titles on the attendees list; I think the only two that were the same were Library Assistants. It certainly highlights the variety in the profession!

The day was focused on the importance of Research for Librarians; how to get started with your research, the role of the researcher and the commitment needed to achieve your goal (whatever it may be) and the possibilities open to you for disseminating your research.

My approach to Librarianship is definitely weighted by an academic perspective, this is probably because I am still studying and getting to grips with theories and approaches and have only a few hours a week as a practitioner. I think it’s really necessary to keep hold of the academic view as my career progresses though, each perspective lends itself to improving the other and for me that was really the crux of the days discussion. I am hoping research will become an integral part of my work, even if it takes place when I’m at home.

Carolynn Rankin kicked off the presentations with “Getting Started as a Researcher.” The role of the researcher was considered; the terms we picked out (‘we’ refers to the people I was sat with) were based upon fairly traditional ideas of inquisition so it was interesting to consider the storytelling researcher, the facilitator of information. There was a lot of discussion on the reluctance of the profession to recognise their own innovation and to share good practice; it’s worth considering the effect this can have upon the reputation of the library service and its status within an institution.

Dr. Jane Secker and Dr. Emma Coonan delivered a very interesting presentation on ‘A New Curriculum for Information Literacy – Doing Research in Your Day Job.’ There was an interesting focus on how their partnership bloomed and the positive effect of their differing approaches to information literacy. The practicalities of research were addressed here and commitment to the research project was perhaps the standout feature. Overcoming the inevitable challenges to conducting your research can only really happen if you choose to commit yourself to it – through getting out of bed an hour earlier to ‘make time’ and finding your own space to immerse yourself. Making your situation work to your advantage really is the key, although is of course quite tricky and involves significant sacrifice in lots of cases. The resounding message certainly seemed to be that anything is achievable, there are countless avenues available and hard work will bear fruit. Inspiring stuff indeed!

EDIT: Emma and Jane have kindly uploaded the slides and transcript here

Dr Miggie Pickton was the final presentation of the day looking at disseminating research. A look at the impact of highlighting your libraries research output was certainly worth considering, it seems a lot of research is being done at Northampton University Library! There are many different ways to disseminate research these days, it’s worth remembering that the traditional, peer reviewed article or book is far from the only option. I’d like to keep an open mind with how I would approach disseminating any future research.

Overall it was a really useful, inspiring day. An ideal introduction to the world of professional events I would say (also the lunch was fabulous, good work indeed York St John!) and I’m really keen to attend more in the future. The Research Methods module of my course begins today, and it involves deciding upon a dissertation topic and developing a research proposal – I’m going to go in to this in a later post. I also want to say something about academic capital and an institutions “respect” for the library, all prompted by this event but for another post!

I’ll be heading to the Teach Meet that’s taking place in Leeds on the 8th of February, I’ll hopefully be a bit braver in my interactions with other people this time!

Back to reality

Well, I’ve had rather a spell of not adding entries to this. My last entry was all about how busy the end of the year always is; unfortunately this wasn’t the reason for my absence, my Father passed away on the 30th of September 2012. Obviously other things have had to take precedence and so I took a step back from everything that wasn’t absolutely essential. Most things have now been dealt with, there’s still a lot to do but I’m feeling much more capable of tackling more and I’m gradually building up my “other” activities – I think it will also help me get a bit steadier to have things on my to-do list beyond ‘Send 25 letters to banks’ and all the endless bureaucracy that comes with a death in the family.

In happier news, I have lots of things coming up!

I’ll be attending the Librarians as Researchers event at York St John on Friday the 25th – this is my first outside event so I’m quite excited. I’m also attending the Teach Meet that’s happening at Leeds Met on Friday the 8th of January, I’m hoping other attendees at the York event will be able to give me advice about it beforehand!

I’ve also applied for the student award to attend LILAC, after reading various LIS bloggers declarations that there’s no harm in giving it a go. It’s such a fascinating area and I’d love to go, if not this year then hopefully next.

I’ve been considering my Masters dissertation lately and I’m leaning towards Information Literacy for students with dyslexia as a vague topic, however I haven’t really moved much further than considering it a worthwhile investigation, I need to do some preliminary research and really get to grips with exactly what I’d like to achieve. As so many of our Arts students and staff are dyslexic it seems a really relevant consideration, but certainly needs more investigation.

I have completed the first semester of the second year of my Masters. It’s going quite well so far, I managed an ‘A’ on the first assignment which I’m overjoyed with. I tend to focus on what I haven’t done in the assignment even when I get very good marks, I’m trying to shake off that habit as I need to recognise an achievement when it’s in front of me. The assignment was based on the change management process of merging a public and school library network from the perspective of the Local Studies Librarian. I actually really enjoyed it and it allowed me to build upon the knowledge of change management, measuring impact and the importance of consultation that I developed last year.

There is of course an awful lot to catch up on, I’m going to try and be measured rather than one massive outpouring however!

The September Rush

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The inevitable thing with September and October (and often November and December…) is the complete lack of free time to do much else except keep pace with all of the hectic things going on. The new academic term has kicked in full force already, and I’ve had two shifts in my new role as Higher Education Librarian.

It’s been going very well so far, although insanely busy! I have been given the Broadcast Media and Music courses – I’ve managed to get inductions booked with the first years of both courses and I’ll be delivering an eResources session with the Broadcast Media students on Thursday. I’ve also checked several reading lists and I’m striving to upload them on to the library catalogue to make life easier for the students and staff.  I have an awful lot of things to get on top of, but I’m definitely getting there! Most importantly though, I am thoroughly enjoying every second. I’m making a big effort to get to know the students as much as possible so they feel more welcome in the library; fingers crossed it works!

I’m going to do a proper catch-up shortly if I can, but obviously rather a lot of other things are taking priority at the moment!

Thing 19: Integrating ‘things’

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So Thing 19 is all about integrating the previous things in to day-to-day activities.

I’ve actually gained a lot more from following this than I expected. Whilst I was already familiar with a lot of the ‘Things’ it gave me an opportunity to rethink my approach to their use and to consider if I have been getting the best value from things.

I would say the most significant change in my behaviour is the use of netvibes and evernote, whilst this isn’t one of the ‘Things’ explicitly mentioned it certainly falls under RSS feeds and productivity! I think the most important thing I’m taking away from the 23 Things though is that things should be developed and integrated in order to get the full benefits from them.

I’m still struggling with the ‘personal brand’ idea – I’ve been floating around on the internet for the past twelve years, and as I was sixteen at that time I’m sure there’s a fair amount of tidying up I ought to do! I am not, and have never been, particularly badly behaved online (or in real life, for that matter!) so there is hopefully not too much that’s awful out there, even if it might be rather embarrassing! This is certainly something I’m going to be sorting out though, just in case the younger me gets mistaken for the actual me!

I’m much more integrated in to the social side of everything; my Twitter account has become very heavily library-focused, I’m reading a great deal more blogs and striving to become a real part of the community. I see this as a long-haul process however, so I’m perfectly happy to take the gradual approach, I think it would be more effective all round anyway.

My Masters starts again on September the 25th so I imagine a lot of the things I’ve been looking at over the summer may take a backseat. On the other hand, it may transpire that these things become perfect outlets and sources for development, so we’ll see!

Whilst I haven’t integrated everything from the 23 Things so far, I have learnt a great deal about their potential use. I think the important thing is to use what is appropriate and useful rather than trying to use everything purely for the sake of saying you use it. Whilst I haven’t been using Google Calendar for example, it’s good to know that it’s there as an option should I need something for that purpose.

I think my initial approach to the 23 Things was a little cynical – there are lists for everything online and they rarely offer any new insight, the particularly useful thing about the 23 Things is that it makes you rethink approaches you’ve been taking for granted and to reassess your procedures, it relies on the individuals participation and engagement and it’s been really quite interesting. Unfortunately I won’t have the time from now on, so I suppose that will be the real test of how integrated and truly beneficial these ‘things’ have become.

23 Things: Thing 18

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Thing 18: Jing / Screen Capture / Podcasts – making and following them

We have used similar software in the college however it’s never really come to anything. It tends to be demonstrated to staff for their use, but we don’t tend to use it ourselves. I would personally like to create a ‘screencasting’ video for how the library catalogue works, for our eResources and so on. I really think it would be of particular use to those students who don’t necessarily receive verbal or written instructions easily. We also don’t always have the amount of time we really need to show our students the resources that are available to them, so it would be really great to create short videos they can look at prior to trying out a resource. I believe this was vaguely attempted a few years ago but there were problems with software, it’s certainly something I’m going to raise as worth trying again though as it seems like a useful demonstrative device.

I haven’t considered the use of podcasts previously but it’s certainly something I’m going to consider. We have Audacity installed on our college computers so it would be easy enough to play around with. I’m also going to be listening to as many of these as I think would be useful!

I suspect these plans will have to wait until after the first semester is over, however. We are usually so absurdly busy from this point onwards that there’s barely time to look up! It’s very exciting though and I’m going to be detailing the changes to my role, the challenges I’m facing and my progress with my Masters of course!

23Things: Thing 17: The Medium is the Message

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Thing 17  is rather appropriate this week as I will be training a member of staff in how to use it.

I’ve used Prezi a few times previously, once for collaborative work with students on my course, once for delivering a presentation at a conference and once for delivering a critical thinking skills sessions with some students. I would say it was reasonably successful in all instances and I much prefer it to PowerPoint, I enjoy the fluidity of it. Additionally as the students I have presented to are generally Art and Design focused they often prefer a visual style of learning.

I’ve seen a few different presentations for the best uses of Prezi, the best was by Wikiman but unfortunately the page is broken at the moment so I’ll suggest this link instead which contains a link to the page I intended and is also full of useful tips and information in itself.

My favourite thing about Prezi however is the capacity to look at other users creations and to search by topic – it gives a really interesting view on others perceptions of how a topic can be presented. Slideshare looks to be interesting equivalent of archived powerpoint presentations.

I really like the idea of using a presentation for a CV although I’m not sure how appropriate it would be in most instances. I will most certainly be experimenting with the idea though as I feel it could be really effective.

I’m going to look in to all the resources for Prezi and create a mini how-to guide for my session later. It really is the kind of program where playing around and figuring out what works is the best learning technique in my opinion though, so I’ll definitely just cover the immediate basics and work from there.

23 Things: Thing 16

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Thing 16: ADVOCACY, SPEAKING UP FOR THE PROFESSION AND GETTING PUBLISHED

I consider this ‘Thing’ to be of enormous importance. On a wider scale, with budget cuts impacting on every public service, libraries are not alone in needing to find a powerful voice that communicates just why they are such important institutions and worth funding. I am in quite an unusual position with my workplace I think as one of our library sites is a hybrid of public and academic services. The main focus is on the academic side of things we it is based within the college site; however we offer a successful public service too which benefits a fair number of people. This dual role has allowed me to see the importance of both kinds of library service, and the impact it can really have on individuals.

On a smaller scale, certainly for academic libraries, I think ensuring that ‘management’ are keenly aware of the importance of an effective library service is a huge step in creating a positive culture for libraries within the workplace. The transfer of student services, including libraries, by London Met University to a private company is a concerning development as far as I’m concerned It’s so problematic that money is so often the driving force for decisions that are so important and can have such a dramatic impact.

I think advocating for the library is a natural part of the job for me. I am so genuinely enthused about the importance it plays for students and the public that I often find myself promoting our services without really intending to. On the other hand, there is of course a lot more I can do and reading some of the ideas here really shows the enthusiasm out there and how it can lead to some really useful and innovative ideas.  I am wondering if I need to take  a more ‘activist’ approach – is advocacy really enough to help? This is a really interesting post about advocacy and activism in libraries and is real food for thought.

In the long term I think my ideal avenue would be to write interesting articles about the subject matter. I am of course so brand new though, I feel this makes me somewhat of an imposter but everyone needs to start somewhere. I do not want to write something for the sake of being published, I would like to be articulate and promote something that’s dear to me and before I can really do that I feel I need a bit more experience in the world of libraries. I often think I come across as quite naïve due to my rather idealistic opinions, however I also believe there is no harm in aiming for the most ideal solution possible because even if you fall short at least you tried. But that’s more idealism! I am certainly still finding my feet, but that hasn’t stopped me from declaring the importance of a good library service to all and sundry. Once I have gained more informed opinions and can understand the true impact of policies beyond the obvious budget cuts I’m sure I’ll feel much more confident being more active in my advocacy.