Tuesday, 21 January 2014

#ITOT Results FINALLY Published!

So I submitted my dissertation wayyyy back in November 2012. I'm pleased to say that it got a distinction! However in the months that have passed I have lost the final submitted version and the submissions office have yet to locate it too. Hence the lengthy delay as I had intended to put the full version online but I have not had the motivation to piece it all together once again, so here for your viewing pleasure are the full results (personal information removed).

I will leave you to draw your own conclusions from the results (until I put mine together), if I remember rightly I drew quite positive conclusions in the sense that new professionals seem well placed for the challenges of the current (or rather as then)employment market. 


Monday, 6 August 2012

#ITOT Questionnaire

I am looking for New Professionals (enrolled on a LIS course or about to do so or graduates looking for or who have gained a professional post in the last 5 years) to participate in research for my dissertation.

The topic is the challenges of getting the first professional post for new professionals in the UK. To participate, please find a link below to a short questionnaire that should take approximately 5 minutes to complete. I would be extremely grateful for your contribution.

ITOT Questionnaire

The results of this research will be discussed within the dissertation and a summary of responses will appear on this blog. All responses from the online questionnaire are anonymous and participants may opt-out at the end of the questionnaire if they do not wish for their responses to be used in the research.

If you have any queries or concerns, please contact me at john.kostiw@gmail.com

Thank you for taking part.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Thing 9: Evernote

Ahh Evernote... like so many applications how I coveted but hardly use thee!

I was interested in finding an application to help keep myself organised and a possible techy solution for time management by creating task lists. Evernote appeared to be the answer. I'm not saying it's not, I'm just yet to use it as my default. For yonks, if I found a web site of even passing interest I'd email myself a link but I do like the idea of keeping my passing fancies in one place.

I can't say that I make no use of Evernote because it has quite a presence in my life, it's now my go to place for short notes (names of restaurants, places, names etc) replacing the memo function on my phone. I also use it now for quick pictures such as the cover of a Jan Svankmajer DVD I always forget to look for when shopping! Evernote sits on my laptop, as an app in Google Chrome (home and work) and on my smartphone. I ambitiously thought I'd get some extra use out of it when using my Echo Smartpen, which is currently looking like £140 down the drain as I've had occasion to use it once in two and half months! It can be useful I'm sure, I think I just need the headphones to go with it!

Friday, 13 July 2012

Thing 8: Google Calendar

Calendars are taking over my life at present, or it feels that way!

Fortunately? My family and friends are a disorganised bunch! Nothing is ever really planned further than a month in advance, that's enough for it to remain in my head, just how I like it for personal events. My Android phone is rarely a meter away from my hand at any time but I rarely use Google Calendar for the reasons stated and have much less use for sharing a calendar.

That sort of fell apart when I synced my work Outlook calendar to Google. On numerous occasions at work I was late for meetings or sessions on the desk where I was already in a meeting away from my desk, away from the safety net of my Outlook reminder. Syncing has saved me no end! I get a satisfying, distinctive buzz from my phone when I should be somewhere or doing something (oddly before I am alerted via Outlook!) We have/are in the process of upgrading to Microsoft 2010 packages, Outlook here is already proving more satisfying especially for sharing calendars. The main reason, you don't have to! Although details are kept private I can see a colleagues calendar to arrange meetings without the faff of the scheduling assistant. I have used this to my own ends in the journals team to overlap individuals calendars.

One thing I have tried without success recently, where I think maybe Google calendar specifically might help is a live background. For a while I have been looking to use a calendar as my background so it's always open and visible and programme applications sit in front. I think this may have been easier in XP as you could use a link for your background? Windows 7 doesn't seem to be so easy, has anyone achieved this?

Thing 7: Real Life Networks

This should be one of the shorter posts.

I think everyone is a bit nervous about the prospect of real life networking, we're all aware of those vital seconds we have to make a good first impression and the more nervous of us feel them ticking away realising we haven't said anything interesting...? Maybe it's just me? Or at least used to be. The NPC 2011 was my first opportunity to network with people outside my library and I found that one of the most enjoyable aspects of the day. I look forward to NPC 2012 next week for the same reason and the Executive briefing I'm due to attend the next day. Shamefully my first visit to CILIP HQ, I've heard nothing but good things so am looking forward to it.

I have yet to attend a CPD23 meet up although I may have missed one recently in my area? Not sure! An Assistant Librarian colleague used to arrange informal social events for the select in our library, on both occasions I was invited I couldn't make it due to other commitments and by all accounts these weren't very well attended. It's something I would like to see more of really, does anyone else work in a library with regular staff socials?

Thing 6: Social Networks

And we're off!

I used to jump on the band wagon pretty early with social networking sites and rapidly lose interest in them. I have been a begrudging Facebook user pretty much since it was available in the UK, had several Twitter profiles, a dilapidated LinkedIn profile and a baron presence on Google+.

I think even the most committed users of Facebook welcome a break from it once in a while and I've certainly had spells when I've given it a wide birth. Now it's one of my top break apps (you know...I've got 5 mins, I'll just see what's going on!) This could only ever be for personal use for me, there are too many things  out of my control to reign in for anything else. It's also one of those sites where I wouldn't want it for anything else, hey I've seen Social Network that wasn't it's intention... I can't fail to be impressed by organisations that make a go of Facebook, Brunel University for example keep students informed, post pictures and make their catalogue available. I always wonder what investigations go before this to find if students want this? Yes we need to be where students are but no-one wants to be the uninvited guest!

After attending a New Professionals conference in 2011, I thought it was time to give my profile a makeover.  About 2 months ago I achieved it! It still needs work but I find some of the group discussions informative and interesting. Had I been using it properly this could have been useful as a reflective practice tool for the duration of my traineeship, I should have been updating it with new skills, roles and tasks completed but alas...

This was a social network tool that I have dropped many a time, my current incarnation is probably my longest running. I'm still getting to grips with it but am finding immensely more useful, due in no small part to CPD23 I'm sure! I plan to make more use of it, certainly in the immediate future but beyond that to. It again is one of top break apps!

Oh G+! I still think this has the potential to be my favourite social networking tool. I like it's ability to group networks and could finally navigate that personal/professional divide. However I have about 2 connections and have not used it since it's launch, frustratingly I can't see a mass of people leaving FB as the go-to guy.

LISNPN/CILIP Communities
I joined LISNPN after the aforementioned conference in 2011 but only recently got back into it. I'm yet to contribute anything but I think this is a great place for NextGen librarians to discuss and share experiences. I have made absolutely no use yet of CILIP Communities I find it all a bit daunting and tough to navigate at present but I will try to make some headway this month.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Thing 5: Reflective Practice

After falling massively behind on my things, this week will hopefully see a big push to catch up.

After hearing people talk about chartership recently, the reflective practice aspect is something I find quite daunting. I've read peoples blog posts on this so far and briefly read around the subject in the past so its not so much the process, it's the doing.

I may have mentioned before that my workplace have regular staff development hours, here we are encouraged (it's a requirement) to keep a log which is usefully structured to include what you enjoyed, why and how you can apply it etc. In fact the more I think about it, reflective practice has been part of my education for years, I now recall GCSE and A Level projects where including what went well, what didn't, how you would improve it formed a large part of the assessment.

I think one reason why I see this as a challenge is time related. With staff development hour logs, I struggle to  write it up too soon after the training because for me their hasn't been enough time to process or apply what I learnt. I think we are all reflective practitioners by our very nature, we wouldn't have survived as a species if not I'm sure. Cliche alert - I like to live in the moment! It's only at the point where you need to draw on the experience (success/failure) of a prior event that it has value. So receiving training etc, formally writing what I learnt has rather baffled me. I guess I need that interview jeopardy - "Tell us about a time...what was the outcome?....