Thursday, 17 November 2016

12 Apps of Christmas

Today I enrolled on the 12 Apps of Christmas course and completed the pre-course survey. It is offered by Regent's University London and is hosted on Blackboard.

I first heard about the course in June, when I attended a workshop at the ARLG 2016 conference. I'd never heard of it before then, and to be honest I'm not quite sure why. Because I'm relatively new to HE libraries? Because I'm a solo librarian and my networking is limited? Or does the course have a low profile? I don't think it's the latter, as hundreds of people have completed it over the past few years. When you change sector it can take a while to find/establish new links and I think that may be why I hadn't heard of this course previously.

Anyhoo, as soon as I did hear of it, I was hooked! I really like the idea. I have little knowledge of using apps in education and am keen to learn more. An added bonus is the ability of communicating with other participants via the Twitter hashtags (#RUL12AoC, #12AoC); it's interesting and fun to see what other folks are up to. Plus, I have little experience of MOOCs, so this is a good way to dip my toes in the water. The only online course I've ever done was CPD 23 Things, back in 2011. I really enjoyed it, so if this is even partly similar, I'll enjoy this too.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

2016 reading challenge

Considering my job, it probably comes as no surprise that I enjoy reading. It relaxes me and centres me after a stressful day. I have built a career around reading and the empowerment it provides; I value it so much that whenever I go abroad to a non-English speaking country, the feeling of illiteracy I have scares me; losing the ability to read makes me feel vulnerable. As a librarian I consider it my duty to read widely in my spare time and I like to cover different genres. I used to take inspiration from the Richard and Judy Book Club or the Six Book Challenge, but this year I came across the 2016 Reading Challenge, which I have just completed. 

I’ve no idea where the challenge originated, but a friend mentioned seeing it on social media. I decided to omit one element of the challenge – a book you have previously abandoned. There is so much great literature out there (whatever your definition may be), and life is too short to spend it reading things you don’t enjoy. I’ve only ever abandoned a few books and the possibility of revisiting them felt like torture.

Thursday, 8 September 2016


Earlier this summer, my employer held a staff party. Staff awards were distributed during the event and I am pleased to say the library won the ‘annual recognition award’.

We were presented with a shield and a bottle of champagne each. The decisions were made after senior management studied feedback from the annual staff survey and also the regular end-of-semester student surveys. I’m not sure what comments were made about the library but they must have been good!

It feels great knowing the library and the work we do is appreciated by both students and fellow staff. It’s nice to see people appreciating a library service, a provision which is traditionally often overlooked. In my previous employment, the library was often side-lined but here we have support from senior management and that feels good. It allows us to develop the service and for this I am very grateful. 

Monday, 15 August 2016

Chartership coincidence

In 2011 I started a job in a further education college and met my new line manager, Ihar Ivanou. We have both since moved on to other jobs; we now work for the same private provider of HE but are based at different campuses, approximately 120 miles apart.

Anyhooo, the other day I was having a clear out at home and came across the copy of CILIP Update (April 2010) which announced my original chartership. I glanced down the list of names and spied a coincidence; it was the issue Ihar’s original chartership was announced, too!

Spooky? Destiny? Who knows???

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Heritage Cirqa Flagship Programme

In Sept 2015, IS Oxford – the developers of Heritage, our LMS – launched theHeritage Cirqa Flagship Programme. This was a series of 10 monthly assessments designed to utilise a variety of functions within the software. I registered as soon as I heard of the course and was really chuffed to be within the first wave of ‘graduates’ announced in June. The main aim of the programme was to encourage library staff to make use of functions they may not already utilise. Each month saw a different task – here is a basic list of each topic covered: