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.