Rudaí 23: Thing 23

Making it all work together

From the outlook, Hootsuite appears to be an excellent tool for the likes of academic libraries where there has been an increase in the use of social media to try and get students engaging with the library. I created a Hootsuite account and added my own Twitter account Facebooks account to it. I find Hootsuite a bit difficult to use. I don’t find it clear when it comes to scheduling posts. Whenever I’ve tried to schedule a post for some time in the future, it posts immediately. I am sure I’m doing something wrong and it’s something I have to learn to do properly. A couple of Fridays ago I tried to schedule a Facebook and a Twitter post about Library Ireland Week in the library to be posted out the following Monday in a rush and only found out later that it posted immediately.

As I’m so wary of Hootsuite, I decided to look briefly at TweetDeck to see if I find it more user friendly. I scheduled a Tweet for the same time tomorrow and I’m happy to say that it worked. However, it doesn’t provide as much scope as Hootsuite so I think in the long run, it might be better to figure out how to use Hootsuite.

I work in an academic library in the information and research support team. There is a good demand for the use of social media and it’s a really important to keep students and staff members up to date with goings on of the library. Up until very recently, I updated Facebook for the information and research and a colleague regularly updated Twitter. However, as my colleague has gone on leave, using something like Hootsuite would be much more efficient.

I really like that you can view the mentions and retweets in different columns, it makes it much easier to see how much your social media account is being used.

I would like to thank to all the organisers of Rudaí for coordinating this course. It has been great to participate in the course and it’s also been great to read other participants’ blogs.

Rudaí 23: Thing 22

Mobile Things

My mam is the only person I know without a smartphone! I find it quite frustrating because she would find one really useful considering she seems to get lost whenever she goes somewhere new. So when I saw this Thing come up in Rudaí 23, I was somewhat surprised and intrigued to see what was on offer. As I don’t have an IPhone or a tablet, I looked at what the App, Beacons, could offer. Overall, it seems like a positive App that could be used in many libraries. However, one worry that seemed to crop up was the concern on privacy matters. According to the Ala.org’s website, although this App does not collection any personal information, the App itself attracts other Apps that do collect personal information.

I have started to use an App called ‘Mind, Body, Connect’. I started using is because I recently re-joined a gym and this was the easiest way to book in sessions to this. So far, I have found it excellent. I book in the gym a few days in advance and this is fantastic because before, I had to sign up immediately after a gym session and I found it hard to plan when I was so tired. Booking sessions on my phone allows me to choose a time when I have my schedule at hand.

Mobile Things

This app also gives me the option to choose a session with a particular trainer, something I think is essential. I think it’s really handy because all trainers are really experienced in certain things. For example, when I’ve had a particularly lazy weekend I can book a trainer who I know will push me to the limits. Or when I know I just want to concentrate on lower body, I will book another trainer.

Another benefit to this App is that all the appointments are on the phone so if I forget what time I picked (which happened far too often the last time I was going to the gym), I can simply check my phone to see what time I’m due in at.

Not only is this App good for booking in sessions, it also provides information for other health businesses. I was browsing it the other day and I found other fitness classes and health and wellness businesses. The best thing about this App is that you can find businesses based on Your Location so the information I find it different depending on whether or not I’m at home or at work.

Although I find this App excellent I think that it could be improved on a couple of things. For one, it would be really useful, as it’s a health App, to have a food section on it. There are more and more health food business appearing nowadays such as FitFood. This is aimed at people who want to eat healthier but don’t have the time or the knowledge on how to go about eating better.

Another thing that would improve this App if there was an option to input the food and drink you can consume and track that information. If it was more interactive I think people would use it more. At the moment, it seems to slightly edge of the side of advertisement.

 

http://www.ala.org/acrl/publications/keeping_up_with/beacons

 

Rudaí 23: Thing 21

Creating Infographics

I have only recently become familiar with using infographics but I find them extremely useful and entertaining. Up until the start of the year, I had only learnt from them. I had always thought that it would be extremely useful to create one but I thought it would be extremely difficult creating one.

This year I’ve created a few infographics using the website Picktochart and I’ve found it quite easy to use. Picktochart infographics can be edited in different categories so it’s quite easy to use.  I co-created a poster for the ANLTC LibGuides conference and this was the first poster I ever made.

I’ve created a couple of infographics for this Thing.  I created one to help students when it comes to starting an assignment. This will hopefully be useful because these infographics are catchy and there is just enough information without boring students.

Infographic one to use

Infographics have been becoming more and more used in libraries recently. For example, in academic libraries, infographics can be used for teaching information literacy classes. Information literacy classes such as effective database searching or finding books in the library.

Infographics can often be more beneficial that PowerPoint and Excel because the information obtained can easily inseminated to the library users. PowerPoint presentations can be fantastic for providing information if a library has access to computer screens around the library. Excel is also very beneficial for inputting information but infographics can easily provide this information and advertise it to the library users. Infographics are also more unique than PowerPoint presentations as they are more aesthetically pleasing.

Rudaí 23: Thing 19

The Legal Side of Things

This was the Thing I was dreading the most. Although plagiarism has been drilled into me since I first started studying in 3rd level education, there always seems to be questions popping up regarding Copyright Law.

For this Thing, I will discuss the website www.unsplash.com. According to their website

‘All photos published on Unsplash are licensed under Creative Commons Zero which means you can copy, modify, distribute and use the photos for free, including commercial purposes, without asking permission from or providing attribution to the photographer or Unsplash’  (https://unsplash.com/license).

I have some experience using this for presentations and for promoting various libraries. I have found it quite easy to use because you can easily search the website using topics. For example, for this Thing, I simply searched the term ‘libraries’ and I found that a wide range of images came up. For someone who is creatively inept, shall we say, this website is a lifesaver. The quality of all the images, without exception, is fantastic. I have spent a lot of time just searching for different images with no task in particular in mind.

Rudaí 23 Thing 19

Although Unsplash stated that it was not necessary to attribute the images, I decided to do it anyway for practice. I found it quite frustrating when it came to actually attributing these images because it wasn’t as simple as editing the image on the same website and then downloading it. I first had to download the image (after much deliberation on whether or not the image was appropriate for the task in hand). I then had to use something like Gimp or Paint. I don’t have that much experience using InDesign or Photoshop so I like to keep things simple. I find Gimp quite complicated, I find it difficult enough to edit the text on the images. So I tend to gravitate towards Paint, maybe that’s something I should be avoiding from now one. For the purpose of this Thing I used Paint and Gimp for either image.

Rudaí 23 Thing 19 Image.png

Although I was dreading this Thing the most, I felt that I benefited the most from it because I now have a clearer understanding of Copyright Law. Though, having said that, I know more questions will crop up in the future but I know I can refer back to Rudaí 23’s website.

Rudaí 23: Thing 20

Presentations

In March of this year, I was lucky enough to present at CONUL’s ANLTC ‘Using LibGuides’ conference which was held in UCD. As part of my role as Assistant Librarian in Maynooth University I managed the creation and implementation of LibGuides.

I was asked to present at the conference at the end of January and this would be my first ever conference. I had always thought I had a fear of public speaking so I reluctantly said yes. Because I was incredibly nervous at the prospect of this presentation I knew I would have to spend a huge amount of time preparing for this.

I firstly arranged meetings in Maynooth University with everyone who had an involvement with the project (all the Subject Librarians and the Senior Library Assistant and the various library assistants) to see how they felt the project was going. I then asked various people for advice on how to present. MU Library has a great reputation for research and development so I knew I would be silly not to ask for advice.

I then wrote a rough script for the presentation. I’m sure some people feel it’s better to make the presentation first but I feel that I need to know what I have to say. A few weeks before the presentation I had a few people in MU look over the presentation. I found the presentation making the most difficult. As I am not the most creative person, I found it challenging to make the presentation visually attractive and informative. So if I had to do it all over again, I might not use PowerPoint, I think I would use another online presenting tool.

I over prepared for the actual presentation. I know a lot of people say that for presentations, it’s better not to over prepare but I need to know my presentation nearly word for word. Otherwise I panic.

The audience was mostly academic librarians who had a keen interest in implementing LibGuides in their libraries so the reception throughout the whole day was fantastic. Because I was so worried about the actual presentation, I forgot about the potential questions that could be asked. Luckily all the questions were easily answered.

The advice I would give to anyone new to presenting would be to ask for advice. I was very lucky to be working in MU because I was surrounded with people who were well versed with presenting at various conferences so the advice I got was excellent. I also got my boyfriend to listen to me presenting, this was helpful as when I first started preparing, I had a presenting voice which I had to get rid of. I needed to use my normal conversation voice.

I am pretty happy with how the presentation went, I was extremely nervous during the run up to my presentation. My presentation wasn’t until after lunchtime so I couldn’t tell you what the presenters said in the morning, nor could I catch up with old colleagues during lunchtime.  In hindsight, I wish I wasn’t so nervous but I suppose that’s a good sign.

Rudaí 23: Thing 18

Communicating through Photographs

For this Thing, I decided to follow the University Library of Insbruck on Flickr. I also followed Maynooth University Library. I feel that Flickr can be an excellent tool when it comes to official photographs, for example Maynooth University use their Flickr account to promote their official pictures for events. This is perhaps better than using Facebook or Twitter because Flickr is used solely for photos. Facebook and Twitter are excellent tools for disseminating information but aren’t very professional looking when it comes to showing off photographs. Flickr is much better- I think! Also, as part of this module, I looked up The British Library. This was an excellent use of this tool for digitised pictures, something which is becoming extremely popular in libraries.

I have an Instagram account which is mainly used for following friends who are travelling around the world at the moment. Instagram is getting extremely popular with younger people. Instagram can be embedded into Facebook so it can easily be used hand in hand with each other. This could be really useful because students tend to use these two tools a lot, though Facebook seems to be more popular at the moment. I think Instagram could be a great tool for instant images to promote a library.

Rudaí 23 Thing 18 Flickr Image

Flickr on the other hand, could be used for more official photo albums. In hindsight, we could have created a Flickr account to promote Culture Night 2015 and events like that.  That’s something to think of in future.

 

 

 

 

Rudaí 23: Thing 17

Reflective Practice

For Thing 17, I am going to write about what role reflective practice can play in the library. I will discuss the following aspects from the Gibb’s model: description, feelings, evaluation, analysis, conclusion, action plan.  For the purpose of the blog I will discuss library orientations.

A large aspect of my role is to organise events for the library to help engage students with the library. Our aim is to help students make their lives easier in third level education. With organising events, it’s essential to plan properly. For example, in order to organise an information literacy class, it’s important to know how many people could fit in the lecture theatre. If there is an interactive class, it’s important to know if the computers being used have the correct programs uploaded. In order words, it’s important to have an action plan.

As part of our first year library induction, we organised a scavenger hunt so that students could familiarise themselves with the library (we didn’t have enough staff to divide students up to bring them around on tours). For the scavenger hunt, we asked students to find a book on the shelves using a catalogue computer or their smart phones, find a location in the library and take a picture of it with the whole group and then post it to Twitter.

We asked for volunteers from the library staff to be stationed on each floor just in case any students had any questions. We also gave student clear instructions before the scavenger hunt. We told them we wanted them to become familiar with the library and find important things and places.

Initially, it was quite stressful. We were worried that we would not be able to fit all the students into the lecture theatre in the library building. We were worried that students wouldn’t be able to find their way around the library. We were slightly worried about the students not having smart phones (silly us, in fairness). Basically, we worried about everything that could possible go wrong.

As previously mentioned, we asked students to fill out a form so that we could determine that they actually took part in the scavenger hunt and so that we could pick out a winner (the lucky winner got an IPod Nano). On the form we also asked for feedback. As this was our first year of the scavenger hunt and this type of induction, we wanted to see what we could improve on for future reference. Luckily, the feedback we received was mostly positive.

I think it went well for a couple of reasons. The library orientation was a part of the broader university orientation so students participated in it without questioning it. I think the staff members being stationed on each floor really helped because it was easy to ask a question if students go stuck.

At the end of the scavenger hunt, we asked all our students to fill out answer sheets. As well as giving answers for the scavenger hunt, we also asked for feedback. We asked if they found the activity useful and if not, to please explain why. The results we got were quite positive. We received a lot of comments along the lines of ‘it was a good bonding exercise’ ‘it was good to meet new people’. This, in my opinion, was extremely positive

We did get some feedback that students would prefer a tour but that was to be expected. We would prefer to give them all a tour but it wasn’t feasible. The week of library orientation went surprisingly well. I think because we spent so much time thinking of all the possible things that could go wrong, we thought of pretty much everything.

For future reference, I think it could be possible to make the clues slightly harder. We were afraid that if students finding the quiz too difficult, they would quickly disengage with the hunt. I think it was a good idea to give student clear instructions and to tell them why they are doing it, I found that quite helpful. Overall though, it was a great experience and I learnt that library orientations weren’t as scary as I thought they’d be.