Thing 16: Advocacy, speaking up for the profession and getting published

Oh dear, I haven’t been looking forward to this Thing. I feel like a terrible advocate for librarianship. I used to be someone who would wax lyrical about how important libraries and librarians are and I wrote one or two small pieces for CILIP about the image of the profession and tried to argue with Tim Coates (once) and things, but that was a long time ago, when I was young and enthusiastic. I still believe libraries are important and librarians are great (and important) and librarianship can be a brilliant (and important) profession to be a part of, but I’ve spent so much of my ‘professional’ life over the last few years trying not to keep my head above water and not go mad with frustration or stress or whatever that I haven’t given much thought to being an advocate for my profession, apart from knowing that I am a terrible advocate for librarianship. I already said that, didn’t I?

Anyway, moving on. I need to stop using my old job as an excuse for being rubbish.  I should try to be a better advocate for the profession and do more advocate-like things. I do tell people what librarians actually do all day, if asked. Does that count?

This one is going to be filed under Must Try Harder.

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Thing 13: Google Docs, wikis and Dropbox

I’ve used Google Docs to work on documents on different computers when I didn’t have an external drive with me, and found it very easy to use. I can’t think of anything I didn’t like about it, but it has been a while since I’ve used it. I think I once used it to work on a rota from home (even though I wasn’t supposed to be working on the rota from home), but that’s the only time I’ve ever used it for work purposes.

I’ve used wikis through participating in both the Library Routes project and the Library Day in the Life project, and also as part of a group researching Resource Discovery tools for use in our library. This latter is using a wiki set up on the university’s VLE.  It has worked quite well so far. The people in the group are based in various teams and campus libraries and we don’t meet together very often, so it’s been a good way of recording our findings so that everyone can see them, and then we all know what we’re talking about when we get to the next meeting.  I’ve just looked it up, and it seems I also submitted a report to the Umbrella 2007 wiki – I think that was my first experience of using wikis and it was obviously fairly stress-free as I couldn’t remember it!

I used to have a Dropbox account, but I deleted it, as (like many things I sign up to on a whim, I must stop doing that) I didn’t really use it. I still don’t think I would use it now, although I can see how it can be useful, especially for people working away from the office.