Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Your very own Personal Learning Network

So with all of these social networks out there, you’re bound to hear the phrase Personal Learning Network. And maybe at first glance you think, “wait, ANOTHER network I need to join?”  - but no, this isn’t its own website like Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn – this is a group of people who help you on a professional level to learn various things. And in my experience, a majority of the interactions are online via social media sites. Although it’s a bonus if you get some face to face interaction!  

So how can YOU get yourself a Personal Learning Network? 

Get out there! Sign up for a Twitter account (it took me months to finally relent and stop thinking it was silly and who wanted to hear what I had to say!? ), create a Facebook page, and most importantly, INTERACT on them – the interaction is the key element to maintaining your PLN. 

But HOW do you do it? How do you manage the time to be on these sites and establish a relationship with fellow professionals? 

Well…there are several different ways to go about it – you can dedicate an hour or so to it each day – after all it *can* be considered work related since you *are* building your network professionally. Or, you could concentrate on it on your off hours at home. Whatever you do – if you create an account, and you realize that you can’t spend the time necessary to get out of it what you want, don’t be afraid to delete that account and try something else that you can handle and maintain – in my opinion there’s nothing worse than finding someone on Twitter to discover that their last tweet was 3 months ago – I mean really – why bother.

Once you’re online, work on creating a reputation for yourself – follow others – post articles relevant to your industry, and join in on chats (twitter is famous for their various chats, varying from readers advisory to author chats in the library field). And most of all – have FUN – you never know who you will meet and who you will teach and learn from! 

Here is a great article that goes a bit more into depth about PLNs if you want to take a peek

And this article talks about social media in schools - which is another spin on the PLN

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

It's all about the trends

I recently read this article http://bit.ly/WaFjxh , and it got me to thinking – is your library a trendsetter or a trend follower?

As it is in libraryland, things tend to change in the blink of an eye – new devices are constantly being rolled out, software is being updated, eBooks and publishing houses are changing terms hither and thither, and then there are our patrons wanting to learn the latest and greatest of EVERYTHING. 

And what are libraries to do but … 

Keep up …


And how DO you do it? How do you make sure that your staff is aware of ALL the new things going on relevant to libraries?

Do you have an Emerging Technologies committee who work together to keep an eye out for the trends?

Do you have a sole digital initiatives librarian who works to implement things BEFORE they are hot – in essence, a trend SETTER? 

Or do you just follow along as best you as you can and jump on the bandwagon when you start seeing things like maker spaces, technology fairs, new iPad Mini and Kindle HD+ pop up online and in libraries? 

I think that the core of all of these trends should be YOUR patrons … every library has their own community of patrons – weather you’re in an urban library where your branches are mere blocks apart, or a more rural library where each town is its own system.  

I think that libraries need to really analyze THEIR patrons – throw some surveys up their websites, run some stats in your ILS – let the PATRONS tell you what THEY want. Don’t necessarily fall in line with the trends just because they’re hot -  because as soon as they’re hot … they’re …. Not. 

How do you handle the hustle and bustle of the new and emerging technologies in the library field?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

BEA is a’comin’!

So I just saw that they posted the daily session grids for BEA

And then I read through them

And then my head started pounding with anticipation and excitement

And then I googled the best way to get to the Javits Center (sounds like a cab is it btw), esp when it comes to lugging all the awesome swag back to my room at the end of the day!

And then I started an Excel chart of ALL my fellow librarians and twitter friends I want to be sure to meet in real life, for the first time at the conference

And then I started another Excel chart of what to pack (you know, how many bags and what kinds of shoes, and my self filtering water bottle, among other things)

And then I crashed hard, from all the excitement…again

Here’s to an awesome BEA 2013!

What are YOU doing to prepare!?! ? 

I'll be keeping you posted on my preparations, initial thoughts, author breakfast updates, and overall awesomeness of the conference in the upcoming weeks! Stay tuned!!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Best Of Us: A Book Review

So now that the holidays are behind us you've settled back into your routine at work, and with reading right?

Good, I'm glad - because I want to share with you a book that I recently read that I absolutely fell in love with. Granted I adore this author to begin with and her latest work just captivated me and I swear my reading speed increased twofold!

If you are into authors such as Jennifer Weiner, Emily Giffin, and Allison Winn Scotch, you will also adore Sarah Pekkanen  : her characters are genuine, and imperfect; the situations they are in are realistic and will tug at your heart and leave you thinking well after you turned the last page.

Take a look at my review for her latest book - out April 9, 2013

Pekkanen’s fourth novel is like that first bite of a fresh from the oven chocolate chip cookie – it just feels like home. Following in the footsteps of her three other novels, the writing, the depth of characters and the story do not let the reader down. She paves her own path in women’s literature and continues to make a name for herself.

This story follows the lives of four couples as they reunite in Jamaica to celebrate their college friend’s 35th birthday. Throughout the novel we learn that their marriages are not what they seem; that the women struggle with things including fertility, health, self-esteem, and acceptance. The men, too, have their own issues with money, infidelity, and acceptance. 

Pekkanen delicately guides us to the conclusion that no marriage and no person is perfect- and that is okay. 

This novel is both heartwarming and heartbreaking in its depiction of what it means to be married, a woman, a daughter, a mother, and a friend.