Day 26

#blogjune will soon be over for another year.

This year has been good, low-key and not as big – not as many bloggers – as in other years, but I’ve still enjoyed the blogging and the interactions.

I think I’ve done okay this month, but I’m not sure what I’m going to blog about for the rest of this week. I was idly pondering calling it quits for the month, like Warren Cheetham has, but I don’t think I’ve ever quit #blogjune early – so why start (quitting) now?

I was thinking about how, seven or eight years ago, blogging every day or every other day was just something I did. I didn’t have to think too much about it. Then, somewhere along the way I fell out of the habit. I think all the other social media habits got in the way. Certainly at the moment the Instagram habit is far easier to maintain than the blogging habit.

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Lifelong learning

Ruth asks: “What learning do you all undertake in your lives?”

Until relatively recently, I used to do my fair share of professional reading. All sorts of articles and web stuff – mostly via Zite and Twitter. Then Zite got bought out and shut down, and Twitter? Twitter was full of politics. I started using Twitter less and less, because politics was so depressing. And so my professional reading decreased.

These days I try to keep up with current affairs, but I haven’t found a good way to keep up with professional reading. I could try to revitalise my RSS feeds (I have Feedly set up) – but it would take a bit of work sorting through my feeds, deleting defunct sites and blogs, and finding new feeds to subscribe to. I seem to have a sentimental attachment to my feeds – even the dead ones – and haven’t really kept my subscriptions current. One thing though, I’m not sure how many sites offer RSS feeds these days – they all seem to offer Facebook, Youtube or Twitter options.

With #blogjune I’ve been using Twitter a bit more this month. There’s still a lot of good stuff on Twitter but I have the same attitude with the accounts I follow – I’m very sentimental about them all. I seldom unfollow accounts. I think I’d need to do a bit of work and go through all the accounts I follow – remove the inactive ones and those that are not relevant or that I’m not interested in at the moment.

I read other things, of course. Novels, mostly, and the occasional non-fiction work. I’m not very good at reading academic journals or professional (librarianship) publications. I suppose I could be learning things for fun, but I’m not sure what I’m interested in or care to invest time in at the moment.

My approach is very much reading-related. What else could I be doing?


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My first library job, part 2

This post inspired by Jane Cowell’s post on her first library job.

The blog helpfully reminded me that I have already written about my first library job – during #blogjune in 2013 (of course).

I’m fortunate in that I worked with many skilled library professionals in my first library job. I learned a lot from listening to them, and observing how they served their community. Most of them were very welcoming and supportive, and I think that being a member of the library workforce did a lot to boost my confidence and show me that I could indeed work as a librarian.

Two things that have stuck with me from that first job: a very experienced, expert library technician reminding me: “No one’s going to die” whenever I got flustered or stressed about trying to fix a problem. I have a tendency to be impatient, to want to sort it all out immediately. I learned a lot from watching my colleague’s calm, professional approach. Just think it through, talk about it, work it out. I still hear her voice now, at times when I’m stressing out about something: “Con, we’re in a library, no one’s going to die.”

The other thing was advice from a librarian I greatly admired, who when she retired gave me some advice: “be brave”. She was calm, considered and gracious, with a sense of humour that served her well. She wasn’t afraid to argue her case to the University Librarian – a wonder to me who at the time was in awe of august beings like University Librarians – and she even occasionally got the UL to see her point and change her mind!

The job showed me how different the people who work in a library can be. All the different approaches, attitudes, motivations. The people who just got on with it, the people who didn’t like their jobs, the people for whom it was more than a job. People who did their jobs really well, and people who didn’t – even managers.

The more I work with people the more I learn how little I really know about people 😉

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