Saturday, 22 October 2011

Thing 20 - The Library Routes Project

I've decided to skip over Things 18 & 19 (for the moment!) as I want to devote more time to them than I currently have available. I have already talked a little about my library route in previous cpd23 blogs which you can read about in Thing 1 & Thing 10 , but to summarise my roots & route:

- An avid user of my local public library as a child. Bit of an obsession with 'information' - family joked that I couldn't go out anywhere without picking up leaflets, flyers, brochures for events, plays, courses... anything really!
- Volunteered in my secondary school library.
- Future career ideas included children's book illustrator, landscape gardener or meteorologist!
- Completed A levels at school.
- 3 years at university culminating in an English degree.
- 6 months working in an office to raise funds to go to drama school.
- 2 years studying Stage Management at drama school (Having stubbornly resisted opportunity to follow my father into a television career, despite the likelihood of earning more than in theatre! Second 'failure' at this point was not taking any inspiration from my mother who used to be a television script librarian...maybe genes are involved in my library roots after all.)
- 20 years working as a Stage Manager in theatre, opera & ballet (with a running joke amongst friends that I was going to open a bookshop)
- Mid-life crisis finds me considering a postgrad qualification (English? Open University?), but in the process of finally renewing my Bodleian Library membership in preparation, I stumble upon the details of the graduate traineeships which then leads me to thinking about doing a library masters.
- Spend 6 months unsuccessfully applying for graduate traineeships & entry level jobs whilst still working as a Stage Manager.
- Give up the theatre work to gain some library experience voluntarily whilst doing temp work.
- Get a part-time job in a medical records library whilst continuing to work voluntarily in a primary school library & helping to catalogue the collections of a local private museum. I know that this doesn't show much focus on a particular sector, & I think that deep down my heart still belongs in the arts & cultural world, so a library job in a connected area would be great.
- The Present: still searching for that elusive first job, & considering applying for a distance learning masters course.

I have previously dipped into The Library Routes Project, but for the purposes of this blog I decided to work my way through as many of the entries as possible & pick out some which either seemed similar to my situation or gave me hope & inspiration! Favourites included Tixylix's & Scarpagirl's for their journeying towards librarianship in the creative arts. I also enjoyed Sarah Barker's & Sara Batts' for their description of later career changes into librarianship (the similarity in names is a coincidence!).

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Thing 17 - Prezi & Slideshare

Goodness - it's been such a long time since my last blog that I'm afraid I may have forgotten how to! I could use excuses like baking cake for & attending Library CampUK2011, but since many of the attendees have not only continued with their CPD23 posts, but also blogged about the camp, I have no excuses. Please forgive the stilted writing style as I crank myself into blogging mode.

I hadn't used Prezi before, or for that matter seen a presentation that used it (I lead a sheltered life...), as far as I'm aware. I'm not really in a situation where I need to make presentations, although I recently had to create some in PowerPoint for an IT qualification that I was completing. I decided to try importing these into Prezi which was a useful exercise & seemed fairly straightforward. I guess the 'seasick' issue depends on how close you are to the screen, its size, & the speed at which the presenter is taking you from point to point - presentations in 3D next for that roller coaster experience?! As I volunteer in a middle school library, I had considered trying out Prezi to help with the induction of the Year 7 Junior Librarians (I know the first few weeks of term were a long time ago...that's how long it has taken me to get round to this blog!). Unfortunately, I can't download Prezi on the school computer.

This has, though, got me thinking about presentations in general & the importance of the organisation & filtering of your material above & beyond style & impressive design. I recently attended a lecture at a local society presented by an acquaintance. Unfortunately, she had not had the time or knowledge to properly prepare the PowerPoint presentation, with images & video excerpts that had not been embedded, slides out of order, & far too much information on what was a really interesting subject. As someone who has not made a presentation, I am not so much criticising, but sympathising, & my resolve is strengthened that if I am ever called upon to give a presentation, I would prepare & prepare & prepare & rehearse & rehearse & rehearse. Attending LibraryCamp where there were no computer-generated presentations, just flipcharts & wipeboards also made me realise that the power of a talk or discussion is down to the person/people involved & not always the technology.

I had a browse through Slideshare &, to narrow my searching a little, looked for theatre/library related presentations as they are two areas of most interest to me (a meeting of sectors about which I had a very interesting discussion at LibraryCamp regarding the new Birmingham Library combining with a third performance space for Birmingham Rep Theatre). The two presentations which appealed to me were for the really interesting concept & data, tho' rather information dense, & for its visual appeal & humour. I also perused some C.V. presentations, but can't quite take them seriously out of context. I don't think that I currently feel confident enough to produce a presentation of my own C.V. for external consumption, but maybe it is something to have a play around with in an idle moment (!)