Greenish Fuzz on my Blog!?

I am so, so very behind on my cpd 23 things.  And I have put off writing this post many times.  It got to be like when you keep waiting and waiting to take rancid leftovers out of the fridge, even though you know they’re only going to get nastier.

One of the good things about the interwebs is that my blog did not grow greenish fuzz or develop an offensive odor in my absence.  At least not as far as I can tell.

I have been doing a bunch of stuff, though!  First I was finishing up a summer course on Instructional Design and working desperately to finish my online resource center before leaving town for a couple weeks.  Check out my resource center if you have time!  We had to talk about learning theory and instructional literacy methods, and then create a list of resources that could somehow be used in the library classroom.  Mine is a list of links to articles about current events that could be used to foster critical dialogue about information access and use.  There’s also a fun little collection of instructional videos that address skills beginning undergraduates need to use the library.

After that I was in Texas visiting family for two weeks, and it looked like this:

That’s where I was born.  I mean, not that particular oil field, but you get the idea.  (And so as not to promote stereotypes of Texas, I feel compelled to note that there are parts with trees.)

I’ve been back for a few days now, and I’ve been busy getting trained as a reference intern and getting our student group, LISSA, up and running.  It’s going to be an exciting year!  But before school starts next week, I’ve got to get caught up on my 23 things!  I’m going to do it in phases, but here are the first couple:


Thing 6: Experience with Online Networks

Ah, facebook.  I am facebook native.  While Mark Zuckerberg was a sophomore writing the algorithms that would become facebook on his dorm windows, I was a freshman using AIM chat and livejournal.  Yikes.  Facebook to the rescue.  I distinctly remember the day early in my sophomore year when my suitemate came over to insist that my roommate and I try this new thing called the facebook.  My life would never be the same.  And children, in my day facebook would only let you have one profile picture and a list of interests.  None of this 726 pictures business, status updates every 15 seconds, wall posts–nooooo!

Ahem.  All of that is to say that I like facebook a lot and it’s been interesting to watch it develop from the very beginning.  Recently I’ve started using it in a more professional way, to occasionally post fun library articles, keep up with I Need a Library Job, maintain a page for LISSA at UNCG, and connect to organizations like NCLA.  But it does create a blurry line between personal and professional, especially since potential employers are often able to dig up facebook profiles.  There’s nothing crazy on mine, but I don’t think I want them to see pictures of my 20-year-old self looking even more like a kid than my current 26-year-old self does.  I definitely need to lock it down a little better before I go on the market.

I do like that there are some social networks that allow you to maintain a completely professional profile, like Linkedin.  To be honest, I can’t seem to keep up with my Linkedin account.  I want to pretty that up a bit as well before I seriously start the job search.

I heard a lot of buzz about Google+ for about two weeks when it first came out and then…crickets.  I’m interested to see if that takes off, because one of the cool features is that it’s easy to set it up where friends, coworkers, and family can only see certain parts of your profile.

Thing 7: Experience with Professional Organizations

A year ago when I started library school, I only had one flipper on and didn’t know if I was animal, mineral, or vegetable (this is something my dad says a lot and I’m not completely sure what it means, but it seems to describe my situation).  I felt quite intimidated by professional organizations, like they wouldn’t really want a confused student in their midst.  My first real foray into professional orgs was last March when I attended the Society of North Carolina Archivists (SNCA) conference and presented a poster.  I had already realized that I didn’t really want to pursue archives as a career (see animal, mineral, vegetable predicament above), but I had done research and made a poster already in a class first semester,so I figured I’d give it the old try.  It was quite a good experience–for one thing, I didn’t feel like I was surrounded by the only people in the world who might ever possibly give me a job, so I wasn’t extremely worried about tripping over my feet and sending my boxed lunch flying through the air to land square on the head of the SNCA president (note: that did NOT happen, but these are the things I imagine when preparing to attend conferences).  In other words, it was low-pressure.  The most networking I did was during the poster session, when a lot of people seemed interested in talking to me.  I also met and had lunch with several friendly students from the other bajillion library schools in NC.  All in all, a positive first experience mingling with a professional organization.

This summer I attended the ALA conference in New Orleans, which was a whole different can of worms.  It can get really difficult to network at a conference that huge, which made me realize the importance of participating in round tables.  Currently I’m in the New Members Round Table, but in the future I’d like to join the groups for Women’s Studies and Instruction.  I did go to a meeting for student leaders of ALA chapters, which was a great networking opportunity.  The meeting resulted in the creation of an ALA Connect group, through which we can all participate in discussions and share ideas.  There are so many ways to maintain online connections with colleagues you only see once or twice a year at a conference!

One of our LISSA meetings this year is going to be about getting involved in professional organizations.  I wanted to include this because I think it’s often intimidating for students to jump into the deep end of an organization, especially if they have limited professional experience.

Thing 8: Google Calendar

I’m convinced that my Google Calendar is alive.  I started using it last year because librarians and library professors love this thing, and would send me invites to meetings and such using it.  The time on my calendar would always be a few hours off, and I went through massive contortions trying to switch time zones.  But the Google Calendar wanted to be in California, apparently.  It would not let me change time zones.  Then out of the blue, just a couple days ago, it actually asked me very politely if I would like to switch to Eastern time.  So the Google Calendar and I are cool for now, I just hope it doesn’t try any funny business in the future because my entire life is currently organized into little colored squares.

Thing 9: Evernote

I downloaded evernote and I think I like it.  I haven’t really experimented with it too much.  I think it would be most useful on a mobile device and I just got a nook, so I want to put it on there.

More to come soon!  No more month-long blog hiatuses.