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A bumper round-up of 23 Things, which should get me mostly on track – I got a little behind*!

Keeping in touch online

Twitter.  Fun!  My favourite online place for connecting.  It’s quick, it’s addictive because there is always something new to see. It’s fab for news of travel disruption, live sports updates, learning new languages, connecting with colleagues across “silos”, meeting creative people, experiencing conferences in real time and yes, finding out library and archive news.  It’s also an incredibly useful tool for marketing.  Oh, and you can talk to robots and fictional characters too!

Linked In.  Yawn.  I occasionally tweak my profile but haven’t really connected with it otherwise.  I don’t find the interface appealing, and there’s nothing to draw me back: there’s nothing to DO on there and nothing new to see.  I’m also uncomfortable with an online space which is all “me, me, me, I’m great, give me a job!” – social media allows self-promotion in more interesting and creative ways.

Facebook.  Not a fan as yet.  Special Collections has a Facebook page so that readers can connect with us, though I haven’t put a lot of time into it so far – I’ve had bette results with other media: the timeline feature has huge potential for showcasing archives but I think we may do that at a University level.  I don’t have a personal or professional presence on FB: again, it’s an interface I don’t much like and I’m not keen on the way so much of Facebook is inaccessible unless you belong to it.

Jiscmail lists.  Blast from the past!  But seriously, these are still useful.  They’ve been supplemented by all these other things, but, used selectively and with care, are still THE way to reach most library or archive professionals, even those who don’t use social media (still a pretty significant group, by the way).  My faves: lis-rarebooks, archives-nra and HEarchivists.

Organising online

Google Calendar.  I like.  It follows me everywhere on all my devices. Unfortunately my workplace uses Meeting Maker so I end up entering work stuff into two calendars (is there a tech answer to this?).  I’m  keen to explore whether GC (or some other software) can show availability of reading room appointments.  At present we do lots of to-ing and fro-ing with potential visitors: being able to point them to a calendar would save them and us much much time.

Evernote.  Hmm.  I’ve looked into it a couple of times but never felt called to it.  I use my beloved Zotero for websites I want to bookmark/keep (I use it every day for research so it makes sense to continue) and Pretty Stationery for notes.

And in real life …

I’ve been active in professional groups for yonks.  It’s been really worthwhile: meeting people, learning new skills, and sharing ideas and problems.  This kind of contact is particularly valuable for special collections and archive people who so often are solo professionals.  My top groups are CILIP Rare Books and Special Collections Group (am currently treasurer), Group for Literary Archives and Manuscripts, Archives and Records Association Northern Branch, Historic Libraries Forum, and AMARC.  And don’t forget about informal stuff like all the tweet-ups, library camps, teachmeets etc (Bettakultcha is an interesting Yorkshire non-library thing).

I appreciate not everyone can find the time for being active in real-life groups (I am not keen on doing evening or weekend things because I have so much on in the week) and employers are less willing or able than they were to allow time out for such activities.  Fortunately the online stuff does help to fill the gap …

*For the record, this post is a mishmash of thoughts on Things 4, 6, 7, 8, and 9.  Thing 5 which is reflective will have to wait until I have some time to reflect.

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