Monday, 28 May 2012

#cpd23 Thing 4

Current awareness - Twitter, RSS feed and Storify
In this Thing we'll explore a few tools that  will help you to keep up-to-date and aware of goings on in the library and  information world, and make it easy to share news and stories with others
So as you're probably aware I am already on Twitter, have been for about 4 years, and I love it.  I follow authors, publishers, librarians and book bloggers.  Although I follow about 450 people, I have a locked 'quick check' list of about 100 that I look at regularly as I don't find the time to keep up with the whole stream!  I've never joined in with a twitter chat, keep meaning to but am never at a computer at the right time, but I do use #hashtags quite often.

iGoogle with Google Reader RSS has been my homepage on my laptop for quite some time - again, I follow a number of book bloggers through there, and a few librarians mostly found through cpd23 lists.  There are maybe 100 blogs I follow so I just look at the summaries and click further to read more if something catches my eye, as again I wouldn't have time to keep up otherwise.  Blog post headings are very important!

Storify is the one thing I've come across but not tried - I really like the idea so have now created my own one about the CILIP Carnegie Kate Greenaway medals.  Mind you, I signed in with twitter and then fell at the first hurdle - it refuses to 'pin' the storify bookmarklet to my bookmarks :-( I carried on anyway, searching in twitter for #ckg2012, and I embedded the url of the CKG website as well as a couple of YouTube videos of book trailers.

I had a quick glance at other cpd23ers efforts on storify but personally I think the most useful of the three is twitter.  You can skim through 140 character notes and click 'favourite' on items to look at more closely later.  People include links to really useful things from all sorts of sources, including blog posts meaning that an RSS feed becomes less important in making you aware of what is new.  It can be accessed from all sorts of mobile devices and so from anywhere, and again if you see a link you can't follow from your phone then you can just 'favourite' it to look at when you reach a PC.  You do have to use it regularly to make it worth having, I probably look 3 or 4 times a day but tweet less often than that.  To grow your follower base you need to tweet though!  I tweet mini-reviews of what I've read as well as links to things I find interesting in the library/book world.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Greenaway shadowing again...

Continuing shadowing the CILIP Greenaway award with a group of Year 7s. Have a look at my last post about it to see what we've looked at so far.

I wanted to show my pupils that illustrating isn’t as easy as it looks today, with 2 of their favourite from the Greenaway shortlist. 
Wolf Won’t Bite has deceptively simple illustrations while Can we Save the Tiger includes a lot of black and white pencil drawings with only some coloured.  I started the lesson by introducing them to the two books.
 …Tiger is not a typical picture book with the beautiful illustrations being complemented by scientific descriptions of the animals, and the story told is all true, about how a variety of animals are in trouble due to human activity. I read them the introduction and pointed out some of my favourite pages. I read the whole of Wolf… to them because it is a nice, quick, funny story.
I had photocopies of some pages from each for them to get inspiration from – the task was to either draw one of the endangered animals or to think of something else the pigs could get the wolf to do! The class was pretty evenly split as to which book they chose – I was surprised that 2 out of 3 boys decided to draw the tiger – while a couple of them had brilliant ideas of how the wolf could be tormented further. I particularly liked the wolf jumping through a flaming hoop, and wasn’t sure whether to be a bit alarmed by the idea of the pigs cooking him in a cauldron to eat for dinner! I like to do a display of their drawings alongside a display of the books in the library, last year’s was great but it was a bigger class and so a bigger display, at the moment most of them haven’t finished their picture so hopefully I’ll have a couple more brought to me next week.

At the end of the lesson we had heads on desks and eyes closed to anonymously vote for our favourite of the two – the other we will not look at again as part of the challenge. It was a really close thing, with a number of them having trouble deciding because they love them both, but in the end Can We Save The Tiger won with 60% of the vote.

So still in the running as far as we're concerned: Can We Save the Tiger?, Slog's Dad, The Gift, Puffin Peter and A Monster Calls.  We finished reading Slog's Dad and thought it was really good, they found some of the illustrations very disturbing!  The only one we haven't yet looked at is A Monster Calls.  It is beyond most of them to read but I think I'll show them the clip of Patrick Ness reading an excerpt that is available on the shadowing site to give them a feel for it.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Teen Librarian Monthly, 6th anniversary issue!

Just wanted to quickly point you all in the direction of this month's Teen Librarian Monthly as it is it's 6th birthday, and I wrote an article about the CILIP Youth Libraries Group for it.  I'm sure you all signed up for the newsletter last time I linked to it, but if you didn't then DO IT NOW!

Monday, 14 May 2012

#cpd23 Thing 2 and Thing 3

Feels very Dr Seuss!
So Thing 2 is to find some other blogs to follow.  I already follow a lot of children's/teen/YA book review sites but not actually all that many Librarians so it was good to look at the cpd23 delicious page to find some other school libbies taking part.  Also interesting to see others reasons for signing up, I'm not the only one doing it as a kick up the bum to further my professional development!  I think one of the best things about 'social networking' is the opportunity to share good practice - obviously most useful if you're sharing it with people in the same field as you!  I commented on a few (can't figure out how to comment on tumblr without creating an account, mind!) but have added a number of new blogs to my blog roll, hopefully I'll have time to keep track of them.  I'm thinking getting on board on delicious might make it easier, lucky that's one of the later Things!

Thing 3 is to consider one's Personal Brand online.
Name: It was easy for me to choose the name for my blog because it has been my online nickname for as long as the internet has existed (almost, since about 1996 anyway).  I have it as my twitter name, and have been on there for a few years now.
Photograph: The photograph was easy as well - I love this weemee - it actually looks a bit like me!
Professional/personal identity: I decided to keep facebook personal and blog/twitter professional and a bit more anonymous (although it isn't hard to figure out who I am) so never tweet or blog about personal things.  It annoys me a little bit actually, when people tweet private things as it is such a public forum - I didn't 'lock' my tweets so that only my followers can see them because I know that I won't say anything that I don't want everyone to know.  That doesn't mean it isn't any fun to follow (hopefully) but it does mean that, although some of my personality comes through, my private life is still private.
Visual brand: My blog is black and red because I love Dennis the Menace, it probably makes it hard to read but meh!  I tried to change it once and got confused by all the add-ons moving around the page...if I get complaints I'll figure out how to change it :-)  My twitter has one of the default backgrounds, but I have the same avatar for both.  Facebook is completely personal so completely separate.  Maybe I'll consider fiddling my twitter background to match the blog.

Activity: Google your name to see what comes up.  I'll do this from a school computer tomorrow - I don't want to log out of everything on here!  I'm sure that nothing terrible will come up, just links to my twitter account and this blog, but it will be interesting to see what comes up!

Optional extra activity: "Try asking someone else (such as one of the other programme participants) what they think your blog says about your personal brand. Are the words they suggest ones that you feel describe you? If not, consider why that might be and how you could change that perception" ~~> so what do you think?

Friday, 11 May 2012

cpd23 Thing 1

Continuing professional development is very important in a Librarian's career - keeping up with developments in the profession - so cpd23 ran last year as a self-directed course to introduce participants to useful tools, both traditional and new.  It is being run again this year and started on May 7th with Thing 1 (of 23, hence cpd23), so I'm already running late but I plan to catch up!

I've decided to take part this year because one of the things on my list of 'must do's in my 30th year is to Charter.  I got my MA in Library and Information Studies nearly 5 years ago but was stuck as a Library Assistant in public libraries for a couple of years before getting my current job, in which I feel like I do enough to qualify for Chartership.  I've been working in my school for nearly 3 years now though and have only got as far as printing out the form to register to Charter...stating my intentions publicly might embarrass me into getting on with it!

I'm particularly looking forward to the parts of the course that are about organising and presenting myself and my work/references, I think they'll be most useful in day to day library life as well as getting my Chartership portfolio sorted in a timely fashion.  I've already got the blog for Thing 1, and a reasonable online presence, so I'm not too worried about the first few Things although I'm sure they'll highlight stuff I've never realised/done and remind me of things I've not used effectively yet.  There's nothing in the timetable that I don't think will be worthwhile, the only thing that worries me is keeping up - I should be doing Thing 2 by now!  That can be Sunday's task :-)

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Greenaway shadowing continued...

Have a look at my last post about shadowing the Greenaway award to see how we narrowed down the books to look at 4 of them in session 2...

Firstly, I gave them a simplified version of the criteria and we discussed what each aspect means and how we should assess the books. One thing they find very difficult is to recognise that the fact a book is babyish doesn’t mean it is bad but that it is aimed at a younger readership, with this in mind it wasn’t surprising that 3 of the ones they liked the least last week are the ones that are the  classic definition of ‘picture book’. While we discussed the criteria I showed them pages from the 4 books that demonstrate what we were talking about, and then gave them a brief summary of what each story is about. The task for the day was, in pairs or threes, to look at one of the books in more detail to decide why it is a worthy contender for the prize.  They had 10minutes to do this and then present their reasons verbally to the rest of the group while showing them their favourite pages.
Puffin Peter’s readers loved the colours, Solomon Crocodile’s readers loved the expressions on the characters’ faces, while There are no cats in this book led discussion about the different methods of illustration that are used in it and how it involves the reader. Those looking at The Gift initially said they didn’t like it, but I said they have to think of something positive to say so have a closer look, and eventually the brilliance of the cut out design of the pages brought them round and they spoke really well about how detailed the pages are and how effective the use of one colour on each page is.
The goal was to persuade the rest of the class that the book was a worthy contender, and the end result was that we had to vote out 2 of the books. They put their heads on the desk so they couldn’t see what the others were voting for and put their hands up when I called out titles. The two we’re never going to look at again…Solomon Crocodile and There are no cats in this book! I was very surprised that The Gift ended the lesson as a favourite as none of them had wanted to have it as their book to promote, but I think it is their dislike of babyish things coming out again. The Solomon Crocodile team were very disappointed but everyone agreed that we needed to let the cats out into the world...
In another session I decided it was time to do some reading, so we started Slog's Dad together, looking closely at the pictures and discussing what story they are telling.  I wouldn't say they're enjoying it because they know it is really sad and they're pretty squeamish about how his Dad wastes away, but I think they are appreciating how well the pictures tell the story without even really needing the words.  I wouldn't be surprised if it stays a favourite right to the end of our shadowing.