So I've got miles behind on #cpd23 and we're only 1/4 of the way through! The main reason is that I read Thing 5: Reflective Practice and thought 'I really need to dedicate a bit of time to that' but then never found the time! I really do want to get into reflective practice, not least because it is an important tool in writing a Chartership portfolio (I've found a mentor so things are beginning!), but I don't want my lack of time lately to make me give up on cpd23 entirely so I've decided to skip the Thing for later.
Thing 6: Online networks
I'm not very good at networking, I find talking to people difficult unless I already know them (what a conundrum) and am especially quiet in large crowds. That was why online networking appealed so much - hiding behind a screen. In fact, at last weekend's Lighting the Future conference I was far more comfortable talking to people because, as well as a few I've met before, there were many I've corresponded with (my mum won't let me say 'talked to') online and I enjoyed seeing them in 'real life'. Saying that though, I think there are far too many available so I'm very select about what I keep up with.
I created a LinkedIn account a long time ago because a friend invited me, but it didn't take me long to decide it wasn't going to have a big impact on my life and I couldn't be bothered maintaining the account. In fact I made the decision so permanent that I deleted the account and have been deleting invites from other people ever since. Every now and again I wonder whether to start it up again but haven't been persuaded. I agree with the quote from Reid Hoffman at the end of the Thing 6 post on the cpd23 blog "Facebook is the backyard BBQ; LinkedIn is the office" and this is partly why I don't use it - I don't think LinkedIn will make a massive difference to my career.
I love Facebook. I don't use any applications other than GoodReads and I keep my friend list down to 101 people because the number pleases me <ahem> so I only have people that I am really interested in in 'real' life. I do 'like' a lot of library, YA lit, kid lit and literacy related things and regularly look at my newsfeed and update my status. I keep it entirely personal though, only occasionally sharing the professional things that I think are important for non-librarians as well.
I'm not involved in LISNPN or LAT and although I have logged into the CILIP website and created a profile I don't really use the communities. I am however on the School Librarian Network (SLN) which is a Yahoo group that I get e-mail digests from and read the posts that interest me and occasional contribute to. I signed up to Google+ and then never looked at it again, and I don't have a pintrest account but I have looked at a few walls and really like the idea of quickly sharing such a variety of sources of entertainment and information. GoodReads counts as another community as you have 'friends' and can nosy in one another's 'bookshelves' for inspiration. I only really use it to record what I'm reading and a brief starred rating but occasionally read a blog post of an author or have a look at what's going on in a group.
Thing 7: real-life Networks
So you might already know, because I have mentioned a few times not least in this post about our conference, that I am a member of CILIP YLG, CILIP SLG and the SLA. I am particularly interested in the YLG, being a member of the London Committee, because I love that it concentrates on enthusing children and young people to read for pleasure. I think my involvement has made a massive difference in my career, and life in general. Although it hasn't got me a well paid job (one day maybe) it has helped shape the kind of Librarian I am and given me confidence in my abilities and methods, yay! It has found me colleagues that understand what I do all day, which teachers often don't, and friends that share common interests. I can't recommend joining a committee enough. Would I consider joining another network? I am thinking about joining the CILIP CDG - Career Development Group - for the Chartership process, but other than that I can't say I can think of one that is worth dedicating precious time to...saying that, I keep meaning to contact the Guides association to volunteer as a Guider, that counts right!