Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Strange Words

My kids play word games, and the latest has come out with this:
'I feel only revetment for the bony hand of the regolith!'
which beats their last try of;
'Psychopathically wangling doubloons!'
sometimes I worry my kids are nuts, other times I just enjoy it :-)

Still trying to get the last bits sorted for xmas but so tired with my sore wrist!
still have a day or two left!

Monday, 17 December 2012

Not a good start!

Had two wonderful party's this week end and should be happy and relaxed, sadly my wrist is sore and my trip to A&E has shown that it inst broken, but one handed typing is slower so I shall just wish you a happy Christmas and a happy New Year.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Time is not going slow enough

I am up against the time only a few days to Christmas and I haven't done all I need to do yet!
great plans went astray, work came first, kids next and my life somewhere down at last! as a reaction I have been typing up my poetry form earlier in the year and wallowing in it! I love writing my poetry and making say what I want it to :-).

I have also been having an exciting week last week;

We had a visit by Cathy MacPhail who was amazing, she took our fifth year and spoke for just shy of an hour to a quiet interested group who asked questions and went away talking about her work and ideas! Then she talked to our 2nd year who are a more restless bunch at the best of times but they sat in awe. She caught them and took them with her on her adventure  she led them to new ideas, and new places to see. Cathy was amazing, the 2nd years didn't all rush away, for lunch, but stayed to talk and ask more questions.
I was able to get her visit due to funding raised by the parent council and I can never thank them enough, she was wonderful.

My next day was spent in a meeting and getting my new car! we are back to a two car family again as my oldest needs more practice to pass his test. Never bought a car myself before and it was scary!

My craft plans for the Christmas gifts are late and my address book has gone missing! nothing much to worry me then! Ha I will cope, I have done every other year :-).

Back to getting sorted for Christmas and work and...

More poetry

Brief Poem written to get the feelings out!

I saw Him on the platform as we pulled out.

Half glimpsed                                     -                              Half seen

Half-light                                              -                              Half remembered

Lost face                                              -                              Lost soul

Someone dead and gone             -                              Someone who isn't

Just caught                                         -                              All remembered

Ache returned                                  -                              Loss raw

Empty space                                      -                              Forgotten pain

From a figure                                     -                              Dark badly lit

Passing station                                  -                              Late night

He’s there                                           -                              He’s gone

Fresh pain, sadness                        -                              Mind tricking

Tears fall.

Travelling Haiku

Just a brief Haiku I wrote while late night train travelling!

Eclectic Mixture.
Time Passing, train travelling,
Late night journeys on.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Sun Filled autumn afternoon

Just a poem about a sun filled afternoon! Written late October 2012.

Sun Filled afternoon

Gentle buzz of background noise, the warmth of the sun and the rustle of a few choosers picking
Getting caught up, then customer!
Following the thread, watching the latest CPD checking your…
Bright winter sun streaming in, low and warm inside, sharp and unforgiving outside.
Babble of voices hum of hoover, tick of metal shelves warming up, distant classes…
Can I help, what do you like to read, have your tired this? Have you seen that?
Distant doors, murmur of classes and the odd raised voice, teacher making a point.
Gentle tick of the clock, 20 minutes to day end, racing the sun to bed.
Sorting to get put away, piles of discarded books like chrysalises left behind.
Thick books, thin books, adventures and crimes, cook books and car books…
Passing footfall, chatting seniors, getting louder as the time counts down to bell.
Phones ring and get answered, staff work, and pupils listen, or do or chat or…
Bags rustle, food bags, clothes bags, homework bags, school bags, carried, discarded.
Things shared, things told, laughter, shock. Time passes and 15 minutes to day end.
Same again, choosing far too easy, no challenge, but a quick read, don’t expect to see you back again.
The ones who stand and think, who pours over the books like they hold the future.
The ones who giggles in shoulder to shoulder, take what they do if there are two copies.
The ‘But I don’t read Miss’s who need the ideas teasing out of them, what do you watch? Like?
My Favourite the ‘Oh I love this Miss’, ‘have you got the latest?’ ‘I’ll try it is you think it’s good’.
Plants happy soaking up the sun, and books looking like a strange stain glass display of stories.
Bong of bag hitting metal chair, bang of hand tapping desk, sound of impatient seniors waiting on the end of day.
Ten minutes left, voices tired and uncaring, classes changing tone, louder or silent.
Bringing to mind the jobs needed to wind up the library, the chores for tonight.
Must switch off the lights, close down the machines, put away the last recent books.
Last ditch quick look to find, not focused but aware of the time.
Work finished, choose your book quickly.
Short books, quick reads, graphic novels and where’s wally, please move on.
In the adventures, Hogwarts, treasure islands, being a cherub, skeleton detective, why yes.
Halloween just past, werewolves win, horror to keep them happy.
Wander past middle earth, browse over discworld, decide that you have wasted enough time.
Left empty handed, strange feeling of being cheated.
The worlds hidden in the library, just open a book to release and free.
Returning not choosing, question, my card got washed! Plastic is okay to be washed.
Sun shining in lower, other buildings blocking the bottoms of the windows.
Diffused sunshine painting temporary lines on spines of dreams.
Bell, doors, feet, rush, noise, stamping, laughing, shouting, farewells, wait ups.
Rush and push of escape, but from what I am not sure.
Peace, silence, distant cars and buses leave.

I hope you enjoy it, still makes me feel like I am still there, minutes to home time.

Friday, 30 November 2012

Interview ideas and museings

I wrote about my first experience of being on an interview panel back in October with thoughts and ideas, but today I saw this post by the Letters to a young librarian about say this and not that, which said what I had been trying to fluff my way to saying very very well :-).

There seems to be an art to interviewing, to makes the right impression and to getting what you want to say across and sounding right. I am a firm believer in that personality is a must when interviewing, you have to be yourself as well as showing why your the person that stands out for them!

The task of doing/adapting to my job goes on and this month has brought more changes again and new responsibilities,  I now sign off forms and keep spreadsheets of hours up to date. This has me again waking at night worrying that I shall mess up. Sad to be mid Forties and still waking with worries but I suppose that it is just me :-).

Spent part of my morning helping the new Creative Ambassadors in the school, which was fun, but not as productive as I should have been :-). Will make a list for the afternoon! or I wont get all done in time :-(.

Tomorrow will be spent getting a car for my oldest as his birthday/xmas present (for years!) so my mind isn't wanting to do any work. Perhaps I shall finish the Professional knowledge matrix and get my mind back in library mode :-).

Farewell November;

    No sun—no moon—no morn—no noon,
No dawn—no dusk—no proper time of day,
No warmth—no cheerfulness—no healthful ease,
No road, no street, no t’ other side the way,
No comfortable feel in any member—
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds,
by Thomas Hood

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Sun basking and 27 days to Christmas

It has got to that time of year, the one when I get up in darkness, go to work in darkness, watch sunrise from my desk. The sun gets to my windows around now (11.30am) and is bright and low in the sky. The sky itself is pale blue almost white and so very sharp and pretty, gradually moving up to a deep blue above us. The sun makes me perk up and smile, I wonder if I am solar powered some days as I get so much done when it shines.

Then by 3pm its getting dark again and by 4pm evening! so I go home in darkness, get tea in darkness and go to bed in darkness... I like warm nights by the fire, I am happy to have my curtains shut and if no one is home at daytime they sometimes stay that way! But I do miss the sun, last month it was low in the sky and in our faces as we drove to work, so bad in spots that people are complaining about certain points in the road becoming black spots due to bright sun.

This is the time of year when we have a roaring fire and chat in the evenings, when we sit surrounded by the cats who find a way to coexist rather than get put out of the main room for fighting (again), I get one or other of the kittens in my lap, Mama cat sits in the back window sill, Silly cat sits on the couch and the other kitten (which ever isn't on me) sleeps against the fire heated radiator or in front of the fire.

I am aware though that we only have a few years at most left before my children leave for University, summer 2014 will mark two of them due to fly, and while I have said I am looking forward to it! Meh I shall cope, and I doubt I shall lose contact with them, may be even more chat than now, but we shall see.

 Winter is a time for going over what you've done and why and what your going to do. The long evening lend themselves to reflection. Few distractions, time to plan and sort, but little impetus to get up and do anything means lots of thinking time. Great summer plans of knitting things has faded to 'when I get round to it', working in the shed has no appeal in minus temperatures. Even if it is the only clear space to get out the sewing machine and to cut patterns.

I am ahead on presents and a few to get left and behind on cards, now where did I put my address book! I like to have them to send on the 1st of December, well hope for the 3rd of 4th at this rate and then, ackk too soon. The sun is so bright and pretty, its not worth worrying about cards now...

I know I enjoy summer with its sun all day and night long, but some primeval part of me that curls up with the cats in front of the fire, and basks in the winter sunshine is fulfilled. The bell has rung, back to work, Sun basking must end.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Weather and winter.

This weekend has been full of weather problems, from a few deaths and lots of people flooded out of their homes, rain and cold weather rules. Even here we have had cold nights and chilly days. On Saturday the day dawned cold and frosty and stayed that way all day, when I came home from Christmas shopping the sheltered parts of the road was still frosty and white.

The local towns have Christmas fun days and they are kind enough (and bright enough) to stagger them, so it was Wicks on Saturday and next week it will be Thurso's turn. They are 20 miles apart and the next large town is Tain more than an hours drive and two county's away :-) so the two towns are supposed to be rivals but more and more they are finding that by co-ordinating they get more and give more back.

The current climate of recession, of tightening your belt, and of judging the worth and value of everything has led to a strange sense of being judged. All I do and all I participate in is weighted and valued in my head, I make notes and keep track of whats worth doing and what isn't. I find myself in shops thinking that a thing isn't worth the money being asked for it, or that I don't want to pay the asking price for things. The whole way our society see's ourselves has been challenged and the result is gradually flowing over us all, from The Apprentice (which I am loving the young version of) to X-Factor (which will be the last series I watch after the mess of Ryland in and Ella out), I value my own time and even my 'fun' things get weighted and measured.

This has helped by the reflective practitioner things I have been doing as part of my own CPD, it has helped when looking at my own work and the wider world. Events a couple of weeks ago have helped bring this home to me. I sat and thought what, why and what next. I applied all that and did what I had to, when I ran what I had done and wanted to do past one of my colleagues, they were not sure, just as well I wasn't asking but telling :-). A week later I finally had all the information in place to do all I needed and because I had done it first all was in place. My own actions and reactions had been vindicated which was good for me but was a clear win for applying the do, think, change ideas.

The excess of water has been a problem for so many back in Devon where I come from, my poor brother has a bucket in his living room due to a leak. My mum hasn't done much as the local roads have been under water. I have been thinking about all that is happening and have come to the point were I know I can't plan for everything. The rain cannot be planned for only coped with, unless you built wrong in the first place. What you can plan and sort out is good as long as you follow rules and what is done is for a reason. And Finally (failing Ryland being voted out of X-Factor) we are much better working together and being with each other than alone. Co-operation, forethought, and hope, regardless of the weather, winter or current situation.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Portfolio Building Feedback

I was lucky enough to get to the portfolio building day in Aberdeen at the start of the month, due to many factors including a cold and unexpected work problems/issues I didn't get the write up finished until now :-).
I wont put it all up as the finished document with references is eight pages long! but I shall share what I got out of it the most. I also have copies of some of the power points which has helped me keep on track when writing my notes :-).

First Thing that came across was that the whole exercise is a measurement of your professional ability, and how it compares and contrasts to others at the same level. This means that it is less about your particular job than your own skills and abilities, you can see that a solo school librarian in the wilds of Scotland is using the same processes and ideas as an assistant librarian in a large research library in a major city. This was a relief as I worried that some bit we don't have up here may make us less likely to get our chartership but no as long as you meet the criteria your fine.

That's is my second thing, the criteria are all they can measure you against. As long as you meet them and show you have met them your fine, allot of recommendations was to use the 4 criteria as your organisation layout for the portfolio. I found myself looking at the Criteria again with fresh eyes and am happy to say I don't feel half as inadequate as I used to.

1, An ability to reflect on personal performance and to evaluate service performance. Reflect critically on personal and service. Needs to be made as an ‘I’ statement and opinionated.
2, Active commitment to continuing professional development. Active commitment to CPD, follow blogs, twitter and networking.
3, An Ability to analyse personal and professional development and progression with reference to experiential and developmental activities. Learning on the job, what worked and what didn’t.
4, Breadth of professional Knowledge and understanding of the wider professional context. Not just good at your own job but part of the profession, go to AGM’s etc.
See also http://www.cilip.org.uk/filedownloadslibrary/qualifications/chartershiphandbook10.pdf
The CPD23 actually helps with so many areas and helps to get you thinking why and what next so much better.

The biggest area that could cause problems is being a reflective practitioner, this is one of the things that CPD23 covers in great detail by making you do a little of it at a time and then by the end your doing all of it, and in detail. best help for this is Thing #5 which gets you all the links to teach you more and how to get going. Librarians are very good at knowing that something needs doing, sorting, weeding or changing something which needs it but we don't go through the process of what we have done and why and what needs doing next. Most of us 'know' that something needs doing this just makes a more rigorous case for our own work. I did apply this to my Day to day things and it showed up a few things I like that should have been much lower in priority than I had them but there was nothing extra or missing just different order.

Most other problems seem to stem from either not following the criteria or not being ruthless with evidence, again its a 'what' and 'why' and 'what next' all the time. Why do I need two pieces showing the same thing, why do I have nothing showing this area. The nice gentleman from Cilip Michael Martin came and gave us a fab overview of what is needed and showed us some online tools that help, and audit sheet and PPDP which can be great start points and also end points. You need to start with a PPDP and then do one as you finish which will show development and change, also you can use the audit on the 4 criteria to work out if you have the right info in as your evidence.

They also spoke of the support of a mentor and I realised I haven't been as good as I could be, I have done some but I need to do more and soon. According to the wonderful Val Walker who is the Scottish Mentor Support Officer we are there to - Enable - Encourage - Enthuse which is quite a challenge! I after a wonderful session with some fabulous people full of enthusiasm and positive views, I came away determined to do as much as I can to to enjoy it too.

I hope my thoughts have helped, if you want more feel free to ask :-) I do have a many page feedback as well, but I must also mention Celia Jenkins Scottish Candidate Support Officer who organised it and spoke, David Main from Aberdeen Libraries who set up the venue. Jan Dawson and Julie McCue who gave us thoughts on their recent chartership. Ian Stringer from lots of different committees who encouraged us to keep on going after we pass and to stay involved as Cilip is us and we make it what we want. and Finally my favourite speaker of the day was Anna Herron, an assessor who has made me sit up and think 'I could do that', and given me a whole new idea of things to do.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Not What I planned for life

My next post was to be details for the Portfolio building course I went on last week. I so enjoyed it and have some stuff ready for it, but it was not to be what I planned.
Monday early brought an email with issues I have spent time out of work on, time on the phone and the odd sleepless night over. I love my job and I love helping others, I am glad to say I now have things in place to deal with the issues. It has taken me the bulk of the week to get my head round it, get every one Else's head round it and have things in place to get it sorted.
The returns are patiently waiting a clear 10 minutes to file away and my poor portfolio stuff is unfinished in the bag I took away with me. I am listening to the Children in Need Concert (due to being above the main hall!) and finishing the basic must get done every week chores. Lots of things got left aside while I sorted what could have been a big problem, and now I must pick them all up and finish them off too.
I grew up with a cartoon series which used to say 'Love is...' and then twee sayings like 'bringing fresh flowers' or 'doing the dishes' or my fave from then 'putting down the Loo Seat' This was followed by a similar one of 'Life is ...' which were less twee but also less sweet, the best one of these was 'Live is what happens while your planning everything else.'
That is my thought for the day, I had such high hope for plans this week and none of them (just about) got done. I went to a meeting that ended up cancelled because only two of us turned up (and it was her room) but it allowed me to finish time sensitive stuff I would have had to stay late to do otherwise.
So while you could look at my week and judge it not a success, I did get problems organised, issues sorted, and my head round some new ideas. Oh and listen to many rehearsals and then 3 complete versions of the Children in Need Concert. The 'old' spice girls were fun (all staff), and the own clothes day has been a success. They raised nearly £300 just on the Gunk a teacher bit! Sadly they Dunked a friend and her husband had set her up! He bribed his classes that the more she got the more cakes and biscuits he brought in for them! She wasn't pleased :-) I laughed.
Next post should be summary of the course, next stop weekend!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Chartership and Portfolios

I missed my normal Monday posting as I was very busy getting sorted to go to Aberdeen for a Portfolio Building day run by the CDG group and hosted by the Cilip NE group, both of whom are to be commended for the well organised day, despite problems the day ran well and I learnt so much.

I am in the strange place of not needing to write a portfolio, but after the course I feel like writing one just for fun. They made the whole process sound so much better and more acceptable, not scary or hard but more just a way of thinking that would enhance our own working skills. I will be turning all my notes (15 A4 sides) into some sort of guide to help the ones needing it for their chartership here in Highland. It was so nice to have people come from as far away as London to speak and to have people from Shetland north and Midlothian south to listen. I have been fired up and have great plans to try and organise one for the Highlands in the spring/summer (gives me time to sort it out) but I have to get notes typed up first :-).

While looking over my blogs in the reader of my choice I noticed a comment about chapowrimo, which has been coined on the Twitter #chopowrimo and is basically a version of nanowrimo, but the thing is you write your chartership portfolio in November! or at least aim to work for 5mins a day on it every day for the month. What a great idea! wish it was around when I was doing mine, took ages to get to the writing bit, and then found I had to cull so much of my evidence it felt like I had wasted some of my time getting that far! I have gone on to use everything form back then and most is now distant memories, but at the time it was the most important thing in the world!

I could wax lyrical for ages on the course but I think I may put my thoughts up online as one entry later in the week (when notes are sorted) with links to various places that may help and ideas I found useful, but I would like to thank all those who set it up and to all who attended for a wonderful event.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Changing times that stay the same.

I follow the Scottish Review which is an online paper sent out twice a week about events and happenings that touch and influence Scotland. I read most of it some is fab some is interesting occasionally I don't finish a piece and there is usually one I don't get round to reading. Today's had an interesting piece about life lessons and metaphors which I am sorely tempted to just cut and paste and give as a quote :-).

The winter always gets me feeling reflective, and I lost a very dear friend to Cancer at the start of December in 1988 and since then it is my reflective time for life. The piece quotes this " 'The toughest lesson life teaches is the difference between who you wanted to be and who you actually are. And it can take a whole life to teach it'" which is a very good way to look at life, You are not finished and must strive towards the best you want to be but keep an eye on reality too. whole thing is very interesting.

Work is changing round me and the past rules and expectations are all under review, some things are looking very good but others I have reservations about. So life is normal :-). Next week is full, I have meetings and workshops, travel time and waiting time. I will have covered many miles (one friend said I should fly it would be quicker, which it would) and stayed in various beds, from posh hotel to mates spare bed. But I am looking forward to it all, I do get very set in my own ways and I have found any thing that makes me knee jerk gasp, is usually well worth doing and gives me a wider view of my own world and often leaves me with a more humble view of life.

I wasn't going to blog today as its the start of NaBloPoMo which I am not taking part in and it could make the blog world a very busy old place. But I felt I had to share

Monday, 29 October 2012

Frankenstorm approaches

There is a Frankenstorm coming! Yes I also went 'what' but apparently the hurricane Sandy is due to meet up with a big tropical storm around about New Jersey area and will be blowing gusts of 75mph and lots of bad weather. Why do I care? well we get the eastern seaboards weather a few days to a week later, so next week when I am going to Aberdeen to a portfolio building course the weather will be a bit rough!

Mind you this cold snap wasn't kind on the international surfers up for this weekends competition. The Wave north was marked by snow, hail and rain. Bad weather and cold temperatures as well as early nights and late mornings! Only good bit was an extra hour on sunday morning.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Winter has arrived

Its no good I have been pottering round making myself work, not looking at the falling snow. This morning my youngest child swung a bag on their shoulder and knocked my kindle flying. It is broken, defunct, and ex kindle, not pining for the fjords! ackk. I would not believe just the loss of the potential to read my kindle would have left me in such a state. I could could give up coffee or chocolate easier than missing my kindle. worse yet they don't make that style any more and lats time it took me a while to chase one down and I hate the touch ones!

My oldest has an identical one and has offered to give me that and get a lesser one! Sweety that he is, but oddly I am realising I am much too hooked on it! I need to replace it but may be I should stop hanging on to what I liked and see if the new is livable with! some research shows that there are a few not touch ones and while different I can adapt.

I can only liken my emotion to a feeling of loss! The snow is falling heavier but I all I am worried about is my lost kindle, the fault is hard ware so I can get my books out and move them across, if the worse happens I have them at home and can reinstall. I can't seem to articulate why this has me so upset. Poor youngest went off with out a 'have a nice day' as I wasn't sure I could speak yet with out snapping. Even now I am still shaking, and the snow still falls. (Blurred but gives an idea)

Tomorrow I am potentially part of a yarn event, which means I have to be up at 6.30am (yuck) and out in town by 7, in the snow, and the cold, and without my kindle. Some days I carry it round and never switch it on, others I seem to be reading every moment I am not working or cooking, (etc) must knit more to stop the shakes! Have wool arriving today maybe so that will help. Now I must decide to order the same and wait the ages order basic and swap with oldest child or get basic for me! latter would be easiest and cheapest, first would be fab but I have no waiting ability! and the most expensive option! Will talk with hubby.

What a drama queen I can be :-) some aspects of myself I am not very proud of, but they exists and I need to work round most of them, some can even be useful if put to the right job.

Had to be part of an interview panel this week, which was very hard work. As an interviewee you have to be 100% focused for your interview. As the interviewer You have to be totally focused for every interview, you can not give any less to the last candidate than the first, you can not change or adapt your style as you have already used it for the others. But once you have spoken to all you then have to mark, grade, evaluate the interviews and compare them and (shock horror) not give them all jobs. It was very hard, all spoke well, any of them could have done the job. Some had strengths in one area others in different areas, how do you compare a retired professional with a hard working home help, or a parent returning? or? well you see the various issues. Over all a very interesting view on what you should be aware of when interviewing.

Hardest was all the answers were fairly generic, IE what they though we wanted to hear. So all said more or less the same thing, even when invited to give examples, they tired to tie it to libraries. We can train you for libraries but it made differentiating between them so much harder. The person who got it was the one who gave the best personal answers. They thought about why they wanted the job, they hadn't done the most home work but didn't just say they liked books, or people but that they wanted to make people happy. Doing the job meant something to them not just a job. Not just this is how it 'would suit me' but more this is why 'I suit you' attitude.

The snow is stopping the fallen snow is melting fast (well this close to the sea it usually does as we are not far from the river and just up the hill from the harbour.) and I am finally not shaking. I shall lay both option to my hubby and we shall decide what I will replace my kindle with, I shall finish my coffee in peace and glare at the messing around 4th years. Normality has resumed

Tuesday, 23 October 2012


The weather is changed, winter is just about here. Yesterday was minus when I woke and my car has to be put away each night to stop the ice forming on it!

The trees are now in a race to lose leaves before the next winter blast. The apple trees have the last few apples on but our harvest has been vast again. Must have given 30 bags of apples away, and each bag is a supermarket carrier bag full! also have got giant box full to go in the kitchen and even I am getting fed up with crumble! apple cake! apple pie! you get the picture.

Oddly just sat here remembering being young and loving the autumn, the leaves under hooves the colours as I rode round Devon, either by bike or by horse, later by motor bike and car. The smell of autumn, bonfires and mulch, feeling of nipping cold and warm suppers.

Made enough soup recently to have to look for new ingredients to stop them being samey. Mind you, best soup ever is fridge soup, when you open the fridge and go what have I got and when does it have to be used by :-), some fab ones from that.

Change is autumn, looking back and making a tally of your work, looking forward to what you need to do for winter and next year (yes only 63 nights to Christmas), this is both home and work for me.

Best of all I remember being 12 and riding in the woods in a crisp morning to Tarr Steps, The splash of crossing and the low sun making everything magical. More than three decades on I still remember the chill the warm breath of the horse and feeling free.

Snow is due this week and then for us Autumn is past, winter is here. Until then I shall wollow in memories of younger days.

Monday, 22 October 2012


I am still assessing my plans for the future, I am being asked to go on a course in a fortnights time and I have just seen the request for papers from umbrella 2013. I have interviews to do this week and more planned for my own library as well as the info needing gathered for the Slic count this year (early November every year). All in all I have no time to add other things in, but I will finished the audit of my own skills and plan ahead. CPD23 has shown me this if nothing else, you find time to do the things you want and need to, and you can change your mind and do it differently at any time.
I cam across this the other day and it made me sit back and think;

The Mayonnaise Jar and Two Cups of Coffee

When things in your lives seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous "yes."

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things--your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions--and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.

The sand is everything else--the small stuff. "If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

"Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first--the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked.

It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."

I occasionally am guilty of trying to get more into the Jar than it will take, of worrying about the sand and not the golf balls, or the pebbles. I had a lovely day out last week, just me and a few friends, we ended up in the middle of an other group meeting, but that was okay we met new folks, we had our cups of coffee, knitted and chatted, gossiped and put the world to rights :-) and it left me relaxed and happy. Work is important, I did give it more time than I should over the holiday, but it wasn't my main focus, and I need to remember that. Back to reflective writing and summing up my week to look over the highs and lows and what to improve, and what to celebrate. I have some Christmas things in hand, now I just need an extra month off to organise myself :-).

Thursday, 11 October 2012

CPD23 Thing #23

The last Thing! I am so proud to get here and so sad to be here too. I have got so much out of the cpd23 that I have spent my last year recommending it to any chartership candidates and anyone else who’ll sit still for me :-).

The whole experience has helped me develop work attitudes and focus on the useful skills. I now feel I am part of the profession, I could get a job elsewhere with the skills and view point from the CPD23 both from doing and failing last year and then doing and passing this year. I have become more active but this has helped me focus and be more proactive for work, I can go off on tangents happy in myself with no result for many hours of work. This has helped me focus and gain confidence of my own work and skills.

The current (and last thing) is to blog what comes next, do a swot or PDP and then move forward. I am doing these and will be looking over the results for a few days to give me time to think about what next and why (the why has become more important) I am currently on leave (yes yes I will be going home soon) and not officially in work, but I don’t see my job as a clock in and out one, I don’t stop at home time, and as such I see myself as a librarian, not a worker. Shocked my poor boss when I turned up at her base yesterday between shopping and breakfast to say hi and what’s happening. She asked me to find out info and then to sort out a visit for myself and another to a course, but of course this was while in the wool festival on Saturday so I dropped in yesterday to tell her what I had done and to check she was happy for me to finish the arrangement’s! Last year I would have needed my hand holding, or need telling to do it, now all I needed was to keep her in the loop!

I love the new knowledge and skills base from the CILIP, and am filling it in as I work on this, but I am not sure what I shall be aiming for next hence the half a blog post, the other one will be another day when I know what I want to do (I said the why was important now) not just because I should do it.

I know some of my world would have changed any way due to changes in service, and some I would have done I am me and would have done them anyway, but the CPD23 has given me the structure to make it all work out. My new attitude is not solely due to CPD23 but the structure has helped me no end, as has blogging each week. I shall keep that up as its fun!

My sound track to the day today is the Ness River Rhythm Kings from Tams Bar in the Glen Mohr hotel who I spent a lovely Tuesday night listening to. Fab band and real gents too :-). If your ever in Inverness on a tuesday night I can recommend them for a pleasent and fun night out. They start at 9pm and run until the bar closes. (or runs dry ;-) snigger)

I will post soon what I plan for the future.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

National Poetry Day

In honor of National Poetry Day (and due to the fact I didn't get what I planned running) I shall share a poem of my own.

Summer Rainbows at Castlehill.

Clover coated, grass seed high

Poppy red mixed in the harlequin greens.

Bright sunshine coated carmine

Paper thin curves and crinkles.

Campion pink spikes over thick and thin

Swaying and dancing to nature’s music

Of birdsong, insects, soft breezes.

Buttercup yellow hovering over slate

And tiny points of forget-me-not blue.

Twisting buzzing tweeting life, over beds of colour

Accompanied by high thin white cloud.

By Ruan Peat

5th June 2010

I have a second one here but it isn't finished yet :-) so I shall just keep it for another day!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

CPD23 Thing #22 Voluteering

Thing #22 Volunteering, I did loads of things between finishing my degree and getting my first professional post, Some where in libraries and some elsewhere, most paid for but non professional, some unpaid. I didn't aim to make myself more employable but everything I did has added to my CV.

This is a great idea as long as the job isn't in place of a paid staff, and isn't just unpaid work that should be paid for. The opportunities up here are very limited but I have done some for local heritage groups etc, and find that anything that rises your profile means some one will think of you when work becomes available.

If I had been south or in a bigger community the chances for work would be higher even if there is more competition. Here there is only limited but some groups think that you will give them your full expertise for nothing and be at their beck and call. Be aware you are not an unpaid slave, but do remember it should also be fun :-).

I am also struck that I have only one blog post left for this CPD23, time has flown by and I have enjoyed it alot! I am not sure but I may do it again next year to see whats new and to make me think again. Almost 'CPD23 is dead, long live CPD23'

Monday, 1 October 2012

Quick questions

I would do CPD23 here but due to tiredness I shall do it tomorrow when I have had time to sleep and think!
hubbys plane got in late last night and I picked him up at 11.30pm in inverness meaning I got to bed at 2pm! (yawn) So I am not up to much thought but saw this and thought is it would be fun :-).

25 questions about me;

Question 1: Do you have any pets?

Answer 1: Yes four mad cats, mom splodge is grumpy and a local terror, her oldest kitten smudge is ‘special’ and sweet. The two younger ones are holy terrors, they pack hunt and bring down everything! Midnight is dark torty and very pushy! Smokey is traditional tory and shy until she gets going than is also pushy! Neighbour was chatting on Friday night and showed me her hand which had massive scars on one side, she had tried to stroke my splodge and had needed stiches ( I never knew) so cat is in the dog house.

Question 2: Name three things that are physically close to you:
Answer 2: Kindle, diary, phone.

Question 3: What’s the weather like right now?
Answer 3: dry cold autumn day some blue sky but cold.

Questions 4: Do you drive ? If so, have you crashed?
Answer 4: Yes, to both :-) even crashed a library van once :-D multi skilled.

Question 5: What time did you wake up this morning?
Answer 5: 7am due to daughter asking questions!

Question 6: When was the last time you showered?
Answer 6: 7.30am this morning.

Question 7: What was the last movie that you saw?
Answer 7: On TV The Mummy, tomb of the emperor. On the Cinema? I don’t know it’s too long ago.

Question 8: What does you last text message say?
Answer 8: Pick you up at 3.45pm at bus stop turn opp college, for my daughter who wants a lift home :-).

Question 9: What is your ringtone?
Answer 9: Earthquake by Labrinth ft Tinie Tempah.

Question 10: Have you ever been to a different country?
Answer 10: Yes, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, America, (off the top of my head I am sure I am missing some).

Question 11: Do you like sushi?
Answer 11: Never tried it, but I like tuna, salmon and rice so I should!

Question 12: Where do you buy your groceries?
Answer 12: Tescos or co-op

Question 13: Have you ever taken any medication to help you fall asleep faster?
Answer 13: No

Question 14: How many siblings do you have?
Answer 14: One younger Brother

Question 15: Do you have a desktop computer or a laptop?
Answer 15: Both for different things

Question 16: How old will you be turning on your next birthday?
Answer 16: 45! Which seems so old

Question 17: Do you wear contacts or glasses?
Answer 17: Glasses

Question 18: Do you color your hair?
Answer 18: no, and not for years.

Question 19: Tell me something you are planing to do today:
Question 19: make a box :-)

Question 20: When was the last time you cried?
Answer 20: last night at a sad bit in a story.

Question 21: What is your perfect pizza topping?
Answer 21: mushrooms and pepperoni, thin crust.

Question 22: Which do you prefer, hamburger or cheeseburger?
Answer 22: Cheese burger.

Question 23: Have you ever had an all nighter?
Answer 23: Oh yes and I even remember some of them :-) even had a couple of all weekenders.

Question 24: What is your eye color?
Answer 24: green.

Question 25: Can you taste the difference between Pepsi and Coke?
Answer 25: sadly no as both make me very ill :-(.

Normal Trasmissions will resume tomorrow.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Strange Habits of Teenagers

Odd title but one that was begging to be used, the phrases of my own youth are not just out of date but prehistoric now! woh rad man, yeah not so much these days :-) mind you I am so glad to no longer be greeted by 'Whatever!' or even 'speak to the hand!' and the horrid 'keep your hair on Mrs's' seem to be last year’s phrases, just shows if you wait long enough and patiently enough it all changes! I am not enamoured of the current phrase but as it could be so much worse, I shall live! I keep hearing it with differing accents to imply different answers, which is quite fun if all you do is hear them from afar.

'Oh My God!' drawn out with sarcastic over tones is the most common, sometimes it’s more of 'Oh my god' indrawn breath of shock. or occasionally 'Oh' 'My' 'God' with a breath between each word to emphasise the surprise! As a user of words and lover of alternatives and strange meanings I find this reduction to one phrase for all their reactions very funny.

I think that Text speak has to stand up here as a main influence, the OMG tag is easy to add and makes a quick phrase much more dramatic! The whole influence of social media on the teenagers both at work and at home is noticeable. The odd sound JK's is often tagged onto things that I would call them on, 'you’re so lazy, JK's' which seems to mean I am joking you shouldn't take offence at my offensive comment!

One of my pet hates is LOL which seems to be said as loll, as in lolling around, but means to them 'laugh out loud' often used in conversations like this, 'wow look at this cat picture, Lol' and they have even taken to 'rofl'ing things but not moving or laughing! It seems to be a short hand for even less mobile teens to imply they do move but to actually sit still for longer!

I know I am getting old, I asked my daughter when the song would start the other day and she said that was the song! I found myself saying things like, 'look at her clothes, how her mother ever let her out dressed like that!' to an over 18 TV presenter! And the classic 'can you turn it down' only matched by the worse one of 'can you turn it up I can't hear it!' I like going out but not every night, and an early night sounds awfully good!

I am finding the more I know the less I understand, and life is so much more interesting now than when I was a teenager. I have always believed that you had to keep adapting and changing because a static anything only looks good for a flash as you pass it by. Yes stop and enjoy the journey but don’t get stuck in the layby!

Last week I won some books for my library (yes it is possible) and I heard today I have won some tickets to a theatre show held locally (I shall do more about this after I have been) and was trying to think how to express my joy, when talking to some pupils I got 'Oh My God wow that’s great miss!', 'Oh my God, really' and a final 'Oh my god, wow!'.

I am thrilled, excited, can't wait, quivering in anticipation. I have asked a friend to go with me and she squealed and said 'yes yes' (very harry met sally stylie). But it made me think how we respond to things, and how teenagers have come down to less and less diversity. As with everything this will change with time and they will come up with new ideas, I hope one day to be baffled by words, challenged by teens as they stretch their reactions and language to out think me, until then I shall just ponder on the strange habits of teenagers.

Monday, 24 September 2012

CPD Thing #21 Sell yourself!

Thing #21 is one that I used to have a lot of problems with, while planning and practice is good only applying and going to interviews really helps, and you need to fail as well as pass to get the most out of an interview, my first ever failed interview was at age 26! Until then I had got every job I had interviewed for, and the idea I couldn’t get it even if I got the interview hadn’t even entered my mind.

As with every one, that wasn’t my last failed interview :-) but I find I learn so much about myself each time. And yes as you mentioned, sometimes I look back and think thank goodness I didn’t get 'that' job. With hindsight I may do small things differently but over all I am happy with where I am and what I plan for :-).

The challenge is to answer the questions in part 1 first;

What do you like to do? - I am not sure I have space for all of that :-) I love to read and to knit and crochet; I adore learning new skills and chatting. I love planning and doing things to make the kids think and have fun, and I love the people around me and their own drives and enjoyments.

What do you like to do? - I like making and doing things, hate feeling unproductive, not getting things finished. one of my biggest issues is open ended jobs that need doing again and again which I do but will never finish, they get pushed to one side when I am being bad as I hate not be 'done' with a thing!

What do you dislike? – Un-completeable projects, group things that the goals posts move when we work, being ask to complete things with no idea how or help to do!

Do you remember the last time you felt that feeling of deep satisfaction after creating, building, completing something? - Make a book on a book binding course this very weekend and had so much fun opening the book and writing in it for the afternoon!

What was it about? - New skill that allows me to make complete and finished articles and to pass these skills on to others :-)

What skills do you need to do the things you like? Patience which I have had to find and cultivate and I am very goldfish mind i.e. oh I shall do this, oh look I shall do that, oh look something new to try... so the tenacity to stick with a thing to finish it! no matter what.

Next part is the make your own list of activities and interests: from watching the telly to something more work-related;






Organising stuff (work and home),

Planning new ideas (work and home again),

Learning new things,

Making new things,


Adapting to change (don't like change but as its going to happen I may as well enjoy adjusting to it),

Running loads of ideas at once (did learn to juggle once),

Surprising people! (with ideas or things, often get pigeon holed by new people so like making them stop and think again)

Challenges (as long as I feel I can pass them, and have learnt to break them down to break them down to bits to make sure I can pass them)

Overall not a bad list I think. I didn’t put in ICT, library related things etc. as this is an exercise in selling yourself, one thing I learnt is to make each thing tailored to its need, so a cv will be written for it recipient, a job application will have had research and more before I put in an application. I will find how I fulfil the job specs and how I can bring that to the job and move it and me forward in the job...

I always look at Job applications as a dialog, you have to tell the recipient why you would be best for their job, how you can help them and how you can develop in post, so they see what you hope to get out of the job and what you bring. Always tied to the specs, as this is what they judge your application on! One of the skills in my new job was how to interview, where we were shown how to judge applications on specs only, nothing else must influence you at all! A real eye opener, and very valuable, everyone should be shown this and how to make their own applications fit the specs or how to show best bits!

Only interview tip I shall share is while you must turn up very well turned out to your interview, remember to be you or it is as much a lie as a CV full of extra quals, they are employing you! not some well-spoken polished version, unless you can be that for them you should be a bit more yourself, (do not be too relaxed, if you don't do suits ever then a suit only office may not be for you unless your prepared to keep it up) Most people want someone for them, someone who cares and will go that extra mile if need be. But most of all don't ramble when talking, someone will be noting your answers so won't like writing screeds and you just annoy the interview panel who may have 10 more to interview today! (You want the panel to remember you for good things not bad).

And Good Luck.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Mentor hat

Today I had the joy of helping a pupil apply for an external post which will (if he gets it) make him think and grow! There are differing stages and I am supporting him through them! He had to answer a question about whether he would like to mentor or not! and he was putting no! I asked why and he said he didn't want someone following him round seeing what he did all day! When I stopped giggling I explained that mentoring came in many ways, me helping him by just chatting each week, his guidance making sure hes understanding, the guys in the cadets helping him pass things, all of these are mentoring and if someone asked him to have a person following him round they would make sure he could first! Explained it was more a way of sharing experience and helping others full fill their potential which can be so much fun.

Helping him is as rewarding to me as my official chartership mentees, as good as seeing a friend get her degree in the paper today! as all of these I have had some small hand in helping, but at the end of the day I may have helped but its their work and their attitudes that got them through. I have come to realise I love my mentor hat and seem to wear it much more often than I thought. So thank you to all those who helped me get here, and thank you to all those unsung people who may not have realised how much help has meant to me. I hope to help many others and not for thanks, or kudos, not to be feted or even mentioned. But to just know that they have done their best and done well.

Monday, 17 September 2012

CPD23 Thing #20 Roots/routes

Thing #20 is about the routes or roots of your career in Libraries. The aim is to add this to the wikilist of the roots project and many are inspire and help others to start or getting to just start in libraries.

Like the very foundation of libraries, no two are the same! even if you have the same buildings built, the same book stock and the same opening rules etc, the individual staff are just that individual, and as soon as you add a user! Kaboom! Every user is an individual as well. Libraries is one of those jobs that you can’t plan for everything, it’s a wonderful mix of plans, spontaneous and desperation to stop it falling over.

I spent my childhood bullied and the library was my haven, the books allowed me to escape and walk away while not leaving my chair. I could read in the front room at home and while being with my family I didn't need to interact with them (a fab thing for any teen!) I could gaze out a window and see Mars, Castles, Dances, even fields of Horses! Not the Grey playground, back of the semi-permanent huts, bins waiting to be emptied. My childhood was filled with colour, strange companions who could only be seen by me, wide open vistas or distant sweeping views. The library was my door to this world, I never wanted to leave!

By the time I was getting to the end of primary, I was running the small school library and helping out on the van when it came, which led to me being part of the 'team' that helped set up the new static library in the village up by the big school (not yet in double figures for age )

I was sent to private school and never went to big school, I learned and ran the libraries in the first of these, and it became my bolt hole, I learnt that yes you stamped and took back books but you also processed them, tidied them and mended them! What was coming in and what was going out was also your job! Next private school had a dedicated school librarian! She was such an amazing person but being a teen I just saw her as an extension of the library and not as a resource in herself! I had to decide at 16 between libraries and horses for my future, I spent a summer working at a stable, and loved every cold, wet, muddy minute. But I knew that to do more than day to day manage you had to have real skill, I knew that while I could handle any horse I would never ride well enough to make the world notice me. Books mean while didn’t need feeding at 6am, didn’t mind if you didn’t see every one twice a day at least, and had no reason to get you on a Sunday! And best of all allowed me to wander where I will in my head! Choice made. Library school was my focus, Biology a level not chosen and general studies a level was.

Library school was a shock, where were the books? When did we get to read them! What was this, management, IT, information retrieval, theories of storage and bibliographic studies? There were only 6 of us from school most had been in work for years and either training or retraining! I felt like some lost puppy, patted and fed but lost and out of my depth. Many years later I realise most of that was going to uni, leaving home, and new course! Issues but at the time it was most disconcerting!

With a few Hiccups I graduated and with my degree in hand thought I had an in anywhere! So got woken by the cold cruel world! First job was in a gift shop part time. Second was as a relief mobile library assistant, where I drove the van and when stopped I served the customers and then tidied away before driving on to the next stop! Distance made the job a Monday to Thursday job, nonstop, and after my third child I decided to concentrate on them. Youngest got to one before I cracked and next job was internet helpdesk.

The helpdesk taught me many many things, patience, confidence, and how to say lots and mean little. Nothing I have faced since comes close to stress and hassle of the helpdesk, every call watched for time, every minute analysed and held to account, and of course each caller had to be treated well and with a professional manner. The first at 6am, the one just 30 seconds before you could have gone to lunch! Or just as your due to sign off, The one who calls you names and shouts, the one who has patiently waited for half an hour and is in the wrong queue! The drunken one, the old one, the one who shouldn’t be allowed to be alone! No matter what you had on you must see each person as an individual, even if your bosses only looked at call times and numbers.

I was on holiday when this job came up, and someone cut it out for me, she even dropped it through my door to make sure I got it. I came home on Wednesday late, rang and collected application form Thursday, filled them in and back for lunchtime Friday deadline! Interviews arranged with in a week and within a fortnight of getting back I was working my last week at the helpdesk. I have never forgotten the help, nor the helper, and I will forever be in her debt. For keeping it and believing I could do it!

I have mentioned before I have been here since February 2000 and next February will be 13 years! I love my post, I chartered here I have drawn it out from one thing to be a whole school thing, I am still working and is a work in progress, but that is also true of libraries, each is unique each is on-going, and I doubt any of us do this for the money!

I am now a trained Mentor, a local Line manager for the whole of the area. I am enjoying making the most of what I have and what I can do, I am currently doing online studies for supporting those I now manage and am so busy I wonder what I did in the past when my plate wasn’t so full  This was to be a quick how I got here bit but instead has become a life story! The only thing I have found for libraries is that each person is different, as is each job and each library, you can have corporate over view and can be working under the same ends but that doesn’t mean the results will match. So go and do, enjoy libraries, train and grow, see where it will take you, don’t rule out anything because you haven’t seen it done, don’t limit yourself, there are enough out there that you don’t need to do it for yourself.

Monday, 10 September 2012


This mornings post from CPD23 was so spot on I have to share it. Back in the bad old dark ages I came to work, did my job and went home. The years changed and the books got old and replaced while I ticked over! A few years ago when the recession wasn't bouncing out and new funding targets where being sought you could see the writing on the wall. Libraries were a soft under appreciated, overlooked target. I spent a few months dashing about like a headless chicken and didn't sleep well worrying about what might come! My yoga was very very useful at this point, I can recommend it to aide sleep!

It took a while to realise that the only one who make a change was me, very obvious you may think, but the job had been so normal, unchanging and comfortable for nearly 10 years at that point. I sat back and made an audit of me, and found I had become very complacent, set in my ways and I had lost the spark that made me love libraries. It was very hard to start changing and the process is ongoing, I shall never be finished but then I am finding I enjoy the challenge.

I moved my self forward and got mentor training and am helping various mentees for different reasons in many places not all work related or even libraries :-) which has been fun too. I did apply for the next level up of jobs and while I came very close the other candidate had the experience I didn't. But again I learnt more about myself and my own skills, I am also glad on reflection that I didn't get the post as the work load for it on top of my own would be very hard work now. But next time I will try again and hope to do better :-). I am also part of a group developing materials to help support everyone in the service deliver a consistant and easy to use series of Library Skills, both in school and through public libraries.

There is a whole new management here at work, only one has been in post more than 2 years and they are only a year longer, this has meant to things I had accepted in the past being questioned and challenged, why I only take limited numbers with out staff and how many is that! and who sets the limit! thankfully most of my day to day things have been shown to be there for a very good reason, the few that I am changing are being done with full support so I am not being left out on a limb. My Line manager in the school has been in post since January and is still finding his own feet, I get to train him to be the manager I need :-) right from the start.

I don't like change! but have found it doesn't matter if I like it or not it will happen. It is better to go with change and be part of any process than to try and not change and get left behind.

I would agree with Jo Wood, you don't have to do all or be all, do what suits you and remember to fight your own corner, you can get support for CPD even if they won't timetable it, take it on board or acknowledge it. It istn how your boss sees you or how your job is, is a part of you and how you grow, change and develop.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Friday Afternoon

I was looking ahead at next weeks thing for CPD23 and rubbing my hands together in the expectation of a challenge when I find next week is catch up? What no new fiendish challenge, no hoop, no mind bending thoughts needed! It was a bit of a let down (slumps in seat) I have an hour of time to do what I look at as wider community things, some stuff on CPD or just touching base with my mentees, but I have done all that this week already! I am up to date with library skills and only have a couple of new accounts to make for the new first years! I have a list for Mondays meeting and even plans for my weekend. I feel half asleep and needed to be woken, rattled and generally made to dance on my toes!
Schools on a Friday afternoon take on an odd quality, didn't happen in work! didn't happen in college! but in school its like the bodies are all here but no ones home! English have double 3rd year all afternoon! and already I have seen a few who are 'wanting to change a book' for that read, 'don't want to work so will skive instead!'
The staff are also looking at the clock, only so many minutes until the end of the day. End of a strange week! Had the news of a Local Stalwarts Passing last weekend on monday, had a course on EBSM on Wednesday when the funeral was on so missed it. My thoughts have been with Edna all week, and her loss of David, who was her other half. Had various things crop up that I had to fix and get running on the spot so my week hasn't been neat and tidy! Am so proud of my CPD23 things though, hence my wanting to work ahead! This is such a day for exclmation marks, most of my emails have been peppard with them and smily's, very silly but my mind is not running without prods of funny today.
I am trying to find a dress style I like and can make easily and saw this dress and loved it! I make my pinefores and now I need to think about dresses! Also I am being asked to help yarn bomb again so we are making quietly and having fun :-) no more about that now as its still a secret, and we do want to make a suprize!
Must go and sort out for the weekend. and next week I am going to the horse and bamboos show at the lyth arts centre! Looks like its gogin to be amazing :-).

Monday, 3 September 2012

CPD23 Thing #19

Thing #19 Reflect on what changes you have made to your working practices with the new tools from CPD23.

I did CPD23 up to this point last year and then realised I had nearly finished it! I had had so much fun and learnt so many extra things, made links to new people and widened my own horizons so much I felt almost bereft! I put off doing the last few things to drag out CPD23 longer and to keep the feeling of newness and fun. But once I broke from the timetable, other things came in and procrastination set in and I never finished the list. This is a reflection on what you gained and used, I have found so much of it has a direct relevance to my day to day life that to sum it up is hard, even identifying which is 'just' CPD23 and which is other things form my own interests if hard, so I will look at it as an on-going process. The CPD23 tools have opened my own professional development up to a much wider arena. The time table has allowed me to do them when I have time but even then I am reading them every week, I spend part of each week considering my answers to your questions, and how to explain that I didn’t like that and why, or how I don’t know how I lived without it until now.

I have found most of the things have had relevance to my working life, some less so but all have been an experience that I can then pass on to my users as well, even if I didn’t like a tool, it only means me, other may get lots out of a tool and more!

My world is a lot more web orientated, I have a wiki planned when I have it sorted out to help our QI groups who don’t get to meet often.

I still have the basic mash up for inverness planned, which is only really needing a venue that I can get funded or donated to get off the ground.

I tweet and LinkedIn most days and keep track of what is new through blogs and RSS feeds. I have won books and other prizes through Facebook and twitter that have helped expand what I have in my library and I have met loads of wonderful people. I will miss CPD23 when it is done but doubt I shall stop following, and I know that for next year I am making it my main recommendation for all the chartership peeps I know.

I also have my first successful Chartership mentee finished and through.

Roll on things #20 to #23 now I am ready to finish and move on :-) but with fond memories and many thanks.

CPD Thing #18

Thing #18 and only one week late!

Jing, screen capture and Podcasts.

This looks fun, sadly being at work means no downloads at this time, but I will do at home and update my post :-), I spent part of my previous incarnation working on an internet helpdesk. This sounds fun, but really wasn’t, honest it wasn’t fun. I hadn’t thought who would be ringing a helpdesk! I know how hard talking someone through tasks unseen can be, esp. if you don’t have a shared vocabulary. Some of the funniest memories were not funny at the time, but most were due to misunderstandings. My fave misunderstanding was that you could click internet and be running and didn’t need to connect through any one! or that it used your phone line (though you did learn to supress sighs when they came out with, 'it’s okay I have a second line' as it meant they kept you online listening to them dialling and connecting and then finding more questions to ask!) but funniest were the Saturday afternoon after lunch in the pub people who had been egged on by friends and bought a computer on the way home and now while drunk expected it to work instantly! Snigger.

I am gradually finding my life is becoming more about catching podcasts of things I previously just missed, and seeing things previously only available with long trips and time off. I did enjoy the Cilip hustings online, and went on to put in vote for who I liked. I find that I am not as remote when information is shared online and put where others can remote view at a time of their choosing.

I do want to make my library skills as a podcast but may run screaming from the result! I think I would be better taping my real library skills, but as I have sadly come to the end of them for the year it will be next year before I get started (sad I know) and should give me time to get it set up and agreed with management! We shall see.

Friday, 31 August 2012

CPD Thing #17

Thing #17 is Medium is the message, Prezi and slideshare.
I love Prezi, I played last year and made some quite slick productions for a few minutes of play, I have found other uses and had much fun since then too. Also had friends share their prezis and other information all of which I would have no idea with out this thing :-). Slideshare from what I have seen is more like a powerpoint and business tool, the market is much more traditional and is a very slick way to make and show information across many systems and means the finished item is what every one sees, and not as powerpoint which can sometimes reformat if the end user dosen't have microsoft office. I have browsed slide share and watched many different presentations, which have told me loads.
Prezi mean while is more the play side of presentations. I like Prezi, you can drag and twist, make funky or tone down, increase speed or freeze it, add moving pictures and anything else you have in your computer. Its fun and you can make rubbish and still learn through it. Of the two prezi is the one I would turn to to make some fun of my kids, or to show off some plan I had, while slide share is more a report format, calm and infomation heavy. But both are good tools for use.

CPD Thing #16

Thing #16 Advocacy, speaking up for the professional and getting published.
Until I went to the Umbrella conference in 2011 I wasn't really sure what Advocacy meant for me in real terms, how I could help or what I got from it. The conference opened my eyes. I realised I had to be part of this, it is the only way we have to show our professionalism consistently across society. A way to put back some of the bonuses I have got out of the profession and above all a way to raise our profile in the current climate of 'rationalisation' and cuts. I came away wishing I had known more sooner and Promised I would be part of any solution in future!
A year on I am still promoting the good, challenging the bad and keeping the level of professionalism in my own service as high as I can get it :-) this fits well in my mentoring persona, and in my more general career plan (which didn't much exist last year). Best practise has become one of my measuring criteria, and with my increased social links I feel I am making a difference even if it small steps up here.
My latest piece of writing hasn't been my much adored fiction (that I never enter or publish) but an attempt at a technical piece for one of the group magazines from CILIP, I have found getting the motivation hard but I haven't missed this deadline (yet) and once done I hope it will be one of many items I get published. So to sum up thing #16 I am getting more involved and helping to encourage others to also get involved, I do speak up for our profession and feel that is very very important as no man is an island, has never been more true. Finally while I may think my opinion is a bit boring others seem to want to know what I think and say so I should publish more along with my reading more.