Are you my mentor? Mentoring in the Twittersphere

CreativityCreativity” by Mark van Laere licensed under CC BY 2.0 

After around a year – gulp (and considering my last post was about getting back in the habit of writing – whoops) – I am returning to my neglected blog. There are a couple of reasons:

1). I do really enjoy writing a blog, reflecting on my learning, and sharing my thoughts with others

2). I need some help from my community – and need a solid place to put that information :D

The good news is that I have been accepted to write a chapter in an upcoming book – Beyond mentoring: A guide for librarians and information professionals. Yay!

The bad news (not that it’s terribly bad) is that it is due the day after my wedding in early January 2016 – so I am setting myself a deadline of Christmas 2015.

But here’s where you come in…

Around two years, I conducted my BA research on how librarians use Twitter to form and cultivate informal mentoring relationships – you can read more on it in my post here, my research questions and answers here on the New Professionals NZ blog, and you can read the published results in the New Zealand Library and Information Management Journal [NZLIMJ].

So I am revisiting my research from 2013, updating the literature to reflect the current environment today, and adding in some more information/angles/topics – as my chapter has to be 5000-7000 words compared with the measly 3000 words I’ve already written on the subject.

Some of the areas I’m thinking about/questions I’m asking are below:

  • Current/up-to-date stats or estimates on the number of librarians with personal Twitter accounts in NZ, and also compare that with the international results – thanks heaps, Sarah Gallagher @sarahlibrarina and Sally Pewhairangi @sallyheroes for your helpful ideas
  • Peer mentoring/reverse mentoring/informal mentoring/community of learners/PLN versus the traditional hierarchical model of mentoring
  • Formal and informal programmes that involve either mentoring or Twitter or both
  • Use of Twitter chats as professional development, support, mentoring, etc…
  • Conference hashtags/virtual attendance of online PD events
  • Examples in pop culture/movies/TV shows of peer mentoring – found some interesting examples of the typical hierarchical mentoring (Anakin & Yoda type thing), but looking for examples to contrast
  • Future of mentoring in the age we live in

So these are some of the things that are floating around my head at the moment – I’d love to chat about them and hear your opinions & ideas. For convenience sake, I am trying to use the hashtag #TwitMentoring in each tweet I do that relates to it, so I can go back and index it or save those conversations.

Really looking forward to the conversations this will generate, getting my first draft done and polished, writing the final one, and submitting it all before my wedding! Thanks for all your help, encouragement, support and #thinkythoughts so far everyone – where would I be without my Twitter family? :)



Getting back into the habit…

10 habits by papayatreelimited licensed under CC BY-NY 2.0

Dearie me – I seem to have written a few of these types of posts at one time or another; usually after I have spent all my blogging energy on #BlogJune and then say nothing for several months :)

But despite having been to several blogging catchups – I have not published a post since 9 September – just before I went to Melbourne for ALIA Conference 2014! A lot has happened since then – several conferences, one award, presentations, and heaps of work stuff, but I’ve found that my mind has been full of other things and I haven’t had time (or I haven’t made time!) to sit down and assemble it into some kind of blog post.

So I’m hoping to get back into the blogging habit and to get some of these ramblings out of my head onto this blog. I’m looking forward to blogging about open access, the intersection of technology and education, progressing on my professional registration journey, and lauding the virtues of HTML as I move into a custodian role of the library website.

So this is just a small taster of some of the things to come – so watch this space as I get back into the habit! :)

Journey over the ditch…


Journey” by Mattia Merlo licensed under CC BY 2.0

So by this time next week, I’ll be in Melbourne, Australia – just starting my week over there for ALIA Conference 2014. I’m doing a co-presentation on ANZ 23 Mobile Things with Kate Freedman (@Katejf) who is an awesome friend & partner-in-crime (translate: co-organizer of the aforesaid programme).

I’m looking forward to lots of things:

  • Meeting Kate IRL for the first-time and hanging out over the weekend
  • Doing my first co-presentation; done a few by myself, but looking forward to this new dynamic
  • Exploring Melbourne – any suggestions for place to see/visit/shop or eat at?
  • Meeting heaps of amazing library people at ALIA Conference – I know quite a few from Twitter, but looking forward to meeting more & building those connections IRL
  • Taking the library tours on Friday – seriously; a whole day exploring libraries? I’m keen!

So if you’re attending the conference, or work in a local library, please come up and say hi! I’m keen to meet as many new people as I can and am looking forward to making the most of this opportunity :D

So brace yourself Melbourne – I’m coming for you (along with a whole bunch of other librarians)!

Last night of being fourteen forever… #BlastFromThePast

This is some prose I wrote the night before my 15th birthday; pretty full of teen angst, but thought it might be a fun blast from the past to celebrate my birthday today! I won’t tell you exactly how old I am, but this poem dates from 8 years ago… 

Infinity” by David Yu licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Tonight is my last night of being fourteen – forever.

Tonight is my last night of being fourteen. I don’t feel that much older, but fifteen sounds too old. It just makes me aware that time is flowing by like a river and I cannot reclaim it. It’s gone – forever.

Soon I’ll be twenty, and then it’s not far till thirty or even the big four-o. My life is flowing through my hands like water; I have to enjoy each sparkle, laugh at every ripple, and treasure every drop.

I’m not usually this pensive or melancholy, birthdays bring it out in me. The numbers make me realise another year has gone; a year of good time and bad times, a year of struggle and upheaval and settling down again. Life goes so fast, too fast; you wish it might last longer, but the thought of eternity makes me awed.

Living forever – the thought kind of scares me. Sometimes just finishing in peace and sleeping one last time seems better. Indeed, spending eternity on this earth would be a burden, seeing all the evilness and brokenness forever. But spending eternity with my Maker in a perfect earth will be wonderful beyond the limits of imagination. My finite mind cannot grasp infinity, I am bounded by time. But I am convinced, that bursting the boundaries of time and letting my spirit soar will be scary and yet the most wonderful thing ever.

Emergence – How #BlogJune has helped me discover my voice

Emergence by ALice Popkorn
Emergence” by Alice Popkorn licensed under CC BY 2.0

I usually always look for a Creative Commons image to use with my blog posts; typically, I start out with an idea in my head and then find an image to match my theme. In this case, I was looking for images about “creativity” and this one really stood out to me. It’s slightly different from the theme I’d planned to write about, but it has set in motion a whole other line of thinking for this post – which I love! Serendipity – isn’t it a wonderful thing?

Anyway, this image is lovely because it perfectly captures the feeling of the new things I blogged about for #BlogJune – creativity, inspiration, things that make me laugh or smile, and creative writing :D Last time, I blogged more about work and library profession issues, but this time around, I really enjoyed exploring my creative side. I’ve found some fantastic books to read over the last month, and some interesting videos (like TED talks, Columbo, and more Monty Python clips – always good).

It also is a metaphor for the emergence or growth of my blogging ‘voice’ – I didn’t realize that creativity was a theme that resonated so strongly with me, but I discovered some great resources and writers this month which have really helped feed my interest in this area. I love the use of light and colour in this image and the vitality and hope it emotes – I hope my blogging voice continues to grow in the coming month and that this #BlogJune won’t be the shot in the dark for a largely dormant blog…

Out of interest, here are several other images I toyed with for this post (but ultimately decided it didn’t quite match the theme of this post – I may use them later on) :D

Creativity is intelligence having fun
Creativity is intelligence having fun” by BK licensed under CC BY 2.0

I thought this was a really clever use of light and creativity, plus it’s coupled with an excellent quote by Albert Einstein – very hard to pass up!

Creativity vs art
Creativity vs art” by Conor Thaxter licensed under CC BY 2.0

Another excellent quote about the importance of creativity, but also a reminder that you need to be selective after you have been creative.

Creativity” by Mark van Laere licensed under CC BY 2.0

This image also elaborates on the theme established in the last one; creativity is important, but you may toss out many ideas to find one that’s a keeper. Loved the use of light, the physicality of the paper, and the shadow of the broom – very nice composition!

In closing, I hope everyone enjoyed the process of #BlogJune! I’m looking forward to catching up on more of the posts over the next month – see you on Twitter and in the blogosphere!

Just one more thing… #Columbo #BlogJune


I’m sure if you follow me on Twitter you may have noticed a recent spike in tweets on a particular topic – Columbo. Columbo (if you didn’t know) is a TV series from the 1970s starring Peter Falk as the titular character, a police inspector dressed in a brown trench coat. Each episode stars a famous actor in the role of the murderer and follows through the murder and the aftermath where Columbo pieces all the bits together and traps the murderer, either through his words or actions.

I was introduced to Columbo by a good friend at work – thanks @technogogical :) He particularly admired Columbo’s questioning technique and his ability to make the murderer let his guard down because he underestimated Columbo’s intelligence. Columbo acts very unassuming and incompetent, but this is a facade that hides his keen intellect. I was intrigued enough to order the first season. Now I’m two episodes in and also hooked on Columbo.

The funny thing is that when you express interest in a particular topic, you discover there is a whole community who are passionate about the same topic!

Did you know there is a synchronized Columbo watching Twitter group? I didn’t, but now I do! Follow the hashtag #ColumboTV if you are interested.

So if you haven’t yet seen Columbo, I hope this post encourages you to check him out! Watch the video clip for a small taster :)