Playing with my image – Bitmoji

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So, inspired by a post by Karen Miller, aka @infoliterai, I created an avatar of myself using Bitmoji  – which may look just a little bit like me 🙂 I love the creativity in creating the cartoons, and would love to try my own bitstips. However, I’m feeling a bit technologically inept tonight – I can find the page & the app on Facebook, but it looks as though the Bitstrips app on Facebook is no longer active, but I can use the avatar I created in Bitmoji in other cartoons. Any ideas on other apps or places to use this?

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One small step for man…

Apollo_11_bootprint_2

One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind…

That’s a little bit the way I felt as I participated in a health conference – the first ever non-librarian conference I had been to. It felt like a whole new world, and a new place to explore. I’ll try to capture just a few of my thoughts and impressions from attending this conference, and the wealth of knowledge that I learned.

My current position is Information Specialist (Liaison Librarian if you like) with a special focus on Allied Health & Projects. A large part of my work is getting to understand the many different occupations and specialties that are included in Allied Health and help support their research and best practice. This involves doing literature searches to support projects or work initiatives, teaching information tutorials and one-on-one research tutorials, and attending Allied Health events where possible. Just to give you a bit of an idea, a really simple explanation of Allied Health is anyone working in health that isn’t a doctor or a nurse. Some of the many occupations that fit under the umbrella of Allied Health are:

  • audiology
  • dietitians
  • occupational therapy
  • physiotherapy
  • psychology
  • speech and language therapy
  • social work

I had a poster accepted that talked about how my role was created (probably about a year before I came on board) to specifically liaise with Allied Health & Projects to help support research and evidence-based practice in these areas. I’ve included it below, in case you are interested to see it:

Stronger together - Allied with the Library poster - Abigail Tarbotton

Anyway, my overall impressions from the conference (and from some of the themes that were raised) is that many of the same challenges that face Allied Health face librarians as well. The first keynote by Professor Sharon Mickan focused on the importance of using evidence-based research to support our practice, and she also mentioned what a useful resource health librarians are in both locating resources, creating search strategies, and also co-authoring the research along with the relevant health professionals. The other two keynotes, by Professor Susan Nancarrow, and Dr Graeme Benny, picked up the key themes of education, and how many people are going through long years of training, and then the difficulty of getting jobs that are appropriate to their specializations. They also picked up on the importance of being generalists as well, but still utilizing our areas of expertise and providing that guidance and expert knowledge in multidisciplinary teams. Many of these themes would be equally applicable to librarians, I believe – particularly being generalists, learning new skills, but also making the most of the traditional librarian skills & knowledge as we also work in multidisciplinary teams, and get outside of the library and embedded into wider work teams.

One of the other themes – which I know a lot of other librarians can say Amen to! – is that we are not getting more resources, but we need to keep offering and often extending our service. So the little mantra is “Instead of getting more resources, we need to be more resourceful” – for librarians, what can we do with what we have already to work smarter, to help more people, to allow better & equitable access to resources and knowledge?

Many of the presentations were also inspiring, with many great examples of working together, working smarter with the resources we have, and keeping it focused on the customer/user/patient/person – what do they need and is the service we are providing enough for them?

It was encouraging being able to interact with a lot of different people from different disciplines and perspectives, and to learn more about what they do, and how they are doing it differently in response to changing needs.

While there wasn’t an offical hashtag, one of the participants suggested that we all use #nzahconf16 to index our tweets. Many of the conference participants weren’t on Twitter, so it was really exciting to see some of them pick it up for the first time, or dust off their old accounts, and join the conversation. You can also read a storify of the tweets that I collated from the two day conference.

Overall, I had a blast at conference – thank you very much to my workplace for the support to go and present a poster, and network with Allied Health professionals from around the country. It’s definitely helped me understand some of the key challenges facing Allied Health practitioners in their practice, and hopefully it will help me continue to grow my knowledge of each of these areas so I can support them better in my on-going work.
 So back to you now:
  • Have you been to a conference other than a library conference?
  • What were your impressions?
  • How do you think attending professional development events that are not focused on librarians will help you develop into a better information professional?

Learning to see like your heroes #BlogJune

You dont want to look like your heroes.png

I think I’ve mentioned before how much I love @AustinKleon’s writing, and this is one of my favourite quotes from his book “Steal like an artist: 10 things no one ever told you about creativity.” The main point of this quote is that it’s fine to begin with imitating our favourite heroes, artists, mentors, but it needs to move beyond that. We need to not be content with imitating them (looking like them); we need to see things the way that they saw them and produce art like they might have (but with out own particular spin on it).

I suppose this also extends to professional practice; I’m sure we all have people that we look up to, or who we think about doing this whole librarian-thing really well. But we can’t be exactly like someone else; we have to put our own spin on it. But we can definitely learn from others before us, and the more influences we have – the better our own work will be!

So (at the risk of sounding like Buzzfeed) – you do you 🙂

Social interactions #BlogJune

Social interaction

I’ve seen a couple of posts about social media routines popping up in my newsfeed – @Flexnib did one yesterday on her social media routine changing, and I read one from @Rachway on neglecting her blog. So I thought I’d might jump on that train and discuss my social media preferences…

I used to use Twitter a lot more – was very active on it a few years ago (probably between 2010-2014, when I was studying, being Library Life Editor for LIANZA, and running ANZ 23 mobile things). Then I got full-time work, finished study, and things changed a wee bit. I still tweet my heart out at conferences and PD events, but don’t use it so regularly anymore. I’ve been picking it up a bit more again this year (particularly the last couple of months), and really enjoying it again. Also my Twitter network is growing in different directions – exploring the health side of Twitter for work purposes, as well as the library side, education, and education technology (some of my favourite topics).

Facebook I use personally for friends & family – I do not friend work colleagues as a general rule, and tend to just share personal things (rather than professional/work related things).

I did use Pinterest a bit for wedding planning ideas, but not really for anything else.

LinkedIn I’ve used a bit – mainly just to set up a profile and that, but occasionally I do read posts published on LinkedIn – I don’t tend to publish posts there though.

I’ve also dabbled in sites such as Research gate, and academia.edu for sharing research – I don’t tend to use the social interactions side of the website (like the Q & A feature), but maybe I should do that more 🙂

YouTube I use a bit – mainly for entertainment, but also for tutorials on doing things (sometimes IT related, sometimes more home related). I’ve been using it less though as the wee flat we’ve been living in doesn’t have a home Internet connection (it’s a very new part of a subdivision, and there’s some issues with recognizing us as a separate dwelling, so we can’t get an internet connection until some paper work gets completed), so I don’t tend to do so much at home. We do have friends close by though that have unlimited internet, so sometimes we’ll walk up and use their WiFi. It’s surprising how fast you get used to it though 🙂 I do use mobile data on my phone (but that is still a bit pricey), so don’t stream videos or do things that are too data heavy.

So that’s my social media life at the moment – don’t know if it’s too much different to what it was, probably just less than what is was a wee while ago 🙂

I’m going on an adventure! #BlogJune

I'm going on an adventure

And it’s that time of year – Blog June has began again! You can find out more about it in this excellent blog post by Peta. Go and have a read, and sign up if you want – or just blog 🙂

Looking back at this blog, I haven’t blogged regularly over the last year or so – whoops 🙂 Things have changed a bit in my personal life, I got married, moved cities, and changed jobs (from a full-time tertiary librarian to a part-time health librarian), so quite a lot has happened that I could blog about. So I’m looking forward to using a bit of impetus from this #BlogJune movement to hopefully explore some topics that I’ve been pondering on for a while, but haven’t put into words (or blog posts). Things like:

  • Reflections on an Allied Health conference (first non-library conference I’ve attended!)
  • Reflections on the first Librarian Research Symposium (RLL1) – a rather excellent day of sharing research 🙂
  • Thoughts on literature reviews, curating, and filtering, and presenting the results in a digestible way – was quite struck by @sallyheroes post recently on this topic
  • Using Twitter & social media to discuss and promote research – something I’ve been passionate about for a while, but came across this article yesterday that stoked my enthusiasm again
  • And any other random things I come across, creativity, design thinking, interesting quotes or memes or gifs (aren’t gifs great?)

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So go forth and blog for #BlogJune – looking forward to reading everyone’s posts!

A rose by any other name…

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So I’ve been a bit quiet again on this blog recently – whoops; my bad…

But I think I have a pretty good excuse – I just got married!
(and by just, I mean around 6 weeks ago; same diff)

And along with getting married, I’ve changed my name. I think I might have just about changed every instance of it I can think of (at least those that appear on the Internet; that’s the problem with having a sizable digital footprint). And updated my driver’s license, bank accounts, etc… My AT hop card (transport concession card) got blocked yesterday 😦 I still had the same credit card number, but I’d forgotten to go online and change my name in that field – so I hadn’t quite got all the places.

But yeah – the main aim of this post is that you’ll still see me online, and in person, but instead of being Miss Abigail Willemse, I am now Mrs Abigail Tarbotton ❤

20160109 Matthew & Abbys wedding (122)

My husband owns a claymore, so it featured in our photos, and also doubled nicely as a knife to cut the wedding cake 😀

20160109 Matthew & Abbys wedding (116)

Married life is a lot of fun; I totally recommend it 😀 ❤

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 😀

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? 🙂