Wednesday, October 12, 2011

cdp23..."thing 23"

Our final "thing", WOW, I made it. Not that I ever doubted myself but I will admit some weeks were a little harder then others. All in all, this entire process was very rewarding and informative. Besides the obvious new technology I learned along the way, I also took a personal journey that taught me much more. Having to blog each week helped me grow as a writer (well not really, I still don't think I'm very good at expressing myself, but at least I am not as fearful of writing as I use to be).

In addition to that, I now view myself as more of a professional then I did before. That may sound strange but taking a program that is designed for librarians when you are not, can be a bit intimidating. However, it gave me an opportunity to mingle and learn right along with them. While taking steps needed to complete various "things" I found I was evaluating myself and my position in the library. What I discovered is although I am just a library clerk, I share the same passions and desires as librarians. My knowledge may be more self taught then book learned but it is just as prevalent. I look forward to using SMART in order to keep growing and setting both professional and personal goals for myself.

In closing I would like to thank all those responsible for this program and to say no matter what position a person holds in the library world being an advocate for them is the utmost importance.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

cdp23..."thing 22"

Volunteering is truly a wonderful thing, and I have done plenty in my lifetime but I have never worked unpaid to further my career. However, when I think about it, indirectly perhaps I have. When my kids were younger I helped out at their schools on many occasions. From chaperoning on trips, to class and lunch room "helper", to assisting with holiday craft projects, all of these activities stayed with me and I find myself drawing upon them at my current job in the Children's Room at the Saratoga Springs Public Library. Other volunteering ventures I've done, soup kitchen, Girl Scout Leader, etc...also have added to the "foundation" of experience I've built over the years.

I believe all aspects of volunteering is a very good thing and it is in no way devaluing our profession or any other for that matter. It is something that should be encouarged for people of ages to participate in. The lessons learned are invalueable.

cdp23..."thing 21"

Strengths of mine in the workplace...relate well with others and always strive to have a positive attitude, (whether it's working with the public or other staff members), a very quick study and enjoy learning new things, (which is the main reasons I am partaking in this course), have a strong computer knowledge, enjoy working with the public, (especially children), can easily adapt to change, and am very creative.

Outside of work...I am a self taught seamstress and have turned that hobby into freelance work. Plus, I am a mom of four and that alone has brought out talents I never even knew I had.

Bringing my home "talents" to work is something I do without even trying. My creative and compassionate side come through and I am fortunate that my employers are open to new ideas.

Interviewing tips...This past week I had the opportunity at work to be on an interviewing committee to decide which of three candidates our library would hire to be the new human resource manager. The entire process taught me a lot about what an employer looks for in an applicant. If experience and schooling are similar among them, often times it is the little things, eye contact or lack there of, body language, how you handle certain questions, etc. that may help to tilt the scales in your favor.

In closing I would like to say do I love the feeling of satisfaction I get after I complete something I've worked on. Since I try to put my all into whatever I do, either at work or at home, I get that feeling often. When our committee came to a final decision on who to hire today, it was so satisfying knowing I worked and collaborated with my peers to select the right person for the job.
And when I go home tonight and finish the dress I am making or help my daughter complete her college essay, the same sense of satisfaction will roll over me.

All I can say is try to find a job where that is something you feel and will continue to experience and then you'll know you are doing the right job.

side note: I plan on a HUGE sense of accompleshment when I finish all my 23 "things"!!!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

cdp23...thing "19"

As my not in numerical order "things" reflect, I am behind. Simple reason for that...thing "19" doesn't require exploring or learning any new technology so I have been avoiding it. Don't get me wrong, I see the benefit of reflecting on what I've gained from the program so far and how I might use what I've learned but...writing and I are like water and oil. The two just don't mix. With that said, I have improved. Making myself blog each week has opened me up so if I only gain that from this program I feel I'm ahead of the game.

But I won't stop there. I have absorbed so much more. I now use my RSS daily, I love my personalized igoogle, prezi is a blast (I am hoping to create something to highlight some of our children's programs that might even be put up on our website), adding a link to my blog on a wiki was very exciting, evernote and google docs are super helpful tools I am glad to know how to use, and I always have and always will be an advocate for mine and all libraries. Twitter I am still not a big fan of, although I do admit I haven't given it that much of a chance. However, I feel like Dorothy from "The Wizard of Oz" because by far the single most important "thing" I have learned so far is something I have known all along. That I completely enjoy working and collaborating with others. Even though this program is basically designed for individuals to participate on their own, if anyone out there has read any of my posts they will know my co-worker Laura and I are taking this "journey" together. I look forward each week to the one evening we both work together on this week's "thing". We have even dubbed that day "Tech Thursday". We don't plan to stop when this program ends. We have both been inspired to keeping growing and exploring the technical world and trying to utilize it at our wonderful library.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

cdp23..."thing 20"

I am embarrassed to admit that adding my blog to a wiki and therefore opening it up for even more people to read, frightens me. Writing has never been a strong suit of mine. Putting my thoughts into words is one thing but writing them down is another. However, I am trying to improve myself and grow by participating in this “23 things for professional development” program. So I will push forward and“talk” about my library roots/routes, and who knows, maybe someone out there in the “wiki” world will find it interesting and “reading” worthy.

In some ways I feel I’m at a total disadvantage in this program and perhaps don’t belong here at all. I am not a librarian so I can not blog first hand about my education. However, I do work at a library. I am a clerk in the Children's Room at Saratoga Springs Public Library, which is in upstate New York. In some ways I feel I am qualified to be a librarian but not because of schooling or degrees but because of my work experience. I have many job duties and am often called upon to handle reference questions of all types. I have a very good knowledge of books, in particular children's literature, both old and new. I know our stacks inside and out. I can help patrons sometimes quicker than our librarians can. I know that life experiences don’t hold the weight formal education does but often times I wish it would.
Being a single mom my first thought in getting my current job was finding a way to support my family. About 6 years ago my local public library needed someone to shelve books a few hours in the morning. All of my four children were now school age and I was looking for employment. I have always loved libraries so I was hoping this job would be a good fit. Once I began working there I knew it is where I was meant to be. It wasn’t long before I moved to part time library clerk and eventually full time clerk. Since I work in the children’s room my duties are not very clerical but rather more dealing with the public, both kids and adults through programming, etc. I feel in some ways my “route” to librarianship is just beginning. With that thought in mind, I always jump at the chance to broaden my horizons and learn more. I have considered going back to school to get my degree and hopefully one day I will become a librarian. Being a part of this program and getting to "meet" other librarians gives me hope and incentive that one day that may come true. Thanks!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

cdp23...thing 17

Below is Laura and my first attempt at Prezi...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

cdp23...thing 18

Screen capturing... Laura, my partner in crime, I mean my co-worker and fellow cdp23 participant, and I, were excited to explore the possibilties of thing 18. We had to wait until "Tech Thursday" (the one evening we both work together and it is slow enough to break away from normal duties and work on a special new project). I was pleased to read that an alternative was given this time for those in the program that have work computers that downloading programs is not an option. We used screencast o-matic, which was very basic and easy to navigate through. Laura had the great idea of making an instructional video explaining driving directions to our library. We each recorded a video demonstrating on a map. We attempted to include sound but that was unsuccessful. We plan on checking with our computer staff and hopefully the next screencast will also have us talking.

In the mean time, below is our humble first try at screen capturing.