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Archive for August, 2007

Have you ever spent money on a PD (professional development) activity and wondered what you actually got out of it??I have just completed 6 months of a coaching program with Geraldine Barkworth and found it to be one of the best investments I have made in myself. Not only is the money outlayed tax deductible, but I was able to converse with my own mentor for a lengthy period of time (not just a one day session), in a one on one, safe and confidential situation!

Here’s what I have to say about the experience. If I can answer any questions, please contact me and send me your email address and I’ll be happy to reply.

“ The six months coaching sessions with Geraldine Barkworth was the best money I’ve spent on professional development in years. Where else can you get a tailored program to suit the most important person in the training, YOU! And then, speak with your coach every two weeks to ensure that you are staying on track with all that you’d like to improve in yourself and achieve in your professional life. Plus, the expense is fully deductible on your tax!
 
When I tell people about coaching, they are amazed that the coaching is conducted over the phone. Geraldine has amazingly perceptive honing skills, picking up every word you say. No stone is left unturned, and she will shine a spotlight on something that you might say as a throw away sentence. She will help you analyse blockages in your life and help you move through them. Sometimes you feel like she can see right into you, without being invasive. I believe this is a great quality in not just a coach, but any human being! I kept thinking, “This is the right coach for me”. Another plus factor is that Geraldine is a previous information professional, so she understands exactly where I’m coming from. She can not only walk the walk, but she can talk the talk! She knows what issues we are facing in the workplace and also can see the future of our profession.
 
I recommend with coaching, that you push the boundaries, try new things, bounce them off Geraldine, analyse them, write them down and get things happening! Don’t rest on your laurels, but push your own boundaries to become a more effective information professional. Take all that coaching offers and more, as this program is for you, and you alone. You will not get an opportunity anywhere else to focus on yourself with so much dedicated time and your very own coach. With coaching, you will see your life transform in front of your eyes! And you will not be disappointed! “ Jill Stephens, Library & Intranet Manager, Melbourne, 2007.

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Okay, small observation, but I seem to like doing this.

All of the NLS4 Team is blogging, see in my blog roll on the right for the links

  • Aus Library Technician
  • Ballarat Library Chick
  • Dunn and Wilson
  • Librarian Idol
  • Thoughts and Reflections
  • Totally Trevor
  • and of course, moi, Intech the Verve

This wasn’t deliberate, but what a great way to consolidate our thoughts and concentrate on areas in the profession we like. It will be good to see what we all focus on. Me, seems be education, students, NLS Website and photos and other mish mash. Oh, okay, the technology part seems to get me too.

It would be good if we could hook up all our blogs on the ONE page !! MMmmm, how could we do that. That would be interesting…thoughts anyone? Is it possible? I’d say it could be.

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Last night at the ALIA 70th Birthday celebrations in Melbourne, our team launched the NLS4 Melbourne 2008 website. About a month ago, we set 20 August as the date for launching the website, as it made good sense to launch it when we had a captive audience, and why not also perform this at our Associations significant birthday.

And I was amazed at how well our team pulled together when I asked for content on each of the pages. It was a thrill to see the content flowing in over a day or so, and the pages coming together. The launch is a significant milestone and proves what a functioning and interactive team we are, considering quite a few of us are dispersed over the country. Gotta love technology that enables us to move on with our job and connect to each other.

By launching the website, I feel like a proud mother who has held her child close, readying them for the real world, who is now lauched into learning, and ready to be filled with information. I’m sure there will be those who will hack on what we have done, but it’s funny, you tend to only hear the bad, so I’m used to that with web work. I seem to be a bit numb to that critical element and tend not to take it personally. And I now know how to elicit those good stories from people I meet or chat to about the site.

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Well, I came home from work on Friday, after a bit of a fun night on Thursday, glad to be home so I could catch up on some sleep but also do some of my other extra curricular activities, only to hit the house and find the house pump blew a gasket !! (literally). So that threw Friday night’s activities out the window where I had to go back to mans basic needs and attend to our water problem ! It’s lucky we didn’t lose the thousands of litres of water that’s in the tanks, so I presumed the blow out hadn’t happened long ago. I rang a plumber, who was obviously at the pub, and he patted me down by assuring me that I could do the job MYSELF !!! I was pretty cranky at womens lib issues at that time, as I thought, “here we go, now we have to do these jobs ourselves since we think we’re so independent”. Anyway, after much deliberation I rang a more obliging plumber who fixed my leaky pipes, but not till the next day and after considerable hours without water…

The good thing I taught myself this weekend, in a heartbeat, is podcasting. I am very impressed. I asked the guy at Dick Smith for a microphone to make podcasts, and since he was younger than me I thought he’d know what I was on about, anyway, he took me somewhere else in the store, and I said “I need a mike, like the one you sing into…”. He looked confused. So obviously he didn’t know about podcasting. Oh well. I got a super duper mike as I want to have good quality, came home and downloaded audacity, and then “testing testing” and it worked ! Hooray. This is easy and great. I am podcasting a launch on Monday night (details to come after Monday) where we will put the launch on the website. Plus, I also want to do a range of podcasting at work. Where else could it be used?? Gem suggested to tape our meetings for the NLS4 Conference, for those who can’t attend out meetings. What an awesome idea. And I’m sure there will be other uses…maybe those Karaoke nights (you want to forget) or any other fun you could benefit from it.

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 I mentioned in an earlier post that I met up with an old student of mine, Lizzy Player, in Bangkok, Thailand. Mind you, I had a funny tummy and couldn’t stomach anything. So Lizzy and my husband got to indulge in Thai food while I attempted not to watch.

We still did a bit of a tiny pub crawl, firstly hitting a place called Cheap Charlies. Which is basically a pub on the street where all the ex pats and tourists hit. And yes, it’s cheap but also full of lots of ephemeral stuff that would cause any small child to have nightmares. But it adds to the attraction of the place. Below is a pic of us at CC’s.

Cheap Charlies

Anyway, view below and you will see what I’m on about.

Thanks Lizzy for a great catch up !! You are a gem ! And it’s good to throw out the image of librarians as being shhhhhhhhh people, as this catch up was one to remember. Librarians rock in Bangkok !

cc-pic.jpg

cc.jpg

Yeeeees, the restaurant is called, Cabbages and Condoms !!

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Small win…

After giving away the tarmac for 4 days (returning from Thailand), I headed back off to that wonderful place, called the airport, to hit the tarmac bound for Sydney. Luckily there is a small airport just “over the road” and by that, I mean, it’s 1o minutes away from home which is pretty lucky.

But I must get this conversation on the road and stop my faffing…

The main reason for my Sydney visit was to attend the Intranet Leadership Forum as James Robertson was discussing Enterprise 2.0. Mind you, I hit him with “what do you think Web 3.0 will be like?”. As I really like 2.0 and think it has done a lot to revolutionise the way we do things on the web, but it really bugs me when I have to visit so many applications with so many passwords. I know there are an emerging range of products that do bring the products together, but I think I’m waiting for the “big bang” and for something really worthwhile to happen on the web…

As a part of going to Sydney, I always work in the Sydney Office as well, and it’s a great time to catch up with staff. Previous visits to the Sydney Office have proved to be slow to gain staffs acceptance of both library and intranet services. But this time, two teams were waiting for me, waiting to get their “show on the road” (portal implementation) and I said to myself quietly “finally…”. I think the main reason for these two teams coming on board with so much enthusiasm is because the people assigned to Knowledge Management representative in their team are also very “tech savvy” people. Something for me to be aware of when I meet other KM representative staff in team. It truly helps to make the information battle that bit easier…

And, it’s nice to back home again…I’ll be keeping these feet on the ground for a little while now.

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How could we measure the skill outcomes of student placements? As I don’t seem to think it is really done in a succinct way. Maybe there is a reason for that.

The story I have in my post from my past student, Vanessa Lastrina, (A 3rd years experience so far) actually extracts some skills she has learnt, which includes:

  • Dublin Core
  • Extranets
  • Intranet
  • Thesaurus Construction
  • Databases
  • Cataloguing – including websites
  • Metadata
  • Ultranet
  • Gateway
  • Content Management System

This is a list derived from Vanessa’s own learning. It has got me thinking about whether educational institutions should assess their students learning by checking off the list as well as getting students to write their diary and complete a project. I think it would also be great for their resume as they can list what they have learnt in the workplace. Not sure what others think about this?

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