Thing 4: Current Awareness

Awareness is something I’ve been working on since I graduated from library school last month. Working and going to school full time doesn’t leave much room for extra reading and exploring, but I knew that it was important to stay involved with my library education and the library community once I graduated.

Twitter
I joined Twitter about a month ago. This week’s Thing mentioned the oft-held opinion that Twitter is for frivolous updates, and I must admit I was under the same impression. When I let my friends know I was joining Twitter many of them didn’t understand why, and I was skeptical myself. I started myself off by following some of my favorite chefs and basketball players because it was easy to find them. It took me a week or so to start connecting with other LIS students and professionals. About half of the people I follow now are LIS related, and I’m really impressed with the structure of Twitter and the vibrant LIS community that exists there. I feel as though I’ve already made some useful connections and it’s nice to know that there are other newbie librarians out there! I’ve found that Twitter helps me stay current with LIS trends and helps me to show my interests to anyone browsing my feed. As I said, I love the use of tagging users and hash tags to categorize information. When I first started CPD23 I searched for it on Twitter to find other people who were actively discussing the program. I must say that I am very glad to have joined Twitter, and I hope to use it professionally in whatever library I land in. Speaking of jobs, I’ve found several very useful Twitter accounts to follow for jobs. One in particular is “I Need a Library Job”. I never thought before that I could use Twitter as a resource for job searching, but it has been immensely helpful.

RSS Feeds
I was introduced to RSS feeds in general, and Google Reader in particular, in my first quarter of graduate school. I immediately joined Google Reader and have been using it daily since. It gave me the instant benefit of deleting several links from my Firefox bookmark menu, and a secondary benefit of finding a new way to explore my interests. I had asked my colleagues for LIS blog recommendations, and I’ve been following LISNews, the Swiss Army Librarian, Librarian in Black, and multiple job boards since I opened my account. I have been adding to my list of feeds slowly over time, and I am looking forward to exploring more LIS related feeds to follow now that I’m out of school. I am happy to see the CPD23 RSS feed because I wanted a way to keep up with the posts for the program and RSS is much more effective than random blog choosing from the list of participants!

Pushnote
Pushnote is the only service I’d never used or heard of prior to this course. I downloaded it yesterday and used it to review a few sites. None of my Facebook or Twitter friends are using the service currently, so I was unable to see the full social potential of the service. It’s annoying that Pushnote isn’t supported by IE because that limits is usability when traveling away from my home computer. There is no iPhone app, so I can’t use it on my mobile device. This limits the effectiveness of the service because I feel like I would only ever use it from my home computer. I like the simplicity of the star design and the changing of colors to designate changes, but I don’t think this is something I need/want to use for myself at this time. The LIS nerd in me is excited by the idea of Pushnote, and I can see how it could be useful if some modifications were made. It would be nice for a library system to have the same Pushnote account linked to all browsers because it would allow librarians to annotate pages from the Internet without having to go the extra step to create webpages, wikis, etc. for annotating links.

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