Writing about my multi-faceted role

My line-manager suggested I might consider writing an article for SCONUL Focus (a journal published by the Society of College, National and University Libraries*), since a forthcoming issue is focusing on supporting research. There was a call for writing by librarians who combine research with librarianship – and that’s me to a “T”.
I wrote my piece over the past few days, but felt that something was missing; eventually, I realised that I needed to write about my current pedagogical activities as well as my librarianship and ongoing research. I submitted it late last night; now I need to wait to see if it is what the editors were looking for!

An Intervention

I’ve designed the first of two ‘interventions’ for my PGCert project. This one is a powerpoint, which will have a recorded voiceover.  The 18 slides will change at a brisk pace – it’s a basic introduction to referencing/citation, and I don’t want the students to be bogged down by too much detail. The intention is that it will introduce why academic rigour requires referencing/citation, and ways to make it easier for ourselves using bibliographic software.  A full introduction to each product is obviously not feasible here, but it should act as a taster.

I haven’t written or recorded the voiceover yet.  That’s very definitely for another day! The words are in my head, but I’ve spent so many hours getting this far that I cannot do any more just now.

Multiple Hats

Oops, it’s a week since I blogged.  This is in part due to my trip down to the University of Oxford last week to give a paper at the Cultures of Collecting event at TORCH (The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities).  The poster gives further details:-

There were four papers – mine was the first.  There was an enthusiastic and welcoming audience, so I felt it went very successfully. (It also gave me a range of other things to think about, which I wouldn’t otherwise have encountered!) Click here for my PowerPoint.   In preparation, I read several papers from Elsner and Cardinal’s book, The Cultures of Collecting, which were thought-provoking to say the least .. and yes, I now have a list of more books I’d like to get hold of!

Now I must get back to the business of my PGCert project.  I do now have a questionnaire, albeit not yet turned into a SurveyMonkey online survey.  First, I have to submit an ethical approval form, so that’s the next hurdle to cross.

Watch “A first attempt at a vlog, or video-log” on YouTube

This is going to be a sharp learning curve! First lesson of the day – one that any telejournalist could have told me – at the start of a recording, pause and SMILE before actually starting speaking.

The next experiment will entail trying to combine selfie-vlogging and outward-facing vlogging, so I can talk about the library or something on-screen.  And comparing the whole experience of recording a YouTube on tablet or on a laptop.  My tutor’s going to be So Proud of me!

Everything Changes … But Not Yet

I had a momentary hesitation when it suddenly dawned on me that our new library management system would be implemented this year – staff training starts next month – and I wondered whether one of my PGCert project ‘interventions’ might therefore be an introduction to the new catalogue, rather than to the present one.

However, it transpires that we don’t go live until July, so my intervention will probably have to be an introduction to the current system.  If it has to be re-jigged subsequently, then that will just be a routine task as part of my role as a librarian. (Indeed, there is much to be said for a test-run on the present system, to ensure that any suggested improvements can be incorporated into a learning-tool for the new one.)

Meanwhile, I shall continue thinking about questions for my survey, and the rapidly-becoming-unavoidable task of the ethical approval form. (Historical musicologists don’t usually do much in the way of ethical approval – our subjects are so long deid!)