Video killed the…handout?

Throughout the last 6 months or so I have been continuously working on my video creating skills. This has eventuated in my created on a user manual for a legal database, Timebase LawOne. This was part of my assessment for my Legal Librarianship course I completed at QUT.

I have created a series of six videos that show you the features and how to use this database. The videos are nice and short so users do not need to commit a lot of time and effort to get some helpful information. I am including these videos as part of my portfolio as they show how I have been able to quickly learn new technologies and produce something innovative and useful for clients. The development of my video creation skills has been a really good professional development activity as I believe these skills will become more and more useful as information becomes more online than ever before.

Please find my video below. I welcome any feedback 🙂

 

Go back to Part D – Professional at Work

Lately I’ve been thinking about…Library Advisers

Since July last year I have been back working at QUT as a Library Adviser. For the first six months I was fortunate to receive a fixed term contract to work back at my old QUT library at Gardens Point. It was great to go back and see everyone again! I loved coming back to the library and working with librarians and students to help solve queries and help support study, it was like coming home. Though the faces didn’t change all that much I had to remember and learn a lot of new things. Coming back this time around I had a more substantive role and was able to sink my teeth into projects more. Not only this but after 6 months I was lucky enough to secure an ongoing contract at QUT Law Library, which is where I have been working part-time since the start of the year.

Some of the key things I have learnt and/or worked on as a Library Adviser include –

  • Research support – helping and liaising with academics with regards to setting up their ORCID profiles. This really helped me network and understand research biometrics and grants better.
  • Videos – I created and collaborated with librarians with regards to several short videos on how to use complex Business databases including Marketline, Passport GMID and PRS Country Data. I used various software including Articulate Reply, Screencastomatic, Adobe Premier Pro & Audition and Audacity. This was a great opportunity to develop my video making skills and made me confident to offer my video making knowledge in my new role. While at the Law Library I have made several videos for Justice students to show them how to use CINCH and AGIS databases.
  • Captions – Working with a small team I helped to create captions and transcripts for the majority of QUT Library’s videos that appear on YouTube. To do this I developed my YouTube skills and also my understandings of accessibility of the videos and the difference between captions and transcripts. I also learnt about accessibility with regards to QUT obligations legally and what the library needs to have in order to comply with legislation.
  • Teaching – I have taught and assisted in several classes over the last few months. I taught, by myself, generic library workshops to students. I also co-taught an introductory legal research workshop several times at the start of this semester. I have found that these teaching experiences are very similar to my training experiences at Madame Tussauds London. My time there made me confident in my abilities and slightly less scared to run a class by myself. I really enjoy teaching these workshops and have received positive feedback from my colleagues, so hopefully I can keep doing more as my experience grows.
  • Law – working at the Law Library (and completing a Law Librarianship unit) has really deepened my interest and knowledge of the legal profession. I can now find Caselaw and legislation confidently and am wrapping my head around AGLC3. It is an interesting field and I hope to learn more about it while working at the Law Library.

Being a Library Adviser is great. I love the face to face client contact I have working on the help desk and the continual learning that I am doing. I am utilising many information skills including information retrieval when I assist in locating cases and legislation, information management when assisting the Liaison Librarians with the management of the collection. This was also seen when I assisted in reorganising the Law database page from QUT Library homepage. The databases had to arranged in a way that was easily accessible to both students and academics and promoted and aided in the preferred legal researching techniques. Information literacy and organisation skills are also used when creating captions and videos for clients to ensure that information is easily accessible for all.

I am sure this is a role that will continue to push my professional development and I cannot wait to see what else I can do and accomplish as a Library Adviser!

 

Go back to Part D – Professional at Work

HR Coordinator, here we go!

Since my last glowing review of HR for an information professional, I have been promoted to HR Coordinator. I have been doing this new role for 8 months now and let me tell you, it has been interesting, challenging, motivating, hectic and FUN! I have really enjoyed growing into this role and taking on additional responsibilities and improving as an information and HR professional and getting to work alongside an amazing team.

It was quite difficult for the first month or so as I straddled my old and new jobs. There was a seriously high volume of work coming through from my old job with no one to take it on and I was struggling to learn my new responsibilities. However, I persevered and worked on my time management and delegation skills and was able to process a bulk load of information into our payroll data base in order to meet our deadlines. As an information professional this has really enhanced by database knowledge and my information management skills as I had to sort through a lot of information and select the appropriate information in an efficient way.

Not all of it has been hard times. In my new role, as I have a bit more seniority and experience I am able to communicate a lot more with a range of different people including higher up managers such as the General Managers of Madame Tussauds and the London Dungeon as well as directors of the Merlin London Cluster. Being confident and knowledgeable enough to advise with a variety of people throughout the business is important as an information professional as it allows me to communicate information effectively and efficiently.

Other additional responsibilities I have taken on as a HR Coordinator include being much more active in Recruitment and Training. I can now run assessment centers and conduct interviews with candidates and have also run several training courses, including company inductions. These are great experiences and have really aided in my development as a HR and information professional. Both training and recruitment require me to impart information to a group of individuals. For training it is for the employees development and growth that I must effectively teach them new knowledge and skills. This is a vital skill as an information professional, as people learn in different ways so I have had to use different learning techniques, such as presentations, videos, group activities and individual activities, throughout the training courses in order for all employees to gain from the experience. I have had to share and communicate information in different mediums such as oral, written and visual in order for each employee to grasp the information. Again, this is a VITAL tool for any information professional.

Running assessment centres and conducting interviews has also helped my information skills. Again, I must impart a lot of important information to sometimes a large group of candidates. I must manage the information given to them so they aren’t overwhelmed and can understand what tasks they must undertake. This is really important in order to get the most out of the candidate and recruit well. Assessments and interviews are also about gathering, finding and deducing the information we need from the candidates in order to make informed decisions. As an information and HR professional this is key and can also be tricky thus different mediums are engaged such as forms, presentations, group tasks and questions. This information must be processed accurately and fairly on a scoring matrix in order for the correct decision to be made for the business. Therefore the gathering of this information is crucial to successful recruitment which directly relates to the success of the business. HUZZAH for information!

My new role has also allowed me to take on a few more projects. One that I worked really hard on was coordinating not one but two (!!) benefits fairs for our employees at Madame Tussauds London and the London Dungeon. These events for all our teams had to be planned well in advance and included me further developing the following skills –

  • Liaising with outside companies
  • Liaising with internal employees
  • Engaging with employees to find out what they wanted to see
  • Arranging and sticking to an assigned budget
  • Coordinating food, drinks, raffles, goody bags, rooms and with management
  • Advertising

By running and completing this project I was able to present information to our employees in an engaging and exciting way. I also had to organise information proficiently in order to deal with multiple vendors with requests and get them all on site for the fairs. Overall the fairs were very successful with over 250 attending the fairs and taking in the information I presented them, whoa!

Madame Tussauds Benefits Fair 2015

Madame Tussauds Benefits Fair 2015

Another project I undertook, at my own initiative, was in regards to employee engagement. At Madame Tussauds London we have an annual employee of the year award whereby employees nominate an outstanding employee. All the nominating is anonymous to our employees and they only find out the winners, not who is nominated. In order to inspire and engage our team I wanted to let them know who else had been nominated. I had to think carefully about what information to give our employees and how best to present it so that the employees were able to get the most out of it. This project was turning out to be all about the information! In the end I presented certain quotes and snippets of all the nominated employees on a large board in a busy thorough fare of the office. I jazzed the board up and took pictures of all the nominated employees, to make it fun! This project was wildly successful because of the way I presented the information. Everyone saw the board and were thrilled if they saw themselves or their colleagues up on it. It definitely helped with employee engagement and even the General Manager praised it, a very rare thing! Overall this project showed me how crucial it is to show information in an accessible way to suit your audience.

I have learnt loads more over the last 8 months however I don’t want to ramble on too long. Some other key skills I have picked up include –

  • Problem solving – being heavily involved in payroll I have had to solve many complex queries. I have come to really enjoy this side of my work, flexing my brain and being able to sift through information, find the cause of the issue and implement a solution.
  • Time management & prioritising – taking on more responsibility and helping support a new attraction opening (Shrek’s Adventure! London plug!) I have had an increase in my workload. I have had to utilise lists and prioritising more than ever before.
  • Employee Relations – I have been able to understand and advise more frequently on our company’s disciplinary policy, sickness and absence policy and other company policies. Senior managers feel comfortable discussing confidential matters with me and are confident with the advice I give them.
  • Training – not only have I run training courses but I have also been training my own colleagues in processes I am confident in such as payroll & recruitment administration. I have had to understand my colleagues’ needs and how they best learn in order to share the information accurately with them.

I am still utilising a lot of the knowledge I spoke about in my previous blog, The Wonderful Land of Human Resources :). However I am now really fleshing these out and expanding my skill sets and knowledge.

HR is still a passion of mine, especially now that I am interacting with more and more employees, such as in training and recruitment. These further skills have enabled me to implement knowledge I have gained during my masters and improve my information skills. Plus it is loads of fun! HR and information go hand in hand and I cannot wait to bring all my new skills and knowledge back to Brisbane and start the next stage in my information career, be that in HR or in the Library industry!

 

Go back to Part D – Professional at Work

Learning Resources & Services Open Day

Back in Semester 1, 2012 I was able to attend the QUT Library Resource Services Open Day as part of my professional development. This occurred because I was working as a Collection Access Assistant at QUT’s Garden Point library. I learnt many interesting things at this open day and it helped me grow as an information professional.

The day started out with an introduction to the LRS team and a tour of their work place. It was quite large with over a dozen people working in this department. The difference between a monograph and serial were explained as well as the new work structure based around merging the two teams that used to deal exclusively with one or the other. It was interesting to note that now all the team members were training so that they could deal with both monographs and serials making their team more efficient especially when someone maybe away. They are in charge of the actual ordering, after it has been approved, and with the labelling of the resources. Their work is very busy and constant with a large pile of boxes containing new resources that need to be labelled and catalogued on their large conveyor belt.

I also learnt a lot about the resource librarians and what they do.  They deal with the cataloguing of resources especially the hard ones such as kits. They are also responsible for loading records onto the library catalogue for databases including journal titles, e-books and serials. It was interesting to learn about EBI in relation to e-books and when they are rented or purchased. The criterion for QUT is that the first three times a student loans an e-book that is rented at fee is charged to QUT. On the forth loan the book is purchased as it has met the criteria of being current and useful within the QUT collection. The resource librarians get a lot of their updates from Library Australia and do record loads once a month. In turn they also send new records through to Library Australia when they update a record themselves. Most of the time the resource librarians cannot directly change the records that appear on the QUT catalogue and it has to go through Library Australia. I also learnt that they deal with the video streams in the catalogue too. It was interesting to learn that though the university purchases these videos they still have to pay viewing fees.

The other main aspect of the LRS that I learnt about was the life of an e-resource. They defined e-resources as something that is available online or in a digital format such as a journal, database, e-book, webpage or an online streaming video. They advised that the life of an e-resource started with a new order requested by a liaison librarian to information resources committee. They then contact the vendor and the licence is discussed. This seemed the most complex part as the licence needs to be negotiated for the right terms and conditions. The most important clauses that they negotiate on are confidentiality of price and no harm will come to the publisher. The order is put into millennium where it can be tracked. The next step of the lifecycle is renewal and evaluation. According to LRS orders over $1,000 are reviewed every two years by the information resource committee and orders under $1,000 are reviewed by the LRS team.  Mature order comes next in the e-resources life and this involves any changes to the order such as a title change. After this the resource becomes an ageing order where it doesn’t get as much use and the librarians need to establish whether this resource is still relevant to the collection. If it is not relevant the order is cancelled and this can be done in one of two ways – perpetual order whereby all subscriptions up until the cancellation are kept or an unperpetual order whereby all of the holdings are removed.  The latter order seems very harsh to me and would make me do my research very hard as to whether the order really needs to be cancelled.

The other interesting thing I learnt at the LRS open day was about e-books. There are three ways in which they can be ordered according to QUT LRS team. These are the patron driven model, individuals select and purchase and the purchase or an individual title or collection. The e-books in the library collection are evaluated each year.

Overall my time at the Learning Resource and Services open day was very informative. I had no idea how much time and effort it tool to create and maintain a large academic library’s collection such as QUT’s. All their work was very interesting and I wonder how they each fell into their roles at QUT. They were a comfortable team and obviously work well together to get through their intense workloads. Going to this open day has helped me grow as an information professional as I have had my eyes opened to all the behind the scenes jobs that take part in the library with regards to cataloguing and ordering. Also it has let me see the application of what I have learnt in my studies so far such as collection management especially regarding e-resources.

 

Go back to Part C: Professional Development Activities