INN634 – Workshops Reflection

During my first semester back at university I have participated in six workshop activities as part of completing one of my courses, INN634 Professional Practice. By completing these workshops I have learnt many things about what it means to be an information professional and the places it can take me.

During the first workshop in week 3 we had several guest speakers including Lynn Macallister and Kate Davis. I learnt about the significance of having a presence in the information profession and how an online portfolio could aid in my career development. From this workshop I discovered that there are many ways in which I could construct my own portfolio including using QUT’s ePortfolio or use Blogger or WordPress. After this workshop I did my own experimenting with the various systems available to me and decided to go ahead and set up my own domain name with WordPress as I found it easiest to navigate. Whilst listening to all the speakers it really hit home to me how important communicating my skills and capabilities to the wider community was in respect to networking and finding jobs. Workshop one was a great tool to push me towards starting my portfolio and really taking an interest in it as it will help me with my development as an information professional.

Workshop two also had a variety of speakers but they brought up the issues of what professions and information professional can fill. It was interesting at the variety of jobs the ladies all had including research assistant, web editor, records management and of course a library manager. As I want to be a librarian I had never really thought about the other career opportunities available to me after completing my Masters in Information and Technology. By listening to the ladies describe their jobs it really opened my eyes to how my studies could be applied. At the end of workshop two, even though I still wanted to work in a library, I found it very interesting and comforting knowing there are a wide variety of choices out there after completing my Masters.

Completing workshop three was an interesting and enjoyable experience for me. Our personalities were discussed and completing the online test I found out I am an ISFJ and that jobs that suit my personality include nursing, teaching, housekeeper and LIBRARIAN! When going through all of the personality traits an ISFJ has I found it scary how well it had pegged me. The majority of dot points associated with ISFJ described me exactly. I was so impressed with it I made all my friends and family do the test also. Most of the answers were so spot on it was freaky. This workshop was really interesting in showing me how different personalities are suited to different tasks, perhaps not jobs especially. Obviously I am on the right track according to my results!

During workshop four I heard from Ann Gillepsie, a Teacher Librarian. Coming from a science background myself it was interesting to hear about how the framework for research regarding Teacher Librarians. It was obviously different from the structure I am used to regarding biological scientific research strategies and I had not known there was any serious research being conducted by librarians. I find this reassuring as it shows that librarians still want to grow and make their field and the work they perform recordable so that others can see the results of their hard work. Overall I found this workshop enlightening and reassuring regarding the librarian profession.

Workshop five was interesting as it let me know about some further career paths that I had not considered. Elham Abdi talked about doing her PHD and why she is doing it. I had never considered doing this myself as I like to be actively out in the workforce, however I can see how it would be a good experience allowing yourself to learn a lot more comprehensively. I think overall though I would still prefer to be out in the workforce learning things practically and by being able to apply my knowledge to complete my job.

I really enjoyed workshop six which concerned the nature of ethics within a library context. By completing the reading and the case scenario it allowed me to see what some current ethical issues can appear in a library and what I should be prepared for in this profession. I think it is important if I am to ever have some responsibility in my future roles as a librarian that I become familiar with the ethic code where I work and also construct my own code of ethics regarding the library context in order for me to have a fulfilling and fair work environment.

During all the workshops a common theme always stuck out at me, how important networking is. This had not occurred to me at the start of my degree however now I can see it is a vital part of the career I wish to have. It worried me at first as I am a shy person by nature and do not feel comfortable approaching strangers. Over the last semester, however, I have learnt to accept the challenge of building my professional network. I hope by the end of my Masters I will be more comfortable with this concept and have started to build my own network through my current jobs and through the work placement schemes.

Overall I have found the six workshops very constructive and informative. It is always a great opportunity and motivation to hear from people already working in the professional environment that you wish to enter shortly. These workshops have motivated me immensely to build up my social networking skills, develop a professional portfolio and to make sure I stay current with all the issues surrounding the information profession such as research and ethical issues.

 

Go back to Part C: Professional Development Activities

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Twitter Reflection

As part of my studies at QUT I have had to complete five Twitter activities over the last semester. By participating in these activities I have learnt a lot about Twitter and the Library and Information industry. I have also discovered some of my own strengths and weaknesses. This post will reflect on my experiences and learning outcomes as a result of finishing the five Twitter activities.

I have learnt many things from my experience using Twitter. Firstly, I learnt how to actually use Twitter and I discovered what the big fuss was about. By completing the five different activities I was able to learn different skills needed to be a successful Twitterer. For example I can now successfully post a tweet and know that there is a character limitation to these tweets. I can search for groups or people and sign up to follow them and also include them in my tweet. One activity also showed me how to post pictures along with posts which I think is very useful as posting pictures and/or documents could be important when establishing contacts.

The twitter activities also allowed me to see why it can be a great networking tool. Many people and organisations from around the world are connected to Twitter and by including them in a post or following them it is an easier and less awkward way to contact them or simply introduce yourself to them when compared to an email or phone call, even if it is slightly less formal.

By completing the activities I have also learnt about some interesting ideas and facts about libraries. This was especially seen from the responses by mentors and lecturers. I learnt about some interesting links such as organisations and twitter groups that can help me improve my knowledge about the Library and Information industry and was also introduced to some of my peers using these activates.

I have identified some of my strengths after completing the five Twitter activities. One strength is that even though I had not used Twitter before I had used several other social network sites such as Facebook and Myspace and this allowed me to easily navigate around Twitter and feel comfortable with it. Another strength I identified was also concerning not having used Twitter before and that is that I was not afraid to jump right in. As soon as we were advised we would need to use Twitter I signed up and started joining several communities I am interested in including QUT, WWF and ALIA. My time management was also a strength in these exercises. I completed all activities within their allotted week even overcoming the challenge of being overseas with limited internet access to complete the photo album activity. I feel that by completing these exercises I have been able to identify several strengths of my work ethic and ability to use new information tools.

Some weaknesses were also identified when doing the Twitter activities and also during a reflection of the activities. As I had not used Twitter before, this was a definite weakness. However I feel that by completing the five tasks I have overcome this weakness at least with the basic uses of Twitter.  Also because I had not used Twitter before and I didn’t know anyone in my social or work life who used it I found a weakness I had did not know many people on Twitter to begin with. This made it hard for me to connect to others, i.e. friends of friends, and initially made me dubious of its potential staying power in my life after completing the activities. By completing the activities I have seen that all my peers are using Twitter as are my mentors and many industry professionals, thus showing my weakness in doubting twitter longevity in my life was wrong. It is a valuable networking tool that I shall continue to learn about and use. Another weakness I identified was that I am not very knowledgeable or aware of the Library and Information industry. The activities forced me to engage in the industry and explain why I wanted to join it. I feel this weakness has slightly been strengthened but I need to invest much more time and energy into learning about the industry, networking and staying current with the information available regarding the Library and Information industry. After finishing the five Tweets I have been able to identify several weaknesses relating to myself and my current knowledge.

Overall these Twitter activities have enlightened me in a surprising way. I have learnt a lot about Twitter in general and also about the Library and Information industry. My strengths that I identified include using other social networking sites such as Facebook and being comfortable to throw myself into Twitter. The weaknesses I have found vary and some are minor and will be overcome just by using Twitter regularly but others have shown me that I will need to actively work, listen and read about the Library and Information industry in order to be informed and knowledgeable about it. In conclusion the five Twitter activities have helped me immensely and was a useful aid towards my future as Library and Information Professional.

 

Go back to Part C: Professional Development Activities