Sunday, 25 November 2012

Thinking about my brand

This is something I had already begun to think about when I first started CPD23. It took me weeks to come up with a name for my blog and when I finally did it was down to a collaborative effort with colleagues. Retrospectively, I think this is mainly down to overthinking this personal brand thing and setting my ambitions too high. Realistically, I just don't think I will ever be one of those SuperLibrarians who keep the rest of the information profession up to speed so I think it's OK not to have a super creative and individual online presence for now. This doesn't mean that I don't want to join in the conversation but I'm relieving myself of some of the pressure which prevented me from continuing my blog last time round. Instead I'm viewing this as more of a personal exercise. I can always develop my online presence at a later stage if I find that I take to blogging.  
For now I'm concentrating on creating consistency in my online presence. I resurrected my Twitter account, created a uniform username and linked my social media accounts. Now for the Google test.
I typed my full name into Google and, as expected, was not hugely successful in finding any information about myself. My name is so incredibly wide-spread (perhaps not my spelling but even Google doesn't seem to care about that). Narrowing down the search results by adding 'Oxford' eventually brings up my LibGuides profile. Interestingly I get the most correct hits when I drop my middle name and just type 'Rachael Scott, Oxford' into the search engine. I'm pretty happy with the results: my LinkedIn profile, my employer's website and my LibGuides profile.

The personal/professional brand division is a little more blurry for me. I use most social media as a means of communicating on a personal and professional level and going by my limited experience of Twitter, others seem to be doing the same. Facebook, on the other hand is entirely personal and I use LinkedIn to connect on a more professional level. I think, as long as I am aware that whatever is posted online is available for others to see, including current and future employers, I don't see the lack of division between personal and professional brand a huge problem.

Delayed start to CPD23

As everyone else is heading to the finish line of their CPD23 journey I am just getting started. I abandoned my blog for quite some time due to various reasons but am now ready to have another go. I need to get used to posting more regularly. I'm thinking about Chartership quite seriously now and need to get used to keeping track of my cpd.
From browsing other people's blogs I can see that I'm not the only one who has neglected their CPD23 blog and is now ready to carry on. It will be nice to interact with others who are at the same stage.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

CILIP's New Professionals Day

On Friday, I attended CILIP’s New Professionals Day – a fun and truly inspirational event. The speakers were fantastic and gave great advice. If you, like me, are at the start of your career and aren't quite sure where it’s heading, take a look at the presentations from the day for some inspiration  (or better still, go to the NPD next year).

There are a lot of posts and comments already out there about the day so I'm not really sure how mine will add to that. These are just my thoughts on the day and what I've taken home from the sessions.
Links to other participants' blogs can be found on Ned Potter's blog.

Annie Mauger' introduction
  •  Librarians need to be more visible! 
  •  You may need to look outside your place of work to gain experience (e.g. committees can help you gain leadership experience)

Ned Potter's 'You already have a brand! Here are 5 ways to influence it ...'

This was a fantastic start to the day: it enthused everyone AND gave participants food for discussion during the breaks. I find it especially difficult making conversation with people I haven't met before so Ned Potter's talk really helped me a lot in that respect too. Here are some of the things he talked about:
  • Your brand is how you are perceived by others, whereas branding is marketing yourself as something different to everyone else. 
  • Having an online presence is great for sharing opinions and information. 
  • Having an online presence is a positive thing for libraries but it's not always necessary for individuals. It depends on what your goals are. 
  • Find your goal and work backwards to where you are now. What skills do you need to develop? 
  • Everyone's path is different. Don't worry about what other people are doing! 
  • Be yourself!
I found this especially re-assuring. I've never been one of those ΓΌber-librarians, and don't really ever intend to be one. (Although I do want to be involved in the library community to some extent). I've been intimidated by librarians who have a huge online presence and following and it had put me off using social media to some extent. It's good to know that you can still be a good librarian without being a social media expert! The pressure is off! 
  • Your brand is a by-product of pursuing your goals but here are 5 things through which you can influence your brand:
  1. Get online
    • remember - it's a dialogue, not a monologue
  2. Publish something
    • what will your future employers read? Peer-reviewed journals? Trade publications? ...
  3. Organise something
    • an event or something else which will be useful for the library community
    • create an event or collaborate with others
  4. Share something
    • e.g. opinions, experience or teaching materials (if institution allows)
  5. Present something
    • relevant to future employers? Can be amplified using e.g. Twitter (live tweet notes, scheduled tweets, etc)
I will definitely be revisiting these notes and using them for guidance once I've identified a clear goal. I'm sure they will be very useful. 

Notes from the other sessions and workshops to follow ... 

Tuesday, 8 May 2012


Hello fellow CPD23-ers!

I've had a few unsuccessful attempts in the past at using social media to become more active within the library community (e.g. Twitter, Linked In, Oxford's 23 Things programme) but am hoping to make a more earnest attempt this time round.