Keeping up to date in libraryland is definitely one of my priorities. As a relative newcomer to the profession (and rather later in life than many others), it feels even more important to know what is going on outside my institution so that I can put my decision-making into some sort of context. As a cataloguer, I’m aware that sticking to standards is getting ever more important in a world of shared and linked data, and knowing how others approach the issues that I face day-to-day is a big help in figuring out the way forward.
Of the three Things to be investigated this week, I use RSS Feeds the most for current awareness. I subscribe to loads of blog feeds, using Outlook to manage them. The feeds come into a folder in Outlook and I can easily have a quick look through the list first thing in the morning and catch up on all the news.
Allied to this are all the Mailing Lists that I subscribe to, again using Outlook to organise them. Each mailing list gets put into its own folder so the messages don’t clutter up my Inbox and I can read them at my leisure when I have a bit of time. Again, I will have a quick whizz through first thing in the morning, and then periodically throughout the day when I need a break from whatever else I’m doing. I’m really happy with both these methods and feel that they do a great job in keeping me up to date.
Twitter, on the other hand, I don’t find so useful for current awareness, in spite of what a lot of others say. I have been on Twitter a while now but have yet to really feel comfortable there, and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this. I really haven’t got the hang of the etiquette, such as when it’s ok to join in a conversation and when that would be perceived as ‘butting in’ – I often feel that I am eavesdropping on a conversation that wasn’t intended for me to listen to! Its usefulness for current awareness isn’t helped by the fact that I don’t look at it during the working day and by the time I look in the evening at home, I’ve missed a whole day’s worth. However, one thing that I did pick up on Twitter recently was that CPD23 was running again, so maybe it does have its uses! I know I need to persevere with it and try to be a bit more pro-active about sharing useful stuff on there myself, so I’ll try and make more of an effort in the future.
I hadn’t come across Storify before, apart from vague references to it on Twitter (hmm, beginning to see that Twitter is keeping me up to date more than I consciously realised!). Having had a quick look at it now, I can see how it might be useful for presenting an overview of a particular event or current topic, but I am not sure how often I would actually find it useful. Maybe next time I go to a workshop or conference?
I also had a quick look at Scoop.it and Paper.li which look interesting, but to be honest, it’s got a bit late tonight to do more than acknowledge their existence. Again, I don’t think they will feature heavily in my life as a cataloguer!
Final thoughts: I was surprised Mailing Lists weren’t on the list (they might be old technology but if you subscribe to the right ones, they are buzzing!), and I need to get a grip of Twitter and stop being a scaredy wus!