Wednesday, October 12, 2011

CPD 23: Thing 23

Thing 23 at last!  Who would have guessed it could have arrived so soon?
A six word story for such a long journey? 
Always challenged; Sometimes overwhelmed; Never bored.

While It is always empowering to be finished, that feeling of satisfaction is followed swiftly by a letdown and a challenge.  What to pursue next?  What do with all my "free" time before it evaporates back into the general pool of nameless tasks?  While I signed up for this course bent on knowledge and enlightenment, I do hope that somewhere down the line we receive a generic certificate of completion we can download for continuing education purposes.My tech buddy Pat and I have decided we still want to hold our Tech Thursdays.  It is up to us though to discover new topics, a task that is more overwhelming than challenging.

Aside from specific knowledge, I feel the my most valuable gain has been a feeling of confidence when confronted with new technology--more of a "Yes, I can!" attitiude.  Last week my old home computer finally entered Ghostworld and while transferring files and learning new procedures is not anything I would likely call fun, at least I havn't been afraid to click away at it.  I realize that there are many paths to the same result and likely I will discover at least one of them.

Currently, we are developing a Strategic Plan for our library and the SMART Goals remind me of this, but from an obviously more personal point of view.  I can see close attention to them being vital for job interview success or yearly evaluation planning.

Easier to manipulate is the Personal Development Plan which I can see myself utilizing more readily.  I like to take one step at a time in developing a project and this seems a readily defined way to do it.  Primarily my PDP would include developing a better relationship with technology, starting with my new computer.  Eventually, it would include incorporating  more of the programs we have learned about into my daily life--making some of them as second nature to me as emailing is now.

The Beginning
laura clark

Thursday, October 6, 2011

CPD23: Thing 22

Volunteering in general is a good thing.  Theoretically, volunteering at a library when you are unable to land a position could also be a good thing. IF you have the disposable time and income. IF you are guaranteed meaningful projects. With library schools in the States now requiring internships, one would hope a prospective librarian would have already acquired at least some practical experience. If this is not the case, it may be possible to work as a part time clerk or substitute librarian to get an "in."

Personally, I have never had the luxury of delaying employment.  My graduation from library school coincided with the birth of my first child.  If I wanted to work I had to at least make enough to afford day care.  Plus, my degree took a long time to obtain.  At first I worked full time while going to grad school.  After I married and moved, I took as many credits as I could in a nearby college.  Finally, whne my husband returned once more to fight in Vietnam, I moved closer to home base and was able to finish up.  I was proud of the degree that took me so long to get and I felt I should be able to get "full value."
        by laura clark

That much said, with my husband's military career I moved around a lot and did not have the luxury of waiting until a position miraculously opened up. Since I also had teacher qualifications, I substituted at all levels from preschool special ed through high school and  became the substitute librarian.  This also led to a position with City Colleges of Chicago as an adjunct professor teaching writing and library science., not to mention several library positions in school and public libraries.

Not all of these jobs were true career path opportunities, but they led there and I acquired valuable knowledge along the way.  Perhaps someone who is currently working has more pull than someone who does not seem as serious about entering the real world.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

CPD 23: Thing 21

My Strengths on the Job: Working with kids and parents, communicating via the printed word, organizing, getting along with different personalities, a deep appreciation of the printed /electronic word, a drive to help/encourage others in their own pursuits.

Leisure Activities: Any sports that do not involve a ball, round or otherwise.  I am tempted to define these pursuits as individualized sports, but really, even in a race you are still running with people.  My main interests are trail running and snowshoe racing.  Free-lance sports writing. Reading. Gardening. Race directing.  Cooking and baking.

I did OK with the initial digital revolution when things progressed at a much slower pace.  Now, however, my skills have been overwhelmed by the explodingly complex landscape.  I need more confidence to both investigate and yes, even reject, some aspects of the new technology.  Which is one of the reasons I signed up for 23 Things.

At work, I achieve a deep satisfaction from helping someone connect with a good book or discover necessary information.  Off duty it comes from surviving a difficult trail challenge, introducing others to my favorite sports, fitting words together.  Simply getting outdoors and enjoying nature works too.

While our library bears little resemblence to the newly popular Forest Kindergarten, I have translated my love of nature into hosting family nature programs.  Quinn, our Reading Therapy Dog, is a weekly visitor and I organize seasonal family nature activites involving a hike, treasure hut and a resulting craft.  We have invited live animals indoors with a Beyond Harry Potter's Hedwig owl program, a seasonal Reindeer in the Library Open House, LLamas in the LLibrary, etc. 
I have worked on a 5K Run for Literacy as a prelude to our Summer Reading Program.
And I enjoy writing On the lighter side, an in-house library chronicle.

I enjoy where my job is taking me and feel lucky to have one where I get to play, learn, explore and create.
I am even getting to the point where I enjoy technology.  As long as it doesn't make me do math.
 by laura clark

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

CPD23: Thing 20

Library Roots:  I had always liked to read and write stories and figured I would become a teacher, not knowing what else to do with these two preferences.  It wasn't until I reached high school where we actually had a library and a librarian that I realized this could be an actual profession.  Although I had been frequenting our public library for years, for some reason I didn't make the connection there.  And that was most likely due to the welcoming nature of the high school librarian who had an easy way of relating to teens.  Eventually, I did work at our local public library too, but decided I preferred to work with kids.  Again, I have no idea why I never figured out that kids went to the public library as well.  Which is kind of funny since I am now a Children's Librarian at a public library.

Library Routes:  Still focused, I enrolled in graduate school while financing myself through teaching.  Over the years I have worked in both Department of Defense elementary school and high school libraries and even taught some college-level library and writing courses.  I beleive I have the best of both worlds now: working with both children and parents in the public library system.

While many folks on the wiki seem to have discovered librarianship quite by accident, for me it had always been a plan.  What has come about by happenstance are the variety of jobs I have held in this profession.  I have worked in Germany, Kwajalein, Marshall Islands and in the US with kids, college students and parents in school, college and public libraries.  Where else could you get that variety?

My advice I guess would be to stay focused on your ultimate goal but to remain open to where that goal might take you.

laura clark

Thursday, September 22, 2011

CPD23: Thing 18, Round 2

With the help of our library computer wizard, we discovered we were not as incompetent as we originally thought.  Above is my map of how to get to our library, complete with tour guide voice over.

I shared this with a librarian who works in our county system and she was thrilled to learn that there is free software out there that does such a good job as she was considering purchasing a package.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

CPD23: THING 17 Prezi

I wonder what Dr. Seuss would have done with Thing 17? It took an unexpectedly long time for this particular Thing to come on the scene and it did not disappoint in level of difficulty. In fact, my partner Patty and I switched our Tech Thursdays to Tech Tuesdays to take advantage of our computer lab's late afternoon troubleshooting forum. But like Sally and her brother, we plunged in, experimented, and netted our prey.

Having never ever designed a power point presentation, I could not have proceeded in solo formation. Running with the idea thet a picture is worth a thousand words, we decided to showcase our weekly Parent/Child Workshops since we always find ourselves describling this multifaceted program to prospective parents.

For our inital venture, we did not to convert our images to pdf since they seemed to work fine as long as we stuck with smaller profiles. While it was fun to see what the more experienced prezi makers had come up with, we went with the "keep it simple, stupid" motto. While not polished, we were satisfied with this first attempt:

Following up with random incidents of synchronicity:

The head of our Youth Services section was excited to see what we had done and is considering using Prezi for one of her presentations.

Our public computer lab teacher is giving us a handout she had one of her volunteers compile about navigating Prezi.

So we hope to upgrade for a slideshare worthy production or perhaps tackle something new altogether.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


I am so glad THING 17 has chosen not to appear on the screen as yet! THING 18 took sufficient toll on our energy reserves. While this THING loomed rather threateningly, once my Tech Thursday buddy, Pat, and I got down to business, it proved to be more fun than bluster.

For our screencast, we chose the free screencast-o-matic software, ignored the truly incomprehensible video that comes with the software and stuck with Book Gryphon's advice. We had the brilliant thought that we would attempt something that might actually be of some use to our library, so we developed a map tracing possible driving routes.

I slugged it out for the Northerners and Pat chose the Southern route. After some handgrabber routing practice, we donned our headsets and confidently took the controls. What we got was a nice demonstration of the route minus the sound. Which was probably a good thing. We also learned how actors feel when they giggle their way through a series of hilarious but ultimately, from a production standpoint at least, unsuccessful outtakes. A good time was had by all.

Next week we will make an appointment with our computer lab person to figure out why the sound portion eluded us.

As far as Podcasts, I skimmed some of the instructional notes and decided that would be an entirely different THING for me to attempt after these THINGS are completed. One step at a time!