Thing 23 – The End

  • Thing 23: Summarise your thoughts on the 23 Things programme

As one of the organisers of Oxford’s 23 Things programme I have had a very different experience from the majority of participants. For most this programme has only been running for 12 weeks but for us it started in November with the initial planning stages. The then Deputy Manager of Staff Development, Laura Wilkinson, was the mastermind behind the programme. She did the majority of the work planning the logistics of the programme and then the topics were split between the 23 Things Team (5 of us in total), each member taking responsibility for planning and writing the tasks for that theme. My two topics were RSS feeds (week 3, things 5 & 6) and Twitter (week 8, things 15 & 16).

As a participant in the programme I must admit that there was little that I had not experimented with before in some way, the only exception I think was Picnik. My aim with the programme was to try and find new aspects of old tools to explore. In most cases I think I have achieved this, for example I am now using my Delicious network, I have edited a page on Wikipedia and subscribed to some channels on YouTube.

What I have enjoyed most about the programme is seeing a community form within the Bodleian Libraries (formerly Oxford University Library Service). Everywhere I’ve been over the past few months there has been a buzz about 23 Things. This has really come out in the participants’ blog posts too where people have written about their conversations in the staff room and how they have helped or received help from other participants.

The element of the programme that I think has worked the best is the participants’ blogs. All participants have been keeping a record of their progress through their blog and it has been really interesting following this. I have been so pleased to see so many people expressing their love of blogging and seeing people develop their voice over the past 12 weeks. I’m looking forward to reading the updates from those participants who choose to continue blogging now that the programme is over.

Well, I guess that’s it. I’m off to register completion and think about what the hell I’m going to blog about now that 23 Things is over!

Things 21 & 22 – Widgets

  • Thing 21: Use a gadget to display your Flickr photostream on your blog
  • Thing 22: Use a widget to put your Delicious bookmarks on your iGoogle page

I already have my Flickr photostream displaying on my blog. For this I use Flickriver primarily because its simple style fits in better with my theme. I didn’t previously have my Delicious bookmarks on my iGoogle page, although they are in my blog’s sidebar, so I have now added them.

I’m really pleased that this topic was chosen for the penultimate tasks of the 23 Things programme. For a couple of years now Jane Rawson and I have been teaching a Gadgets and Widgets session on the WISER programme (this year it was renamed Getting Organised on the Web). I find that it’s the connections that you can make between your profiles on the different sites that makes web 2.0 really useful. The best example of it in practice in libraries, and one I’ve used before, is from the Vere Harmsworth Library who use their blog as a hub to feed and retrieve information using widgets and RSS from profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Delicious and LibraryThing. Genius!

Graduate Trainees

This year in Oxford we have 23 graduate trainees working in different college and OULS libraries. Last week I attended the first of their weekly training sessions. This included a discussion of their hopes and concerns for the year ahead and a presentation from a former trainee who has gone on to qualify and is now working in a government library in her first professional post.

My part in the session was to talk about the use of web 2.0 tools in libraries. This was really just an overview of some of the tools being used with examples of libraries in Oxford who are successfully engaging with their readers using social media. I began by asking them which tools they were using personally. The majority of the group were on Facebook but there were only a few on Twitter and just one who writes a blog. This is all about to change however as they become authors on the new Oxford Trainees blog. Their first task is to publish a short post introducing themselves and the library they are working in. The first one was posted yesterday and I’m very pleased to see that it was written by Charlotte Brooke the new trainee at my library :-)

I’m really interested to follow the development of this blog. I think it is a much better platform than a static website to get the trainees talking and sharing their experiences from the year ahead.