Thursday, 31 May 2012

A blog I wrote for work.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Thing 17: The Medium is the Message - Prezi and Slideshare

Well I've let myself fall behind rather with CPD23 but as the new year has come and gone rather quickly I suppose I'd better start catching up.

OK Prezi I'm not entirely sure about this. I've seen some Presentations made using this software however while I like the idea of having a play around I don't like the fact that any presentation I produce will be available for anyone to see. I'm not ready to pay in order to use software that I will probably only use once or twice a year. So I'm hesitant about this piece of software. And a bigger issue perhaps is the fact that as I currently don't need to create any presentations I feel that I'm wasting time attempting to make something up that I'm unlikely to use. Next time I have a presentation to Present though I'll give it a go.

I have used Slideshare once or twice on this blog in order to share presentations I have done in the past. In example Thing 10 where you can see the presentation I made at Gregynog back in the summer. Again I wasn't too keen on it as it makes the presentations Public. However I decided that as it was my own information it couldn't really hurt.

Myself I can't see a Presentation replacing a CV however who knows? I'll be interested to know if anyone gets a job through it.

 As I said that next time I have a presentation to present I'd use Prezi I have. I haven't used all the gizmos and gadgets that it's possible to use but decided to use a Power Point as a base and go from there. In general it hasn't made a huge difference to the presentation, or at least to the facts and figures part of the presentation to the slide giving examples of the newspaper content it's made a huge difference, it meant I could zoom in on individual articles and comment on them, otherwise I'd probably have just given a general overview on the various content I'd seen and just stuck to the one slide which is probably quite boring. I'm doing this presentation tomorrow to DLIS students from Aberystwyth Uni it's only a short one but it'll be interesting to see how people perceive the Prezi as opposed to the PowerPoint. Fingers crossed nothing will go wrong and it'll work...

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Thing 16 Advocacy, speaking up for the profession and getting published

I'm not really sure what to talk about in this one as I haven't really had much to do with advocacy in any way shape or form. Unless you count the Presentation I made to the Chapters people (but as they're already committed supporters of the library I don't see how it really counts).  I do become a member on Facebook or a follower on Twitter of any advocacy campaigns going on but haven't really taken part myself. I've got plenty to do wihout taking part really, what with work, job hunting (the project comes to an end in March 2012) and trying to sort out my Chartership as well as my other commitments to family and friends. However if anyone wants me to do anything just get in touch I'm happy to help if somoene tells me how. Also any translation work you want done in the name of advocacy I'm your girl! Into Welsh obviously, just in case anyone had any outlandish ideas about me trying to translate into any other language. :-)

Thing 15: Attending, presenting at and organising seminars, conferences and other events

OK... as I need to channel off the excess energy from Wales beating the Irish someplace I thought I'd try catching up with my blog, at least a little bit!

I've attended a couple of things since starting at the National Library of Wales. I've probably attended more training days than anything else, though most of these have been internal, I did attend one external CILIP training day last November 'Moving into Management' but in general all my training has been internal. This has given me the chance to get to know people from other departments who I probably wouldn't have much, if anything to do with during my day to day work. It's also given the library the chance to ensure that I have the skills that they want when it comes to things like managing staff.

I have also attended a couple of NEWSPLAN Wales conferences, that is the ones that have been held in the National Library as my line manager thinks this is important to me. These events have been really interesting to see how things are being handled all over Wales. While I didn't really get the chance to socialise with people as much as I would've liked due mostly to shyness, I was lucky enough to get to talk to Ed King who had come to Aber for the event! And was very kind in beginning a conversation with the lonely shy person in the corner! :)

Earlier this year I was lucky enough to attend the Gregynog Colloquium which I've spoken about in an earlier blog. And I've also been to a cpd23 meet up in Cardiff which was great fun! These two events are probably the best I've attended for giving me contacts. Though it probably helps that some of the people were the same.

Again this isn't something I've done much of. I had the opportunity to talk about the importance of digitising newspapers to NEWSPLAN Wales early last year, and did a presentation about the content of the volumes the library are digitising to the Chapters members of the National Library. I particularly enjoyed this one as the contents of the newspapers really fascinate me and it was interesting to see what other people were interested in. There was one lady who speaking about her Grandmother had experienced an earthquake back in the early 1900s which I'd happened to talk about, apparently the family had always though she must be mistaken!

I was also lucky enough to speak at the Gregynog Conference. Again see the Gregynog Conference blog or for the presentation itself see Thing 10.

My main problems with these was the actual Presenting as I'm rather shy and the idea of standing up in front of a bunch of strangers (even friendly librarian strangers) terrifies me more than you could ever believe. However I've a feeling that the more I do the better I'll come at doing it. I also like to make sure my hints to myself are actually a part of the slide. That way I just can't forget something or mix up any cards I'm holding or something dreadful like that. Maybe with time I'll become a confident public speaker but I have the oddest feeling that that is just not going to happen somehow.

I've never organised an event. And so I'm not going to comment on this. If the day ever comes when it happens I'll probably blog about it.

Monday, 19 September 2011


While this is predominantly a professional blog, I felt that I couldn't let the happenings of last Thursday and Friday pass without at least commenting about them to a certain extent.

I'm valleys born and bred, I've lived my whole life (until recently) in the next valley to the Gleision Colliery, my secondary school was only a couple of miles up the road in Ystalyfera. And yet I never knew that the colliery existed until the last few days. I remember sitting in history lessons learning about life underground, more than a decade ago now. I remember visiting Big Pit a mining museum, and being appalled at the fact that people would work every day in such conditions, facing any number of dangers. I then remember sitting in lectures at Swansea where my Special Subject was The South Wales Coalfield and hearing about the mining disasters which have gone before, Senghennydd for example. Even recently in my work at the National Library I came across a disaster in Cilfynydd which I'd never heard about before. But all of this to me was history. While I knew that coal mining was still going on to a certain degree in South Wales I never really thought about it, after all there are decades since anything of this nature happened in Wales, and certainly not in my memory.

I'm lucky, not since my Grandparents generation has anyone in my family gone into the mines. I never knew the four men who lost their lives so tragically last week, and yet I spent the majority of Friday watching the news. I think I managed to complete less work on Friday than on any day since I've started at the National Library. I finished work at four o'clock and started my way home. Driving home I was switching between Radio Cymru and my music. Radio Cymru had a lot of coverage of what was happening. As I was getting back to the valleys, having crossed the Black Mountain the last announcement came through, confirming the death of the fourth man. It was pouring with rain and then I could see a rainbow.

It seems to have affected the whole area in a surprising way, considering that the majority of people had no idea who these men were. It isn't history any more but something that's still happening.

"There's a cry in the valleys, tears in the West,
Mourning the heroes that wear the pit vest
Underground grafters always put in a shift
Below the hillside in the deep dark drift
They're not coming home to their children, their wives
The mine once again takes cherished lives
The coalfields of Britain all unite in your mourn
We're all the same breed, we're pit village born
May the heroes sleep peacefully, may the community stay strong.

This message written on a card in remembrance for the men has been passed all over the place, via facebok, via text and through many other formats. I'm sure I've seen or possibly heard these words before somehwere. Though where I can't remember. All I can say is hopefully this united grief will not be needed again.

Er mae blog proffesiynol yw hwn am y rhan fwyaf, teimlaf bod rhaid dweud rhywbeth am ddigwyddiadau Dydd Iau a Dydd Gwener dwethaf. 

Ces i fy ngeni a fy ngodi yn y cymoedd, dwi wedi byw fy mywyd cyfan (nes yn ddiweddar) yn y cwm nesaf i ble mae Glofa Gleision wedi ei sefydlu, es i i'r ysgol rhai milltiroedd lan yr heol yn Ystalyfera. Ond nes i diwrnodau dwethaf, doedd dim syniad gyda fi bod glofa hyd yn oed yna, heb son am y ffaith ei fod o hyd yn gweithio. Rwy'n cofio gwersi hanes yn yr ysgol yn son am y peryglon o weithio dan ddaear, dwi'n cofio ymweld a'r Pwll Mawr Amgueddfa glofaol a teimlo'n rhyfedd fod pobl wedi gweithio mewn shwd le, yn gwynebu peryglon rhyfedd. Cofiaf eistedd mewn darlithoedd yn y Brifysgol (y "South WalesCoalfield" oedd fy mhwnc arbennig i) a clywed am y trychinebau glofaol sydd wedi bod o'r blaen, e.e. Senghennydd. Ac yn fwy diweddar wrth edrych ar hen Bapurau Newydd yn y Llyfrgell Genedlaethol fe ddes i ar draws Trychineb Cilfynydd, un roe'n i heb glywed unrhywbeth am o'r blaen. Ond i fi roedd hyn i gyd yn hanes. Efallai nid hen hanes ond hanes. Er rydw u'n gwybod fod 'na lofeydd o hyd yn mynd fan hyn a fan draw nid oeddwn yn meddwl amdanyn nhw, wedi'r cyfan mae 'na ddegawdau ers i unrhywbeth o'r natur yma ddigwydd yng Nghymru, ddim yn fy ngof i da beth.

Rwy'n lwcus, ddim ers cenhadlaeth mamgu mae unrhyw un o'n teulu ni wedi bod o dan ddaear. Roeddwn i byth yn nabod y pedwar dyn a collodd eu bywydau mewn ffordd mor erchyll yr wythnos dwethaf, ond eto fe wnes i gymryd y rhan fwyaf o Ddydd Gwener yn gwylio'r newyddion. Dwi ddim yn meddwl ers i fi ddechrau gweithio yn y Llyfrgell i fi wneud cyn-lleied o waith. Fe wnes i adael gawaith am bedwar o'r gloch a dechrau'r ffordd gatref yn gwrando ar Radio cymru a oedd yn dilyn y digwyddiadau yn Cilbebyll yn gaos. Am 6 o'r gloch wrth i ddod i lawr o'r Mynydd Du ac i mewn i ardal glofaol De Cymru roedd hi'n arllwys y glaw a fe ddaeth y cyhoeddiad olaf un, yn cadarnhau marwolaeth y glowr olaf. Y peth neasf roedd 'na enfys yn ganol y glaw.

Mae hyn wedi effeithio pawb yn yr ardal, mewn ffordd angrhedadwy gan cymryd i ystyriaeth fod y mwyafrif fel y fi ddim yn nabod y pedwar dyn hyn. Nid hanes yw trychinebau y glofeydd mwyach ond rhywbeth sydd yn digwydd o hyd.

"There's a cry in the valleys, tears in the West,
Mourning the heroes that wear the pit vest
Underground grafters always put in a shift
Below the hillside in the deep dark drift
They're not coming home to their children, their wives
The mine once again takes cherished lives
The coalfields of Britain all unite in your mourn
We're all the same breed, we're pit village born
May the heroes sleep peacefully, may the community stay strong.

Roedd y neges yma ar garden fel teyrnged i'r dynion a wnaeth farw. Mae'r neges wedi ei ddanfon ymlaen dros i'r lle i gyd. Ar draws y byd mewn ffurf electronig ar y we a dros y ffonau symudol.  Dwi wedi gweld y pennill yma neu rhywbeth tebyg o'r blaen dwi'n siwr on ble ni alla i gofio. Yr unig beth galla i wneud yw gobeithio fydd y trychineb yma yn mynd i mewn i hanesion y Glofeydd fel y trychineb olaf.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Thing 14: Zotero / Mendeley / citeulike

OK so I've got quite a bit of catching up to do really consideing we're already on Thing 18 and I'm only just doing Thing 14. So... Here goes...

While I haven't downloaded Zotero yet and haven't decided whether or not I will, from looking at the video included in Thing 14 I can see it's uses. As with many of the various Things so far it won't really help me in my day to day job but is something that may come in handy over the next year or so as I progress with my Chartership (on a side note I have FINALLY managed to get a Welsh apeaking mentor, oddly enough though he's from outside Wales it's a bit of a worry that people don't use the language in their day to day work - but that's an argument for another day.) I can see how keeping a bibliography with links and PDFs in Zotero is a good way to go about things. Though looking back to my student days links and bibliographies kept in a word document seemed to do the trick equally well... And yes I know that it does have an awful lot more to it than just as a Reference saving tool but I doubt I'd use it for much more than that. At least for now. When I start my reading I may change my mind. I'll definitely try it and see if it makes a difference.

Again I haven't downloaded this yet. If I do decide to download either of these two it'll probably be Zotero as I use Firefox anyhow, and Zotero seems to have more features. But yet again I can't see it being of much use to me in my current post. But then again if I can make use of these things during Chartership should I get work somewhere else in the future I'll have the knowledge and the ability to use them, and to show others how to use them as well.

CiteULike is a definite no no for me. I really can't see how it would help me in the least. From the three things in Thhing 14 Zotero is my favourite followed closely by Mendeley and I think when I have a chance I'll play with both. While they're not very useful for me at the moment they may become so given time! And therefore it's worth giving them a chance.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Thing 13: Google Docs, Wikis and Dropbox

Google Docs
Well in theory Google Docs is quite handy but if I used it I would probably only use it to share documents with people outside of work. Inside work the Intranet allows you to create a document and allows other people access to said document in order to edit it. As a result using Google Docs for that would really be a waste of time. And while it's all well and good being able to create documents using Google Docs I have Microsoft Office on both my Work PC and my personal laptop and I'd much rather stick to those if at all possible. And while it's not always possible to stick to my own computer I can stick to the product I'm used to using via Windows Sky Drive all you need is a Windows Live ID. a.k.a. a hotmail account to access it. I've tried both Google Docs and Sky Drive at various times or to be more accurate as an extra place to save things and would much rather the Windows product.  But that's just me other people may have different views on this?

OK once again this is something which needs installing which I can't do on my work PC. However I have uploaded it  to my iPhone, and I'm exploring the website.  After playing for a bit I started a CPD23 folder and put in a copy of Thing 1. OK so it works. And I like the fact that I can access it from my phone which is quite nice if you just want to read something quickly. In general however I'd rather stick to Sky Drive or Google Docs where you can also edit the work online. You don't have to have any kind of word processor etc on your computer.

I have used a Wiki a couple of times for collaborative work. In work the only thing I've used a Wiki for is to respond  problems within the project so they can be dealt with quickly. Otherwise I took part in the Libraries Day in the Life project and I'm sure we did something when we were in Loughborough but don't quote me on that.

Having looked at the three things within Thing 13 I can genuinely see how each and every one of them could be useful. At the same time in my current post there's not much that they can be used for really without making something up. However that doesn't mean that at some point in the future they won't come in handy. And now that I have an awareness of them and what it's possible to do with them I'll know where to look should the need arise.