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Archive for the ‘Webinars’ Category

I forget if it was my academic adviser or one of the librarians at work who first suggested I join SLA but in my opinion the dues for the dues more than pay for all of the excellent professional development opportunities and tools provided by the association. The Future Ready 365 blog is an excellent tool, I have watched more webinars from SLA than from any of the other associations I currently subscribe to and I feel like I can always find something new and exciting coming from their website and their members. They will also probably be my favorite for a long time because they’ve accepted my first poster proposal (more on that project to follow) which will make them hard to beat.

Lisa Chow and Sandra Sajonas gave a wonderful presentation on the creation and promotion of your e-portfolio. I am going to begin work on my portfolio over the summer and hope to be able to come close to what they described in their webinar. An e-portfolio is an expanded online resume that allows you to keep track of projects and offer writing samples or other work to prospective employers. The strength of Chow & Sajonas’s presentation lies with the variety of tools they outlined and evaluated. Past articles I’ve read about the creation of an e-portfolio cover some basic information about arranging items aesthetically on the screen and are geared primarily to creative trades such as graphic designers and animators.

I loved the suggestion of adding constantly updating elements (for example connecting your blog reel to your e portfolio) to ensure that your portfolio will be higher on the list for a Google search. Both Chow and Sajonas use Google Sites for their portfolios. I’ve worked with Google Sites in the past and I found it easy to use and manipulate, I liked the amount of freedom you have in the details of the page and the control you have over the look. Google is a good tool because many of their tools are meant to work well together.

Another option they mention, that I’ve worked with in the past is PBWorks, which I’ve used for class assignments. I like PBWork’s ease of use but it is a workspace software and always looks slightly unfinished to me. Though part of this may steam from my classmates leaving the tracking edits widget in the right hand sidebar making the site look too busy. I will probably look into using WordPress since my blog is already here and I will continue to update it often. One of the drawbacks mentioned with WordPress is that it does not work with Google Analytics, but the Dashboard controls its own statistics.

The second portion of the presentation dealt with how to track and promote your portfolio once it’s put together. I’ve used bit/ly to shorten links for my Twitter feed but I haven’t been using it to track clicks. I’ve used Google Analytics in the past and it’s a great way to track who is looking at your site and when but if I connect my portfolio to this blog I’d be better off using WordPress’s statistics.

For more details on the presentation and for a list of tools that can be used to create your own e-portfolio, click here.

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I’m never quite sure how to present grad school work.  When I’m at work, my MLIS classes are considered professional development.  But when I become a fully fledged librarian I’ll no longer have the graduate classes to fall back on in terms of professional development.  I had webinars on my radar in the past, but mostly as an alternative to a conference I could not attend (my previous library provided support in the way of time and expertise but we did not have hard funds for professional development for staff) or as a way to catch up on a new piece of software.  It wasn’t until this year (note all years for me are school years so “this year” for the blog started in September) that I began to truly make use of the offerings of some of the professional organizations that offer student rates and discounts.  My favorite in this so far has been SLA – they offer a large variety of webinars on everything from new technology to copyright workshops.  The webinars are available in a synched format at a specific day and time and a good number of them are recorded and posted online for review later.  The live webinar experience is great because I can listen and interact at work while I’m on a break and when I cannot watch all of it I can watch it later.

I attended a great webinar this week on open source technology presented by ByWater Solutions, the slides can be found here.  This presentation was an excellent overview of what open source technology means (the code is shared so you can update it but it is not necessarily free technology) and what it means for libraries.  The presenter moved through the material at a good pace and allowed plenty of time for questions.  She is  giving another presentation of the open source presentation in April, refer to the link above for times and how to sign up.

Webinars and taped meetings are a big part of working in libraries today.  I go to class online, interact with student groups online and work with meetings similar to the webinar software for presentations.  If you have access to an ALA, SLA, CLA or other library association membership look for information on their websites on what they offer.  Some webinars are free, some are more expensive than others.  ACRL provides scholarship opportunities (which reminds me I need to use that before it expires!) throughout the year and other professional groups do as well.  The one thing I don’t know yet is what the rules are for having a small group “attend” one one projector (ie. one computer but three or four attendees) does that work like an individual rate or do you use a different form?

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