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My daughter Sandy Millin has invited me to take part in this series of post to follow on from the one that she has written.

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My task is to…
Acknowledge the nominating blogger.

Share 11 random facts about yourself.
Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.

List 11 bloggers.
Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer, and let all the bloggers know they have been nominated. Don’t nominate a blogger who has nominated you.

11 random facts about me

  1. I love singing – as a first soprano – with the Brewood singers
  2. I am very proud of my daughter Sandra and son Steven and pleased that they are both in jobs that they love (although I still haven’t had a chance to be driven in a truck yet Steven)
  3. My ex husband and I used to breed and show rabbits – including yellow and chocolate dutch, dwarf lops, and argente bleu and creme we showed as Shepherd Stud.
  4. This then moved onto us owning our own pet shop D & K Pets
  5. I used to work as an Assistant Director managing libraries, archives and adult learning in Dudley.
  6. I love to travel – and enjoy the journey as much as finding out about the places I visit.
  7. When I was 19 I went to America with a school friend for 4 weeks – we Greyhounded for 2 weeks then stayed with friends of my father at Arlington Virginia for 2 weeks.
  8. When I was 16 I went youth hostelling in Scotland with 2 school friends.
  9. I love reading and sharing books with as many people by releasing them in the wild – you can track them through Bookcrossing and looking for Katweeble on there.
  10. I am an Essex girl – I was born in Dovercourt Bay
  11. My original career was as a librarian and then I moved onto being a manager before moving to being a network marketer.

Answering the questions Sandy has asked me

1. What advice would you give to someone starting out in your profession?

To talk to other people who have already succeeded, keep on reading and never stop learning and finding out more about the profession. You can recycle a lot of great ideas rather than trying to start everything from scratch.

2. Are you a tidy person or a clean person, or both, or neither?

I am a tidy person and like things to be clean – although my desk is a little over run at the moment. I don’t like my house to be a show home though, I prefer it to be comfortable so it isn’t completely spotless.

3.How often do you go to the cinema

Not very often – it is usually in intense bouts when I am with Sandra, although I do love watching films on the cinema.

4. Do you have a favourite word (in any language)?

I have very fond memories of being with my nan when she was pretending she couldn’t say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. I was reminded of this recently due to the publicity about the film Saving Mr Banks about the making of Mary Poppins.

5. What’s your favourite meal? Can you cook it?

My favourite meal is roast lamb with onion sauce, roast potatoes and a range of vegetables followed by cheesecake.  I can cook the first part, but haven’t done the second part since being diagnosed as a coeliac in 2003. Maybe I need to have a go at making it again.

6. What’s the phrase you constantly hear yourself saying?

‘if that makes sense?’

7. What’s the worst job you’ve ever done?

Going round offices and shops cleaning phones during the Easter holidays of my first year in university. Some people were very rude to me – it helped me to realise that everybody should be treated politely and valued whatever job they do. The good bit about doing the job was that it paid for my flight tickets to and from America.

8. What’s your favourite method of procrastination?

My ipad- either computer games or looking at Facebook, twitter and e-mail.

9. Do you like classical music?

Yes –  and I like to listen to the BBC Radio 4 Composer of the Week podcast as I find out a lot about a wide range of composers.

10. I don’t know much about poetry. Is there a particular poem you think I should read?

Eye have a spelling chequer,
It came with my Pea Sea.
It plane lee marks four my revue
Miss Steaks I can knot sea.

Eye strike the quays and type a whirred
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am write oar wrong
It tells me straight a weigh.

Eye ran this poem threw it,
Your shore real glad two no.
Its vary polished in its weigh.
My chequer tolled me sew.

A chequer is a bless thing,
It freeze yew lodes of thyme.
It helps me right all stiles of righting,
And aides me when eye rime.

Each frays come posed up on my screen
Eye trussed too bee a joule.
The chequer pours o’er every word
Two cheque sum spelling rule.

The original version of this poem was written by Jerrold H. Zar in 1992.
I regularly have spell checking and predictive text mistakes in my written work – so this is a great reminder of the fact the I should always check to make sure the right version of a word is present.
11.And, a little bit of advertising. 🙂 What’s your favourite eltpic? (You don’t have to justify it!)
I haven’t picked one photo but one of the sets – the signs ones as I love how strange some of them are. I have enjoyed spotting them when with Sandra too.
My nominees?
My questions to my nominees?
  1. What is your favourite book?
  2. If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go?
  3. Which historical or fictional character would you like to meet?
  4. What was the last film you saw?
  5. What is your favourite form of exercise?
  6. Dogs or cats?
  7. Libraries, Book shops or e-books?
  8. Do you have a favourite building – and where is it?
  9. Where is your favourite place to eat with friends?
  10. What word best describes your current mood?
  11. Do you prefer Christmas or summer holidays?

There has been a lot of information/ posts about this subject recently – I am not intending to give instructions on how to use social media in libraries here – that can be found in a number of places. What I will be doing is giving some of my own views on why social media is useful for libraries and librarians, although I am always aware that a medium that works for one person is a complete anathema to another. So please bear this in mind when looking at social media and considering whether it is useful for you or not!

This post was inspired by a post called “the vocal employee” about the actions of some Domino’s employees and what their company did about it. …….It made me think about the fact that not having a social media presence does not stop bad things happening about your company (or library) – and maybe if the company listened to and worked with its employees this situation could have been averted. In my view the risk of not being there is greater than the risk of being an active presence.

You only know what people are saying about you if you are in the same places and listening to/ monitoring what is happening in the places where people go to talk. And if you are there listening /monitoring, surely it is better to interact and contribute to the conversations rather than being a ‘lurker’. This needs to be part of a planned communication programme so that the messages in all of the media you use (and face to face is one of these) and professional BUT the style used needs to be appropriate to the format you are using. For example, the tone of a news release is very different to a piece of information put onto Twitter. Twitter is a long conversation you dip into and out of and so you need to be interesting and concise. Information on Facebook is a mix of the two. Staff using social media need to be trained and made aware of the ‘do’s’ and ‘do nots” but without taking away their own voice – so long as that voice is appropriate to the image you want to give. One good example of the use of humour is the twitter feed for Orkney Libraries.

It is also excellent PR to be seen to respond to the bad comments – not necessarily to answer them as some issues may be too sensitive – but to say something like

“thank you for your comment – I have passed it onto ………. who will answer you directly”.

You are acknowledging the issue and being seen to respond. It may be that your answers are made public afterwards but the complainer’s points will be made public anyway.

You will also have positive comments and feedback that will be in the public sphere and seen by others – never a bad thing.:-)

The recent issue of how Twitter and Facebook were used during the riots is a case in point. Yes, they were used for negative things, but there was also a major positive element to their use which would be lost if they were switched off during similar occasions in the future. In Wolverhampton, Twitter was used to help to calm down the situation in a very positive way through Superintendent Payne noting the misinformation that was going out and posting information about what was really happening (or more often not happening). This has been continued by regular updates about what has been done about the rioters by the police along with continuing to do his regular posts about the job.

From all of my news feeds I usually find out about what is happening first on, maybe because I check it quite regularly. I can then go to sites with more information either from the tweet or directly to the webpage.

I currently don’t make much use of you-tube or other social media sites, so this musing is based on the ones I find useful .

In my mind the benefits of using social media well outweigh the problems.

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