Significant Experience: I attended a 2 day training event on Advanced Searching techniques ran by 2 search experts – Julie Glanville and Carol Lefebvre
What Happened?: It was a 2 day course, looking at different techniques to improve how we search. It was a really intensive couple of days, covering a lot of ground including: resources to support searching; citation, text mining and text analysis tools; identification of search terms to build search strategies and much more! Whilst these may be obvious to many particular points that jumped out to me were:
- Floating Sub-headings!
- Collaborative search filter resource (ISSG)
- Text analysis tools Voyant & Vosviewer
- Pubreminer for those tricky to find search terms and more systematic approaches to identifying search terms
- Frequency analysis in Endnote
- Helioblast and implicit key words
So What?: This was a really useful training event, both from a technical and a psychological perspective.
Of course, I have learnt lots of new techniques, picked up new hints and approaches and got to bounce ideas off two experts within the field. But it was also good to find out that, there was not a world of difference between my skill level, and those of our team that are (quite rightly) viewed as the leaders in terms of search – and that I had a similar approach to public health searching. Given how the importance of searching (and the resources available) had been diminished in my previous role, it gave me confidence not only in my abilities but also of our team as a whole.
It was also interesting to find that my perspectives (developed in isolation) on the difference between searching for public health and clinical searching were already established. Concepts that I discussed when training (anyone who has been trained by me will remember the ‘Hansel and Gretal’ approach and ‘sideways searching’ ) were discussed.
This session has not only improved my technical searching skills and showed me new ways to both produce and present searches but given me confidence in my skills and thoughts about how to share them with people supporting public health across the North of England.
Now What?: I am going to start using these tips and techniques to my regular searching. This will improve the effectiveness of my offer which will support the organisation to reach its strategic goals. I am also going to investigate interest in holding a session for librarians in clinical organisations that offer services to public health/primary care services to develop their skills as I believe I can help my fellow information professionals deliver a high quality service
When & Where?: 1/2nd November, London
Date: 12th November 2017
Significant Experience: I did the ‘Librarians with Lives’ Podcast with the very excellent Jo Wood. My episode is here
What Happened?: I was a guest on Jo Wood’s Librarians with Lives Podcast
So What?: I did blog about what the growth I’ve had in the last couple of years that gave me confidence to actually put myself forward
Now What?: Moving forward I am going to continue to put myself into situations that I initially find challenging as it helps me grow as a person and a professional – which can only be a good thing!
When & Where?: The Internet, Chat 26th September, Published 31st October
Significant Experience: The 5th meeting of the Fellowship Group
What Happened?: Normally the whole thing discussion is private but considering I was the presenter in the Action Learning Set I’m allowed to say! The problem was my inability to pick up/continue an ongoing piece of work after I have stopped working on it. The main discussion points were around organisational issues (expected) and professional confidence (*very* unexpected)
So What?: This was really very useful as it brought forward issues about my professional confidence/trust in my abilities that I had not consciously considered before. It also led to my thinking more about the value I place on my time.
Now What?: I am going to produce some ‘golden rules‘ to how I approach non-1 sitting finish work and examine strategies to breaking down these non-small works into more finish-able chunks. By doing this it shall improve my belief in my own work, which shall improve my effectiveness for my organisation both in quality and my honest time spent on projects.
When & Where?: 10th August 2017, Manchester
Significant Experience: Creating my golden rules to increase productivity in
What Happened?: At the August #Fellowshipfive meeting – I had an Action Learning Set in which I discussed my inability to re-pick up work and how this affected me. These golden rules were my action/approach to solving this issue.
- Have a plan of what this work will entail – what stages will the work involve (think Project Management)
- Before starting create sensible stopping points (for example between stages)
- When stopping – produce bullet points explaining what you’ve already done and how you feel about what you have done.
- When picking up again – have you learned anything that alters what you have already done?
So What?: It was important to get this done as it is a time sink and a confidence drain. Also I should have done it last month!
Now What?: Now I am going to have these to hand and build them into my daily work approach. I have a large search to be done next week that will span several days (including a weekend) so it is a good test
When & Where?: 8th November 2017
Date: 27th October 2017
Significant Experience: First time delivering training via Skype, first time delivering EndNote training, First time delivering training to strangers in *5* years
What Happened?: Following initial discussions about how we could support a team that was based throughout the Northwest a series of training sessions were requested on different aspects of information skills – the first of which were on EndNote, These were to be delivered group face to face but also with Skype screen sharing. The opportunities to deliver training had significantly reduced in my previous role, and it had been a long time since I had delivered to a group. This coupled with the technology (which played up – but not the Skype bit) the fact it was on software I had only been using for 6 months and for a new organisation with their own standards/approaches.
So What?: My heart hadn’t grown fond of training in the five years I had not be doing it – much like presentations (or talking to people), i always viewed it as a necessary evil of the role, so wasn’t looking forward to it. But, as with everything, I have learnt that if i present as myself rather than what I think people want (or as a previous manager tried to make me do – as they would) or try to deliver someone else’s training session, I come across as more believable-and it shows. In terms of the newness of the topic, as discussed elsewhere – I had observed an EndNote expert deliver training, taken the key messages they pushed and morphed them into a message delivered in my voice which was both expert and authentic. Also I had used Endnote more in my 6 months than everyone else in room in total – just because of the job!
Now What?: I am going to take the confidence gained in the delivery of these sessions (and the positive feedback) to form the basis of future training delivery to ensure high quality, authentic training that will increase the users skills and understanding of effective information skills.
When & Where?: Manchester & Liverpool, 17th & 18th October 2017
Significant Experience: The 6th meet-up of the fellowship group. The meeting on 15th September was cancelled.
What Happened?: Although conversation will remain private, this session followed a different path as we were 2 members short (although their height is inconsequential) so led by SH, we had a round-table looking at our progress (me: non), reasons (me: many) and future actions (me: last times + catch up on reflections) – we then morphed into a ‘shut up & write session’. As ever it was a relaxed and welcoming session with plenty of LOL’s and pastries…
So What?: This was perhaps the most important meeting for me since the initial meeting as I had lost my way badly with all things fellowship, and I worry that if this meeting hadn’t happened I may have just gone full ‘fuck it’ mode. It is a good group where we can share and work through worries and issues that directly and in-directly effect our fellowship approach.
Now What?: I am re-energized in all things #fellowshipfive going to complete my actions from last time – including my ‘golden rules’ to stop me restarting work. To counter-act the lulls that seem to happen during the extended breaks we are going to try an informal ‘this week I did’/next week I shall’ approach on the whats-app group…breaking it down into small chunks 🙂
When & Where?: Joule, Manchester, 24th October 2017