Thing 2: Blogging about Blogging

Welcome to the first of (hopefully many!) blog posts as I work my way through the 2017 Rudai 23 Things course.  Having just finished up a two-year PG Dip Distance Learning course in Library and Information Services Management with the iSchool at the University of Sheffield, I’m keen not to let myself slip into complacency too quickly especially when it comes to CPD.

As someone who is fairly new to Twitter (and still fairly wary, it has to be said!) I made a real concentrated effort during the library course to explore the benefits of having a public, online profile as a LIS professional.  Although it was difficult at first to be brave enough to rip off the old cloak of invisibility and attach my name to my Twitter profile, the benefits of the profile and of being able to follow conversations and events of importance to the profession have far outweighed the anxieties and doubts I originally had.

In my current job role and also as an Admin and team member of LISNPN, I regularly write blog posts and post to social media.  Having said that, somehow this blog feels a lot more personal!  Nevertheless, I’m really looking forward to following the Rudai blogs as the course continues.  Nothing else for it but Thing 3…

 

Image courtesy of artursfoto Pixabay

 

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Thing 3: Image Banks

As social media responsibilities have recently become quite a significant part of my role, I’m always keen to learn new ways of quickly and efficiently sourcing quality copyright compliant content for reuse when designing event posters, signage etc.  I have a few favourite ‘go to’ tools (e.g. Canva, Postermywall etc.) but often find it difficult to source attractive, quality images which will have a professional finish once included in the poster, signage or social media post I design.  Pixabay and Pexels are usually my first port of call in order to collect copyright compliant stock photos as I have always been very wary of Google Images and the possibility of easily (if unintentionally) misusing content.  Therefore, (embarrassingly enough!) this week’s Thing has been quite a revelation for me as I had never used the ‘Tools’ feature in Google Images in order to filter images by license.  Although I still think it’s always better to err on the side of caution, this feature will save me a lot of time when sourcing simple icons and images for inclusion in promotional library materials.

Having never really used Flickr, I’ve decided to explore it this week as I’ve always been drawn to and impressed by the power of folksonomies and how user-generated tags and classification systems can be best used to promote libraries and specific collections/resources.

I found I was initially struck by the sheer amount of hits and the quality of the images found using simple search terms such as ‘library’.  The quality of the material available is excellent and the variation is also a real plus when repeatedly sourcing content for reuse e.g. when trying to find fresh content each year to produce Freshers materials or library marketing.  Secondly I was impressed by the license filter which was incredibly easy to use and very clear about exactly how images could or could not be reused.  For example turning on the ‘Modifications allowed’ option still produced 690,683 hits.  Instead of scanning for appropriate Creative Commons badges or icons when searching, the Flickr licence filter provided me with that calming sense of the ease of a Google search which we’re all becoming more and more accustomed with and reliant upon as time goes on.   While I could probably play for hours on Flickr, I particularly liked this image:

5971121593_54639de896_z.jpgSTOCKHOLM LIBRARY

IMAGE CREDIT: ‘Stockholm Library’ by Christophe Richard  is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The image was easy to find, ‘favourite’ download and reuse with clear indication of image Creator, creation date, image location etc. and most importantly, Creative Commons Licence.  Shelving inspiration for the (comparatively tiny) spare room in my new house is also taken from this image as an added bonus!