Born digital – ALIA PD

I decided to study this short course as I have just started my first job as a librarian and was unsure about how best to manage digital material. It has both informed me and scared me as I didn’t realise just how much was involved. Although I still have a lot to learn, I feel that I have made a start and I now know where to look if I need to find more information. I think it is well worth doing and it has encouraged me to expand upon my knowledge.

The future of employment

I was tasked with watching and reflecting upon the videos below as part of my studying Self-Leadership at QUT. I was well aware how the job market needs to evolve due to the advances in technology and that careers available now may not exist in the future. It has been a recurring theme of my MIS(LIP) that as professionals we need to be open to change, as the role of the librarian now is different from the past and will be different from the future. My friends are convinced I spend my days surrounded by books, but the reality is, it’s spent behind the computer. Yes I am surrounded by books, but that is only because the organisation I work for has built up an archive during its existence. I am responsible for social media marketing, database management, electronic resources and blogging. Terms that didn’t exist when I was at school. However, despite being a digital immigrant I have been open to change and so feel comfortable with utilising digital resources in all aspects of my life.

In my previous career of nursing, I also had to be open to change due to the continuous progress in both medicine and technology. As a student I did as I was told and didn’t dare question the wisdom of the qualified nurses. Student nurses are now encouraged to question the registered and enrolled nurses and all the care delivered  has to be evidence based practice. The equipment has also become digitalised from the old mercury sphygmomanometers (blood pressure machines) and glass thermometers to digital and computerised vital sign monitors. However, despite all the advances the human caring aspect of nursing or the visual observation of the patient’s condition have not changed.

Bring on the change, I’m  ready.

Work life balance

I utilised the Work Life Balance Self-Assessment  Scale developed by Hayman in 2005 to assess my work life balance and my scores indicate that I have a high level of work life balance. This doesn’t surprise me as I am careful to balance my professional, personal and academic lives. It can be difficult at times, but I believe it is about compromise and setting priorities. It is easier at the moment as I work for an organisation where job crafting is encouraged and my working day is flexible. When I was nursing it wasn’t as easy due to the nature of the job with shift work and overtime being non-negotiable. I feel that I am happier and less stressed now and able to put more energy into my current job.
I really identified with Nigel Marsh’s TedTalk on work life balance as one of the things that I took from nursing was that no-one said on their death bed that they wish they’d spent more time at the office. Their regrets were lost time with their families, places not visited, experiences not experienced. This in part encouraged me to achieve a better work life balance and I try to work part-time whenever possible and not turn down new experiences. Nursing is not a career where balance is easily achieved as we were often expected to work late and through our breaks. The continuous shift work was also an obstacle to balance as I was constantly exhausted. I now work part-time in a small library catering to a non-profit organisation which I balance with studying for my Masters and spending time with my family and friends. Despite being busier than ever,I feel that I have finally achieved balance in my life.
Hayman, J. (2005). Psychometric assessment of an instrument designed to measure work life balance. Research and Practice in Human Resource Management, 13(1), 85-91.

Introversion is okay

I’m proud to be an introvert and like Susan Cain in this  TedTalk, I would also have been the girl to take a case of books to camp. I have to say we didn’t have camp in England when I grew up and I am very grateful for that. I think it has effected me in my career over the years, I don’t shine in interviews, particularly group interviews and I can be reluctant to speak up in team meetings. I have had to make a concerted effort to become more extraverted in these situations and I do struggle. My previous career as a nurse required me to speak to complete strangers and often request really intimate information from them. I’m now in a career where my lecturers and experienced professionals reiterate the importance of networking. I’ll do it but I know it will take me out of my comfort zone and I’m not alone as up to half the population are introverts, so where are you all?

Job congruence and values

I struggled a bit with the Perceived Person-Environment Fit Scale (Chuang, Shen & Judge, 2016) as I only started work in my current position 4 weeks ago. I got 6 in all the different sections, so an average of 6 in total, which indicates a higher level of fit in the environment. I feel that this is an accurate representation of where I am currently, as it is working in a not for profit organisation that support people with drug and alcohol issues and/or mental illness. This is a section of society I feel strongly needs support as a significant number of them end up in the prison system, something that can be prevented if they are supported in the community and addiction is treated as an illness not a crime. Therefore I feel my values align strongly with the organisation’s and I feel that this alignment assisted me in getting the job, as a newly qualified librarian with no experience. I also feel that job satisfaction is more important than financial remuneration, which also aligns with the values of an organisation which cannot afford to pay high wages. I also feel that these values align with the group values, as people work in this sector generally are more interested in helping people than getting rich.

I really identified with the TedTalk on passion, purpose and career as somebody who has spent 30 years in a career which at best was okay and at worse was emotionally, mentally and physically draining. I eventually decided to see a career counsellor and did a series of tests similar to what has been offered in this unit and librarian was the position that kept appearing. I looked into further and applied for the Masters at QUT and have never looked back. I have enjoyed every minute of it, even the assignments and endless reading. I have recently got my first librarian job in an organisation whose values tie in closely with mine and which I can use the theoretical knowledge  gained whilst nursing. It’s still early days but I love it, so yes I am living the dream.


Chuang, A., Shen, C.-T., & Judge, T. A. (2016). Development of a Multidimensional Instrument of Person-Environment Fit: The Perceived Person-Environment Fit Scale (PPEFS): Multidimensional Instrument of Person-Environment Fit. Applied Psychology, 65(1), 66-98. doi:10.1111/apps.12036


Copyright for educators and librarians

screenshot-100I decided to do this MOOC as I have just started work in a special library where it will be my responsibility to ensure that copyright laws are adhered to. This was mildly concerning to me as my knowledge of copyright was minimal. Although this course is based on US copyright law, I feel it will be useful in and Australian context as both countries are members of the Berne Convention. It gave me a good grounding and has inspired me to buy the book Libraries and Copyright from the Australian Copyright Council, which I will read and keep on my desk at work for reference. My knowledge of copyright is undoubtedly something I will use in my future career.


Research project auditing libraries in Queensland prisons: Literature review

I decided to do this project when Dr Andrew Demasson was discussing projects during one of the Professional Practice lectures. He mentioned that he had a project examining prison libraries and although it was not something I had previously considered, I immediately thought “that’s my project”. I have previously worked as a nurse in prisons and was shocked and upset by the disadvantages faced by the majority of prisoners including educational opportunities and low literacy levels , so the idea that my project may help to improve their lives was my motivation.

Due to the size and scope of the project, it is intended that I do it as a coupled project over two semesters and the original scope was to do an extended literature review in semester one. However, I met with my supervisor less than two weeks prior to the submission of assignment 2 (an annotated bibliography) to discuss my ethics application for semester two. Due to the lack of literature in the field, he suggested I change the scope to a project proposal and he gave me a two week extension for the assignment: a literature review, but that I prioritise my ethics application. I decided to not take the extension due to personal plans and instead set aside the weekend the assignment was due to write it. I did have a start, a 2000 word literature review I did for Research Based Practice  on the same subject. I also have read so much that it was a case of just writing the report and adding the references later. It took me approximately ten hours of solid writing, but I got it done and did a great job, with the assistance of my husband who kindly proofread it for me. I am proud of my achievement and it has proven to me that I have got the motivation and determination to achieve tight deadlines, whilst producing an excellent result

My organisation whilst reading the literature paid dividends too. I created a database with the main areas I wanted to write about and for each article inputted the page number whenever the area was discussed. I also wrote the annotated bibliography whilst I was reading and although it wasn’t assessed, I do feel that it helped me greatly whilst I was writing the literature review as it gave me a good understanding of the main themes of the literature.

Multimedia presentation

This involved researching an issue before creating and doing a multimedia presentation on it. I decided to use PowerPoint with voice recording uploaded onto YouTube. As I had never uploaded content onto YouTube, I decided to watch a YouTube video on how to do it. It was actually very simple once I knew what I was doing and I have since uploaded a couple of personal videos for my family to watch. I feel that I made a good attempt, although my slides were very text heavy and I didn’t actually identify an audience for the presentation. This is feedback I will learn from, when I do a presentation in the future. On the plus side, I have learnt how to upload content onto YouTube, a skill which will undoubtedly prove useful in the future.

Presentation and report examining a management issue

This assignment consisted of a Pecha Kucha style presentation, followed by a professional report highlighting a management problem in an information organisation and steps that could be taken to solve it. It was done in a team of 2 and I paired with my usual team-mate, which made the group work aspect of it easier, as we know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Doing the presentation was challenging, as it was a new concept for both of us. However, our feedback was positive, although our slides were a bit text heavy for the presentation style. For the report I read widely and so developed a strong understanding of the issue and I believe my team-mate did the same. This enabled us to put together a comprehensive and professional report, and is the method I will employ in the future when producing reports, both academically and professionally.  I would like to acknowledge Kate McKelliget who co-authored the report and the presentation.

Databases and cataloging

This was a challenging assignment to say the least. It consisted of 3 parts:

The cataloguing and user needs analysis didn’t really present me with any problems, as the former was  following logical steps and the latter was  analysing how a library could make recommendations to users. However, the SQL was challenging and I really stuggled to get my head around it. I found I was getting confused and anxious by my peers’ questions and began to overthink it. I made a decision to unsubscribe to the unit’s online community and forego the last 2 lessons. I then worked my way through the questions using the recommended textbook. This enabled me to work logically through the challenge and at my own pace, which I found suited me and the task. Although I have a basic grasp of SQL, I feel I will need to refresh my memory if I ever need to use it in the future.