Reflection blog 5 – Reflection on reflecting (and the talks, the module and all the fun we’ve had)

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I need to confess. I was really, really did not wanted to do this module. In the early timetables it looked that this would be my only module on Thursday which would be four days of college instead of three. For someone commuting 3-4 hours a day battling fatigue that is an serious issue.  I had to decide whether I’ll try to find accommodation in Dublin or  commute four days and risk worsening of my health issues and potential inability to finish the course.

And than we were told the module is not core, but it is mandatory. I was devastated! Luckily for me some changes to the timetable were announced,which allowed me only to commute three days with two modules each day.

So, to put it lightly, me and Management for Information Professionals did not start with a bang and I was not prepared to like this module at all. Boy, was I wrong. I think Jane had  the whole class on board right after the first lecture and I understood that everything I thought about this module could not been further from truth.

File_000 (7)I would not dare to say I understand management now. But I do believe I have better understanding of it. I feel like now I know what I don’t know. I would compare it to someone learning how to use the computer. I understand it does not run by magic and that you do not need to be tech-genius to understand it. Valuable understanding for me was that you can learn management. I had always connected management with white middle aged males earning high wages telling people what to do. I felt like if you are not born for it, you can’t do it.

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Surprisingly, I really enjoyed blogging and will probably continue to blog in the future either in this blog or other. I was very conscious about my English and I just didn’t know if I would have anything to say. I really enjoyed the process, it felt quite cleansing as well. I can see how when I had more time to write and prepare other content I was more satisfied with the outcome than when in pressure. Great, that this is implemented into the module, not to mention its also good our CVs.

cheryl-winn-boujnida-66169I believe the module is just really well thought through. Such a variety of speakers, allowed the class to imagine where and for whom they could be working. Each different types of libraries and environments were represented. I felt that, the module readings were contemporary and practical.
I have to say that the kept thinking the issues that the guest speakers had raised very often, and I am sure it will stay with me for some time. Later on in the course, some of the issues sort of fused into questions. Why is this and that not addressed by this institution? Person XY says this, but it is not brought into practice, how could this be done? And the most important: What can I do to change this?

I feel like my personal development in the course switched from being an amazed observer to a someone saying: well, maybe its me, who could do something about this. And so the adventure begins! Mug Adventure

Reflection blog 4 – Dr Howard’s Lecture

alessandro-viaro-94370As the term coming closer to an end, the tension is omnipresent. You can see it on our pale faces, you can sense it in the room. I felt like the atmosphere in the room was somehow tense, as we are fast approaching looking for jobs and networking is such an essential part of this.

I had enjoyed Dr Howard’s lecture on Thursday, although I could find myself having to concentrate extra hard. There were several topics that spoke to me in Dr Howard’s lecture.

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Dr John B. Howard

Language. Dr Howard was talking about growing up in a bilingual family and how with different language you adopt a whole slightly different personality. I can agree with this wholeheartedly. When I switch to Czech my voice changes significantly, my tone is lower and slower.  Different language create a slightly different persona. And funnily enough, I tend to be more inclined to like and miss everything Czech when in Ireland and vice versa.

Dr Howard spoke how he had to deal with letting significant part of a team go. He spoke with such bitterness, that reminded me that managers take the bitter pill of having to make those decisions, that will have devastating effect on many families. It truly moved me. I think it is very had to completely separate being personal and professional in a workplace. When you are let go, it effects you personally whether you like or not, your ability to create income and affect your sense of self worth. I would like to believe that such decision does affect both the employee and the manager, like it did Dr Howard when he was asked what was his worst management experience. It wasn’t not meeting important deadline, or losing a grant, but affecting large number of families by having to let go of half of his employees.

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Evelyn Flanagan, Eugene Roche, John B. Howard, Ursula Byrne

 

 

 

Reflection blog 3 -LibGuides

Introduction from the University of Arizona http://libguides.asu.edu

UCD Libguides                                                                                                                           http://libguides.ucd.ie

I had used  UCD LibGuides before, during my summer internship in UCD Library we were shown how does the modular system works and how to utilize it. They are also easy to create, and do not require coding skills. This allows any member of staff to be able to easily produce a guide on their expertise, without requiring in-depth technical skills. As a UCD MLIS student, I had used several UCD LibGuides, particularly Academic Integrity, EndNote, Research Data ManagementGIS, Literature Review and Open Access for Research Impact.

I was assigned Bibliometrics and Irish, Celtic Studies & Folklore.

Irish1

http://libguides.ucd.ie/irish

Irish, Celtic Studies & Folklore included a lot of general information, such as how to use the library, or search a topic. The author of the LibGuide is Jenny Collery.  Actually, I would say that only 30% of the content is specific to the subject, the rest is related to general use of library resources and academic writing advice. I felt like these information were redundant, but it might be helpful particularly for undergraduate students to have all needed information at one stop.

Bibliometrics1

http://libguides.ucd.ie/bibliometrics

The other LibGuide that everyone was given to review was Bibliometrics. I now understand why. I believe this LibGuide should be given as an example how well you can get the best of this type of content. The guide covers several types of users, from beginners to experienced researchers. I liked the testimonial videos, links to training and on several places explaining how the library can help the schools and researchers raise their profile. Feel like the author is saying: “this is what bibliometrics is, this is what it means for you and this is why you need the library to help you with it”. Excellent, well done Michelle Dalton!!

Libguides.ucd.ie. (2017). LibGuides: Bibliometrics. [online] Available at:

http://libguides.ucd.ie/bibliometrics [Accessed 26 Mar. 2017].

Libguides.ucd.ie. (2017). LibGuides: Irish, Celtic Studies & Folklore. [online] Available at:

http://libguides.ucd.ie/irish [Accessed 26 Mar. 2017].

Reflection blog 2 – Finance & strategy

File_000 (6)The topic of our fourth class was finance management. Honestly, everything even slightly resembling math is giving me high school anxiety. I felt like this topic is not for me. Or is it? I came back to education to fill the gaps in my knowledge (ideally) that I was experiencing in the workplace. When I was working as a cataloger for four years or later in Irish hospitality sector I had never come close to finance management and planning. Then I realized that finance management is exactly something that I should look into. I found Monica Crump’s presentation very in
interesting. It put a more human feel to the whole issue.  I think I got a good taste of what it involves to manage finance in a library setting thanks to the presentation and the readings. I found the Accounting for Libraries bit dry, but giving a simple, but very good overview of the key terms and procedures. I don’t think that I now understand financial management, but I feel that I had identified an area that I should explore more, to acquire deeper understanding of the processes and management of information institutions.

File_004 (1)Our sixth theme was strategic planning, which ties well with financial management. Katherine McSharry made her presentation extremely engaging and I really liked that. Something that really struck me was that National Library of Ireland isFile_003 (1) trying to build a sense of community in their users. I feel that many memory institutions had suffered a little bit of professional arrogance at times. From a perspective of someone interested in history of books and libraries this is completely understandable. We had centuries of censorship in different types and forms. Knowledge was deemed to be a privilege for a very long time. I think now all memory institutions understand, that to survive, they need to tell the users: “All what we have is here just for you!”. It is admirable to see this theme raised in a research library, and a national library nonetheless.

Reflection blog 1 – What box?

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I found it fairly unsettling to start these blog posts. Particularly after realizing that we are publishing something that stays out there  and people will (possibly) read it. Reading the Reflective Writing (Watton, Collings, & Moon, 2001) had helped me to understand better what we are expected to do and how we can benefit from a reflective practice. It is a practical guide for students explaining how to create reflective writing and why. After reading it I feel that I do have a little bit different lens, but I am not sure if I am on the right track. Also, the article is discussing personal reflection and we are to contemplate on our readings. I am not sure if there is any difference in the approach just yet! It reminded me of the concept of morning pages from The Artist´s Way by Julia Cameron (1992). Every morning just after you wake up you have to write few pages (I think it was three) of anything that comes into your mind. I found that practice very cleansing, although it took me ages and at the end I did not stick to it for very long. Highly recommend the book to anyone creative. Well… basically to anyone.

I found myself thinking about our readings for Management surprisingly a lot. Particularly “the guy in a crazy orange suit”. Howard Rheingold gives a TED talk on The New Power of Collaboration. I think that everyone in our class remembered him – the orange suit works perfectly!  What stroke me the most from his talk was the emphasis on collaboration nowadays, how companies prefer to share their secrets in order to progress. This really changed my mindset. I feel like I encounter a lot of cultural differences between  Ireland and Czech Republic, where I come from. The Czech mindset to me feels very competitive and people are used to be fairly jealous of each other. The doubt is omnipresent. (Think socialist Czechoslovakia and how ordinary people were giving out information about each other to the secret police: neighbors, even relatives or spouses could often not be trusted.)  I have to fight these tendencies and pick the best from both worlds.

I wonder how is collaborative approach implemented in businesses in Czech republic. I am  aware of some collaborations in the library world in there, but it feels like librarians are often quite progressive in implementing innovations. From what I know from my friends the “no one can be trusted” principle is still present even in my generation.  Hopefully younger entrepreneurs and the necessity to adapt to the global market will create an opportunity for innovative thinking.

Bibliography

Cameron, J. (1992). The Artist’s Way: A spiritual path to a higher creativity. Los Angeles, CA: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Perigee.

Rheingold, H. (2005, February).Howard Rheingold: The new power of collaboration. TED Ideas worth spreading . Retrevied from https://www.ted.com/talks/howard_rheingold_on_collaboration?utm_source=tedcomshare&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=tedspread.

Watton, P., Collings, J., & Moon, J. (2001). Reflective writing. The University of Sheffield.

Bernard Black: The manager no one would want to work for

   i-hate-everyone-smallSource: http://dylanmoran.livejournal.com

Bernard Black is a character from a British sitcom Black Books. Bernard is a owner of a secondhand bookshop. He runs a small business and has only one employee, Manny.

His hiring techniques are admirable. He is able to hire Manny completely drunk, in a pub, while talking to a stranger. To avoid filing tax return he gets himself beaten up. The financial management is overseen by Manny and Bernard has very little knowledge about the financial prospects of the business. Manny is paid in pocket money on an irregular basis. Surprisingly, he has very little interest in the success of the company. It looks like Bernard owns the shop solely for the sake of it. He is  possibly unemployable elsewhere.

Bernard lacks people skills. Even more, he hates people and people hate him. At one occasion he leaves the shop, and after ensuring that the grumpy Irishman is gone, people burst into the shop and buy nearly all the books. When major profit is made, Bernard gets upset that he now needs to reorder new books from the warehouse.

He exploits his only employee by insults, restricting him where he can go, what to do and who he can talk to. However, occasionally, it is shown, that Manny can take a break or they work together on a collaborative project (e.g. writing and illustration of a children book, later destroyed for the fear of becoming famous). Manny regularly threatens to leave the company, which does not seem to make any difference in the employer-employee relationship. Although Bernard’s management skills are hilarious to watch in a comedy series, he really is a boss no one would actually want to work for.

                                                                                                                                    Source: Youtube