Sunday, 10 December 2017

Rudaí 23 Twitter Chat

As you may remember in Thing 10, we briefly mentioned Twitter chats and how to get involved by following groups like @rudai23 and @uklibchat.

To give everyone an opportunity to see how a Twitter chat works and also network with other course participants we will be hosting a  Twitter chat on Tuesday 19th of December from 7.30pm to 9.30pm.

The topic of the chat will be "How to Get Through a 23 Things Course". This will be an opportunity to share any tips you might have for managing the workload of the course, learn how others are doing it, and chat with team moderators and module writers.

The chat will be hosted via our @rudai23 Twitter account by Siobhan McGuinness, a Twitter chat ninja and a member of the #uklibchat team.

So what do you have to do?

Set up a Twitter account.
If you don't know how to do that follow these instructions 
Follow our Twitter account  @rudai23
Write down the questions that we will be asking and write an answer for each.
Have these answers ready for the Twitter chat.


Q1: Is this your first time taking part in an online programme or MOOC? If not, what was your most recent online programme? 
Q2: What have you done to make it easier to get through each Thing?
Q3: Which tool that you have tried as part of the Rudai 23 programme has been your favourite so far?
Q4: Have you made any virtual friends, via Twitter, the FB R23 account, or by commenting on one another's blogs?
Q5: Have you been doing the programme during work or using your own time? Has work been supportive, encouraging? 
Q6: What do you think about blogging? Will you continue blogging after the course?
Q7: How do you approach writing the blog posts? Do you write them in one long stream of thought or do you structure and plan beforehand?
Q8: Have you enjoyed/not enjoyed writing reflective posts as part of the course? What has surprised you the most?
Q9: What do you think about the digital badges? Where have you shared your badge?
Q10: Is there anything you would change the next time you sign up for an online course?

On the day of the Twitter chat

#r23chat screenshot
Log into your Twitter account.
We will be live just before 7:30pm on the 19th of December.

In the search box type #r23chat.

Click on the 'Latest' tab, this will bring up the most recent tweets, as you can see from the screenshot these are the most recent tweet with the #r23chat hashtag, these are from when we did a chat when we ran the course in 2015.

Our team member Siobhan McGuinness will be hosting the Twitter chat. From 7:30pm she will post a question every 10- 15 mins, so five questions in the first hour, five questions in the second hour.

When you answer a question please make sure you include the question number and the hashtag #r23chat, for every tweet.


Q1 Is this your first Twitter chat? If not what chats have you taken part in?

Q1 No, I have taken part in uklibchat before it is very interesting. #r23chat

The easiest way to respond is by:
(a) finding the hashtag #r23chat (as explained, above)
(b) click on the tweet function in the top right-hand corner.
(c) create your response and tweet

You can follow Siobhan on Twitter now @shivguinn and if you have any questions regarding how to set up an account or Twitter chats, do contact her or email the team at 

You can log in and take part at any time, you can take part for a half hour or an hour, whatever suits your time and level of interest.

The aim of the Twitter chat is for the team to show you a way of becoming an online networker, which is the badge we just wrapped up. We also would love to see all the participants engage with each other because supporting each other is crucial when completing online courses.

At the end of the Twitter chat, we will be creating a Storify and will be posting it on our website and Twitter account, so if you do miss the chat, you can go back and read the many tweets from your fellow participants, the team and some feature writers.

See you all on the 19th Dec on Twitter for @rudai23 first #r23chat in 2017. 

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Change of schedule: A reprieve!

This week marks the end of Rudai 23’s second badge, Online Networker, with the Reflective Practice post for that badge which was published Monday, November 27. Kudos for keeping with the programme thus far; and even if you’re a few Things ‘behind’, remember that we have a very easy-going deadline of next April for you to get what you need done to be awarded the Badges you want to achieve.

We’ve had great feedback from participants so far, but one theme that we’ve heard loud and clear and that we’ve had to think through is that the pace of the Things is quite fast.

So the Rudai 23 project team have met, talked things through, and have decided to reschedule the next badge, Critical Thinker, until January 2018. That will mean also pushing back the fourth badge, Engaged Professional to February 2018.

We’ll be starting with the first Thing of the Critical Thinking badge on January 13, which is Thing 14 Personal Information Management and then proceed from there, with the course carrying on through January and February.

The revised dates for each Thing will be inputted into the Rudai 23 Google Calendar to help you keep on track.

The revised dates for the next part of the course are as follows:

Thing 14 : Personal Information Management - 13 January 2018
Thing 15: Evaluating Information - 20 January 2018
Thing 16: Your Digital Footprint - 27 January 2018
Thing 17: Sharing Your Work - 3 February 2018
Thing 18: Reflective Practice - 5 February 2018

Thing 19: Podcasts - 10 February 2018
Thing 20: Advocacy - 17 February 2018
Thing 21: Professional Organisations - 24 February 2018
Thing 22: Reflective Practice - 26 February 2018
Thing 23: Career Development Roundup - 3 March 2018

So as of November 28, there is another break! Take some time to think, to try out the tools from the first two badges, and of course, some time to just rest and enjoy the holiday season. We'll be continuing to monitor your blog posts, as well as our email and social networks (Twitter and Facebook). Get in touch anytime if you needed an assist with something!

We look forward to everyone’s reflections on being an Online Networker, and then carrying on with the course in the New Year.

Monday, 27 November 2017

Thing 13: Reflective Practice


Welcome to Thing 13, the final Thing in the Online Networker section of the course!

Congratulations on reaching this point in the course, and once again, we hope that you have enjoyed it. Thing 13 is a reflective piece, similar to Thing 6 and Thing 9. Just to remind you, the purpose of these reflective practices is to enhance your learning and application of skills through critical thinking and self-reflection.

If you're not sure about what you need to do in order to earn an Open Badge look at our FAQ.

Having now completed Things 10-12, you can see that this section has given you a three-pronged strategy for promoting your personal brand and becoming a highly skilled online networker, communicator, and collaborator.

Let’s Reflect!

First, Thing 10 encourages you to develop and hone your general networking skills, particularly in the face of the new opportunities afforded by social media, and to take the first steps in this direction through using Facebook and Twitter to engage with the professional LIS community. 
There is a strong emphasis on being interactive, getting involved and “joining the conversation,” be it through sharing information in online groups, or contributing to Twitter chats. 

As noted by the SJSU School of Information

“Networking is not simply an information exchange between you and another person. It involves establishing relationships with people who will often become your friends and community of colleagues as you go through your career.” 

It is, according to Howerton-Hicks & Maleef (2015)

“the most important weapon in your career arsenal” regardless of your career stage. 

Secondly, Thing 11 guides you to focus on the professional image, or brand, that you project online.

Perhaps more than any other profession, library and information professionals have long had to contend with the stereotyping of their work and professional image.

Fixed and old-fashioned impressions can be unhelpful, and can affect engagement with library users, and distort their beliefs about what we do and the services we provide; as Bartlett (2014) points out, 

“The perception gap between how we think of ourselves and how our patrons see us can be very wide.” 

It also affects how prospective employers and collaborators view us, and may limit the opportunities that come our way. Thing 11 stresses the importance of taking a conscious, active approach to your online presence, and ensuring that you take time to carefully consider the professional image you wish to project, and the tools and channels you can use to achieve this.

By taking control of your personal branding strategy, you get to determine the attributes, skills, and achievements that you wish to highlight, rather than allowing information about you to emerge online on an ad-hoc basis.

The tools introduced in Thing 11 – LinkedIn, Twitter and ORCID - enable you to begin to curate and project a strong professional brand, and to establish logical connections between different platforms, allowing a coherent overall picture of you to be established online.

Finally, Thing 12 focuses on effective online collaboration and project management, and introduces several highly useful tools to organise and schedule work tasks, as well as communicate and engage in collaborative authoring with remote partners.

As information professionals, one of the most positive things we can do to raise our profile, enhance our service, and communicate our value to external parties is to both initiate and participate in large-scale funded team projects in areas directly related, and cognate to, our core skill set. The availability of free digital collaborative tools has opened up multiple possibilities in terms of national and international collaborations; time and distance are no longer a barrier to working effectively in teams.

The value of collaboration is without question; as Grassian & Kaplowitz (2005, p.49) point out,

“Collaborative interactions enable people with diverse expertise to generate creative solutions to mutually defined problems.” 

When used together, the tools introduced in Thing 12 – Google Drive, Trello, Slack and Skype – constitute a kind of “mission control” for remote collaborations, allowing communication, scheduling, and co-authoring to proceed smoothly and efficiently. Your task in the module has hopefully prompted you to consider how teamwork has a function for you in the past, and how it could be improved in the future.

Reflective Writing 

In writing about the use of learning journals in education, Jennifer Moon (2006) notes that “Writing is a form of representation of learning, a means of demonstrating what we have learnt and importantly, a tool for the enhancement of more learning.”

It is a form of cognitive housekeeping, which enables you to assimilate new knowledge, relate it to your previous experiences and understandings, and relate theoretical concepts to professional practice.

In Things 6 & 9, the Gibbs template for reflective writing was introduced, providing you with a structure for marshaling your thoughts and developing your post, should you choose to use it.  Here is a reminder of the steps in the cycle:

Gibbs Reflective Cycle

Your task for Thing 13 is:

Write a reflective practice post about your experience of completing Things 10, 11 and 12.

As before, you may choose to use Gibbs’ model, but if you do not have time, you can present selected examples of the tasks that you completed, and choose one or two of those tasks to engage in a more indepth and detailed reflection.

In writing your reflection, you could find that while you might already feel you are an experienced online collaborator with a strong personal brand, the lessons have inspired you to experiment with different tools, to build and promote your brand more extensively and to seek out virtual projects, to which you can apply or contribute.

Alternatively, your experience of this section might be the incentive you needed to begin to explore these aspects of professional practice in earnest. Some of the questions you can ask yourself to stimulate reflection are:

  • What is my personal digital footprint? Am I presenting the online image that I wish others, especially professional colleagues, to see? 
  • Do I currently have a personal branding strategy? What way have I - or could I - use the tools covered in the lesson to create or improve my brand?
  • How do I feel about networking – is it something I find challenging, or do I find that it doesn’t take much effort for me? Am I exploiting all of the possible channels, to reach out to colleagues and potential collaborators? 
  • Do I currently use any of the recommended tools to manage workflows and collaborate with others on remote projects? What tools do I feel would be most useful to me in my work? 

There is no deadline to get your application in, it will remain open for the extent of the course.

Best of luck and if you have any questions at all; use the comment feature below, email us at, contact your moderator or shout out to us on Twitter @rudai23 #Rudai23.


Bartlett, J.A. (2014). Coming to terms with librarian stereotypes and self-image. Library Leadership & Management, 29(1), pp. 1-5.

Grassian, E.S. & Kaplowitz, J.R. (2005). Learning to lead and manage information literacy instruction. New York: Neal-Schuman. 

Howerton-Hicks, L. & Maleeff, T.Z. (2015). Network Like Nobody’s Watching: Demystifying Networking as a Skill for the Librarian and Information Professional Community. Paper presented at SLA 2015, Boston, June 14 -16, 2015. Available at:

Moon, J.A. (2006). Learning journals: A handbook for reflective practice and professional development. London: Routledge. 

SJSU School of Information (2017). What is Networking? Available at: 

Thing 13 was written by Claire McGuinness 
Claire McGuinness

Dr. Claire McGuinness is an assistant professor in the UCD School of Information and Communication Studies (ICS). She has authored many publications on information & digital literacy and academic librarianship, and is currently the coordinator of the Thesis and Capstone modules for MLIS and MSc students in ICS. Claire has a strong interest in professional identity and career development for LIS professionals. She can be contacted at

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Thing 12: Collaborative Tools



Teamwork is a key feature of all workplaces and library masters courses in Ireland. The team projects could either be internal or working with external partners. As digital tools have improved in quality and accessibility it has created opportunities to work on virtual projects. The Rudaí 23 programme is an excellent example of a virtual project as all collaborators have never been in the same place at the same time. 

Last year I was the lead curator on a virtual project that involved 17 institutions from around the world. This project depended on a range of freely available online tools such as Google Drive, Sheets, Forms, Maps, Docs as well as Slides, Skype, Slack, and Doodle. Although these tools greatly assist the running of virtual projects you still need to use the communication skills that you would use if you were working in a face to face project. Personal contact with collaborators helps to keep everyone motivated and up to date with the latest developments in the project that they can then feedback to their management. 

There are many benefits to using online tools but it is always important to remember that just because something is online doesn’t mean that it is secure. Online documents are more fragile than physical documents and can easily be deleted. You always need to back up your work either by moving copies to another folder online or downloading a local copy. 

This blog post will give an introduction to five tools, how you can set up an account and how you can utilise these tools in your workplace. These tools cover:
  1. Storage/shared documents: Google Drive
  2. Managing a task list: Trello
  3. Communication: Slack and Skype
  4. Scheduling events: Doodle
There are numerous online tools available that do each thing, some are free and some you have to pay for. Many of the free tools also offer a paid for service that you can upgrade to if you need additional features. The tools outlined below are just a very small sample of what is available at the moment and I have used these for individual projects and for day to day duties in work. Before you start any virtual project it is always important to research if there are any restrictions in your workplace that will affect your ability to use any of the tools outlined below.

Google Drive

What is Google Drive?

Google Drive is a cloud storage platform that allows you to store and share files. It also has its own set of tools to allow easier collaboration such as Google Docs, Sheets and Slides. You will require a Google account which is password protected to access Google Drive. As this account is based in the cloud it can be accessed from any location and mobile device that has access to the internet, as long as there are no restrictions on the internet provider.

The account is free to set up and you will have 15GB of free storage space to start off with. This is enough space for a general user who wants to store personal files or is working on a number of projects but if you need additional space this can be purchased through the platform.

How do I get an account?

You can create an account here.

Google has integrated all its products into one account; this means that if you sign up to Google Drive you will also have a Gmail and a YouTube account as well.

This link will show you how to set up an account.

How can I use this account?

There are multiple ways you can utilise this service:
  1. Storage
  2. Share documents that are too large to email through your provider
  3. Use Google Docs, Sheets and Slides as a free alternative to Microsoft
  4. Use Google Docs, Sheets and Slides to create shared documents

How can this account help me collaborate?

A common issue with writing a group report is that the latest version of the document can often get lost in an email chain and it can be hard to track what contributions or edits individuals have made to the document. Once a document has been shared with other people, multiple users can log in and work on the same document at the same time. There is also a live chat box that can be opened up between online users. The document is backed up every few seconds and everyone will have instant access to the latest version of the document. The access rights they have to the document can be restricted to Can Edit, Can Comment or Can View Only.

There are two ways that you can collaborate using Google Docs, Sheets or Slides.

The more secure way is if everybody has a Google account and you share the document with them through email, the document will appear in their ‘Shared with me’ folder. This means only the people you have added to the document can contribute to it depending on what access rights you have given them. If they have the right to edit the document you can track their changes and even undo them if you disagree with their contribution.

Sample Screenshot Google Doc's Share Option

Alternatively, if your collaborators don’t have an account or you want to share with a wider network then you can make the document open to anyone who has a link to that particular file. This means that anyone can edit the document but you will not be able to identify who they are unless they logged in through a Google account.

How can I backup my work?

It is very easy for documents to be deleted from the drive so it is always important to make a backup of the file. The easiest way to back up your work is to download the file onto a computer. 
  1. Click on File on the top left-hand corner of the window the document is open in.
  2. Scroll down the option menu and click on Download as.
  3. Select an option from the file types listed. You can download the document as a Microsoft Office file, a PDF or an open document. 

Is there an alternative to Google?

Before deciding on using Google Drive for your project it is important to discuss whether or not your potential collaborators can easily access Google products in their workplaces. Some workplaces restrict access to Google products due to their internet security setup. In addition, some people are opposed to using Google products for ethical reasons as they have concerns over online privacy and security. 

There are multiple platforms available online that have similar functions to Google Drive. Before deciding on what platform to use it is important to investigate what platforms you are allowed to use in your workplace, if any special arrangements need to be made before you start your project as well as what platforms the majority of your collaborators are familiar with. 

This article has a list of some Google Drive alternatives.


What is Trello?

Trello is a web-based project management application that allows you to map out the tasks that need to be completed. These tasks are outlined on a ticket that individual contributors can comment on or tag other people to follow up on. It also has a traffic light system that you can use to prioritise the tasks you have. 

How do I get an account?

You can create an account here.

This link will give you an overview of the application.

How can I use this application?

ScreenShot Trello Cards

  1. Set up the tasks on individual virtual cards.
  2. Set deadlines for individual cards.
  3. Prioritise tasks according to importance by using a traffic light system.
  4. Comment on individual cards to update on status of the card or ask follow up questions.
  5. Archive cards that are completed in order to keep a record of what has been done and this will make ongoing tasks clearer to follow.


What is Slack?

Slack is a cloud-based messaging application that you can either access through your browser or by downloading a desktop version. 

It allows you to set up individual channels that members can group chat with each other through a particular topic. You can set up multiple channels so that you can easily move from one project to another. 
In addition to the channels, on the left-hand side of the screen, you can see all the members of the group and can send them private messages.

This service helps to eliminate long email chains that become difficult to follow. It also allows you to share documents easily and you can also pin documents to the top view of a channel which can be useful if you have one key document or an agenda that you want to share during a virtual meeting.

How do I get an account?

You can create an account here.

This link will give you an overview of the application.

How can I use this application?

  1. Communicate easily with your team through the group instant messaging feature.
  2. Can communicate with multiple teams through one platform.
  3. Can private message individual members directly.
  4. Can share documents and/or files with groups or individuals. 


What is Skype?

Skype is a telecommunications application. Although many features overlap with Slack a combination of the two tools is very useful. The main feature of Skype is individual and/or group voice or video calls. It also allows you to share your screen during calls so that you can run presentations during your call.

How do I get an account?

You can create an account here.

This link will give you an overview of how to make a call.

How can I use this application?

  1. Instant message with individual contacts
  2. Instant message with a group of contacts
  3. Voice call with individual members or groups
  4. Video call with individual members or groups
  5. Share your screen during a call


What is Doodle?

Doodle is an online application that allows you to easily schedule events such as meetings without creating a long email chain. You can mark potential dates and times for the event and share either through a link or an email invitation. Participants then fill in their name and check what dates and times suit them. When the poll is completed the organiser can see the date and time that suits most people. 

How do I get an account?

You can create an account here.

This link will give you an overview of the application.

How can I use this application?

Find out the best available time and date for your event.

Email Notification

Your Task

Think about the last time you had to work on a group project and write a blog post using the following questions as a guideline:

Did you work face to face, virtually or via a combination of the two?
Was your experience positive, negative or neutral?
Did you use any of the tools outlined above?
Have you used any other collaborative tools that you have found useful?
If you had to do that project again what tools outlined above do you think would have been the most useful?

Further Reading:

Thing 12 was written by Helena Byrne.
Helena Byrne
Helena lives in London and works in web archiving. Helena completed her Masters in Library and Information Studies at UCD in 2015. Previously she worked as an English language teacher in Turkey, South Korea, and Ireland.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Thing 11: Your Professional Brand

Old Letters

Defining Personal Brand

I am a person, not a product! This is often the response I hear when I talk to people about building a personal brand and they are resistant to the idea. I do not see personal branding as a negative thing but rather an activity that should be embraced, developed, and promoted.  Trying to build a professional reputation in any sector is challenging.  In the area of Libraries and Information Services, this can be additionally challenging for many reasons. Firstly, there are the stereotypes to deal with, secondly, we are in a dynamic environment where roles and skills sets are changing rapidly and finally, we generally are not very good at self-promotion.

So, what is a personal brand and why do you need one?  If you are already active on Social Media or if anyone has ever mentioned you in an online context you have an online presence. This online presence contributes to your personal brand whether or not you are managing it.  Social media provides a unique way to develop, monitor and maintain your personal brand. I find it is a great way to build an online community, to network with people who work in libraries throughout the world, and to also network with people in other areas I am interested in. It is important to consider that if anyone wants to find out about you probably the first thing they will do is to search for you on Google and across multiple social media platforms- it is far better to be in the driver’s seat of what your personal brand says about you than not.

Personal branding is your professional identity, your reputation, and it can be developed and managed by you. A definition that resonates with me is “what do people say about you when you are not in the room.” This is different from gossip. This is where the “go to” person is identified by professional colleagues- an unsolicited recommendation on what knowledge, skills, and influence that others perceive you possess.  We’ve all been in that situation when discussing a challenge or interest with colleagues and someone will say “You should really talk to X- they gave a presentation last year at XX conference.” Personal branding is a skill that connects you to your professional community in a way that benefits you specifically and our profession generally.

Why should Library Professionals have Personal Brands? 

Librarians come from so many different backgrounds and have a range of different degrees and work in a variety of environments. We are all at different life and career stages as well and this can be so beneficial for developing a professional network for librarians not only with other librarians, but also a way to highlight and raise our skills and knowledge outside of the library profession.  For example, you may be a business librarian. In this case, your personal brand connects you to the library world as well as the business world. Keeping up your associations to business would be a definite advantage in terms both of helping yourself but also promoting the profession generally. 


There are lots of benefits to you if you develop a personal brand. Some of these are:

  • A way to connect professionally with other librarians who have similar interests or work in areas you are interested in finding out more about. 
  • You take responsibility for developing, controlling, and curating information about you that you promote as your areas of expertise or interest. 
  • By having a personal brand that identifies specialties and interests you are identifying yourself as someone who is interested in collaboration-
  • Raise your profile for potential employers and colleagues
  • Expand your professional circle outside of library circles
  • If all librarians had personal brands this would collectively contribute to the development, perception, and involvement of the library world with other sectors.
  • Being a librarian means you connect to a range of people on different levels and having a personal brand allows these people to connect with you in effective ways.

What tools to use to create and manage a personal brand?

There are a range of tools available that will help you develop your personal brand online, but it is equally important to engage with others in our profession, to attend conferences and seminars and to promote yourself through collaboration (such as volunteering on committees), presenting or publishing (in a variety of formats). Nothing is better than face to face connection and I find most librarians are welcome to connecting, especially if there is tea or coffee involved.
Some of the online tools available that I have found to be very effective are listed below.:


LinkedIn is a great online tool.  It is very straight forward to set up.  Once you set up your account you can develop this as your virtual CV and primary way of connecting to others. Having a LinkedIn account allows you to expand inside and outside of library environments- classmates, other sectors or new sectors you are interested in. LinkedIn provides a platform where you can publish and promote your own articles on topics you find interesting.  You can also post articles and conference news that you think others in your network might be interested in- this is a way to demonstrate you understand other’s areas of interest and also that you are paying attention to what is happening in a subject space. 

LinkedIn has a feature that provides for a working platform for discussion groups.  The site is fully searchable by subject area, institutional names, employment sectors, etc. 
The summary section on your LinkedIn profile provides you with an opportunity to promote your personal brand. To maximise discoverability of your brand be sure to write a keyword driven headline. The summary should speak directly to your intended target audience, identify what sets you apart and be creative. 

By default, LinkedIn populates your headline with your current job title and employer and I would recommend you change this to include what information you think is important for your brand. 

For example, I have my LinkedIn profile address set to include only my name: 

Here are the steps to customise your LinkedIn address:

You can customize your public profile URL when you change what appears on your public profile. Custom public profile URLs are available on a first come, first served basis. Members can only have one custom public profile URL at a time.

To change your public profile URL:
  1. Click the Me icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
  2. Click View profile.
  3. On your profile page, click Edit your public profile & URL on the right rail.
    • Update your public profile settings will show up if you don't have a public profile. Learn how to enable your public profile visibility.
  4. Under Edit public profile URL in the right rail, click the Edit icon next to your public profile URL.
    • It'll be an address that looks like
  5. Type the last part of your new custom URL in the text box.
  6. Click Save.


Conferences used to be the primary way you would be able to network- but this has changed.  With more and more conferences having live streaming and tweeting the audience is far bigger than those in the physical conferences space.

Twitter has been covered extensively in Thing 10 Networking Tools so I am just going to offer a few notes on how to use Twitter for personal branding. The most important aspect of using Twitter is the selection of your username and the wording of your profile description. The use of effective keywords will allow you to be discovered and identified by other Twitter users with similar interests.  

Twitter allows you stay informed about what is happening in libraries in various sectors and connect with people virtually. The networking is ideal as you can do so online in a non-consequential way by following others who have similar interests.  One of the most effective ways I use Twitter for networking is to pre-network.  So if I am attending a conference I and want to connect with someone to discuss a common interest I would contact them on Twitter via the direct message feature and introduce myself and then arrange to meet them in person at the conference. In advance I can send questions they also have access to my twitter postings and can decide if it is beneficial for them to meet as well.  Managing what you tweet and re-tweet is a great way to promote your interests.  

Twitter also allows you celebrate accomplishments with your followers, with such things as “Delighted to be speaking at Conference X today.” Twitter also allows you to promote others interests and accomplishments. The best way to raise your profile is to raise the profile of others. This demonstrates that you are supportive but also that you are aware of people and events that are of interest to your online community.


To set up an ORCID number go to and all it takes is 3 easy steps to get set up. See below:

  1. Register Get your unique ORCID identifier Register now!
  2. Registration takes 30 seconds. 
  3. Add Your Info Enhance your ORCID record with your professional information and link to your other identifiers (such as Scopus or Researcherid or LinkedIn). 
  4. Use Your ORCID Id Include your ORCID identifier on your Webpage, when you submit publications, apply for grants, and in any research workflow to ensure you get credit for your work. 
There is interoperability between LinkedIn, Twitter and ORCID as you can include your account links from each platform in the other platforms, sort of like a personal branding cross referencing system!

Joining a Professional Organisation

As a library and information professional either studying or working in Ireland it is so important to join a professional organisation.

If you are based in the Republic of Ireland joining the Library Association of Ireland is one of the main memberships to consider. Details of membership can be found here.
Remember if you are a student membership is free for your year of study and one-year post qualification!

As with all Professional Organisations, membership provides you with a range of support and CPD opportunities and it is also a great environment within which to build your personal brand and network and demonstrate your skills to your library colleagues. 

Perhaps one of the greatest things about being a member of a Library Association is that you have opportunities to join committees where you can demonstrate or develop new skills that will add to your personal brand!

Here is a comprehensive list of Library Associations across the world from the American Library Association Website

Some things to consider

Listed below are some things to consider when developing and maintaining your personal brand

  • Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken-decide what is unique about your and what you want to promote.
  • Remember branding is an ongoing activity so you do have to maintain it. I would recommend googling yourself every now and then, particularly in 'incognito mode' in your browser, to see what the results are. If that matches what you are promoting, that’s great, but if not, you have the tools to change the information and the results. 
  • Focus on a content niche where you can be the expert in the world on that particular topic.
  • Use a consistent picture, look, voice, etc. across platforms so your brand is consistent.
  • Don’t focus your entire personal brand around your current job- think about how you will maintain your brand once your job changes.
  • Posting too often may cause others to wonder when you find the time to do your work.  
  • Find your balance, one that works for you, in terms of frequency of updating 
  • Be genuine and professional at all times!

Tasks for Thing 11 

For this Thing you have the choice of 2 tasks- pick one. 
Task 1 
Create a bio of yourself that you can use when creating an online profile. 
Task 2
Set up a LinkedIn or ORCID account and highlight aspects of your personal brand you want to emphasise. 

Today's post is written by Jane Burns MBA, MLIS,MPhil, FLAI who is an experienced Library & Information Professional. 

Jane is a part time Lecturer at the School of Information Studies and the School of Education at University College Dublin. Her current role is Research Officer in the School of Nursing & Midwifery at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.  She is a published author and presents regularly at Conference nationally and internationally. Jane is a PhD candidate at University College Dublin in the school of Education. She is a winner of the 2017 Wellcome Images Award for her collaborative research Breast Cancer: Graphic Visualisation of Tweets. @JMBurns99

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Thing 10: Networking Tools

Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

Welcome to Thing 10 of Rudaí23, 23 Things for Information Skills, this is the first Thing from our Online Networker section of the course.
The Online Networker consists of Thing 10, Thing 11, Thing 12. Thing 13 is a reflective piece.
For the benefit of the learner we shall give two tasks for Thing 10, you will have an option to choose one. Please note Thing 10 and 11 are closely linked so we would suggest that if you are interested in this aspect of the course to focus on the tasks given in both as it will benefit your learning as you move through each Thing.

Online networking and Face to Face (F2F) Networking

As library and information professionals we attend conferences in a work capacity and for Continuing Professional Development reasons. Throughout your time attending conferences, you’ve probably had the opportunity to attend many networking events.
Networking in person or online is a skill we all need to practice. Like public speaking, we search for the right pitch, the right tone. Being comfortable talking to strangers that share the same profession can be tasking and doing so online is no different than doing it F2F.

As Maleef (2015) states:
“Your network is a resource that you can access when you need advice, are stuck on a problem, or just need someone to bounce ideas off of”

Social media allows us to keep up with trends and new topics around the library world. We can get to know the profession on a global level and should take the opportunity to develop our networking skills.

Learning how to network in 140 characters, or 280 characters as seen with Twitter's newly increased character limit, for example, is a skill that needs precise focus and allows you to transfer this to a F2F setting. Reaching out to people and developing relationships can be instrumental in your career and professional development. As we are focusing on networking in an online capacity, we shall look at two tools, with information on how to engage, and who to engage with.

We hope Thing 10 will give you the tools to build confidence and become a social media networking wizard.

For Thing 10 we are going to provide links to setting up a Facebook and Twitter account, as there are good guides already available on the internet. Saying that, if you have not set up either account and need any help we are available to guide you through each part.
Facebook step by step guide can be found here.
Twitter step by step guide can be found here.


Facebook is a social, personal social media tool. According to Social Media Today

“Facebook is a multipurpose site centered more around direct communication with people you really know”

Many of us doing this course may have a Facebook profile, as Ipsos MRBI, 2017 state

“In Ireland 64% of adults have a Facebook account”

What we’re looking to accomplish in this lesson is not to change Facebook into a 100% professional tool, but to show you ways that it can work for you in a professional way.

Using Facebook Professionally

Set your public username here – so instead of, you can set your Facebook URL to for example.

Check your privacy settings – do you want professional colleagues seeing all your personal photos, videos?
In Privacy Settings you can select which groups of people see your Facebook content.

Profile picture – have a professional looking photo. This doesn’t need to be on a plain background but it shouldn’t be one of you on a night out. You could use the same photo for Facebook as you use on your LinkedIn profile, and your Twitter account. This is often recommended for branding purposes. But really it is up to you.

Professional details – In the About Section on Facebook they have positioned Work and Education at the very top with a section for Professional Skills also. By completing as many of these details as possible you can be found by classmates and colleagues.

Facebook About Section
Facebook Professional Skills Secion

Consider linking your Facebook page to other online tools you use - If you blog you can link your blog to your Facebook page. WordPress will help you do this automatically when you publish a new post. With Blogger it is more complicated. You can link your Twitter account to Facebook too.

Linking Twitter to Facebook

When posting to Facebook the information should be professionally related and verifiable material, be it articles about libraries or interesting research you’ve found.

Groups and Pages


“Facebook Groups are the place for small group communication and for people to share their common interests and express their opinion. Groups allow people to come together around a common cause, issue or activity to organize, express objectives, discuss issues, post photos, and share related content.” (Hicks, 2010)

I am involved with professional library groups on Facebook and my friends and I use various groups for different interests we have in common. It is a good idea to get involved with a few library groups on Facebook. They can provide you with a network of librarians, and as we all know, librarians are incredibly helpful if you need advice. Groups allow you to have a conversation and so they are more interactive than a Facebook page which we will discuss below.

Some Facebook Groups to follow or join:
Rudaí 23 Join the Rudaí23 group on Facebook and introduce yourself.
Irish Librarians Community of Practice – this is a closed group but you can request to join. It is a group of librarians and only started last year. The aim is to shares ideas and advice to librarians across Ireland.
UCD School of Information & Library Studies Alumni – another closed group. You’ll sometimes get jobs posts here.
Library and Information Professionals, Public Group based in Queensland Australia.


“Facebook Pages enable public figures, businesses, organizations and other entities to create an authentic and public presence on Facebook. […] Facebook Pages are visible to everyone on the internet by default. You, and every person on Facebook, can connect with these Pages by becoming a fan and then receive their updates in your News Feed and interact with them”. (Hicks, 2010)

The majority of public libraries in Ireland and Irish university libraries have Facebook pages. We recommend that if you are job searching follow the Facebook page of the library service you are applying to. You’ll find out a good bit about the library service just from checking out the page. I have often been asked my opinion on Social Media platforms being used by libraries in job interviews.

Getting started with Facebook

Follow a few Facebook Pages that interest you:

There are many library association groups around the world on Facebook that you can follow.

Library Associations: 

Specialist Library Associations or groups within the Library Associations: 

Libraries, national or regional: National Library of Australia, National Library of Ireland, The Library of Congress.


In Ireland 28% of adults have a Twitter account (Ipsos MRBI, 2017).
The uniqueness of Twitter is found in the “short” snaps of information that are passed around at speed. You develop a briefness to your sentences and cull words at a rate that might sometimes worry you [me], all while trying to keep together a coherent conversation. Twitter can be private, but the whole point is to be public and to engage with people you don’t know. It is like being in a room with a lot of strangers and responding to them in a limited number of words.

Twitter was the beginning of the #hashtag, and according to SocialMediaToday became what we now call Microblogging:

“which is also a form of quickfire communication, and very mobile friendly. That is what Twitter is”

Using Twitter professionally

Setting up a Twitter account is the same if not easier than a Facebook account.
You can personalize the look of your Twitter profile with a profile and banner image, along with a few personal details. Again, a good idea here is to keep your online brand consistent across the social media platforms that you use.

Have the same name, same picture (professional), same blog link, same professional information.
Twitter allows us to see what our colleagues are doing in a professional capacity. Other platforms can be used in a more serious way which we shall cover in Thing 11.

Getting started with Twitter

Follow Library Associations, wherever you are in the world:
North America: @SLAhq, @ALALibrary
Europe: @LAIonline, @slaeurope, @CILIPinfo
Australia: @ALIANational
What Library Association are you a member of? Are they listed here? If so follow them.

Follow people who you admire in the library profession:
North America: @LibrarySherpa,
Europe: (Ireland) @niamhodonovan, @martinoconnor3, @michellebreenUL
Australia & New Zealand: Kevin Adams @saywhat32

Find your library champion and get to know them, find them, follow them, and retweet them!
Here is a video we put together to help you.

Follow Library Groups, wherever you are in the world:
North America: @INALJNaomi
Europe: @Rudai23, @uklibchat, @NLPN, @Libfocus @WRSLAI
Australia: @LibrariesAust

Follow Library Lists, wherever you are in the world:
Twitter states that:

"A list is a curated group of Twitter accounts. You can create your own lists or subscribe to lists created by others. Viewing a list timeline will show you a stream of Tweets from only the accounts on that list"

Many librarians and library groups have lists which you can subscribe to such as this one by Libfocus which groups together Librarians in Ireland for example.
If you have already followed the people we mentioned above then also check out what lists they are following.

Get involved with Twitter chats, wherever you are in the world:
If you wish to become involved in a Twitter chat, note that Rudai 23 will be hosting one on January 9th 2018, so that will be a great opportunity to get a feel for it!

#uklibchat is another great place to get started. It is a monthly discussion which usually takes place on Twitter between 6:30 pm and 8:30 pm on a Tuesday evening. The conversation is steered by the Twitter account @uklibchat. For more information visit their website.

Groups like @uklibchat will advertise the chats on Twitter in advance. All you have to do to follow or to participate is to follow the hashtag #uklibchat or #rudai23 or whatever the agreed hashtag is on Twitter.
For more information on how to follow hashtags and Twitter chats please check out our Powtoon video below.

Your Task for Thing 10 is

Task one:
Choose Facebook or Twitter.
Find a group, page, or list that interests you and join/follow them.

Please Note: If you wish to use Twitter and do not have an account set up please see the step by step instructions at the beginning of the post.
However, do not hesitate to contact the Rudai 23 team, we are here to help


Task two:
Find a # on Twitter and tweet using that #
For example: search for #rudai23 and send a tweet using that #

Further Reading

Network Like Nobody’s Watching: Demystifying Networking as a Skill for the Librarian and Information Professional Community.

Facebook Tips: What’s the Difference between a Facebook Page and Group?

Ipsos MRBI (2017) Social Networking Infographic – August 2017

Here’s a simple guide by Forbes on how to host a Tweet Chat that might answer any further questions you might have.

Today's post was written by Amye Quigley and Siobhan McGuinness.

Amye Quigley is an Executive Librarian. She has recently joined Kildare County Library and Arts Services.

Siobhan McGuinness is a Social Media Digital Marketing Coordinator, she is also part of the Rudaí 23 team.

Siobhan McGuinness
Amye Quigley

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Rudai 23 Networking Event - meet your fellow participants

The Western Regional Section of the Library Association of Ireland (WRSLAI) is pleased to announce its annual Winter Networking Morning. This networking event is all about Rudai 23, we will be having our official launch of the course, and you the participants are the guests of honour!

This will be an opportunity to meet fellow Rudai 23 participants if you are participating in the course, or learn more about the course if you are interested in signing up. We would love to meet some of you in person and chat about how you feel the course is going for you.

We are excited to be the first Library Association of Ireland Section to be awarding Digital Open Badges for CPD activities. Digital Open Badges is a new and emerging field and you can learn more about why we chose to use them and how you can apply them in your workplace or educational institution from our Secretary and Rudai 23 Manager Niamh O’Donovan.

Also, if you’ve ever thought about putting together a Social Media Strategy for your workplace then you can learn more about what is involved from our Treasurer Michelle Breen. Michelle will share her experiences of putting together a Social Media Strategy for the Glucksman Library in University of Limerick.

Our networking events are a good way to meet other people in the information profession based in the West of Ireland. We realise a lot of you are not based in the West of Ireland, or in Ireland for that matter.

If you can make it however, you will receive a warm welcome, some good coffee and refreshments and come away inspired with new ideas and new connections. 

The venue is Ballybane Library, Castlepark Road, Ballybane, Galway.
Monday 20th November, 10.30 - 12.30

This event is free. Please book your place via this link.

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Visual Communicator Things are now complete, it's time for a break

Pause, breathe, Visual Communicator section is almost complete.

This is a round-up of what we have covered and what you have worked through during the Visual Communicator section of the Rudaí23 course to date. We wanted to take time out to look back through Things 1- 9 of the course and look forward to the next stage of the course, the Online Networker badge, beginning in November.

The Rudaí23 course began in early September and since then we have covered 9 ‘Things’. We asked everyone to set up a blog and you responded with some great titles and designs. Wordpress and Blogger were the most popular platforms but some of you were adventurous enough to try out Tumblr. Congratulations on getting this far.

You can follow the other Rudaí23 bloggers by going to the home page of our blog and clicking on any of the blogs listed in our live feed on the left side of the screen. If you want to follow the blogs using a blog reader like Feedly you will find instructions here.

Things 1 – 9 covered a range of tools that you will hopefully find useful in the future for your visual communication needs: Flickr, Pixabay, Photofunia, RIPL, Powtoon, Screencast-o-matic, Canva and PIktochart. We also looked at Copyright and Creative Commons and appropriate uses of both. We hope you will be able to apply some of what you learned in your place of work and share it with your colleagues.

We were thrilled to see so many of you share your creations with us on Twitter, and we look forward to this network growing as we enter the Online Networker section of the course. To date, we have over 100 members in our Rudaí23 Facebook Group and670 followers on our Twitter account.

Here is a short checklist that we’ve put together so that you can check where you are at this stage in your progression through the course.

Have you reviewed the Digital Badges FAQ page here?

Have you read our Digital Badges "how to" guide here?

Have you applied for your Sample Badge? If not, apply here.

Have you written a blog post for Thing 2 and one Reflective Practice blog post – for either Thing 6 or Thing 9 in your progression towards the Badge? Our brochure explains the combination of Things you need to complete.

If you’ve completed the above steps you are now ready to apply for the Visual Communicator badge. Please include a link to your Reflective Practice blog post for Thing 6 or 9 in your application. It is important that this link is correct as this will then be tied to the badge and will act as evidence of you having met the criteria for earning the badge. You can apply for the badge here.

The next part of the course will begin on November 11th, with a section called Online Networker, covering Things 10 – 18 and including tools for networking, collaboration and developing your professional online persona.

Enjoy your break in between the Visual Communicator and Online Networker sections. Feel free to use this time to catch up or just start afresh and please ask any of our team for assistance if you are struggling.

If you are new to the Rudai 23 course and would like to begin with our Online Networker section of the course please read Thing 1 and Thing 2 first, and then register here. To find out more about the course download our brochure here. If you missed out on the Visual Communicator section of the course but would like to do it now, you can access the Things via our homepage.

For each section of the course you complete you will be eligible to apply for a digital open badge accredited by the Library Association of Ireland.

Registration for this course will remain open throughout the course. You can sign up any time, and complete the modules at your own pace.

Looking forward to catching up again in November.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Thing 9: Reflective Practice

Welcome to Thing 9, the final Thing in the Visual Communicator section of the course. Congratulations on reaching this point in the course. We hope that you've enjoyed it so far.

Because the Visual Communicator section of the course is so large, we divided it into two options. If you have completed Things 3, 4, 5 & 6 (option 1) then you have done enough to apply for a Digital Open Badge.

Option 2 consists of Things 3, 7, 8 & 9. You must write about your experiences of having completed the tasks in either Option 1 or Option 2 in your reflective practice post.

Thing 9 is a repeat of Thing 6 so you may want to read through this blog post simply to refresh your memory before you write your reflective practice post, if you haven't done so already.

The purpose of these reflective practices are to enhance your learning and application of skills through critical thinking and self-reflection.

Reflective Practice can be defined as the capacity to reflect on actions so as to engage in a process of continuous learning (Schön, 1983). 

We chose to use a reflective practice blog as an assessment tool as it matches the format used in the original 23 Things. Blogging as an activity is reflective in nature and is an ideal method of self-directed learning. 

What we need:

To be eligible to apply for a digital badge, the quality of your reflective post will be assessed.

  • We are looking to see if all aspects of the tasks in Things 3, 7 and 8 are completed and you show good understanding of the topics. 

  • We want to see that you demonstrate an ability to appraise the tools based on your experience in using them;
  • Give evidence of their practical application;
  • Give your thoughts and opinions on using them including your problems or successes, likes or dislikes, you don’t have to agree with us, but detail why;
  • Detail any changes you would make next time round.

Reflective writing is something that takes a bit of practice, there are many articles and books written on the topic. Here we hope to give you an overview, along with some guidance and examples to get you started. So don’t panic yet!

How to write reflectively

It’s best to just dive in the deep end here and give you an example of a reflective practice model that is widely used and basically provides a ‘how to’ guide to reflective writing. In this post we recommend using the Gibbs Reflective Cycle:

Gibbs, G. (1988) Learning by Doing: A guide to teaching and learning methods. Further Education Unit, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford.

Things 13, 18 and 22 will provide you with alternative styles and theories on reflective writing, but ultimately your reflective posts for all four Things will be off the same standard necessary for gaining your badge. But remember, they are still deeply personal to you.

Let’s take it in small steps:

Step 1 Description

To help you with the structure of your post, you can begin by describing what you are asked to do. Things 3, 7 and 8 all outline a task for you to complete. You don’t have to go into too much depth here, it’s sufficient to mention the tasks you choose to compete for each of the Things, as options are available. You can also link back to your blog entries for Things 3, 7 and 8 if you completed any.

Step 2 Feelings

To start the reflection process we need to consider our feelings. Was it a negative or positive situation? Did it work and how did I feel about that? What was the end result? For example:

Steps 3-4 Evaluation & Analysis

We now must go further and analyse the impact and outcome of the task. Can you apply any learning theory to the situation? Did you have all the skills necessary to complete the task or was it a steep learning curve? If you had previous knowledge of other applications would this have helped? Did you get any help? Would help have made the task easier? What did you learn and what changes would you make if faced with the task in the future?

For example:

Steps 5-6 Conclusion and Action Plan

Finally, for the deepest level of reflection, you must assess what you would do if you had to repeat this task or something similar, what progress you have made and how your views and opinions of the task have changed. It is the deepest level of reflection. Ask yourself, what did I learn? In what way has it assisted my learning? Could I have applied this task to a situation in the past? Where could I use this knowledge in the future?

For example:

Wrapping up

Hopefully these examples illustrate the difference between superficial reflection and deeper reflection. Atkins and Murphy (1994) state that the skills to write reflectively comprise: self-awareness, description, critical analysis, synthesis and evaluation. As educated information professionals, we have these skills; it is just a matter of learning how to apply them effectively.

Your task for Thing 9 is:

Write a deeply reflective practice post concerning your experience with Things 3, 7 and 8. We understand that it may take too much time to apply Gibbs cycle to each of the Things, so it is sufficient to give us examples of all the tasks you have completed, and choose one or two of the tasks to deeply reflect on for each of the steps in the cycle. Gaining the skill to reflect deeply on your actions leads to further understanding (Smyth, 1992) and reflection is the core of blogging, so we are delighted to accompany you on this process.

Best of luck and if you have any questions at all; use the comment feature below, email us at, contact your moderator or shout out to us on Twitter @rudai23 #Rudai23.

Thing 9 was written by Stephanie Ronan


Atkins, S. and Murphy, K. (1994). Reflective Practice. Nursing Standard 8(39) 49-56.

Gibbs, G. (1988). Learning by Doing: A guide to teaching and learning methods. Further Education Unit, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford.

Schön, D. A. (1983). The reflective practitioner: How professionals think in action. New York: Basic Books.

Smyth, W. J. (1992). Teachers’ work and the politics of reflection. American Educational Research Journal, 29(2), 267-300.


The Calendar of Things