LwL Podcast Episode 42: Strictly Musicals Side-special.

It’s side-special time! In Episode 42 of the Librarians with Lives podcast I chat to Clare McCluskey Dean, star of Episode 3 of LwL about our mutual love of all things Strictly Come Dancing, and musical theatre. It’s very fun, silly and sparkly and is the perfect antidote to the extremely intense period I’ve had recently of speaking at conferences and events, managing my anxiety, and much more. Clare is coming towards the end of the busiest period of her year and a house move. We were both in need of some daftness.

We recorded this episode on 12th November over Skype Audio. Two episodes of Strictly will have gone out between the day of recording and time of release of this episode, so I’ve removed anything that might resemble predictions, gossip and/or speculation. In terms of the musical theatre content, our opinions are very much our own and shouldn’t be treated as reviews. We know what we like (and don’t like) and get passionate about it, but in a nice way. We mention Clare’s theatre ramblings blog, which can be found here.

I have put together a playlist of the music and musicals we refer to, which is here.

Normal Librarians with Lives service resumes next week with the wonderful Sally Walker.

Keeeeeeeep listening!

 

Advertisements

Librarians with Lives at #ILI2018

I’m incredibly excited to announce that I have teamed up with Information Today and ILI: The Library Innovation Conference to bring you a special set of podcasts to introduce the event, celebrate 20 years of ILI, and speak to some of the key players involved.

I delivered a talk on Day 2 on Live, Love Librarian: the power of the podcast and I recorded an episode of LwL at the conference, similar to the episode I produced at #CILIPConf18 in July.

#LwLPod at #ILI2018 Episode 1 features Kat Allen, Brian Kelly, Alison McNab and Helen Lippell. Kat, Brian and Alison have been involved with ILI for many years and they are ideally placed to introduce the conference, reflect on the changes and innovations that they’ve seen over the years, highlight their must-sees, and offer advice to delegates. Helen is in charge of the Taxonomy Bootcamp, which runs alongside ILI.

This episode is a great introduction to the event for new and returning delegates and speakers. It also amplifies ILI to those who can’t attend the conference but want to follow along on social media.

Brian has written a blogpost reflecting on 20 years of ILI and Alison has written some helpful guidance for delegates to help them get the most out of attending conferences.

#LwLPod at #ILI2018 Episode 2 features Martin Hamilton, Futurist at JISC and Day 2 keynote speaker at the conference. Martin provides a (reasonably) spoiler-free introduction to his presentation and from there we have a wide-ranging chat about technology, the future of data storage, big ideas, space travel, billionaires doing mad things, etc.

#LwLPod at #ILI2018 Episode 3 features Hal Kirkwood and Natasha Chowdory, both of whom spoke on day 1 of the conference.

#LwLPod at #ILI2018 Episode 4 is the all-singing, all-dancing conference and Taxonomy Bootcamp special, featuring 50 delegates, speakers, vendors and organisers.

Happy listening!

LwL Podcast Episode 39: Angus MacDonald

In Episode 39 of the Librarians with Lives podcast I chat to Angus MacDonald, web and digital manager at CILIP, who is also a qualified information professional. He worked briefly in libraries before moving into roles at a start-up and an advertising agency. We discuss developments at CILIP, engaging with members, and whether Mad Men accurately portrays what it’s like to work in advertising…

Happy listening!

A year of the Librarians with Lives Podcast

Librarians with Lives in numbers:

[from 3rd September 2017 to 25th July 2018 am]

35 episodes released (plus the CILIP Conference Special)

72 people interviewed

9,928 plays

Top 5 most listened to episodes:

  1. Nick Poole
  2. Helen Berry
  3. CILIP Conference 2018 special
  4. Katherine Burchell
  5. Jane Secker

50+ (the Soundcloud stats stop at 50) countries in which the podcast has been listened to

The top 10 are:

  1. United Kingdom
  2. USA
  3. Australia
  4. New Zealand
  5. Luxembourg
  6. Ireland
  7. Canada
  8. Sweden
  9. Japan
  10. Spain

10 things I have learned:

  1. How to spot who has enough ‘voice’ and personality to sustain an episode
  2. Once you get (most) people talking about themselves, it’s virtually impossible to stop them
  3. Being bold but polite gets results.
  4. People will complain about things that never occurred to you
  5. Social media personas can be extremely amplified versions of someone’s actual personality.
  6. Some people are *exactly* the same in real life as they are online.
  7. Everyone hates the sound of their own voice. Nobody has a bad voice.
  8. Occasionally, interviewees will drive you mad by not promoting, or mentioning to anyone, their own episode of the podcast when it’s released.
  9. Don’t go looking for the dissenting voices. If you’re *really* lucky they will a. Make themselves obvious and/or b. People will tell you about them. Honestly, I and/or LwL are not worth your hate.
  10. The Librarians with Lives alumni I have gone on to meet in real life have, without exception, been absolutely lovely.

27 Unexpected consequences…

…or things that wouldn’t have happened if the podcast didn’t exist:

Conferences

  1. Co-delivering a workshop on networking at the CILIP Careers Day in April with someone I interviewed for the podcast, who I hadn’t met in real life until the morning of the workshop
  2. Subsequently co-delivering that workshop at the CILIP Conference in Brighton in July
  3. …and being asked to co-deliver it again at the CILIP New Professionals Day in October
  4. …and at a CILIP in London event in November
  5. Seeing the Welcome Zone at the CILIP Conference and thinking ‘I helped to affect that change’.
  6. Going back to Aberystwyth, 12 years after I finished my distance learning ILS qualification there, to deliver a plenary presentation about mental health, podcasting and resilience at the CILIP Cymru Wales Conference in May
  7. Standing up and telling 100+ people, most of whom had no idea who I was, about my mental health (see no. 5.)
  8. …and being asked to deliver a similar talk at a CILIP Scotland event in October.
  9. Recording an episode of Librarians with Lives at the CILIP Conference, where I interviewed 40 people, many of whom I had never met before and turning it into something coherent
  10. Submitting a very speculative proposal to speak at the forthcoming ILI Conference in October and for it to become a break-out session called Live, Love, Librarian!

In print

  1. Appearing in three consecutive issues of Information Professional magazine in 2018 (sorry…):
  • 60 seconds with…
  • Revalidation and CILIP Cymru Wales conference mentions
  • Networking article with Mike and being mentioned in Nick Poole’s editorial
  1. Writing an article for MMiT about the tech behind the podcast
  2. Being interviewed for a journal article about my experiences of being involved with a professional body
  3. Being interviewed for a case study for a forthcoming book on management

Professional development

  1. Gaining two Chartership mentees
  2. …and a Fellowship mentor

Fun stuff

  1. #Libraruns
  2. Hacking a shop-bought Guess Who game and turning it into a special Librarians with Lives edition for the networking workshop
  3. Hosting a Christmas Special of the podcast featuring previous guests and keeping it (mostly) in order
  4. Getting to see the inner workings of CILIP HQ (small, mostly open plan, desks, people) [Spoiler 1: it’s not Narnia. Spoiler 2: everyone I’ve met from CILIP is lovely]
  1. Being asked to guest on a community radio show
  2. Being asked to voice a small role on a comedy sketch podcast
  3. The Love Island DM group
  4. The Queer Eye DM group
  5. Chess: the musical with Clare “Wasn’t it good? OH SO GOOD” “Wasn’t he fine? OH SO FIIIIIINNNNNNEEEEEE” etc.
  6. Becoming (very) mildly ‘Library Famous’.
  7. Making new Library Friends who are now Actual Friends

2 negative things

  1. I have severe writers’ block with my Fellowship portfolio. If I could record me speaking about it, I could probably submit it. I firmly believe that I *will* be able to write and submit a successful application at some stage, but I’m not *yet* ready or able to do so.
  2. I probably won’t ever write my Mills & Boon ‘Love in a library’ bestselling novel now…

1 sad thing

I can’t believe it will ever be as good as this again. To watch something that I started as a tiny little CPD project grow into an actual podcast with listeners across the world and from different sectors of the information profession is mind-blowing.

…and finally…

Thank you to everyone that has taken part, listened to, promoted, and contributed to the Podcast in some way over the last year. There are too many of you to thank individually but it takes a village small city to make a podcast successful and I’m incredibly grateful. This is the greatest CPD thing I have done, and will ever do, and I’m already looking forward to the next LwL Podcast season.

LwL will be back on 4th September after a little summer holiday.

I’ll leave you with a quote from Queer Eye.

giphy

Librarians with Lives – LIVE! #CilipConf18

This week’s episode was largely recorded at the CILIP Conference in Brighton, which took place on 4th & 5th July 2018. CILIP invited me along to co-deliver the networking workshop with Mike Jones, and to record some content for a special episode of Librarians with Lives.

I recorded 41 interviews in total across the two days, bookended with my own experiences and reflections. I was really pleased to record so many interviews and I only wish I could have fitted in more.

Here’s the full cast list (in order of appearance):

Lizzie Sparrow

Hannah Smith

Ella Hassett

Lucia Butters

Gaz Johnson

Emma Sweeney

Mike Jones

Phil Gorman

Alison Wheeler

Gus Macdonald

Paul Caton

Jo Wood

Gemma Wood

Katherine Burchell

Kate Slone

Jo McCrossan

Lynsey Sampson

Nick Poole

Kathryn Aylward

Sam Burgess

Jo Cornish

Preeti Puligari

Steph Grey

Ruth Carlyle

Fotis Mystakopoulos

Louise Burkett

Kate Arnold

Leo Appleton

Claire Sewell

Laura Cagnazzo

Sergio Alonso Mislata

Jill Howard

Samantha Williams

Alex Pooley

Katharine Schopflin

Caitlin Moore

Kat Steiner

Jeremy Crumplin

Debbie Lee

Simon Berney-Edwards

Regularly scheduled programming will recommence on Tuesday 17th July with Natasha Chowdhury.

Happy listening!

#Libraruns Q&A – Tom Roper

As a companion piece to his episode of the podcast released earlier this week, Tom has filled in the #Libraruns questionnaire.

  1. When did you go for your first run (and mean it)?
    I first ran at school. In the sixth form we were allowed to stop playing rugby (I still have the scars) and do other sports. Cross-country consisted of being put in the back of a master’s car, driven out into the Cambridgeshire countryside, and left to run back. I loved it.
  2. Do you describe yourself as a runner or a jogger?
    Runner
  3. Neutral, overpronator or barefoot?
    Overpronator. I have friends who swear by barefoot running, but I lack the courage
  4. Preferred running shoe brand?
    For road, Brooks Adrenalines. My trail shoes are New Balance; I forget the exact name.
  5. What tech do you use?
    I have an ancient (more than ten years old) Garmin Forerunner, which I link to Garmin Connect and to Strava. One day it will give out, but until then I’m happy with it.
  6. Strava nerd or free runner?
    I came late to Strava; indeed I only joined it because my running club was using it. Now I’m on it, I very much enjoy looking at the libraruns club week-by-week. Laura Williams is often Queen of the Mountains (the librarunner who does the most ascents in a week) but I’m quite often second.
  7. Best bits of running kit (best buys)?
    I bought some great Falke socks a while ago, but you don’t seem to be able to buy them anymore
  8. Music, podcasts or the sounds of nature?
    The sounds of nature, definitely, for pleasure, and for safety. I’m lucky though, because I can run where I can hear them. If all I could hear was traffic noise, I might think differently
  9. Best motivational running song?
    Skylarks
  10. Favourite place to run?
    The downs near where I live. There’s a stretch over Firle Beacon, the highest point in my part of Sussex, that can be magical on a fine day
  11. Longest run you’ve ever done?
    I’ve never gone further than marathon distance; but I’ve done that in 13 races.  
  12. Most embarrassing moment?
    Turning up to the Isle of Wight marathon without my shorts. Fortunately another runner had a spare (Union Flag) pair.
  13. Proudest moment?
    My half-marathon PB at Hastings in 2006. It’s a hilly course, so shouldn’t be a place for PBs, but for some reason I flew that day.
  14. Best motivational tool?
    I used to find crowd support annoying, and try to ignore it. Now I’m lost in amazement that complete strangers will turn up at the side of a road or a track, and cheer on someone they’ve never met.
  15. One piece of advice for newbies?
    Go to #parkrun: you can walk some, or even all of it, yet everyone will encourage you, and you can measure your progress as you watch your 5k times fall week by week.

CILIP Careers Day 2018 – Networking for the Rest of Us

…aka The One Where I Co-Led A Workshop On Networking…

In the radical cheese dream that my professional life has been since July 2017 (Start a podcast! Release 25 episodes! Engage with listeners worldwide! Get invited to speak at stuff! Bother @CILIPInfo on a daily basis!), speaking at Careers Day last week was definitely a highlight.

As a result of all my podcasting, online professional engagement, CILIP-bothering (and my – frankly shameless – pleas to ‘Let me come and do stuff at your events because I’m doing FCLIP and unable to go to anything unless I can attend them free please please please pleaaaaaaaaase) I have good relationships with a number of their staff (in my role as mad lady in hat who they very sweetly indulge) and Helen Berry asked if I’d like to do something for Careers Day.

I kicked around a few different ideas but the one I kept coming back to was networking. Feeling awkward at conferences is such a recurring theme on Librarians with Lives that it’s almost become a meme. For those that play LwL Bingo, it’s up there with (get your jotter pens ready) ‘Fabulous’ ‘Bursaries’ ‘Does my head in’ ‘Own your achievements’ ‘The young people’ and ‘I shouldn’t offer advice but…’.

Back in November I recorded two episodes of the podcast very close to one another: Mike Jones one evening and Nick Poole the following day. Mike and I had been chatting on Twitter for a bit since he’d been to ILI and found the bits between the talks hard and I’d *shamelessly* plugged LwL on the conference hashtag (as I said, no shame) and it was a topic we explored at length during his episode. I was able to relate as I’d had my own experience of the horrors of having to talk to strangers at the CILIP Conference in July. Networking was a subject I raised with Nick during his episode and so the idea for ‘Hungry hippos and hot chocolate’ was born.

I didn’t think it was right for me to do something on networking on my own so it make sense to approach Mike and ask him to co-lead it with me. Luckily he jumped at the chance (turns out he’s a Yes Man fan) and so we put together a workshop. We were determined that what we delivered would be relatable and practical, rather than theoretical. Mike did a survey on networking and the findings became the backbone of our presentation. From there we developed a toolkit of tips and advice that (while admittedly Twitter-heavy at the moment) could be adopted by anyone that struggles with social situations at professional events.

One of the huge benefits of co-leading a workshop is that you have someone else to bounce ideas off. It also meant we could play to our strengths and divvy up tasks – I wrote the slides and Mike made them look fantastic. When I questioned whether I should include certain bits of information he could offer a balanced view. Mike also added in information that I’d overlooked. Hands-on activities were a large component of the workshop and I spent a couple of evenings putting together a special LwL-themed version of Guess Who for participants to play with. I raided my children’s board games and selected those that could be played without too much thought and wouldn’t impede conversation. I also took along a jigsaw puzzle and a large colouring-in poster with plenty of pens and colouring pencils.

During the preparation stage it didn’t really occur to us/me that the first time we would ever meet in real life would be at Careers Day itself. Thanks to the podcast and the Joy of Twitter, it didn’t feel like an issue though. We delivered the workshop twice and were really pleased with how it went, once we got over the ‘People have actually come to this and are engaging with it and we can’t believe we’re here because of a couple of blog posts and a podcast’ feeling.

So, what went well and what would we improve next time?

What went well:

  1. The presentation was really well-received, with lots of nodding along and laughing (hopefully with not at…) when we told our stories and offered advice
  2. Participants engaged with the practical element of the workshop and seemed to be enjoying themselves
  3. We got lots of really good, useful feedback, both online and in person from  participants
  4. We’ve been asked to deliver the workshop again at the New Professionals’ Day later in the year

Even better if…

  1. We took slightly too long with the slides the first time which didn’t leave enough time for game play, which we were able to remedy in the second workshop (so successfully that we finished early..)
  2. Ideally we’d have longer to let the conversations flow during the interactive element
  3. Originally we said that we wanted participants to find out three facts about the person they were conversing with, but that took too long so we cut it back to 1-2 facts for the second session
  4. The second session was really well-attended and there weren’t quite enough activities for everyone to do, so we’d either limit numbers slightly or include more activities next time

Overall, Mike and I were absolutely thrilled with how the workshops went. My biggest fear was that our advice might appear patronising and homespun, but the survey results underpinned everything we said and we were very honest about our own experiences, which really resonated with participants. As I said at one point, it would be hard to argue with anything we said.

I’ll write a separate post on Careers Day from a participant perspective at some stage. Huge thanks to Mike for being such a brilliant co-leader and to Helen from CILIP for inviting us along. I think a (friendly, helpful) beast has been unleashed!