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penaccess A newsletter from the West Midland branch of CILIP October 2009 Vol. 52 No. 3

ISSN 0048-1904


Online professional networking SPECIA WEB 2.0 using Web 2.0 tools ED

Professional networking is an important part of any career and can be used to get expert advice, exchange ideas, get a second opinion, obtain a reality check, test new ideas, gain moral support and engage in collaborative problem solving (Ramsey, 2004). In addition, professional networking can also be used as a form of marketing yourself and your skills to other professionals, including potential employers, colleagues and collaborators. In recent years, online networks have changed networking capabilities; Nielsen Online (2009) demonstrated that social networking and blogging are more popular online activities than e-mail. The growth of these online networks enables professional networking online as well as face to face.

How can you network with information professionals online? Blogging A blog is a type of website with regular entries (called posts) arranged chronologically. Blogs can be used in a number of different ways; to share resources, experiences or views; to report on new services or ideas; as a news tool; or as a reflective tool. Open source blogging tools such as Wordpress (www. and Blogger (www. now enable users to set up blogs with minimal technical knowledge. Reading blogs Subscribing to the blogs of other information professionals can provide insight into the profession, enable learning from their experiences, and lead to conversation in blog comments. I use a feed reader (e.g. Google Reader) to aggregate the blogs I follow so that I only need to visit one place to read all the new posts. It’s a good idea to get into the habit of reading feeds on a regular basis so that you don’t fall behind and feel overwhelmed by a large number of unread posts. This also ensures that you keep up to date with new developments as they happen. Writing blogs Writing blog posts can help organise thoughts on a particular issue, share

points of view on a topical debate, share knowledge and experiences, or act as a repository for commentary on useful websites/articles. I write my own blog, Joeyanne Libraryanne, which I use to jot down any thoughts about the profession as well as charting the progress of my career and my distance learning course. I particularly enjoy the conversations that take place within the comments. People engage in debates on topical issues, or offer advice and potential solutions to any problems mentioned on the blog. Blogging has expanded my network as other professionals read and comment on my blog posts or contact me via the blog. Key West Midlands library/librarian blogs CILIP West Midlands blog cilipwestmidlands/ Joeyanne Libraryanne Katharine Widdows David Viner Amelia Luzzi



From the Editor 29 April 2009 will go down in history as the day that librarians took over the internet. Well, albeit for a few hours at least! If you don’t know why or what for, then I could ask where have you been? That date saw an Open Session of CILIP Council held at Ridgmount Street on the use of Web 2.0, setting the internet ablaze with comments, opinions and suggestions on how our professional body should make its web presence felt. To highlight this topical area we have decided to dedicate this issue to Web 2.0 and its many uses throughout libraries in our region. I hope that you enjoy this special edition of Open Access, and as always your feedback is much appreciated. Don’t forget you can comment on any of the articles by visiting our blog, Facebook or Twitter pages. And if you want to explore what you can achieve by utilising various web tools, you can join internet guru Phil Bradley at one of our Web 2.0 Workshops in December, see page 12 for more details. David Viner

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Profile for CILIP West Midlands Member Network

Open Access - October 2009 - Vol.52 No. 3  

Newsletter of the West Midland branch of CILIP, delivered as a printed supplement to Library + Information Gazette. ISSN 0048-1904

Open Access - October 2009 - Vol.52 No. 3  

Newsletter of the West Midland branch of CILIP, delivered as a printed supplement to Library + Information Gazette. ISSN 0048-1904