Hi, I’m Russell. I’m a librarian.
I wasn’t always a librarian. I’ve been a music teacher, a lift driver, a paper boy, a composer, a part-time uni lecturer, a bus driver, an accompanist, a help-desk consultant, a conductor, a TAFE teacher, a trombonist, an IT teacher … while all of these contributed in some way to my income at times, luckily I never really gave up my day job: I’ve been a classroom teacher for most of my adult life.
A couple of years ago I had the opportunity of a career change, so I studied information services and became a librarian. Since then I’ve been lucky to work in two wonderful schools. I have a complicated job-share arrangement in both at the moment, and work 5 days and 2 nights – all in libraries! I keep pinching myself to see if it’s real, and wonder why I didn’t make this move 10 years ago.
In my last 10 years of classroom teaching, part of my role was in ICT support, working with both staff and students. I see librarianship as a natural extension of that: teaching information literacy; helping students and colleagues become better at locating, evaluating and using many types of information; and developing greater functionality in the library systems we use.
I’ve been a keen user of all sorts of Web 2.0 tools for a while. I’ve had a low-key presence on Twitter, Facebook, wikis and Nings, and have used some of these tools in my teaching. I heard a lot about the the PLN program over the last couple of years, and saw the incredible change it made to the library staff I worked with. I’m doing the program as a refresher, to discover new tools, and particularly to find out what tools other educators are using. I think it is important for someone in every library to do some sort of formalised PD to keep other staff informed about emerging trends and technologies. I hope that by the end of the program I will have new ideas for improving the information services in both my libraries. I’d also like to be blogging regularly!
The other goal for the program is to be part of an effective PLN. I follow a few librarians on Twitter, and I have supportive professional networks in both schools, but neither of these is really a learning network. That’s something I think will be essential for librarians in the next decade – it probably is now.