ASSOCIATES (2013, July, v. 20, no. 1)



Julanna Hennessy
Library Technician
Reserve Bank of Australia

I’m currently doing the 23mobilethings It’s a self paced series of activities we can explore in order to make the most of our mobile devices and maybe find a way to extend the services our libraries offer at the same time. Remember 23things? For that we started with a blog and wrote about our progress? With this you start with a Twitter account and use the #23mobilethings hashtag to communicate with the organisers. A lot of people are also blogging.

I’ve been very comfortable with web technology for years. I filled in some of the gaps in my internet knowledge base by doing the original 23things by myself. When I found 23mobilethings I realised I could do the same again. I have a smartphone and I do quite a bit with it, but I was having trouble filling in the gaps again.

It hasn’t all been plain sailing of course. It never is when you are learning new things. My first handy hint is to be very careful of your data limits. I was with a provider who gave me 200 MB per month and certain social media for free. I never used it up. Then I updgraded my phone to an Android phone and started playing with more apps. Once I discovered 23mobilethings and started to play with that as well, I used up my limit in 2 weeks. I was back to using the free social media and only using wifi for everything else. Very much a cramp on my exploration. I looked around and decided to switch to the company that I have my landline with and managed to halve the cost of my mobile connection and I have 1 GB of data. I still keep an eye on how much data I use but so far I’m very comfortable with this amount.

My next hint is to not be backwards about coming forward. The organisers love hearing from participants. A comment about loving a ‘thing’ or a problem you have will make them happy. If you’ve had a problem and solved it they’ll be even happier! I’ve helped run a 23things program in a previous job so I know how good it feels to have the participants give feedback.

Read the posts on the blogs. Click on the links, look at videos, see what others are saying. It helps put it all in perspective, come up with ideas and get inspiration. There are times I think I don’t know what use I can make of one of the ‘things’, but by the time I’ve gone through the whole post and associated links I usually know where I’m going with it. Except for videos! I am stuck on videos! I’m happy to watch them, I just don’t want to make one! The good thing is it’s self paced and you really don’t have to do any of the ‘things’ if you don’t want.

I highly recommend this scheme. It’s a fabulous way of upgrading your mobile skills, it’s a lot of fun, it’s a great extra skill for your resumes, and it’s free staff development that you don’t need to get approval for. It’s so important that we keep up with the technology because our clients will be using it. Even if our own library isn’t using the technology it’s good to know what our clients are talking about.