Libraries, the universe and everything


Thinking about e-portfolios
February 19, 2013, 21:29
Filed under: CPD, Events | Tags:

Last week I attended a very interesting seminar on e-portfolios. Organised by the NY Librarians meet-up group and presented by Sandra Sajonas and Lisa Chow, the session provided an engaging overview of why a librarian might find it useful to have an e-portfolio, and some tips and suggestions for how to go about creating one.The presentation from the session summarises the various points they made, so I won’t precis it all here; I just wanted to record a few thoughts about it.

Since completing my Chartership portfolio last month I’veĀ been thinking that I should find some ongoing way of keeping that sort of material together, so this seminar couldn’t have come at a better time for me. So far I’ve jotted down a few ideas about possible categories for organising my portfolio – not a huge amount of progress but certainly a step in the right direction.

In terms of where to host the portfolio, Lisa and Sandra mainly looked at free resources. Of the sites they mentioned I think either WordPress or Google Sites will be where I end up – at present I’m drawn to the former as I think that keeping the portfolio together with this blog makes sense, but perhaps I’ll change my mind after I’ve investigated it all a bit more.

Edited to add:

Since publishing the above I’ve been having a play and have settled on WordPress as my portfolio platform of choice. The main reason for this could be described as either laziness or the desire for simplicity – essentially, I’m here already so should make more use of this space rather than create a new one.

It is also probably helpful that I’m not looking for anything particularly visual – Sandra and Lisa described some other sites which facilitated the creation of great-looking illustrated portfolios (ideal for designers and other creative types), and they both incorporate images into their own portfolios (on Google Sites). As regular readers of this blog will know I don’t use pictures very often at all here (though some of you might be surprised by the picture-heavy content of my other blog…), and this text-based approach is one which I’m happy to continue in my portfolio.

That said, it’s also comforting to note that I’m quite familiar with uploading images to this site, so if I do decide I need pictures it should be easy enough to achieve. (I know this isn’t really in the spirit of ongoing learning, but I’ve wasted so much time over the years battling to upload images into a variety of different content management systems that the idea of grappling with yet another one, when I don’t absolutely have to, is discouraging to say the least!)

I guess the nice thing about this whole exercise is that it is such a fluid one, and rather than working towards a defined end point (as with my Chartership portfolio) this is going to be an ongoing endeavour. Obviously the first step is to get my basic pages and text in place, but once that’s done I can play around with it all. In the seminar we were also advised to keep an eye on the site analytics to see what people are interested in, and to be prepared to change things like terminology and images (especially on tabs or labels) if it didn’t seem to be working – good advice in almost any web context and I shall certainly be keeping it in mind.

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