Photo of Katie Fraser

Katie Fraser's blog and website

I'm an academic librarian, working in the UK Higher Educational sector, supporting academics and students. Prior to this, I was a researcher, working with social and learning technologies.

My interests include the application of emerging and traditional technologies, research support in libraries, learning spaces, evidence-based practice and the professional development of library and information workers.

You can find out more about more about me from the links to the left. Note that the views expressed on this website/blog are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of any other individual or organisation.

Learning to drive my computer

August 5th, 2008

My task for this week is to take the European Computer Driving Licence. I’ve had my ECDL book since quite early in my trainee year, and I was meaning to start taking exams once I’d settled back into my final four months in cataloguing. When I was moved into acquisitions, however, there were new procedures to learn, and I was sidetracked for some time. Finally, I had some trouble contacting the ECDL coordinator, and at that point I realised that the best time to take the test was during this week, giving me five days to go through the seven exams!

The good news is that I’m pretty good at driving a computer already. Since I was a child I’ve been confident in my ability to pick up new technologies – I’m a digital native, if you will, although I’m slightly too old to be one according to some definitions! Heck, a large part of my PhD took place within a computer science department. However, taking the ECDL is a good way of proving my competence with standard packages: I worked out it’s around 12 years since I touched Microsoft Access, and using Firefox and webmail has put me out of touch with Internet Explorer and Microsoft Outlook. It’s also the kind of qualification that seems to tick boxes for library employers, and shows a commitment to professional development. Lastly, I am picking up some stuff that I didn’t know by browsing through our training software. My learning point of today was that Powerpoint can create a folder with a presentation and a Powerpoint viewer to transfer presentations to a computer without the necessary software. I never knew this before, and given its somewhat bewildering name – Package to CD – wasn’t likely to find it in a hurry.

So far I’ve taken three modules (for which feedback from the examiner was positive) and I’ve got four more to go: communication and presentation software tomorrow; spreadsheets and databases on Thursday. At the moment I’m just hoping I don’t have to retake any exams – there’s only so many ECDL papers I can take before I’m going cross-eyed!

In other news, it’s looking like my PhD comments from my supervisors might turn up soon, and the reading list for my librarianship course has arrived. Perhaps it’s a good thing I’m taking the ECDL exams so quickly… only four weeks to go in the traineeship, and only seven weeks to go until the start of my new course!

Leave a Reply