Val Skelton My Favourite Tipples from a Library and Content Marketing Freelancer
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Wednesday, 4th March 2015 Sign in to MyJinfo or create an account be able to star items Click for printable version Subscribe via RSS to get updates as soon as Blog items are added Tweet about this item on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn

By Val Skelton

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My Favourite Tipples are shared by Val Skelton, a freelancer with specialist expertise in training, content marketing, editing and conference programme development. She shares her favourite free online resources in areas from newsfeeds to free-to-use images and strategic thinking.


My portfolio of freelance projects includes content marketing, editing, writing and content commissioning roles (Information Today Europe and Business Information Review) and conference programme design (Internet Librarian International). I also work with UKeiG, a special interest group of CILIP. Working on your own, from home, brings about its own challenges. I rely on a number of websites and a network of colleagues to keep me up to date, informed - and organised!

  • Feedly: The first thing I do at my desk every morning is fire up Feedly. I subscribe to approximately 250 newsfeeds which I have structured into 15 broad topic areas including journalism, copyright/information law and Europe.

    A quick first scan helps me identify which articles might be of interest. A second, more in-depth, review helps me organise the interesting content according to clients and projects. Articles may be tweeted from different project accounts, written up as a news or blog item, set aside for further research or added to an "interesting but not sure what for" folder. I return to Feedly at least three times a day.
  • offers access to millions of digitised objects held by "memory institutions" across Europe. The main site is a fantastic resource for researchers and educators and includes featured objects, virtual exhibitions and powerful search options. You can also browse Europeana images via Pinterest
  • MorgueFile: Finding good quality, free-to-use images to illustrate articles can be a challenge. I was introduced to MorgueFile by Ned Potter on a UKeiG training course and I have used it every week since then. Remember to choose the "Free Images" option on the homepage before you carry out your search.
  • RSA: The RSA is at the leading edge of thinking and research on a range of topics including organisational development, skills and learning and design. Most of the RSA's events are free to attend and (for those not able to attend in person) are live streamed and recorded. On the website you will find a wonderful range of articles, animations, videos and podcasts. This lecture, for example, is given by a neuroscientist who explains how our brains manage information overload. 

For fun...

  • Frugal Queen: Finally, I'd like to introduce you to Jane Batt who blogs as Frugal Queen. Determined to become debt-free, she has made drastic changes to her family's lifestyle and shares her experiences and ideas daily on her blog. The blog reflects a generosity of spirit which demonstrates you don't have to be wealthy to make drastic changes to your own life - or to benefit the lives of others. 

An article in FreePint I found particularly interesting:

  • As part of our initial research for the upcoming Topic Series we read and discussed some wonderful articles available on FreePint. In particular, I would recommend Shimrit Janes' writing about the usefulness of consultancy skills. This article reminds us that our information skills and expertise are not enough - we need to bring in a raft of other skills including influencing and analysis to ensure that we can have a positive impact on our peers and users.

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