Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Interested in Research Support? Come work with me!

I don't often blog about the day job, but I'm making an exception for this.  I'm really excited about a brand new Research Support Librarian post on our team - if you're interested in supporting world-class research please apply!

We're a small, close-working team, which means we all get to do a little bit of everything, but this post has a particular focus on supporting research staff and students at the Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge.  The job advert and further particulars are on the university website, deadline Thursday 20th November.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Opportunity for Science/Technology Librarians, apply now!

Around this time last year, a very good friend pointed me in the direction of the Bonnie Hilditch International Librarian Award (thank you Jo!)  This award is sponsored by the Science-Technology and Engineering Divisions of the Special Libraries Association (SLA) to help an international librarian get to the SLA Annual Conference.  Application was by CV, cover letter and letters of recommendation, I applied and won!

Here I am with Beth Wishart, winner of the 2014 Diane K. Foster International Student Travel Award, photograph courtesy of Marleene Boyd

The 2014 conference was in Vancouver and I loved it.  At >2000 attendees, it was much bigger than anything I've been to in the UK/Ireland, but without being so huge that you feel lost in the crowd.  The Engineering Division dinner, the Sci-Tech Newcomers' Lunch and the Fellows and First-timers Reception made me feel welcome from the start.  SLA Engineering and Sci-Tech Divisions are so welcoming and, shockingly, it was also the first time I had met the other SLA Europe attendees!

I learned so much, with sessions ranging from embedded librarianship and user experience through to 'Science and Engineering 101' and electronic lab notebooks (see my write-up on p.27 of Sci-Tech News 68 (3) 2014).  I found myself searching for ways to come back next year, and am really excited to be involved in planning the 2016 conference in Philadelphia.

So about that award? Applications are now invited for the 2015 award which will help you get to SLA Annual Conference in Boston.  Apply now!  Not sure this particular award matches your background?  There are loads of others, take a look at what is offered by the most relevant Divisions and of course there are also the SLA Europe Early Career Conference Awards.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

#chartership chat tonight at 8pm

A few of us are going to try out the chat functionality on CILIP's new VLE.  Hope you can join us tonight at 8pm!

The discussion and chat sections are unfortunately well hidden.  To find them:

  1. Log in to the CILIP website
  2. Click 'VLE'
  3. Click 'Professional Registration'
  4. Click 'Professional Registration Support'
  5. Click 'Professional Registration Chat'

For those who've been following my progress - I've finished the annotated job description and am now working on my first draft of the evaluative statement.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

#chapowrimo Day 19 - Annotated job description

Back on track - more reflective version of CV is now uploaded.  Goal for today: to annotate and upload my current job description.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

#chapowrimo hiatus

My plan of doing a bit on my Chartership portfolio every day in January got off to a great start, but then unplannable things both at work and home meant that I had to take a little break.  I don't feel too bad about it though - I reckon I earned a break with the five blog posts in one day on the changes to Chartership regulations!  It's time to get back on track though, so today I'm going to finish adding reflective elements to my extended CV.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Chartership, the changes. Part 5: The PKSB

This is one of a series of posts in which I get to grips with the new requirements for CILIP Chartership.  Previous posts looked at  the new assessment criteria, changes to portfolio contents, the new submission process and the relationship between the different levels of professional registration.

I had the pleasure of presenting with Jo Alcock last year on the new Professional Knowledge and Skills Base (PKSB) and how the 23 Things for Professional Development linked in with it, but at that point it wasn't yet clear how it would work with professional registration.

We now know that candidates will need to use the PKSB as the basis of a skills gap analysis, using this (instead of a personal professional development plan) to identify areas for development and steps to take towards addressing these gaps.  A second gap analysis will need to be conducted near the end of the process to indicate how candidates will continue to develop post-Chartership, and the intention is that the PKSB can be used on an ongoing basis whether or not they're working towards a qualification.

I've started working through the PKSB to see how it all works.  Chartership candidates can download a spreadsheet to help with this process, breaking each section (e.g. Organising Knowledge and Information) into more specific areas (e.g. Classification schemes and taxonomies).  The candidate can then give an indication of their current level of knowledge of this area (None / Basic / Good / Comprehensive / Advanced) and their target for that area.

This is a great way to do it, because different roles within the library and information sector will require different levels of ability.  In my current role, for example, I need to know a certain amount about a lot of things including acquisitions, cataloguing, user education and management of library space, whereas other librarians I know would be experts in their areas (e.g. cataloguing) but would never have to actually order a book.

It's quite tricky to decide what number to put in the box - I might think my knowledge of a particular area is good, but then if I compare myself with others I know I have so much more to learn.  I'm not too worried about this though, I think it's meant as a tool for personal reflection and the main thing is to identify areas for improvement and ways to achieve this.

The other issue with the PKSB is the fact that it's so broad and it's likely that I'll have far more areas that I'd like to develop than I can possibly do in the course of Chartership, some of which I'll need to learn fast while others I'd like to build up over time.  For that reason, I've decided to add an extra column to my spreadsheet so I can assign a priority to each of the elements I need to work on.

This is my last post (at least for now) on the differences between the old and new regulations for CILIP Chartership.  I've had great feedback on the usefulness of these posts - thanks everyone!  I must emphasise that I'm just a candidate myself - if you're reading this because you're not sure of something check with the CILIP team, use the forum on the VLE or pull me up on the things I've got wrong.

Chartership, the changes. Part 4: How this all relates to ACLIP and FCLIP

This is one of a series of posts in which I get to grips with the new requirements for CILIP Chartership.  Previous posts looked at  the new assessment criteria, changes to portfolio contents and the new submission process.

I realise that this is a strange way to order the posts, but I thought it would be useful to finish with my observations of the overall changes to Professional Registration with CILIP.

I have been aware of ACLIP and FCLIP for as long as I've known about the MCLIP, but was never very clear about what was involved with each of them.  My perception was that ACLIP was useful accreditation if you didn't need/want the Masters but wanted something to show your professionalism and development, while FCLIP was for the awesome super-librarians who have conquered all - a lofty and unachievable goal that few people even seem to aim for.

The new Professional Registration materials present these qualifications (I know we're not supposed to call them that but it's how I think of them!) as a natural progression, with Revalidation as an ongoing process in between.  All three handbooks are available to members via the VLE, and artificial rules on when you can apply for each one have been removed.

The evaluation criteria for the three levels are very closely related, but show a definite (but achievable, one day!)  progression through your career.  For example,
  • Certification (ACLIP):  Considered the organisational context of their service and examined their role within the organisation
  • Chartership (MCLIP):  Examined the organisational context of their service, evaluated service performance, shown the ability to implement or recommend improvement, and reflected on actual or desired outcomes
  • Fellowship (FCLIP):  Examined the organisational context of their work and evidenced substantial achievement in professional practice
The evaluative statement is the same length (1000 words) for all stages, although obviously addressing the assessment criteria for the level you're aiming for.  The list of items to include is exactly the same for Certification and Chartership, with the additional requirement of two supporting letters for Fellowship.  All levels include the emphasis on reflection.  Revalidation happens after every level, but is much less of a big deal than it seems to have been before.  There is no registration fee and all that is required is logging of 20 hours' CPD each year. This is easily achieved, so I think it will just be a case of getting into the habit of logging these hours.

There are several advantages to doing it this way.  People are assessed on their professional experience, achievements and development, regardless of whether they're working full- or part-time and whether they hold the MLIS or some other relevant qualification.  Professional Registration should become a real indication of the individual's approach to their work.  Anyone can apply for any level, as long as they feel they have sufficient evidence to demonstrate that they are working at that level, and the assessors may decide to award a different level to the one you applied for if, for example, you registered for Chartership but really should have applied for Certification or vice versa.  (I doubt that'll happen often, but useful to know...)

I'm really looking forward to working with the new requirements for Professional Registrations!