Sunday, 6 June 2010

Working Smarter 4: Marketing and Professionalism

I'm only now getting around to finishing my posts on the Career Development Group conference, Working Smarter, which finished up with parallel sessions on marketing, time management, working with volunteers and professionalism.. I attended 'Marketing on a shoestring' and 'Professionalism for success'.

Andy Ryan from London Libraries facilitated the session on marketing.  The more interactive approach taken in this session was great, especially since it was straight after lunch.  Andy started by getting us to come up with some of the media we could use in marketing our libraries, highlighting that the internet provides lots of opportunities to promote events cheaply.  I also pointed out that local newspapers are often crying out for content, so writing an article for them to edit/include can be a great way to hit your own area.  Andy's example of how London Libraries promoted their Graphic Novel Network was really interesting.  Three tips from her experiences:
  1. Establish meaningful partnerships (find that niche of passionate people)
  2. Remember to use existing contacts to continue to build those relationships
  3. Use social networking!

Susie Kay then gave a presentation about professionalism, emphasising the importance of maintaining our employability.  She suggested that professionalism is about everything you are, everything you do, at work in your private life.  We should aim to have a positive effect on those around us, in every type of personal interaction, at every level.  Professionalism also involves getting organised, managing your time well and making sure to keep a healthy work/life balance.  It involves having standards for yourself and expecting the same standards of others around you.

Embracing professionalism is commitment to self belief, choosing excellence, making permanent improvements and knowing that you can have a positive effect.  I like to think that I aim for these things already, but it is always helpful to have them highlighted.  The session was very general though, and not quite what I expected.  I thought that it would include some mention of librarianship as a profession.  I feel that the terminology used is unfortunate, since it implies that the rest of us are somehow "unprofessional".  I like to think that I am professional, even though I don't (yet) hold that piece of paper.  I do see the value of having the qualification though and I'm getting ever nearer to completion.  One day, in the not too distant future, I will be "a professional librarian"!

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