Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Proving your worth in challenging times

Another great event from the Career Development Group, this time aimed at "new professionals" and taking place in Sheffield.  I got talking to lots of interesting people, some who went straight from college into library school, some who came from different careers and moved into librarianship, some (like me) who found themselves working in a library and realised that this was the job for them, and one (incredibly brave) person who dropped everything and moved to restart their library career in a different country.

Some points that stood out for me from the day:
  • Blurring boundaries between professions:  we need to gain some of the competencies of other professions we work with (for example, teaching competencies if working in academic libraries) in order to work more effectively with them - Sheila Corrall
  • Make sense (of the sector), provide evidence (of what you can do), be visible, and maintain enthusiasm - Eleni Zazini
  • Consider using voluntary work to fill gaps in your CV and escape the "Experience Catch-22" - Bronagh McCrudden
  • If we don't keep up with changes in our field we can't claim expertise - Laura Woods
  • Building peer networks is definitely worth the effort - Bethan Ruddock (Presentation on slideshare and thanks for quoting me, I'm famous now!)
  • Build your elevator pitch - Lucy Marris and Andrew Cox (personally I can't see myself using it in conversation but it's definitely worth having firmly in your mind at least)
  • Professional generosity: sharing experience when networking makes it all worthwhile (Biddy Fisher)

I really value the fact that most of the events I attend have a good mix of people at all stages of their library careers, but this one was marked by a particular enthusiasm and excitement that comes from being with others new to the area, full of ideas, energy and potential.  I knew exactly what Biddy Fisher meant when she said that the future leaders were in that room - there were some that certainly stood out as ones to watch!

Things I want to look into following this conference:
LIS New Professionals Network: Aims to be a one-stop shop for new information professionals, with news, course information and jobs.  Other membership groups will feed into this as well as CILIP.

VIA Survey of character strenths: Identify your strengths and then play to them (requires registration)

Professional doctorates starting from 2011 in Sheffield: 4 years part-time, very structured and specifically aimed at practitioners. (Better finish this masters first though...)

Other posts about the day
...and some photos...
...and much more will, I'm sure, be added on #npc2010


  1. you are incredibly brave too, to restart your library career in another country!
    sounds like you got a lot from the (very long) day.

  2. Thanks Isla - I hadn't even thought of it that way. Dublin to Cambridge is a lot easier than Greece to the UK though, in fairness. It was an excellent day, I'd recommend it to anyone.