Sunday, 26 June 2011

CPD23 Blogs and Blogging

Thing 1
I started this blog last year as part of two 23 Things programmes, one run by the Cambridge University Medical Library and the other run by a team of librarians from different libraries in the university.  At the time, I had only been in the UK a few months, working a few hours a week at the Medical Library and knew hardly anyone in Cambridge, let alone the UK library scene.  How things have changed!  Participating in these 23 Things programmes led to me very quickly getting to know people here by following other local blogs and from there starting to follow other library blogs, getting involved in what was going on (like TeachMeet for one!), presenting at conferences, getting involved in the local CILIP branch and starting a full time role as Assistant Librarian of a faculty library here in Cambridge. 

I've already talked about the start of the CPD23 idea, but have been trying to decide whether or not to follow the programme myself.  I'm on the home stretch of my librarianship masters, which I've been doing by distance learning for *ahem* a while, so finishing that is absolutely my priority this year, but I couldn't resist joining the fun.  I love the idea of building more of a community with other info pros both nationally and internationally.  I think I'll follow other the progress of some other participants and dip in and out of actually posting as time allows.  I can always do the other Things next year when I've finished the masters!

Thing 2
So I've been looking around the blogs so far and loving the variety!  I started with the Irish bloggers (including not one but two other Niamhs - see, it's a totally normal name!), then clicked through some of the countries with only one or two participants, then followed links to some of the blogs mentioned by these participants, commenting here and there along the way.  I agree with the people that said that the commenting will be more useful as we progress - I certainly found that last year.  We've now added a blogroll to the left hand column (screenshot above) which just lists the 25 most recent blog posts by CPD23 participants, so I plan to dip into that as time goes on to discover more blogs on a regular basis.  I've added some of the blogs to Google Reader, going by people whose writing styles I enjoyed rather than sector or geographic criteria.  A random sample of these include:
Quick tip!
For anyone, like me, who made the mistake of upgrading to Firefox 4 before checking that it wouldn't break or move stuff (like that RSS icon that I absolutely relied on), there is a solution.  If you right click on the toolbars you can customise it to add the RSS icon back in and to move everything else back where they belong.  It doesn't fix the fact that the Delicious toolbars are broken, but at least I can now subscribe to blogs again!

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

23 Things for Professional Development

What happens if you cross a 23 Things programmes with CPD?
This time last year, I was working my way through not one, but two 23 Things programmes - one specifically for staff of Cambridge University Medical Library and one for library staff in any of the (many) Cambridge University libraries. Around about the same time, I attended the New Professionals Conference in Sheffield and came away even more inspired and enthusiastic than ever.  It occurred to me that the 23 Things model would work really well for new professionals, and the seed of an idea was planted.

The idea developed...
Back I came to Cambridge, and started discussing this idea with Katie Birkwood, who (luckily for me!) agreed to get involved.  A group of us got together, ranging from Graduate Trainees to library school students to fully qualified and more established information professionals to thrash out the idea some more.  We quickly came to the conclusion that running a 23 Things programme just for new professionals would mean that some of our slightly less new colleagues would feel that this programme wasn't for them and we'd lose the advantage of professionals at all levels sharing their experiences.  23 Things for New Professionals became 23 Things for Professional Development and #cpd23 was born.  Most of the original team work at one or other of the libraries of the University of Cambridge, but we thought the project would really benefit from input from people from outside our little echo chamber and we're very excited to have Jo Alcock, Bobbi Newman, Laura Woods, Bronagh McCrudden, Emma Illingworth and Sarah Ison on board.

There's a wonderful group running the programme.  Huge thanks to all of you for planning, writing and promoting the programme, tagging hundreds of participant blogs (500+ so far) and all the rest of the work that's going into putting 23 Things for Professional Development together.  Extra thanks to Katie for doing so much of the organising and introductory posting, Helen for doing the #npc2011 presentation, Claire for agreeing to present a poster at CILIP's Umbrella Conference and Charlotte for volunteering to do an hour-long webinar with me for NCompass Live (Nebraska) tomorrow afternoon!  The response has been incredible, I'm really looking forward to following the developments.