Wednesday, 28 November 2012

#Chartership chat summary

Thanks to everyone who joined in with the #chartership chat on Twitter this evening.  We hit on quite a few topics in the hour!

What stage is everyone at?
We had the full range, from people who are just beginning to think about chartering through to some who are finished and/or revalidating.  Someone asked about the introductory courses: watch out here for one you can get to.

General consensus seemed to be to look for someone from a different institution/role in order to get a different perspective on things and a neutral view. Some people were asking if it was still difficult to find a mentor in the East of England, but it was pointed out that the upcoming mentor training should help even if it's difficult at the moment.

How long after qualifying did you start preparing for Chartership?
This varied, with some (especially distance learners) getting on with Chartership while they're still in study mode while others prefer to take a break first.  It is possible to register for Chartership and start gathering evidence once you're finished the diploma part of the Masters.  I have ten years' library experience so it feels right for me to start with it, but I can see why with a couple of years' experience and then the full-time Masters many would wait. There's also the Pathway 2 option, which doesn't require a librarianship qualification, but you need to show that you're already working at a professional level and Chartership period is at least two years instead of one.

Would Chartership really help develop my career?
Pretty consistent response to this question - don't expect that Chartership=Professional post, but it is valuable for your personal professional development, getting practice at reflective writing and filling gaps.  All of this can make you a better candidate for positions that do come up.  The point was made that the Masters is now so common in at least one workplace that you need to charter to get an edge over others in the recruitment process.  Liz Jolly has said before (and confirmed during the chat that it was her!) that the Masters is seen as the theoretical basis for librarianship, while Chartership gives you the applied element. At least one person has change career direction as a result of chartering.

Areas for development (PPDP)
CILIP's Professional Knowledge and Skills Base (PKSB) was recommended as a starting point for identifying areas to develop, although some found it vague, confusing and jargonistic so the promised sector profiles should help with this.  People have included a range of areas in their PPDPs, including user education/information literacy, staff development, cataloguing, leadership, marketing, finance/budgeting skills, social media/outreach, collection management, project management, coding/technical skills...

Chartership equivalents
One person was based in Ireland so is considering Fellowship of the Library Association of Ireland (FLAI) instead. It's also portfolio-based, and sounds very similar to Chartership.

Thanks everyone!
If anyone's interested in organising another one go ahead!  I'll link this blog post into the Chartership wiki in the meantime.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Introduction to #chartership

Yesterday I attended the chartership/certification course in Cambridge Central Library.  Although I have read most of the bits and pieces to do with it and have The Book sitting on my desk at the moment, I found the day really useful.

Particular highlights:
  • Time to think about the things I could include and more importantly what I should possibly leave out
  • The importance of showing how aspects of my professional development are important in my current role - a lot of the things I was thinking of including are additional to my job, but there are plenty of things I could use that are more closely linked to my daily work so that's one to think about
  • The importance of not overlooking the obvious - as MG said, of course I can do that!
  • Any time I find myself describing something in the evaluative statement, move that information to another part of the portfolio
  • Think about the mentoring relationship and how to get the most out of it
  • Set up a couple of possible visits - to Anglia Ruskin to see what Jenny's doing in the way of staff development and training and to MML to explore aspects of Hélène's role (similar to mine, but different library so different practices)
  • Met some very interesting people, including some to contact when I get into my role as New Professionals Support Officer for the newly formed CILIP East Members' Network
The best thing about these kinds of events is always the renewed enthusiasm though.  Better get on with it while that energy is still there!

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Using Scrivener collaboratively

I have the pleasure of working on an article with Jo Alcock at the moment and thought this might be a good opportunity to try using Scrivener collaboratively.

There is no inbuilt support for this, but you can share the .scriv folder (Scrivener project folder) using Dropbox and edit directly from there. This means that any changes made will be synced across all computers working with the relevant Dropbox folder. Also useful if you want to edit your own work from multiple computers, of course!

Word of warning: Dropbox can't really handle having multiple people editing the same file at the same time. Their solution is to create a copy of the file to ensure that conflicting edits are not lost, and there doesn't appear to be any way to merge these documents afterwards.  It's probably best to stick to something like Google Docs (or Drive as they now call it) if you want to live brainstorm or are likely to need to work on the same project simultaneously.

If anyone can suggest alternatives that would facilitate version control I'd love to hear about them.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Scrivener as a #chartership portfolio tool

I mentioned in a previous post that I am using Scrivener as a tool for Chartership.  I thought a post about how I'm doing this might be useful for others considering it.

What is Scrivener?
Designed by an author, this tool is ideal for drafting and redrafting ideas.  It's available from the Literature and Latte website and a 30 non-consecutive days trial version can be downloaded if you want to try it out.  I heard earlier in the year that some of our postgrads have found it useful, thought I should try it out and immediately adopted it for my dissertation.

What do I like about it?
Break large documents into manageable chunks: this makes it easier to see how the portfolio will be structured and to jump from one section to another, rather than doing lots of scrolling in Word or working with multiple different documents.

Corkboard view: This allows you to see index cards for each section of a particular folder. You can then drag and drop to reorder the content - one of our grads does this at sentence level! - and label sections so you can clearly see how finished they are or what areas of development they apply to.

Scrivenings view: You can select different sections of the document to see how they would flow in a continuous document without actually reordering them.

Store resources in Scrivener: I've imported useful documents such as the Chartership handbook into the folder itself, which means that I can easily get at any relevant information without having to click out of the programme.

Side by side view: I can have the Chartership criteria or handbook in one pane while working on my portfolio in another.

Word target: You can specify that you're aiming for a particular section to be a certain length. Useful for the evaluative statement?

I'm a convert! I'm really still exploring it though so I'd love if others could chip in with questions or suggestions in the comments below.  All I need now is for them to develop an iPad version of it... and maybe integrate Zotero properly...

Sunday, 4 November 2012

#chapowrimo commitment

Many will be familiar with National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and even Academic Writing Month (AcWriMo), but I'm not participating in either of them. Instead, I'm participating in Chartership Portfolio Writing Month (ChaPoWriMo), brainwave of the fabulous Helen Murphy and further explained by the lovely Emma Davidson in this blog post.  

So what does this mean for me?
I am committing to doing a little bit of work on my Chartership Portfolio every day in the month of November, or if I can't get to it one day I will do a double-dose the next.

This may take a number of forms:
  • Scribbling initial thoughts on particular items in my little blue notebook
  • Writing full reflections on this blog or in Scrivener, as appropriate
  • Organising my materials using Scrivener (more on that later)
  • Meeting up with other Cambridge-based Chartership candidates
  • Participating in #chartership chats on Twitter 

Speaking of which, time for another chat anyone? Specific topic or general chat?