All 7 entries tagged Career

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August 02, 2007

Future Libraries Articles

Follow-up to Future libraries meeting from When I grow up I want to be a Librarian!

Following on from May's Future Libraries Meeting I have read 3 articles written 2000/2001 looking at where Information professionals thought we were heading at the turn of the millennium. It's interesting to see that change is so far happening so slowly that the arguements in these papers still sound very current even though they are 5 or 6 years old.

The main points of the articles were as follows:

Pedley, P. The information professional of the 21st century. Managing Information. September 2001 8-9 

Pedley considers that career development in the Information Profession requires:

  • Being open to change
  • Continual commitment to active CPD
  • A range of transferable skills

He also contemplates whether Library Schools may be outdated and discusses the possibility that Library School staff need more recent and relevant work experience, perhaps taking placements on a regular basis.

More to follow when I get time! 

May 23, 2007

Inspire visit

Writing about web page

Jess and I met with a lady through the Inspire scheme. She is currently working in an FE library and is trying to decide whether or not she wants to make the move to HE (where she has previous experience). This lady is already Chartered but has been out of the Library sector for some time so is in the process of making decisions on her future career, and is considering applying for jobs similar to the ones that Jess and I do.

She wanted to meet with us to find out about what we do and how we fit in to the University.

A whole day was planned for her within Warwick Library, including meetings with various members of staff and visits to various departments. She spent one hour with Jess and myself discussing our roles.

We prepared in advance by finding and printing off various documents, such as our job descriptions and the terms of reference for the working groups that we each belong to etc. We also found examples of some of the work we have produced or been involved in (resource guides, customer guides, publicity work etc.) which she could take away. She had a lot of questions and we tried to answer them, but I did feel a bit like the session was not really long enough to cover all the things that Jess and I had planned for it. 

I also felt that the session could have been better planned, more structured and then we may have covered more material in a way which she might still have been able to absorb. I think this illustrates one of my many fears of teaching. I am not great at planning sessions or putting materials together. Structuring things for other people is not one of my strong points.

It also highlights the fact that there is little time in the day to do these things.  Jess and I had about half an hour to meet and plan for the session and after that we had to find the written information, print and collate it, book the room, set up the pc, log in to the LMS and various bits of web sites we wanted to use and generally figure out what was going on. The first and only meeting we had about it was the afternoon before, and this left us with preparation to do at home. 

Being involved in things outside of my normal job is important to me. But again, I have to be careful not to take too much on (see this entry).

May 03, 2007

Future libraries meeting

Jess, Ant, Chris and I met on May 3rd to discuss the future of the Information Professional.

The following key points were made:

  • The word "Library" is being used less and less in current job titles and service provision, will this help to move away from stereotypes? Will it encourage more interaction and involvement from people outside of traditional library roles and sectors? Will either of these things be beneficial to the Information profession?
  • It may be easier to change job titles than change stereotypes. Does "Information Consultant" mean more to the public than "Librarian"?
  • Information roles require a wide range of broad and transferable generic skills. Customer service/IT/communications etc. The skill in the role is not to be specific but to be flexible and have a broad base to build from.
  • Networking is becomming more important. The profession is fairly small.
  • Will Libraries become less willing to share their ideas and work as they begin to see users more as "customers"? will this approach breed competition where currently there is a lot of openness and information sharing?
  • Libraries are starting to market themselves. it seems that competition for customers is not just against other libraries, also consider other lesiure providers, sports centres, etc. and also online provision, such as google.
  • What are the main sources of competition for a Public Library?
          • lesuire activities
          • google/internet services
          • museums
          • Competition is not just for customers, it is also for funding. Other public services are also in competition with Libraries. In order to be worthy of funding a public service must show how it supports all sectors of the community. There must be consideration of wider political issues: education, crime, terrroism, social inclusion, rascism, health etc.

          Understanding what a Library is is not enough, understanding what your job is within a library is not enough, there is need to understand WHY a library is and WHY your job is.


          • social drives
          • economic drives
          • ecological drives

          Career Progression Considerations:

          It can be difficult to get experience in management and supervisory skills and also in budget management. The jump from my current post to a budget holder post or a management post is difficult to make. Consider alterbative ways to get this experience:

          • secondments
          • courses
          • activity outside of work
          • additional special interest groups
          • voluntary work

          Subject Librarians - are they needed?

          What do they lend to students? academics? service provision?

          How specific to a subject do they need to be? What kind of specific educational background is required?

          Proactive approaches 

          Are we making good use of technology? ARe we exploiting the full potential of web 2.0?

          Strategic Thinking

          Are libraries supporting the current objectives of the organisation?

          Do your daily tasks actually address the library/oganisation objectives?

          This is how you can justify your post if it is threatened - be sure to look at how relevant you are to the organisations goals and strategy.

          What are the benefits of what you do? Who gains from your role? Once you know this MARKET IT. This makes you more relevant to your audience. Could this idea be used to effectivly open a presentation to new students for example? 

          Also consider how you can sell yourself to managers - how do you benfit the organisational agenda?

          Consider performing a personal SWOT analysis to take to the next mentor meeting.

          • Strengths
          • Weaknesses
          • Opportunities
          • Threats

          Look at SCONUL vision

          April 25, 2007

          Chartership day

          Yesterday I attended the Chartership seminar at Wolverhampton University Harrison Learning Centre. It was really nice to go back there (I worked there for a year before coming to Warwick) and catch up with some people I havn't seen in months. We even managed a pub trip at the end of the day!

          I now have a better grasp on what the portfolio needs to contain, and how it should be structured.  I was alarmed initially at the 1000 word limit on the introductory report, but basically, that report is more like a glorified summary of contents than anything else, and the reflective practice gets documented in the portfolio evidence itself - by, for example, adding reflective writing as evidence following training courses or events.

          Frances Hall was a good speaker and very enthusiastic about everything Chartership-related. She had some examples of portfolios that CILIP had considered "excellent" and it was reassuring to see that they were not enormous or particularly complicated documents. Quality, not quantity!

          I think the course content was pretty much what I expected, and the exercises we did on reflecting on career history were kind of interesting, but because I am at the start of my Chartership, and because I am following the extraordinary route, I cannot really use past work as evidence - I only became eligible to charter in January and you can only include evidence from the point you became eligible. I need to be looking very much forward to find my portfolio evidence, and that made some of the exercises somewhat irrelevant to me. It did seem a bit like the facilitators were unsure about what the Extraordinary route was, and I did get a couple of odd answers to a couple of questions as a result, but with it being such a new thing and with so few people having followed it at this point it is hardly surprising that there is a degree of uncertainty.

          I think anyone considering Chartership needs to be aware that it is more work than most people will admit. Several people have said things like "oh you just collect evidence for a year then write the thing up in a weekend or so, it's easy - you do most of it in work hours".

          Well, I suppose some people could get away with that, but there is a lot of reflective writing expected, a lot of the evidence needs to be reflection on what has been done - a certificate is not enough proof that you attended a particular course - you need to give critique on the course and then show how it relates to your post and how it will affect your working practice.  There is much more to this than the things you can do in your normal working day. - I'm becoming more and more grateful for the blog!

          Are there any other Extraordinary Route candidates out there? I'm beginning to feel all lost again.


          March 15, 2007


          Well, I have drafted my PPDP draft 1 and now need to fill in registration forms and inform CILIP that Chris has agreed to be my mentor.

          The PPDP is a bit tricky, I'm not really sure how many areas to address and how much detail to include for each one.

          I will discuss this with Chris when we have chance to meet. (Todays meeting had to be cancelled).

          Katrina, a awhile ago, gave me a copy of a document called "Chartership Reader". It looks to be hints and tips on the Chartership process and could well be really useful. It is quite hefty though and I think I need some time to browse through and decide how much of it I want to read. I'll take it home this weekend.

          I'm also beginning to feel that the amount of Professional reading required is going to be rather a lot, and I'm going to have to start thinking about structuring some of my time outside of work to make room for Chartership work. (I should probably start by planning to spend an hour sitting down with the CILIP Update and Review each time they arrive in the post, I am guilty of skimming them over rather quickly).

          March 13, 2007



          I have been approved by CILIP as eligible to register for Chartership. I am very relieved as I am taking the "Extraordinary" route and wasn't sure I would be accepted.  

          Next thing to do is sort out registration forms and finalise my PPDP.

          I have a mentor meeting on Thursday and I'm going to be hard pushed but I plan to get everything together before that meeting so we can just check the detail.

          Right then, off home for a quick cup of tea before I start on the preparation for Thursday, I think the next 2 days are going to be busy!

          February 22, 2007

          In the beginning . . .

          Writing about web page

          After something of a patchy and unsatisfying employment history, (involving jobs as diverse as Stable Hand, College Attendance Monitor, Waitress and Head Injury Rehabilitation Worker) I found myself, completely by accident, working in a 6th form college learning centre in NCN Nottingham, and I LOVED it.

          It was the first job I had that I wanted to do more of and when I left Nottingham 2 years later I wanted to continue in a similar path. Next stop was Wolverhampton University Learning Centres where I held 3 separate part time posts and benefited greatly from the range of experience that gave me.

          All good things must come to an end, and after about a year, when my contracts finished at Wolverhampton, I took my current post at Warwick University Library.  By then I had decided that maybe I should be making an attempt at a career in academic libraries, rather than just jumping about from job to job as I had previously been prone to doing.

          And so to Chartership!

          So here I am. I've been at Warwick 6 months and have just taken the first step and posted (this very afternoon) my initial application to register to Charter.

          I am intending to take the Extraordinary Route (B) to Chartership, as I do not have a LIS qualification, (well, I have an NVQ level 2, but I'm not sure that counts!!) so I am hoping that my work experience to date, and various relevant training in information-type-stuff, will be enough for CILIP to consider me "Extraordinary". (I'm not sure I like the sound of that, but I guess it's the only option I have).

          I have been very fortunate to find a very enthusiastic mentor within Warwick itself, Chris is proving to be full of energy and I think that's just what I need to keep the momentum going for a whole 2 years! I'm also lucky to have friends in Jess, doing the same job as me in another team, just starting out on the Chartership road, and the ever-helpful Katrina and Charlotte (also embroiled in the Chartership process) to work with too. (And while we are singing praises, it doesnt hurt to have a supportive and pro-development manager either!)

          I expect Chartership to be harder work than is generally publicised, but I also expect to get a lot out of the process.

          I'd love to hear from anyone following any route to Chartership, feel free to comment/advise/berate as appropriate.

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