All 9 entries tagged Personaldevelopment

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September 13, 2007

URC networking event

Last night I attended a networking event organised by the West Midlands University, College and Research Group (a special interest group of CILIP). It was held at the IKON Gallery in Birmingham, which was a fantastic setting given that the weather was so good!

It was good to meet people from other organisations and to discover that we are not the only University library that has a very odd version of LCC classification all of our own!

The tapas and wine were much appreciated and  though we didnt venture inside to check out the exhibitions (far too busy discussing the pros and cons of centralised services and the effects of student tuition fees on customer service expectations!), the view from the patio was lovely. 

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He also contemplates whether Library Schools may be outdated and discusses the possibility that Library School staff need more recent and relevant work experience, perhaps taking placements on a regular basis.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

July 09, 2007


I was persuaded by a colleague last year to try yoga, and after only one or two sessions got ill and stopped going, and didn't go back until about 3 weeks ago. (Not because I was ill all that time, just because I'm rubbish). We also started going to spin bikes, although Charlotte has since decided that she prefers the gym. Jess has started to come to both in the last few weeks and so I have regained my former enthusiasm, and as I have also stopped smoking I decided it's time to generally sort out my body and stop being a slob.

So do think of me tonight when you are enjoying dinner in front of the TV (or much less happily working on chartership portfolios in front of the TV!)  as I will be bent into a strange position by a man who is convinced it is normal to fold your entire body in half whilst standing on one leg.

(The week before last I actually fell over when he decided I needed to stretch my arm in a slightly different direction and manually rearranged me - I did warn him that falling would be involved, but he seemed unconvinced until I landed on the floor). 

Despite the apparent personal danger involved I am braving it alone tonight as neither Jess nor Charlotte can make it -  lets just hope I keep all my limbs intact - I'll need them for spin bikes on Wednesday!

June 14, 2007

Presentation Design Training

Blogging on my lunch break again - oh well . . . . . .

I went to a presentation design course in the University IT Training Suite this morning. I'm still determined to do anything I can  related to presenting until my brain just gives in and I become good at it. It has to happen sooner or later.

The course this morning was full of common sense tips about not overusing Powerpoint animations and being careful about slide structure etc. probably things that everyone has heard before, but there was some stuff that was very new to me including:

  • Pack and Go function in Powerpoint
  • Downloading "viewers" so you can still run your presentation on a machine with the wrong, or no, version of powerpoint
  • The Powerpoint Heaven website

This will all be useful in the new academic year as, when term starts and we are running inductions again, we will also be part way through our Library Remodelling. This means we will probably have to go out to academic departments to do most of our presentations - considerations about available facilities will be important.

As far as overcoming nerves or actual speaking skills go the course did touch on this, but in a very common sense way, and there was no practical part to it, it was all presentation by the facilitator. But then the course was more aimed at presentation design and preparation than at delivery.

I will be on another presentation course in a few days - and probably any more that I can find over the summer, to get me ready for the new year. I really want to crack this.

June 02, 2007

I built a web site!

Writing about web page

My first web site is up and running. It is for London Artist Zoe Hirson who works with wood, thread, metals and fabrics to create some pretty unique pieces.

It is basic - I warn you now, and it will be developed over time as Zoe decides what she wants and I figure out how to make it happen. It is currently hand-coded in HTML so I really need to figure out a few things about CSS and maybe get some training with Dreamweaver (which my boyfriend keeps harping on about). 

Currently there is a very limited selection of Zoe's work displayed on the site,  but I am awaiting further photos to use to build pages about her previous exhibitions etc.

Any suggestions on how to improve the site would be much appreciated. Zoe and myself are both quite new to this, so feedback would be great and there is plenty of scope for change!

And yes - I am monitoring it with Google Analytics

May 12, 2007

Time management – a warning and a reality check

I have been concerned recently about the amount of time I dont seem to have.

Work has been busy - with the end of the budget year coming up and lots of info to take in, and work relating to, the Remodelling projectand all the PR type stuffI have been involved in, and there is a new working group I am on that's about to start and some exams to prepare for (examining, not being examined) and the newsletter to edit and the web site to maintain and the BioMed Grid enquiry project to run and blah blah blah.

Even if I wasn't working towards ChartershipI would want to be involved in all of these things and more - I am addicted to my job. But if I wasnt working towards Chartership I might not be writing my blog on my lunch break (which isnt actually a lunch break, it's just a lull in a drop in session I am currently running at the Medical School).

When I applied for Chartership and started looking into what would be involved I was given a very inaccurate impression! Lots of people said you could easily gather the evidence during work time and then put it all together at the end in a few hours. THIS IS A LIE(or at least a very rose-tinted set of distant memories).

I had a meeting with my mentor last week (blog entry to follow) and we talked a lot about this issue:

My major concern is that among all the exciting and interesting stuff I am getting more and more involved in (like the PR stands and the project work) my day to job may be taking a back seat and I am building up a backlog in the office. In order to avoid this I am spending a lot of my lunch breaks at my desk and I even took work home with me over the Bank Holiday Weekend. I often prepare for meetings or proof read documents on the bus to and from work.

So, a few rules for me to follow:

  • Consult regularly with line manager re: prioritising (This has already started)
  • Take proper breaks (I'm trying, I'm trying)
  • Don't take office work home - only Chartership specific work (Does that HAVE to include the stuff I really enjoy???)
  • Start saying "NO" - even if it's something I really want to do - until I have completed current projects (Havn't been asked to do anything since my mentor meeting- I'm preparing myself!)
  • Explain to people who are trying to help me with Chartership by offering me relevant opportunities, that I have TWO WHOLE YEARS TO DO THISand I may have to decline their offers at the moment and take different opportunities later (Warwick is brimming with opportunity, if you miss one thing 5 more will come along later) (Mantra required)
  • Remind myself, every time a tempting opportunity arises, that I have TWO WHOLE YEARS TO DO THISand I may have to decline offers at the moment and take different opportunities later (Warwick is brimming with opportunity, if you miss one thing 5 more will come along later) (Mantra taking shape)

I think, ironically, my problem is that I love the job so much. I want to be involved in everything, I want to learn about everything and I want to know whats going on all over the place.

Calm down, order books, get the daily paperwork out of the way, and remember that I have TWO WHOLE YEARS TO DO THISand I may have to decline offers at the moment and take different opportunities later (Warwick is brimming with opportunity, if you miss one thing 5 more will come along later). (Mantra confirmed).

Unfortunately, once Chartership is completed, I have the rest of my working life to do this, and will probably spend it reminding myself that I have THE REST OF MY WORKING LIFE TO DO THIS,and that I may have to decline offers at the moment and take different opportunities later. . . . .  (Mantra in practice)

(Entry started 12th May, finished 17th May - hmmm, what does that tell you??)

May 04, 2007

The cost to the profession

Follow-up to Stop smoking! from When I grow up I want to be a Librarian!

I will add an entry later, when I have done a bit of research, about how smoking, and the stopping of it, relates to the Library (and any other) profession.

I think the following general points are noteworthy:

  • Environmental impact
  • Health and Safety
  • Personal satisfaction
  • Personal development
  • Efficient time keeping
  • Employee relations
  • Networking
Any comments?

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

          May 02, 2007

          Stop smoking!

          Well, I went to a smoking cessation session this morning. They are running them at work through the NHS.

          I know this has very tenuous links with Chartership but I am putting in the category of personal development, and I think it will have some effect on my work. (Or maybe I just want to be able to rant about it somewhere, and this is as good a place as any).

          I've smoked on and off since I was 16, sometimes up to 30/40 a day, sometimes stopping for months on end, sometimes just having the odd one here and there when I have been stressed, or under the influence of the evil drink. Currently I smoke anything between none and 20 a day, and this seems to be related to how often I see my (smoking) boyfriend, how much time I spend in the pub and how much I am need of the emotional crutch.

          Anyway, the session ths morning was attended by staff from around Uni, including 2 other members of Library staff - the three of us have now vowed to support each other and hassle each other with email should someone fall off the waggon.

          We were given a variety of handouts, including a calendar, on which to mark the dreaded "quit date" and then record progress for a month - until the date of the next session. We were also given a month's supply of nicotine patches - which I am a bit scared of and will contemplate later.

          So - first step - see my Bloke tonight and request his support/assistance/bullying/lecturing beginning with a request that he stops smoking inside the house when I am there (or at all, if that is possible).

          Then the quit date will be set (possibly for bank holiday Monday - they suggest you chose a low-stress day, and this is less than a week away).

          Then the habit-changing part - hmm, I'll need to give this more thought too.

          Any other slaves to the smoke out there? Want to swap stories or just need someone to hassle you to quit? Get in touch.

          See this blog for an interesting, related debate. 

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