Tuesday, 5 June 2012

cilip new professionals day 2012

it's been almost two months since i declared that this blog was back in business. it's also been almost two months since i last posted anything. well done, me. anyway, i decided that i would blog about the cilip new professionals day that i went to in that london and this is me eventually getting round to writing up the notes i made.

i am rubbish at networking. really rubbish. when i went to last year's umbrella conference i spent much of the time sat on my own, staring at the floor or reading the programme repeatedly until i'd memorised the entire thing word for word. so with this in mind, i'd like to apologise to anyone i spoke to at the new professional's day. i managed to speak to some very nice people, but i suspect that i probably bored them all into submission.

what struck me was that everyone attending the event seemed to be absolutely brilliant. they all knew lots of things and had the ability to talk coherently about what they knew. incredible! i spoke to people who were on the ucl course, which is apparently a billion times better than the mmu one, and they all seemed dead clever! i think i need to talk to people about library stuff more as it'll give me a chance to practice actually voicing my thoughts and opinions and that.

anyway, on to the sessions:

firstly, annie mauger did her usual thing. it was a pretty good way to start the day, with a kind of rousing 'you can be anything you want to be' type speech. she told us that the best way to develop leadership skills was to engage with our professional organisation and get involved with committees and things.

annie introduced superstar celebrity librarian ned potter, who talked to us about our personal brands. i always feel a bit weird thinking about myself as a brand, but he offered some interesting advice on how to shape the way that colleagues/other professionals/people see us. he also told us that we don't need to be superstars, we just need to be a resource and part of the community. which is re-assuring. sometimes i feel like i should do more, but sometimes having a personal life is preferable to thinking about library stuff all the time!

ned also told us that, if we have ideas, we should go ahead and get them done. i've been thinking for a while that it'd be nice to have a platform for new professionals to write stuff and get published in a less formal cilip update style thing. i've made zines before, and i quite like the idea of doing one around library issues. new professionals could contribute articles about things they're interested in, it could be illustrated nicely, and it could be sold at a cheap price (just enough to cover costs). if anyone reading this also thinks this isn't a stupid idea and would like to help, let me know!

other highlights from the day include the session about cataloguing led by deborah lee and jennie-claire perry, which involved lego and a giant snakes and ladders board. they encouraged us to think about cataloguing and classification whilst having fun! my team won the snakes and ladders game, although i'm not really sure how.

i enjoyed listening to cilip president phil bradley's talk on social media in the afternoon, too. he's a very good speaker! he encouraged those of us who do not have access to social media at work to confront our it departments and make them give us access. somehow i don't think the organisation i work for would be very happy if i did that!

so yes, all in all, it was an excellent day. i'd very much recommend going to next year's event. the sessions gave me ideas and encouraged me to actually do something about them. and i actually did some networking, albeit not particularly confident networking. i spoke to people though, which is a start. next time i'll be a mingling king, chatting to anyone and everyone. cool.

so yes, if you've reached the bottom of this and you want to kill yourself, i apologise. if you want to help me with the zine idea, then get in touch! otherwise, thanks and goodbye.

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