Saturday, 18 May 2013

Spring Reflections

Since moving to Bath my blog has taken a decidedly non-professional turn. There are a few reasons for this, not least because I am still getting to grips with a new job and city. 

My job itself is still developing and I am still learning about the university and my team. I often joke to people that my job is the bins and bogs of the library but that really does it a disservice. Yes, it is very much focused on front line and customer services and yes I have spent quite a bit of timing discussing various aspects of toilets over the last few weeks. But I'm also involved in an exciting development of a learning commons space in our new build and I'm introducing a chat service that will be used across the service. I'm also pleased that my previous experience working with LMS's and websites is being used, even if Symphony is proving a vastly frustrating experience! Most of all I smile everyday when I turn into the (1/2 mile) drive up to the campus and while our listed buildings may offer me some logistical problems it means I get to work in a beautiful place. 

Work aside my Chartership progress stalled earlier this year after I lost contact with my mentor. Luckily Twitter came to the rescue and I'm hoping to have feedback on my completed portfolio in the next month or so. Once it has been submitted I'm going to complete the new CILIP PKSB and attempt to use it to move forward with a view to revalidation and volunteering as a Chartership Mentor. I enjoyed the chartership process so much I want to make sure I continue to be proactive in my CPD and continue to learn and develop. 

However just because I've not been blogging about it doesn't mean I've not been active. This week I made the trip to London (thanks to sponsored travel from ARLG SW) for the first ARLG members day at Regents University. The day, aptly enough after the recent merge of groups, was focused on partnerships and it was interesting to hear from a variety of organisations including Goldsmiths, Dundee College and The Hive. I'm going to do a full report for the ARLG SW newsletter but I did leave with one overwhelming thought which didn't sit entirely comfortably. With the exception of The Hive, where two partners work on a equal footing, many of the stories I heard were less about partnership and more about what the library can do for their wider organisations. What were presented as partnerships was more the library adapting to changing needs and marketing their strengths and benefits. This isn't to criticise, it was obvious that this is needed, that we need to change, to offer services that fall out of our traditional remit and to talk to  people outside of our normal library bubble. But a partnership should be two way, each party should bring something to the table and leave with their own benefits, having contributed to others. It is this aspect that I didn't see so much of and which I worry is all to often a common story on libraries. 

I'm also peripherally involved in the organisation of the next SW Library Camp and in addition will be attending a number of mentoring / coaching type training events in June with a view to becoming a CILIP mentor once I have completed Chartership. I have discovered that I love this aspect of management and development which means I was especially proud to see one of my former team appear in the last edition of Update writing about her experiences using Twitter. (May 2013, Article by Emma Suffield) I'm also attending Interlend 2013 thanks to a sponsored place, an event at which I will have a lot to learn being a relative novice when it comes to inter library loans and document supply. 

Most exciting for myself I'm attending the CILIP Ebook briefing next week, an event I regretted missing last time and which, for the first time, I will be entirely self funding. I just hope it proves to be worth the money although as I'm also combining it with a very exciting interview on Friday the trip will at least have a dual purpose. 

I will finish by saying that I could have been more proactive about writing up my experiences over the last few months and so I'm going to commit to using my Learning Logs on a more regular basis. The entire last two months has been one big learning journey and one I should have recorded better. Lessons learnt and all of that!

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