We recently started up a public list for 2013 LIS Students on our Twitter account
We’re inviting current students to let us know if they want to be added to the list (just tweet to us @uklibchat and tell us you want to be added to the list)
So what is it for?
One of the reasons why we started #uklibchat was to help students studying Library and Information Studies courses to connect and talk to each other. When I was a student, I knew what my library school was doing, but I was super curious about what other students on other courses were doing.
We’re hoping that students can use the list, to find other LIS students and connect with them.
How to use it
By visiting the list, you can see what students are talking about, sometimes it will be about cats, and knitting, and gin, and football, but sometimes ppl will also be talking about dissertations, what they’re working on etc. It’s an interesting snapshot. For example, as I’m writing this, I know that there’s a Twitter workshop happening in City University
You can also subscribe to the list from the Twitter list page (top right corner of the list page), this way, the list will be put into your twitter account, and you can visit it from there.
If you going into the List members page, you will get the names and profiles of the people who are on the list. If they’ve listed where they are studying, that information will also be there.
The world is your mollusc*
After this, it’s up to you. Follow people who have the same interests and inspirations, get chatting about what you’re getting out of your class.
Remember you can also tweet to us (@uklibchat) or join our #uklibchat sessions and connect to Librarians all over. We currently have 1,897 followers. That’s a lot of gin drinking cat lovers**.
*and it also travels on the back of four elephants on a turtle. [Terry Pratchett, Discworld]
** aside from those who don’t gin drink and/or hate cats.
The next #uklibchat will be on
The topic for our next chat will be one that is relevant to librarians and professionals who deal with visual resources, images, building plans, maps, videos and I’m sure there are more…
If you want to contribute to the conversation on this, #uklibchat will be running on
Tuesday 2nd April 2013 from 6.30pm – 8.30pm BST.
If you want to add questions to our agenda, you can do so here. A guide to taking part in #uklibchat is available here and you can always tweet us @uklibchat or email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
We look forward to chatting with you!
1. Do you think your workload has increased in recent months or years?
- Definitely – fewer people in the team plus tasks get added at each appraisal but not often removed
- With new initiatives in literacy and the importance of reading for pleasure, school librarians have a greatly increased workload.
- So effectively – with increased interest comes increased workload?
- Yes. The increased interest is great but means we need to manage our workload really effectively to cope.
- Most definitely. Half the staff as last year and last remaining library assistant keeps getting moved by bosses to other roles
- Do budgets affect the workload in libraries? What do you think? Less money= less staff, more tasks each one?
- Definitely increased! Less staff, less money for labour-saving resources, more pressure to keep up results!
- Also find it frustrating that organisational culture is often anti productivity tools even free ones like http://t.co/wfOaJ0rn5f
- Nirvana has only limited free features I think – time management seems to be something people pay for
- Solo librarian – lack of budget for additional staff definitely increases workload, no-one to delegate to
- While volunteering at the national library association, I have noticed librarians don’t have time for extra activities and lately the lack of time grows into the lack of motivation.
- Yes! Now we’ve finally got more librarians after being denied the money for them for years I’m not allowed to coast! I don’t mind the extra work though as is all interesting stuff, apart from endless checking of reading lists. I think when I was doing ALL the cataloguing & a lot of desk work etc. it meant no time for other projects. Now I do
- I’ve always been able to cope with even a quite busy workload, problem though is stress, even with light workload. The key I think is a strong vision and set of goals (i.e. plan) for the future, based on good information
- I don’t mind the workload as far I know it is worth it.
- I would say my workload has changed rather than increased and become more variable. previously had far more control over my work, now I’m handed it down in projects from on high, if they run out, tough. Hate it
2. What is your biggest challenge in managing your workload?
- Managing the day to day with the strategic, reacting vs planning & still managing not to burn out a big challenge
- Setting priorities
- Having to spend so much time on the desk as no library assistants & being constantly in meetings & sorting out technology!
- Everything concerning customers. They must always notice that everything is working right despite huge workloads. Have you ever noticed the face of users when they see the circulation desk so busy? Some of them even say: Sorry!! Some users even apologised to me/staff for making me/us work too much!! I was surprised to see users who are so polite or “compassive”: “Sorry for all the work I made you do!!”
- Saying no to ‘extra-curricular’ things. I’m doing a lot of fun projects but lately feeling I’ve taken on too much
- Agree on that. It seems extra things are more fun and inspiring. But you really need to concentrate on your work.
- I think it is important to split time management skills for work and extra curricular – I use different skills at work to at home
- Biggest challenge is carefully mapping out my workload – then that all going out the window when an urgent request comes in!
- Being able to set daily goals and seeing the point of what you are doing
- Balancing interesting professional work with routine tasks essential to keep library functioning
- Biggest challenge to managing workload is making sure that there is time to fit everything in, and that nothing gets missed
- Estimating the time that project tasks will take. I have a tendency to underestimate and end up taking on too much at once
- Sounds familliar, especially projects with large team, depends on pace of others & politics, can be much slower than think
- Access to resources. Don’t get right tools for the job because rest of organisation doesn’t get what we need/do
- Prioritising, knowing when to say “no” and the never ending stream of emails (gah!)
- When to say no is difficult for solo librarian as no can mean poor judgement on whole service so its tough to say but need to learn
- It’s not easy, but better to do a smaller number of things well than do lots of things half-arsed
- Remaining enthusiastic for all aspects of the role not just new exciting things & allocating time accordingly!
- Got to stage where I have lots of beneficial projects to work on but routine desk stuff gets in way (and too few others to do it)
- Getting important but not urgent stuff done e.g. strategic planning, important administration
- Biggest challenge can be keeping track of multiple deadlines for multiple projects and sometimes all the work to do at once
3. Do you use any particular tools or techniques for managing your workload?
- I did use TeuxDeux for lists but they’re going to start charging for it, have gone back to pen & paper lists for the time being!
- A boring one, but: Outlook! Outlook 2010 in particular has some great productivity features: I use the task scheduling heavily
- Outlook calendar and task manager. Shared calendar makes planning much easier!
- Outlook Calendar is work default, also Evernote, but really like best good old fashioned notebook & lists!!
- I find a good old fashioned written to-do list at my desk works wonders! Especially when combined with post-its. And gmail calendar is invaluable – especially when synced across devices etc.
- I seem to have taken to writing on my hand rather than on Post It’s lately – can’t misplace my hand!
- Worth scheduling important work into your Outlook calendar as “busy”, so you don’t get meeting requests, etc
- Or…even better mark it “private appointment” – you are then pretty much guaranteed uninterrupted time
- No such luxury here and big open plan office so people interrupt if they see you sitting there
- How do you cope with colleagues’ conversations? Do you ever ask them to stop so you can work? (No worries if can’t say.)
- Headphones & music
- I’m very old school (not in the music sense) and need silence to work. Perhaps earplugs
- I hate noise. It gets me totally distracted. I can’t do anything if it’s noisy and loudly
- I wish I could find a good solution for this. Sometimes I find myself being talkative.
- The check-lists always help to have a feeling that your job is moving on.
- Also, worth keeping a list of what you’ve done, as it helps remind you that you are actually achieving stuff
- Like that idea – rather than getting bogged down in what’s not done – occasionally add done tasks to to do just to tick off
- As much as I embrace technology, paper and pen still beckon at times
- I use Omnifocus for task management
- 30 years of reading around the topic == good understanding of the Western approach recently looked at GTD, it works well
- At work I use Outlook and pen and paper lists, for study and personal life I use Remember the Milk http://t.co/lkcaRRGG3Q
- John Adair on time management; Manage Your Mind,- Butler & Hope (ch. on self-management); GTD works well under stress
- I use to do list software in my personal life but Outlook folders & paper at work
- You can even use a management/ business planning approach – psychology essentially the same as for self-management
- I find sitting down at the end of the day and working out what I want to achieve the next day really useful
- Really like Moleskine (or similar) weekly planner. Diary one side, ruled on the other for my to do list
- I also have a sort of GTD system with one of those expanding folders that can chuck everything in & review weekly
- Librarians would get an opportunity to put their their skills to good use with GTD managing the repository (a key component)
- Not forgetting the original classic (would be shot if did) – Ivy’s list http://t.co/47VxjxjT5f, https://t.co/RGwtj6tORu
- My favourite tool for managing my workload is the word “no”. As I age, I’m getting ever better at using this tool
- I never say ‘no’ to one of my students, though. Ever. I always prioritise their needs
- I’d say main tools used are my email calendar, reminders in said calendar and sometimes paper calendars. Also planning on paper
- So much better at prioritising workload after many years – not about who shouts loudest
4. How can you prioritise tasks?
- Strategic priorities with big impact, can it be done quickly?, is it fun? (important to enjoy your job!)
- Current approach is writing list of 5 (manageable) things I need to achieve that day and focusing on those – not too overwhelming
- Use GTD quite heavily to prioritise e.g. Importance, energy, time available divided by context
- I usually go with the importance/urgency/effort grid!
- Prioritise the customer first, then management tasks, then jobs outside job description I’ve been told to do, then extracurriculars
- Prioritise by importance – also get done first things that can be done v quickly
- But by postponing things you can’t do very quickly you get a large pile of them
- Agree, but if can get things done that only take 1 or 2 minutes then they are out of way and concentrate on bigger things!
- I always love to do things I can do in a short period of time. But it is not always the best option. Sometimes you just have to do at least one long-term thing first
- Definitely – ranking in order of importance/urgency all the way
- Depends on my schedule. Certain things are non-changeable scheduled tasks, like desk duty and meetings
- I’d like to find some time to look at Axiology (not done so far yet – could do with a good library
- Mainly I look at work in terms of urgency (nearest deadlines) and importance. Some is unconscious or practised choices
5. What do you do when you are asked/told to do tasks that are not part of your job either as a one off or permanently?
- Depends what it is! If it fits with my skill set & I can add value, I’d say yes. If not, then I’d try to push back if possible
- Keep a list of those jobs, as they could be used as ammunition later on for getting regraded
- Usually go ahead and treat it as good experience as long as doesn’t prevent job being done too
- My job description says: do your direct job duties + everything your boss says to do
- Because highly competitive teams exchange roles in order to get the goals of the organisation. – you must be flexible
- Difficult depending on who asks…I try to say no unless I have a good reason
- Depends on if it can add value to overall Lib & info service, if its a way to draw people in
- Depends: is it reasonable; do existing workload/targets/deadlines allow space/time; what’s in it for you?
- Usually say we’re understaffed so can you get someone else? Funny but that never works. Must learn to just say no.
- Generally try to be helpful, but depends on task (complexity, competing priorities, time involved etc.)
- With one-off things it depends on the capacity I have and how disruptive it will be to other work also who’s asking. generally if I can help with brief one off things I will, specially if it’s educating colleagues in how to do stuff.
- It can however be difficult if for example – I’m supposed to get a formal project sheet for every project.. If a manager gives me a project with no project sheet I’m not supposed to do it. But you can’t argue with a manager. However it means you don’t know what the remit of the project is or if you really can afford the time.
- With permanent duties fortunately I have the get out clause I can only do projects handed to me these are by definition my duties
- Good and bad sides to getting a reputation for being helpful: Draw the line at things that are unrelated/another department’s issue
- I find I learn to steer clear of people who offload work (not always easy though)
- It’s not people offloading so much as students/staff targeting for assistance with simple things
- I have always done tasks not part of my job and would actively encourage others to do same – if you want to move up that is. And I’m grateful to those who offloaded on me rightly or wrongly back in the day (or were just incompetent)
- If the task is challenging, then it’s OK. But if it’s only something the others don’t want to do.
- Agreed, but it’s important not to be taken advantage of, esp if other colleagues are capable of doing the work too
- Not sure I agree – it depends if the being taken advantage of leads somewhere good – sells your skill and competence
- I usually try to be flexible. I’d rather do it and learn from the experience.
6 Are libraries likely to create a multi tasking work environment where the staff are requested to do many tasks at the same time?
- In my case, a big YES as I was requested to multi task many times!!
- The front desk usually is anyway, it is wise to do one thing at once
- Nature of job is multitasking – dealing with enquiries/helping users while getting on with longer tasks
- On issue desk (often mistaken for reception) you can guarantee being interrupted doing one thing for another
- Already feel like I multi task quite a bit, lots of varied things going on especially on help desk
- If you´re a solo librarian -as I am- you already multi task. Multi tasking on balance good as long as you are not spread too thin!
- The time runs faster when multitasking
- I absolutely agree with those who are saying the enquiry desk demands multitasking. You can’t answer questions linearly
- The trick is to realise that the interruptions are as or more important than the task you’re doing between them!
- I think by default most librarians do many tasks at the same time and more so as there is a squeeze on budgets and staffing
7 Would you appreciate training on managing your workload, or do you think it is a skill you are born with?
- I’ve attended time management courses, but they’ve never addressed service-led roles. Someone please offer one!
- Decision making I think is a worthwhile underpinning skill to time management – a lot written on it
- I think it’s a skill you develop over time and with practice, though courses can hel
- Think it’s trainable…Can learn a lot from things like this sharing tips & ideas too
- Both. I also believe the values/education at home, school are quite important: clean your mess, put things back…
- Can know how to manage work load but lack of similarly skilled staff or poor organisation structure can still negative impact workload
- The keyword would be ‘self-discipline’
- I think it’s something you learn by doing, but training could give helpful ideas if new to it or having difficulties.
- Having managed heaps of people my observation is that some people are naturals, others have needed telling what to do and when
- I need a training in not-to-do-things-perfectly. It would save my time a lot.
- That’s an incredibly valid point! We’re trained in precision, yet to complete all tasks we must let that go. Is hard!
- I think training in planning can help but really it’s about devising the tools that work for you – be it calendars electric or paper or using excel, filing systems, project charts etc
Q 8 : What is the best advice someone has ever given you on managing your workload?
- ”If you’re juggling too many balls, it’s OK to drop some of them”
- I was once told to make both a to do and a ta da (ta da! thing done!) list. It works wonders!
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Sometimes other people are our greatest tool!
- Prioritising the tasks is the key–Get rid of menial tasks very quickly
- That Dilbert cartoon with the speck representing your job comparable with planet earth. Helped with perspective
- SO true. When you have that perspective, deadlines suddenly feel less “dead” and more “line”. Then they’re moveable
- I think that the maxim is that it is the journey that counts (not so much the destination)
- I’d say the opposite: remember that it doesn’t matter how you get there, make sure you remember what you want to achieve
- Also: still make time to have breaks, important to look after yourself and not burn out! or then nothing gets done!
- Not sure anyone’s given me advice I remember, really it’s about practice, planning and keeping yourself organised.
- also remembering you can’t do everything and sometimes one has to say no. I rarely do though.
- I’d say not just getting rid of menial tasks but sometimes getting on with what can be done rather than what can’t
The chat on 10th July was all about conferences, events and networking. We discussed whether conferences are good value for money, good ways to feed back what we learn at events to our colleagues, and swapped tips on networking. Thanks as always to everyone who took part!
Q1: Which do you find most useful at conferences, networking or the speakers?
Twtpoll for this question: http://twtpoll.com/fllb0a
- @emmabettyhughes: A mix of both, speakers give you a starting point for conversation and discussion when networking
- @bumsonseats: @EmmaBettyHughes made a very good point. it’s a good thing to have something to start the conversation when networking
- @bumsonseats: If I had to decide between the two – the networking. but it very much depends on who the speakers are and what the topic is.
- @uklibchat: @bumsonseats do you think you would ever attend an event just to try and connect with someone you knew was attending?
- @bumsonseats: @uklibchat yes if I had been in touch with them before on twitter or something but not in a stalkerish kind of way I think it’s important that you know why you are attending.I can concentrate on networking & mates when I’m going in my own time…but when attending during work time I might have other priorities set by my employer. still trying to network loads though.
- @roogly: @uklibchat @bumsonseats would def attend if certain folk were going. It’s a way to connect with those more senior,get their take.
- @bumsonseats: @roogly would you attend and then find the person there (if you can) or get in touch beforehand?
- @roogly: @bumsonseats Depending, I’d probably try beforehand, although I find that approaching them at coffee at the event is just as good
- @RichardVeevers: Definitely the social aspect, meeting up with chums
- @SarahWolfenden: bit of both really, difficult to prove worth of going to a social even when valuable contacts are made.
- @uklibchat: @SarahWolfenden Very true, often those contacts won’t show their worth until a lot later on
- @LibWig: I think it depends on the conf/event – sometimes I have got a lot out of the people I’ve met
- @r_n12: I know we all love a network/chat but I find a good speaker/talk gives me more food for thought. But echoing @LibWig , v.much depends on the event – size,time,specialism,etc. I feel networking can sometimes be a bit daunting
- @Annie_Bob: Both are useful, I usually attend conferences for the speakers, but always get something out of networking. Even if presentations/speakers aren’t that great, having discussions & making connections with new people’s always good.
- @SaintEvelin: For me it’s a bit of both, but mainly for the networking. Always good to see people and exchange ideas
- @Rugabela: I like the fact of meeting new people and sharing experiences. You always find solutions to your problems!!! Or useful tips, ideas for your work… Conferences, Seminars… are not only an academic, professional events, they are also social events. Opp. to socialise
- @ces43: I get more out of the speakers since I’m quite shy. Networking scares me!
- @bluenettle: @ces43 A good speaker always helps with that one – something easy to start up a conversation about
- @ces43: @bluenettle True! (and so can a bad speaker!)
- @cahalboyd: speakers are great, but networking is the best work tool available!
- @uklibchat: is it worth making a distinction between networking for personal development, and speakers events for day to day work? too crass?
- @Annie_Bob: @uklibchat not sure about that, connections made at events often help in day to day stuff
- @SarahWolfenden: @uklibchat it’s not always clear cut.contacts help with day 2 day job & vice versa. Networking’s good but I attend for speakers
- @bumsonseats: conferences are more about speakers, unconferences have evolved for networking, I think.
- @adamm1988: At the moment, the speakers. As a young prof I’m not really sure how to start networking, so prefer watching presentations.
- @libchris: Find networking invaluable -make many useful contacts (make a point of trying to to talk to people don’t know)
- @LibraryatQUB: Speakers provide useful information but often it is the questions raised from the floor which can be most useful
Q2: Are conferences and events good value for your money? What’s the most you’ve paid?
- @libwig: I have been lucky with conf grants. In terms of evening events I have paid for, £15 is the highest, not sure would pay more. When have paid for eve events I would say they are good value for money – is expensive to run these things, so happy to pay a bit
- @SarahWolfenden: @LibWig me too, £15, plus travel is generally most I’ve paid. Travel can be a lot though.
- @SarahWolfenden: I try not to pay! I enter awards or help organise them and cross my fingers I’ll get in for free.
- @bumsonseats: it totally depends on the conference or event, the speakers, the outcomes, who paid. price that I’d pay depends on affordability as others have said. also on added costs like travel and accommodation
- @bluenettle: About £300, but that’s rare. It’s often a question of affordability rather than value for money – not always the same thing. In Oxford there are often free events; I feel lucky in that respect.
- @SaintEvelin: Been lucky w that: conferences I’ve paid for were student rate. When my NUS membership runs out it’ll be a different matter!
- @Rugabela: For events that are too expensive, I follow online instead
- @libwig: @rugabela That’s a good tip – especially as so many blog events thoroughly now
- @bumsonseats: @rugabela @uklibchat same here. so glad many events are now live-tweeted and blogged
- @Rugabela: @bumsonseats @uklibchat When I can’t go to events I try to get updated with e-mail lists, news bulletins, journals,social media. You can also find the proceedings published on paper
- @Annie_Bob: It depends on the event & how relevant it is, & how much I’ll have to spend on transport. I was lucky enough to win a place at the CDG conference last year, & have been to lots of good free/cheap events
- @bananamanreject: @Annie_Bob I really wanted to go to that this year but it was impossible to get to Birmingham for some reason!
- @libchris: @bananamanreject sometimes cheaper to go night before & stay in youth hostel than try and get there and back on train in a day
- @uklibchat: @Annie_Bob very true, for those outside of London/remotely transport can add a massive cost on
- @ces43: @Annie_Bob I agree. Transport costs are a big consideration
- @bananamanreject: @Annie_Bob I really wanted to go to that this year but it was impossible to get to Birmingham for some reason!
- @EmmaBettyHughes: mostly go 2 free events or been lucky w/grants,I think the most is £60 but luckily work pay,anymore than that and I’m not sure!
- @bananamanreject: I find I’m really keen to go to anything, but the speakers have to be relevant otherwise I’d feel an interloper!
- @uklibchat: @bananamanreject do you feel like to would get value from events in others sectors if you were to attend?
- @bananamanreject: @uklibchat Depends largely what its based on;I tend to be interested in everything so itslikely! Within reason of course!
- @rugabela: @uklibchat @bananamanreject Events related to cultural management & cultural promotion, new technologies are good for us
- @bumsonseats: @uklibchat @bananamanreject I think you can get very useful contacts when branching out into othersector events, e.g. #learnpod12
- @bananamanreject: @uklibchat I suppose one tricky thing is finding these conferences- as I’m new I’m still getting to grips with the best sites!
- @libwig: @bananamanreject Twitter is great for that in seeing upcoming events that are being talked about, and the JISC mailing lists
- @LISresearch: @bananamanreject @uklibchat We list conference listings web sites at http://t.co/8DFN7U8a
- @ces43: Yes and no, depends on price and who’s paying! I fund most myself and so some things out of my budget. Happens to a lot of people.
- @Annie_Bob: I’d much rather go to lots of smaller cheap events during a year than one big conference that costs hundreds of pounds
- @theatregrad: Agreed! RT “@Annie_Bob: I’d much rather go to lots of smaller cheap events during a year than one big conference that costs hundreds of pounds”
- @_kimguin: they work for me, but luckily i have an understanding boss! Thinking of applying for more sponsorships though.
- @theatregrad: I’ve been lucky with conferences so far, not paid for big ones (BIALL etc) thanks to bursaries and sponsorship.
- @Rugabela: I have always been to free events. There’re many free events in my country but there’re also fees for some of them.
- @RichardVeevers: Saw a recent conference where, to hear Ed Vaizey speak, the cost was over £500
- @Annie_Bob: @richardveevers while many would pay much more *not* to have to listen to Vaizey
- @calire: @richardveevers Think mostly chief librarians went to that one.
- @PennyB: I’ve been to everything of interest I could attend for free and travel to cheaply. But have never just passively consumed
- @uklibchat: I think what we haven’t addressed is the value part of the question – has any one paid for expensive events and felt it worth it?
- @roogly: sometimes a 2 day pricier conference represents better value. Will More choice of workshops, a range of plenary speakers
- @libchris: Very hard to guess from info before event how valuable it will be- depends on speakers and how accurately they ‘sell’ themselves
- @bumsonseats: I’ve been to expensive events that work has paid for – I think you can make everything work for you, so try and get the worth!
- @cjclib: I got bursary to go to ALA but still paid about £700 myself as bursary only covered plane + hotel. Worth it #onceinlifetime
- @xmacex: that is a very good question. Frankly i feel almost all value of conferences has come to me personally, not to my org. I think the event organisers should think, design and also say out loud if an event is for librarians or for libraries
- @hazelh: Hints for getting to confs free of charge – serve on committee, volunteer to help on day, apply for bursary…& in later career you find you get invited to speak, so expenses are paid (Responsibility also shifts to mentoring others)
- @libchris: Worth applying for free places – often have few applicants – went to my first conference that way
- @niamhpage: If you’re a CILIP member in the East of England you can apply to branch for funding for events http://t.co/d5cL6Ldd
- @roogly: Also, I think local group/branch events have great opportunity to plug the gaps expensive conferences can leave.
- @bananamanreject: @roogly I’m pleased there seems to be more in the North than I expected!
- @Annie_Bob: @bananamanreject I’ve heard of a fair amount of stuff going on in Leeds and York, @LIKEnorth for example
Q3: What is your no.1 top tip for networking?
- @bluenettle: Share your own relevant experiences with people, good and bad. And smile while doing it! Don’t worry about feeling shy; there are always other people feeling the same.
- @libchris: Don’t just talk to people you know. Also sit next to someone you don’t know – much easier to strike up conversation than having to approach someone over coffee
- @SaintEvelin: I’m quite shy and pathetic, paticularly at the start. Gravitate to someone I know at first, and build from that. Best tip for networking: go to the pub afterwards!
- @uklibchat: @SaintEvelin I think that is a good tip – helps to build confidence and go from there. It is important to be yourself
- @r_n12: @SaintEvelin Networking in pub = my type of networking..more informal & spontaneous – don’t necessarily feel obliged to talk ‘shop’. Also find networking is most fruitful through serendipitous occasions – try too hard and it becomes forced and sales-like.
- @rugabela: @SaintEvelin @uklibchat I don’t make any plans beforehand, I let things happen!!!
- @libchris: @rugabela Think just letting it happen is fine if you are confident – I found I needed to push myself to network to start with
- @rugabela: @libchris Well, there are always opp. to improve our social skills
- @bumsonseats: have a target, e.g. how many new contacts you want to make, certain people you want to talk to, what to find out
- @SarahWolfenden: smile and use food, clothing, speaker to start conversation. Don’t wait for people to come to you
- @bluenettle: Many a conversation has been started over the food! Probably the most important function of the sandwich buffet…
- @bananamanreject: I don’t know anyone yet & would be attending alone so it’s good to know random conversation is encouraged!
- @ces43: Just be yourself!
- @roogly: attend a workshop, get talking and find your common areas of interest, then continue the chat when you leave the workshop
- @cahalboyd: tips for networking: conferences, and Twitter!! I also like to visit random libraries and chat to the staff!!
- @SarahWolfenden: say hello to the person sat on there own looking nervous – that was once you
- @libwig: @SarahWolfenden and we’re such a friendly profession, no one is scary!
- @EmmaBettyHughes: put a call out prior to event on twitter, I’m going to HLG 2morrow+ already have plans to meet up with others (not met before!)
- @SarahWolfenden: @EmmaBettyHughes this is a good tip. Did this at library camp and dinner with lovely people I’d not met.
- @libchris: Agreed twitter is great – feel you know someone even if only lurked in the background on twitter – even better if you contribute
- @cjclib: thinking abt it, Twitter allows me to get a lot more out of conferences/events: pre-meeting ppl, making + sustaining contacts etc
- @bananamanreject: Good old twitter! Need to sort my profile pic out though so I don’t have to dress like an egg at events. Although maybe dressing like an egg would be a good icebreaker too…
- @SaintEvelin: @PalelyLaura had a great teapot handbag at NPC last year as an icebreaker
- @deadlylibrarian: @SaintEvelin and @theatregrad wears amazing mustard tights & cardigan combo, that’ an ice-breaker!
- @bumsonseats: Go to a library camp and practise
- @bananamanreject: @bumsonseats Have you been to one before? I’m intrigued by what I’ve heard, are they really worth going to?
- @bumsonseats: @bananamanreject ooooh they are fab fab fab!! talk to me and @richardveevers #libcampuk12
- @calire: @bananamanreject @bumsonseats Went to one at the weekend. They are brilliant.
- @bumsonseats: hey @bananamanreject and others: more info about library camps: http://t.co/mapqCRK7
- @HelenKielt: Be open and don’t dismiss any opportunity, also don’t talk shop all the time, nobody likes a work bore!
Q4: Have you ever taken part at an event as a speaker, or as an active participant (e.g giving your opinion, leaving comments)?
- @bananamanreject: I’ve delivered a thing on the importance of research skills for teaching staff at an internal HE Conf. Loved it! I find the whole thing terrifying but so exhilarating afterwards! Then obsess over what could be improved, but enjoy it anyway!
- @libwig: I spoke at the CILIP new professionals conference last year, and it was fantastic, really enjoyed it.
- @SarahWolfenden: only presented at small events never at anything big
- @Rugabela: It’s wonderful when there’s a “hot topic”, everyone gets on talking!!!
- @pennyb: Have never not been active – led two #libcampls sessions, usually comment IRL, tweet (not just summaries) and blog
- @ces43:I presented a poster at a conf. + found it was a great way to break the ice and meet people in low pressure way. No way I could present anything formal – have zero confidence for that
- @roogly: @ces43 try presenting with someone else as a double act at first. This can also be great for participatory workshops! Plus also remember that when your session gets selected its for a reason – its good enough to be included and so are you!
- @ces43: @roogly Am working up to it. One of my Chartership goals – gulp!
- @uklibchat: Us at #uklibchat can answer Q4 – we hosted a library camp session last year – we all enjoyed it
- @bumsonseats: I have led session at various conferences & unconferences and try to participate as much as poss. Some speakers dont like that
- @EmmaBettyHughes: never done public speaking before but might be for a small local group soon! #nervous
- @roogly: First workshop session at this year’s BLA conference remotely via Twitter. It was a nice introduction to workshops!
- @libchris: Very briefly at a teachmeet. Scared of public speaking – going to Toastmasters http://t.co/g4vf1PHO to overcome this
- @pennyb: Events with active Twitter backchannels allow those lower in the hierarchy to really take part and be heard
- @Annie_Bob: @pennyb very true, and you can find out beforehand who’s going and get to know them a bit before the event!
- @richardveevers: Spoke at Lancs Libraries annual conference. Loved it:) Told bosses “We are buttering our heads” #wasntaskedback
- @deadlylibrarian: I found it less terrifying to participate at library camp-think i responded well to relaxed unconference atmosphere
- @SaintEvelin: Participated in libcamp sessions but not led yet. Hope to one day, and keep looking out for a call for papers made for me
- @Annie_Bob: I’ve not presented at anything, think I do better in behind-the-scenes organising roles
- @roogly: @Annie_Bob I was thrown into chairing conf last year but found that having experienced team around was the key.Loved it in the end!
- @Annie_Bob: @roogly I’d be happy to present something as part of a duo/group, having friendly backup certainly helps!
- @roogly: @Annie_Bob yes,was great for me as a rank beginner! Pick someone who’s a confident/experienced speaker and get hints from them!
- @libchris: Trouble is I get lost for words in stressful situations – have visions of me – microphone in hand, rendered speechless !!
- @SarahWolfenden: how could I forget – I did a session at library camp – def recommend that. Only a bit scary.
- @AgentK23: Yes I have! Bton LIbteachmeet #ldnlibtm #NPC2011 and on Thursday #arclib12 + #acelibraries workshop on future of libraries
- @bananamanreject: Inviting questions &getting stony faces for a minute was the most nervewracking thing-some piped up to save me though!
- @shedsue: I like unconferences cos the participants set the agenda and you can lead a workshop rather than trad presentation
- @uklibchat: @shedsue we here at #uklibchat really enjoyed the unconference format too, relaxed, and learned a lot.
- @richardveevers: FWIW Librarians on the whole tend to be reticent about coming forward to speak, this is a major issue for libraries
Q5: Do you have unforgettable memories of a certain event you’ve previously been to?
- @Annie_Bob: who could forget all that cake at Library Camp?!
- @bananamanreject: @Annie_Bob Well that’s me signing up then..!
- @RichardVeevers: Library Camp UK11 the whole thing, my family and friends had to gag me to get me to stop talking about it #stillhavent
- @libchris: #libcamp11 has to be up there as one of the best – relaxed, free, inspiring, just for me …. and of course the cake
- @bumsonseats: every library camp I have attended: met great people, a weasel and got my enthusiasm renewed
- @AgentK23: q.5 all the cakes at #libcampuk11 and the buzz of the whole place (sugar high!)
- @bananamanreject: Well I’m pretty sure I’ll be heading to a Library Camp thanks to all this enthusiasm!Sounds like a good way to break in to things
- @calire: LibCamp11 of course. Plus #cilip PPRG conference years ago. My first, had no idea librarians drank so much. Was a lot of fun.
- @rugabela: A split between professionals on school libraries.They couldn’t agree on the professional profile for school libraries
- @xmacex: I shouldn’t mention (since i organised it), but one (un)conference is totally unforgettable to me: Cycling for libraries. #cyc4lib
- @roogly: the Libraries Change Lives Awards. Always memorable, humbling, even tearful moment, people do such great things through libraries
- @xmacex: #ifla2010 in Göteborg was an eyeopener, though smaller one are better contentwise. i have been to too many, i feel sometimes Good ones are hard to come across. Our #NordicLabs-events are special.
- @libwig @xmacex What structure do they take? are they are particular sector? What makes them special?
- @xmacex: @LibWig unformal, basically powerpoint free. They are also small (20-40 ppl), and lot’s of same ppl. it feels like a continuum… feels like this group exists also between the events themselves.#NordicLabs
Q6: Do you go to events alone or in company with other professionals?
- @libwig: I’ve never been to an event with others intentionally, but have always known others who are also going
- @libchris: If work is paying tend to go with my boss – the ones I go to for my own CPD go alone – but often meet up with people I know. With events go to with boss – deliberately go to diff workshops then swap notes – get twice the value that way
- @rugabela: Sometimes alone, sometimes with other professionals. It depends on the occasion, interests of others…
- @bumsonseats: again, depends on the event. at most events I know someone now
- @shedsue: happy to do both
- @roogly: first time went with colleagues. Becomes easier to go alone later, you start to recognise friends and contacts!
- @Annie_Bob: I’m quite happy to go to things by myself, usually turns out that I know at least a few people though
- @SaintEvelin: I’ve always gone on my own but always known others there. Think I’d be a bit scared if I knew I’d be the only one there I knew, but as time goes on it becomes unlikely that I’ll not know anyone there anyway.
- @deadlylibrarian: am usually alone, which i think forces you out of ur comfort zone so ur not alone all day
- @xmacex: alone almost always, but typically there is ppl i know. Organizations should facilitate the delegations i think.
- @calire: Usually go on my own, but know more people now, mostly thanks to Twitter.
- @bluenettle: Nearly always alone – for financial reasons, for staffing reasons, for the fact that I might be the only one interested…
Q7: Do you go to any events outside of your own sector?
- @shedsue: YES! Social media cafes, wish I was going to #localgovcamp this saturday but working. Really important to go to non library events for connections, advocacy, getting ‘experts’ to help you and loads more reasons..
- @bumsonseats: yes and it’s very important to do so, for all the reasons @shedsue mentions. and connections.
- @calire: Am going to a general public sector one in Sept & a smaller Local Gov one on Friday. Have been to local Social Media Cafes too. Have also been to #LikeMinds. Think it’s a good idea to go out of sector. Often people are surprised to see librarians.
- @shedsue: Yes what @calire says is v true. I like to destroy their librarian-y stereotypes!
- @rugabela: I’ve gone to some events out the sector. Some of them were in trainee programmes,others were offering a value asset, for example,events about New Technologies & Cultural Management offer additional knowledge & help improve some skills. I’ve recently been at a seminar on funding in cultural institutions. Understood the reasons for many things.
- @theatregrad: I suppose I do! But then there aren’t events focused on my specific sector so I have to learn from elsewhere. But currently find things in work time hard to justify as not always directly related to commerical media archive work. As for non library stuff – I’ve been to a museums conference and also investigating possible media/tv events to go to
- @libchris: Would if thought relevant. However even within sector great variations
- @roogly: no but a good idea. We need to widen horizons, connect with groups that we can work with and show what we can offer them
- @Annie_Bob: I’ve been to a few LIKE events which have a good mix of people from lots of sectors, find that fascinating. But never been to any conferences that have been totally out of the library/information sector
- @EmmaBettyHughes: been to a social media in business event, it was quite broad and v.commercial (I work for a charity) but took stuff from it
- @r_n12: No (difficult to justify time off work, spend), but in theory would like to, for career shift exploration – any tips?
- @libchris: @r_n12 Look up your local CDG division – often organise visits to different libraries
- @bluenettle: Never have done but #uklibchat is making me consider it! Interested to hear what other sectors people think are relevant.
- @SaintEvelin: Haven’t but not by design. Think it’s important to get ideas from outside own area.
- @xmacex: Have you tried #twitterlunch? It’s bound to be fun
- @pennyb: I found @bcswomen Lovelace confs brilliant, want to keep in touch with tech/women in computing as much as library-specific events
Q8: What’s the best conference you’ve ever attended and why?
- @daveyp: I’m a big fan of Internet Librarian International, as the networking is really good If you ever get the chance, ALA is ace
- @uklibchat: @daveyp Did you cope ok with the scale of ALA?
- @daveyp: @uklibchat ALA is *totally* overwhelming (~25,000 people) but everyone is incredibly friendly, and they have introductory sessions for 1st time attendees and also for international delegates
- @kcquaye: @uklibchat I’ve only ever attended ALA conferences and find the scale overwhelming. Would probably do better at smaller events.
- @libchris: @daveyp Does your institution pay for you to attend?
- @daveyp: @libchris Sadly not – I’m on a library product advisory board that meets just before ALA and I’ve paid myself to stay on for ALA
- @libchris: Shame Finding now harder to get work to fund events – used to have training budget, now boss has to justify each event
- @libwig: BIALL this yr was great as my first sector specific conf, I enjoyed presenting at New Profs lst yr, but #sla2011 trumped them all
- @xmacex: 50 year jubilee conference for Finnish public music libraries was awesome a few years ago. Speakers were nonlibrarians, plus there was massive singing
- @hazelh: Funny that I can’t think of the best conf I have aever attended, but have vivid memories of the worst!
- @deadlylibrarian: i enjoyed the new prof day last year, was nice to meet other newbies, great intro to profession
- @SaintEvelin: @deadlylibrarian Yes, the NPC was a great way of getting people like me involved. Very worthwhile.
- @Rugabela: Difficult to choose, I’ve enjoyed all of them & learnt a lot. Gave me hints, tips, useful inf.
- @bumsonseats: Europe Direct Information Network AGM in Antwerp a couple of years ago – fab venue, made great connections, good workshops. Best unconference: #libcampuk11 of course
- @shedsue: LibraryCamp 2011! The buzz, people, just aces. Mashed Libraries v good too – learn loads. Dream of #cyclingforlibraries
- @SaintEvelin: Sitting outside and sharing ideas and cheesesticks with passing wildlife at #libcampls was pretty amazing.
- @libclare: Best conf ever attended was my first – in rural S Australia. Can’t decide whether it was *because* it was the 1st, or content
- @theatregrad: the CDG new profs conference in Sheffield when I was a trainee really sparked ideas for me. Inspired me a lot!
- @daveyp: Don’t forget the various library unconferences — often low cost and full of really cool people #mashlib #librarycamp
- @libclare: Really sad that SLA aren’t running a virtual conference this year – it has been the only way I can attend, good fun and friendly. Contrary to expectation it is possible to network at virtual events – SLA used Virtual U and it worked for me. I blogged it: “The great thing about the virtual conference is that you can do cartwheels in a mini-skirt” http://t.co/fZtj5Mqa
Q9: How do you feed back what you have learned to your team?
- @bumsonseats: yes whether they want to know or not I email my notes or link to blog
- @roogly: we are supposed to feed back as a matter of course. Its good:forces you to reflect while still fresh in the mind, get things down
- @EmmaBettyHughes: usually email and link to websites/resources previously unheard of. also discuss in catch up meetings
- @bluenettle: Usually give a short verbal report. But might write a paper for them to read if I thought it would be particularly useful
- @libwig: I write up my notes to pass around the team, and also feed back verbally at team meetings
- @Annie_Bob: I usually tell them what I found most useful, occasionally have written up a report, but usually I blog about events anyway
- @shedsue: send link to pinboard rss feed with all the blog posts and tweets
- @libchris: Varies – often give verbal report- sometime type up notes with links – sometime a blog post
- @ellyob: I write up for my own benefit (will share with team) and feed back at team meeting – disseminates learning.
Q10: Do you need to convince your organisation to let you attend? Or are they willing to send you?
- @Rugabela: In my case, it was the second one. Specially when I was a trainee at The Ministry of Culture in Spain. Also the Univ. It depends on the way of thinking of your employer. The more involved in culture & solutions, the more open-minded
- @libchris: Mostly happy to let me have time off – If directly relevant to post will pay, if not too expensive that is !!!
- @shedsue: Have to do a business case for trad confs midweek but don’t need to ask if they are on a weekend…
- @xmacex: I’m not sure any of my organizations has ever even suggested me attending and it’s always a struggle
- @bluenettle: Working in small library it’s really a joint decision making process. I wouldn’t raise it if I knew it was too expensive. Only real barriers are cost and staffing issues
- @libchris: @bluenettle Very true – work in small library,have to negotiate with others for time off can’t always get to events would like to
- @deadlylibrarian: my employer is really generous with staff development costs- not had a request refused yet
- @AgentK23: budgets for training have been cut, so as an info assistant i don’t opps. However they’re good for letting me swap dates for things
- @liz_jolly: most organisations are willing to support staff where possible. We all have shrinking budgets and less people, so really need to demonstrate benefits of staff dev. to our boards/ authorities even where obvious to us. Difficult balance.
- @ellyob: we have a form where we give expected learning outcomes etc of attendance – make a good business case for attending.
Q11: Do you think that online CPD (e.g uklibchat, 23 things) is respected in your organisation in the way a conference would be?
- @libwig: think in terms of generating ideas to bring to work, online is accepted – for best practice examples confs are preferred
- @EmmaBettyHughes: probably not – although I was encouraged to do cpd23 I don’t think it’s given the same value, though you learn just as much
- @libchris: was first time – allowed time to complete the cam23 things – however follow on ones have had to make own time (or not!!!)
- @kcquaye: I’m based in the US so almost certainly not. I’m also doing chartership & this won’t be recognised here either
- @libchris: @kcquaye Presumably there is a US equivalent?
- @kcquaye: @libchris Equivalent of chartership? Not that I know of.
- @SHelmick: @libchris @kcquaye I believe we only have certification levels through our State Libraries. CILIP looks great, wish we had it.
- @shedsue: not sure senior managers get it. Maybe need some explanation….
- @adamm1988: There still seems to be a massive divide over people’s feelings on what value social media can bring. Some still cannot stand it.
- @bluenettle: My library is heavily involved in social media, so I think colleagues are forward thinking enough to see it as real CPD
- @deadlylibrarian: ppl always ask about 23things if i mention it in job interviews, but dnt think they realise how useful it can be
- @Annie_Bob: My colleagues did some of #cam23 the 1st time, & recommended it to me, partly what lead to me suggesting #cam23 2.0
- @ellyob: Twitter convos are out of hours so not of as much importance/relevance to my employer. My organisation would respect online learning, e.g. we can do database webinars within work hours.
- @AgentK23: work people thought it was cool when they saw #uklibchat mentioned in cilipupdate! I’m a part of it so do my best to promote it. I know Tavistock LIbrary encouraged all staff members to take part in #CPD23
Q12: Do you find events/conference sessions on technology/library issues or on ‘generic’ skills like marketing or communication more useful?
- @ellyob: generic skills are useful, but handy if they are run by LIS people so they’re contextualised. I went to MashedOopNorth a few years ago, made contacts in tech roles (then a skills gap) followed on Twitter to find out more
- @libchris: Either – depends what most in need of at time. I do like sessions that give practical advice on whatever subject rather than just a long “we did this” monologue
- @rugabela: I think they are useful because they can give you some tips & ideas about management/cultural promotion
- @EmmaBettyHughes: as I’m still fairly early in my LIS career, tech/library issue related events are useful for me
- @SaintEvelin: I’m always keen to get some practical insight. My uni studies were so heavily theoretical that it’s good to get hands dirty.
- @AgentK23: I remember the #ldnlibtm event everyone was interested in Alison Chojna presentation on running skills days. v practical
- @bluenettle: I prefer conferences focused on a particular library issue e.g. conservation, cataloguing practices, social media for libs. Any good presentation should give the broad picture before getting into the nitty gritty
- @uklibchat: A mix is perhaps always good – broad ideas put things in context and tech keeps those sector specific skills up to date
- @shedsue: all useful if workshop leader/presenter is good and you learn stuff I find
- @r_n12: I agree w. @shedsue – totally depends on quality of speaker and approach – always go in with open mind and never restrict options
- @ellyob: advantage of LIS facilitated courses on generic skills eg marketing is you share sector-specific best practice. Useful to attend technical forums = understand what colleagues do, a little knowledge goes a long way when communicating etc
- @roogly: all have merits but lately,marketing/comms are what I find I need more in my role.There’s plenty of choice out there!
- @liz_jolly: if managing becomes part of your role then events with a more broad focus can be useful as well as those with practical tips
- @ellyob: be creative – eg I don’t have management in current role, so doing proj management to get transferrable skills
- @AgentK23: okay have to mention that for #likeideas the presentations that were 99% text on screens, were hard to sit through
Side conversation about swapping sessions partway through:
- @daveyp: tip: at a multi track conference, worth sitting near back or row end – if you don’t find the session useful, go to a diff session
- @libchris: @daveyp Never quite been brave enough to walk out of an uninspiring session !!
- @uklibchat: @libchris @daveyp That seems to be an American thing – very acceptable there
- @daveyp: @libchris @uklibchat Yep — very common at ALA for people to come in late or leave at any point & speakers are OK with that
- @libchris: @uklibchat @daveyp – suppose I feel it implies a bad speaker, when often is just have misunderstood how relevant session will be
- @Annie_Bob: @uklibchat @libchris @daveyp yes, I’d feel walking out is a direct insult to the speaker, so would have to be truly dreadful!
- @roogly: @daveyp @libchris #uklibchat agree, never be afraid to leave a session…don”t have to make a big deal and you need to maximise experience!
- @daveyp: @Annie_Bob @uklibchat @libchris For all the speaker knows, you could be nipping to the loo! Plus, if they’re a bad speaker …
- @r_n12: @daveyp Yes – wish I’d done this in one or two occs that spring to mind..Find that some sess’s weren’t quite described properly..
#uklibchat held its first Twitter chat this time last year! To celebrate we’re have a few words from some of the team that brings these chat sessions to you!
Happy #uklibchat day! Hope you’re all well. Just wanted to say what a fab year it’s been, and thank you so much for being such supportive team mates :D.
I’ll spare you all my art skills (they’re pretty rotten) but it’s been a real pleasure working with you all. It’s been exciting to see everyone’s professional development, and an honour to get to know you better personally. Thanks to your help and hard work, #uklibchat has grown into a vibrant part of the LIS online landscape. So, congratulations everyone! Here’s a picture from Flickr in lieu of a birthday cake: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cupcakeenvy/6078214220/
I’ve taken part in #uklibchat regularly over the past year, and have recently joined the team and started helping to run the sessions. As a library school student, I find it really helpful to get involved in discussions with professionals with more experience, and those from other sectors. It’s fantastic how established #uklibchat has become in such a short space of time, even being named one of the ‘essential Twitter chats for the library crowd‘ by the Online Education Database last month.
Happy birthday #uklibchat, here’s to the next year!Annie (@annie_bob)
Happy Birthday #uklibchat!
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the #uklibchat team, past and present, for all the hard work that has been put in to keep #uklibchat running! I’d also like to thank all the people who take part in #uklibchat! Without you, giving us topic discuss and questions to ask, without you giving your time to participate in the Twitter sessions, and spreading the word, we wouldn’t be here now a year on! So
When we first formed #UKLibChat after the CILIP New Professionals Conference in 2011, it seemed a rather daunting task. Setting up the required documents, circulating promotional materials and setting up the website could have all seemed like a lot of effort just to create a bit of discussion. Of course, #UKLibChat isn’t just a discussion, it is a way to tackle issues, share ideas, and develop as a professional, so thank you to those who have taken part and helped us to make it work. Here’s to the future!Sam (@LibWig)
Things have changed a lot for me in the past year professionally and #UKLibChat has too! We’ve really grown in terms of the number of people we’re reaching and we’ve got some exciting new developments planned for the next couple of months.
I think the great thing about #UKLibChat is how inclusive it is: you don’t have to have loads of followers on Twitter or have a particular position at work – anyone can join in. For me, it’s been a fab way of staying in touch with library issues on Twitter despite not really being able to access it during the daytime.
I’d also like to take this opportunity to publicly thank all the rest of the team members – but particularly Ka-Ming (@agentk23), who’s the one who’s really kept the #UkLibChat show on the road.
#uklibchat was an exciting project that came out of discussions at New Professionals Conference 2011. Myself and Ka Ming were both very interested in engaging with the library community somehow, but we’d found it difficult to make very many contacts. An American twitter event called #libchat sounded really interesting, but as it was held at 2 AM UK time, it really wasn’t feasible to go. The conference turned out to be a really great way to make build contacts, and #uklibchat was a way to expand on this. It’s great that librarians and people in training have a place to make new contacts and share ideas. And its really great that there are so many other groups who’ve taken up the general idea. I was especially excited to learn recently that an Irish Lib Chat has been started.
Thanks to the people who’ve organised these events, and to those who’ve taken part. Happy birthday #uklibchatJoseph (@dreaming_entity)
To round things off, let’s have a picture of the team from last year’s LibCampUK11. If everything falls into place, we will be there for LibCampUK12 too! <3
We hope you’ll continue to join us at #uklibchat!
Annie hosted her first official UKLibChat Session on the topic of Library Spaces and Space Management, and it was an active one! Participants came from a smörgåsbord of sectors, including: public, school, higher education, further education, charity, medical, remote and corporate libraries.
The session touched on issues like how to manage quiet spaces, how to engage users in space design, and some example of innovative space use.
To find out more about user involvement, traffic light systems, and where exactly that rich tea biscuit got jammed, check out our #UKLibChat Summary on Storify
Storify is our new way of delivering summaries of the chats. Please tell us what you think in the comments here, or @uklibchat.
We’re also currently running a user survey, and it was help us a lot to get your feedback! To fill it in please click here
In the second part of our series, #UKLibChat will be on Twitter to discuss careers on Tuesday 15th May at 6.30-8.30pm.
The agenda can be viewed here. Please feel free to add to it.
To inspire you, here are the presentations about careers from CILIP’s New Professionals’ Day on Friday 11th May.
We look forward to reading your questions and responses!
Our Twitter discussion on CPD was most lively , and Latvian librarians were quite well represented! It’s great to know that UKLibChat has a bit of a global presence. Please let us know if you are visiting us from another country!
Below is a summary of the discussion. (Although summary is a misnomer).
Note: some of the points below are verbatim, but some have been reworded.
Q1. How much time should you (or do you spend on CPD?) How do you find the time?
- Don’t think there should be a set amount of time you should be doing, will be different from person to person. (@annie_bob) . @NicolaFranklin agrees, and thinks the important thing is to record it, so it can be added to CV.
- Gets 1 hour a week for personal development from manager, which can be saved up and used for visits/events/seminars (@arawnc)
- Did CPD23 and enjoyed it, thought it was useful (@ellia_s, @santtuc, @daceudre)
- Didn’t have the time to finish CPD23 (@agentk23)
- Usually spends a couple of hours in the mornings or evenings. Sometimes a whole day. Feels that she should be more strict on time spent for CPD, e-mails and other activities (@daceudre)
- Doesn’t get time to do any CPD during work hours, as always on service desk (@library-quine)
- Academic library very good at providing training, such as literature search forums, and presentations e-resources. Open to all library staff and gives a real taster of what the different departments do (@agentk23)
- Did CPD23 in several inspiration hits, couldn’t squeeze it into a regular weekly schedule (@santtuc)
- One shouldn’t do every single activity at the same time >> Don’t mix CPD with work time (@daceudre)
- Use a mixture of diary shuffling and own time. I’m on an academic contract so much engage in professional scholarly activity (@jewebbery)
- “It seems all my life is CPD” (@daceudre)
- “I think it should be more when starting out but it varies. I think I do too much (about 300hours pa)” Rarely do CPD in work time, but lots of evening things in London (@tinamreynolds)
- As a new professional I feel CPD has taken over the last 3 years, Chartership and now PTLLS (Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector), but can be a small thing like a visit (@hannahrbennet)
- Greatest tool for the purpose [of keeping up with relevant info for CPD?] is Google Reader. “Seemingly innocent yet I find it extremely effective” (@santtuc)
- Time varies, yearly plan (rough one), opportunities come up and reading, etc… some in paid time and a lot in own too. (@davidclover)
What counts as CPD?
- CPD can be defined as discussions and conversations, reflections as well as more structured events or training (@liz_jolly)
- Anything that helps keep up to date with issues, learn new things, gain experiences (including use of twitter!) (@nicolafranklin)
- If blogs counts, then I spend a lot of time on CPD, not sure where line is between personal and professional though! (@annie_bob)
- Reading useful articles on blogs, doing CPD23, finding answers to Q like how to do this and this, building PLN (personal learning network) (@daceudre)
- Communication with other professionals can be time consuming and it’s CPD as well. (@daceudre)
- Keeping up with LIS literature may be something that is important for information professionals, perusing the relevant journals etc (@arawnc)
- Seminars on topics of interest and reading journals and speaking on here [#UKLibChat] etc etc (@tinamreynolds)
- People will do CPD even without knowing that is what it is called. It’s about improving your knowledge (@agentk23)
Q2. Do you think professional bodies should have compulsory CPD requirements?
- Believes it would benefit is [information service?] and the community that we serve (@liz_jolly)
- Don’t think there such a structured CPD tradition in Latvia as in UK libraries. All the courses are mainly on-site? (@daceudre)
- A “professional” should be a self-starter willing to use any opportunity to develop. Not rely on workplace or professional body. Doesn’t think that a professional should beed to be told that they should develop through career (@neal_buchanan)
- CPD should be compulsory. It’s a core element of being a professional (@jwebbery) @Tinamreynolds agrees “how can we be taken seriously by our users if we’re not held to same standards”
- Agree about CPD being compulsory. “You’d be surprised how many CVs show no CPD since library degree 10 or even 20 years ago…” (@nicolafranklin)
- Found @Tinamreynolds blog on post o n this to be interesting. It’s a good idea but would need to be clear guidelines on what counts.
Link: http://t.co/w1j6pU0H (@annie_bob)
- Usually for professional bodies it means needing to log certain amount of CPD to retain chartership/registration/accreditation (@nicolafranklin)
- Had heard possibility of yearly revalidation – a little and often approach (@library_quine)
- “is really important to keep on updating professional knowledge and skills and to show others that we do – the C part of CPD!” (@liz_jolly)
- If CPD becomes something obligatory, I won’t find it so much fun and easygoing. I like to explore! CPD23 was something like obligatory reading. But I liked that it wasn’t as formal as studies at university. A too formal structure is “putting yourself in a frame and it is harder to see what is over the fence”(@daceudre)
- Perhaps a min amount if you want to remain chartered (etc) and more for those who want to explore further? (@nicolafranklin)
- Via @orangeaurachs: “professional” and “professionalism” are the deckchairs upon which librarians sit.
- It should be compulsory but with easier evidence requirements (perhaps annual instead of every three years for validation)(@davidclover). @Tinamreynolds concurred.
- CPD can be on whatever you fancy/need just so long as you do something
- I can see my employer recognising the [CPD23??] certificate; I don’t see them recognizing tweeting. (@santtuc) @liz_jolly stated it depended on what was being tweeted and @tinamreynolds believes that joining something like #UKLibChat should count towards CPD!
Side question. Name your top journal for LIS CPD (could also be specific blog or website), what do you visit the most?
- SCONAL Focus is great.. not overly formal, but still a real journal. A bit quirky in a British way too, I think. (@arawnc)
- @educause website is fantastic! Lots of thought-provoking stuff on technology in HE including
- “has anyone tried G+ thematic circles as “news source”?! I stumbled upon sveral today and it’s a cool seriated news feed (@santtuc)
Q.3 Name 3-5 things one should do to build a good Personal Learning Network (PLN)
Wiki explanation: A PLN is an informal learning network that consists of the people a learner interacts with and derives knowledge from in a personal learning environment. In a PLN, a person makes a connection with another person with the specific intent that some type of learning will occur because of that connection.
- Go to events, join LinkedIn, get business cards (@tinamreynolds)
- Be active, ask questions, be interesting and useful to others, network, participate in informal conferences/seminars. (@daceudre). @lizjolly agreed “we can do this in any medium!”
- “Thanks to #cyc4lib I have found a really strong PLN” (@daceudre)
- Business cards including social network contacts (@santtuc)
- Recommends LibTeachMeets [also one of the organisers for one] (agentk23)
- Developing networks outside the profession is useful. Helps develop critical distance. I joined Learning and Teaching Networks too. (@jwebbery) “I’m a local and national teaching fellow”
Q.4 Which is the best media for building a PLN? (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, real life)
- Ideally, use all of them to reach the widest range of people to connect with (@nicolafranklin)
- Real life. Definitely (@tinamreynolds)
- Going to the New Professionals Conference helped me to connect better with the tweeters online (@agentk23)
- “after joining #libcampuk11, I appreciated the twitter power. And yes – real life networks are the best!” (@daceudre)
- Find that CILIP involvement (and other professional groups) are the best starting point for PLN. “I found my professional voice through face-to-face involvement then social media for maintaining and extending” (@jwebbery)
- Involvement with CILIP (online and in person) is a great way to develop PLN (@liz_jolly)
- @Nicola Franklin agreed that Real Life Networking was good as long as they are diverse as many people can’t afford the time or money to attend many (any) events.
- “you don’t need to pay money to participate in CPD in the internet.. BUT you need to pay for seminar or conference in real life.” (@Ellia_S)
- LibTeachMeets are a good way of learning and meeting people (@agentk23)
- PLN created through CILIP groups, CPD25 events, keeping in touch with colleagues and ex-colleagues, tweeting, being useful to others. (@davidclover)
- @daceudre is not so keen on LinkIn “It’s not convenient enough. Maybe too formal. Does anyone else feels like receiving lot of unneeded LinkedIn e-mails?” “I rather prefer FB”
- @santtuc “we run think tanks and fan pages to engage with the audience”
(Latvian FB pages)
- “I have lots of professional friends via Facebook – UCR set up a group, so did another network. Blends personal/professional well.
- Doesn’t have access to Facebook or twitter at work, so has to be done outside (@mrswtaylor)
Q.5 How supportive are your employers of CPD?
- CPD is important as subject librarian and manage. It’s important to keep up with networks, up to date with subjects, and developments in library work. @davidclover gets lots of employer support, but it is still his own responsibility.
- “Very. But then comes the question of balancing between individual’s and library’s needs” (@santtuc)
- Employer is v. good for CPD but have to show you’re interested. It’s up to the individual to be open to opportunity (@mrswtaylor)
- “As a senior manager, I expect it of my colleague and we support [it]. Also conscious of diversity of how CPD is achieved. The challenge can be aligning individual, job and organisational priorities” (@jwebbery)
- Academic library does support CPD, but budgets for training have shrunk. The library subcribes to CILIP and CPD25 courses. There are in-house training open to all staff (@agentk23)
- CPD25 is great. Very useful chartership sessions in 2 hour bites. (@hannahRBennett) “discussion lead by professionals from academic libs relating key topics to their libs and sharing best practice”
- “[It is] our responsibility to articulate importance of CPD to our employers.” (@liz_jolly).
- “very supportive. Annual pdr and internal opportunities to develop skills.” (@neal_buchanan)
- Employer supports CPD, “but if there is no money, I can always try to find an outer funding” (@daceudre)
- “my manager is very supportive and encouraging and the college is also great offering financial support and internal CPD” (@hannahRBennett)
- “as budgets shrink we need to be more imaginative in how we manage our own CPD” (@liz_jolly)
- “Depends on which sector you work in. There’s more money in FE libs than school libs hence more CPD opportunities” (@caraclarke). @caraclarke works in a FE college but until last year was a solo school librarian. It was hard to think of CPD when you’re the only person there.
- “I keep FB personal and Twitter professional. Definite difference between them. On LinkedIn too but not so keen on it” (@caraclarke)
Q.6 What are the key skills to develop through CPD?
- Skills vary by role, career stage. “For me it’s thinking about information strategies and about innovation and development” (@jwebbery)
- “Critical thinking, awareness of need for changes” (@daceudre)
- “CILIP Framework of Qualifications could be a good place to start! J” (@liz_jolly)
- “Inspiration and time management” (@Ellia_s)
- “reflective thinking and marketing yourself. Somehow always leads to innovation!” (@santtuc)
- “Looking at innovation in research support and partnership and evidence of impact as key issues” (@davidclover)
Q.7 What experience do you have of coaching or mentoring? Would you recommend it?
- “I’m chair of the NP [New Professionals] Section [of IFLA]. And it feels like I’m giving great support to them.” (@daceudre)
- “I was lucky that at my first job I had a great mentor who gave me first impulses in enjoying work with students” (@daceudre)
- “I would recommend to try to be a mentor. It helps to develop some vital skills, [such] as patience, good explaining skills, empathy”(@daceudre)
- “Besides through mentoring you can learn together with your ‘friend’ you are mentoring” (@daceudre)
- Training in mentorship is needed if mentoring, need to learn to organize your thinking (@daceudre)
- “was mentored thru chartership in 2007. If not, would still be doing it now J” (@neil_buchanan)
- “I’m a graduate trainee, and I feel like I’m benefitting from the chartership experiences of my managers! Great mentoring so far.” (@ArawnC)
- It’s good to know that there is someone who will answer questions, someone to rely on (@ellia_s)
- Had a great chartership mentor, now mentoring 3 candidates, sometimes wished that he still had an informal mentor (@davidclover
Q8. What would you like to learn if the next #CPD23 programme was launched?
- Practicing HTML and CSS with librarians who have never tried it (@daceudre)
- Perhaps a #HTMLyear thing like #Codeyear
- So much to learn as a newb. Has bookmarked a site on Marc (see below) (@ArawnC)
Here is an interesting point raised during the discussion that I think is worth relating.
- “professional” & “professionalism” are the deckchairs upon which librarians sit.” “Or rather, they’re the deckchairs librarians are rearranging rather than doing job & being indispensible #titanic #uklibchat” (@orangeaurachs)
- “does that mean professionalism is pointless?” (@agentk23)
- I’ll take that to be “guard against complacency” (@neal_buchanan)
- perhaps ‘professionalism’ can be an excuse/refuge for a failure to be professional (resting on laurels or status) #uklibchat (@jwebbery)
- “professionalism doesn’t begin and end with qualification. That’s just the start” (@neil_buchanan)
- “worrying too much about what ‘professionalism’ means can distract from actual job at hand?’ (@annie_bob)
- “Also confusion betwn professionalism (no job in the world this doesn’t apply to) & being a profession (what’s it mean?)” (@orageaurochs)
Cilip Framework of Qualification: http://wish.westmidlands.nhs.uk/learning-development/cilipqualifications.html
Cycle for libraries: http://www.cyclingforlibraries.org/
National Authorities on Public Libraries in Europe: http://napleblog.wordpress.com/
Sconul Focus (newsletter): http://www.sconul.ac.uk/publications/newsletter/
1. Have you been involved in any library activism?
- Website for Friends of local branch library group
- No – because so far there are no cuts in local public library service (but would get involved if there were)
- Worked with students (in US academic library). Worked with campus diversity and social justice groups: connecting people with resources on issues they felt were important campus-wide
- Local authority library workers can’t speak out: but other professionals can speak out without immediate accusation of self interest e.g. nurses, teachers
- Disappointed in the lack of protests from the general public about the general state of some of our libraries – e.g. messy shelves as no time to shelve
2. Aside from marching what else can we do, and are they effective?
- Campaign - anything that gets attention (media, public) for your cause is good
- Use Twitter to build influential contacts, especially in the media. They are all out there waiting!
- Target school kids & teens! They are the library users of tomoro, we need them on board to secure a future for libraries
- Create events aimed at youth so they grow up with libraries being a major part of their lives they can’t do without (what happened to CILIP Start with the Child programme?)
- BabyBounce/Storytime, “Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man for life”
- We need services for younger people, too. Services for 11-14s often get “lost”
- Reaching out to teens and kids is good, but not sure what will be left by time they’re old enough to vote!
- Work with young people i.e. DoE volunteers 6th formers doing enrichment activities
- The point is to reach people at all ages. Don’t just reallocate staff; have staff dedicated to young people’s services
- On retirement as academic librarian became chair of local Friends group: speak to parish councils and write for parish magazines re public libraries
- Activism doesn’t have to be national, local can often have a big impact on service users.
- What became of the WI petition which garnered 17,000 + signatures bit.ly/oSYuEJ
- Testimonials and petitions – it seems politicians don’t want to listen to people saying libraries are important
3. Are you going to the 13th March London Rally, how are you preparing for it?
- Going [to the rally] for @whlibraries#lovelibraries #savelibraries. Hoping to lobby MP
- I’m not attending any rallies, I am helping with library camps. Get togethers for staff to meet and swap ideas
- Library camps are a great step, but how to inspire demoralized staff to attend/find time for them
- I will be going to the library rally! I’d be good to meet up with fellow tweeters
- I’ve never been to a rally before, but I feel like if I don’t do something to show my support, can’t cry when it goes
- I can’t go to the library rally, as I am currently in the US! Otherwise I would be there for sure
4. If a million people marching in London failed to stop the war with Iraq, what does it take to directly affect government policy?
- The advantage over the Iraq war protests is that opposition to library closures truly cuts across political lines
- But ‘library’ can mean opposite things for different supporters: for a lot it’s still a quiet place with books, none of that fandangly technology DVDs taking up space
- The failure of one is irrelevant. We try or we give in. Need to engage, debate and argue our case persuasively
- The public loves its’ libraries, even if they don’t use them. We need to harness this, get them to use libraries
- The issue is not how we get people to use libraries but how we integrate services with public education & access, and also how we provide outreach so that libraries are where people see them/need them
- Need more plans of actions for individual libraries, as well as a forum/demonstration that brings them all together. For example, no library closures where I worked, but significant staff cuts that hugely damaged the service. But didn’t know how to fight back
5. What action could we take that might make politicians fear for their parliamentary seats?
- 50+ age group very important politically and to libraries. Surely we can find support there?
- Difficult to argue with councillors about library cuts when they have no budget from central government
5.a. Why do the libraries not have a single national presence? Does the fact we speak as individual authorities diminish our voice?
- Central control might be damaging to services individually tailored to specific groups, but it does seem to diminish solidarity, even awareness of what is going on in different authorities
- I think I’d like to see library workers have a single presence, but libraries remain under local control
- Until recently there was MLA, which of course was central (if not necessarily effective)
- Scandinavian countries have a national library system. The public can borrow from any library.
- Localism better for public libraries since funded by councils, and perhaps in future by districts
- We need both local and national activism. At the moment activism is almost, solely localised
- It might make a huge difference to be able to “attack”/collaborate on both fronts
6. What are the ethics of motivating volunteers in sectors being cut?
- Volunteers keeping libraries open in evening or offering story time doing jobs paid staff used to
- How would you feel about volunteers in other areas of local government, if it could bring your council tax down?
- Who’s coordinating the volunteers? That’s a huge task in itself, likely requiring at least one paid post (possibly more)
- Looks as if Friends group may be coordinating volunteers – OK if you have time and experience
- Would be open to volunteer-run services only if they are effective & implemented by those working in service
- Problem with many volunteer schemes: they seem to be set in place by those unfamiliar with spec. service demands
- I volunteer for delivery of books to housebound but that service is not offered by paid staff
- The main concern is if volunteers leave. If someone’s coordinating, programme has longevity. If not, service dies
- Better that library service coordinates volunteers and have job descriptions, CRB checks and line managers (as opposed to Friends of Library group).
- I’m a volunteer at a museum, however I go in when I like, I’m under no obliged hours, and museum doesn’t depend on me to run!
- There is room for volunteers and it’s a good way to pick up experience, but SHOULD NOT be used to replace paid staff completely
7. Is there a quantifiable economic argument for keeping public branch libraries open?
- If you use the library, it’s incredible value for money (a few pence for all that service!).
- If you don’t use the library, other arguments can still be made (i.e. quality of life for others = quality for you) but that isn’t really an economic argument. (However I suspect there are many that can be made.)
8. What role do you think that central government should have in local authority library policy?
- I like the idea of there being national communication, but any type of national agenda/control worry me because part of a vibrant library is its response to a specific local community. That’s harder to meet with national agenda
- Central government should ensure local authorities do not ignore their duties or run down lib service
- Hard when it seems to be central government who wants to see everything dismantled and privatised. Not holding my breath
- The question was what central government should do rather than what the current government is doing – Ed Vaizey and Jeremy Hunt should be reminded of their job
- MLA standards – but what now that MLA is gone?
- National standards sound good, but I worry libraries will have to cope with demands unreasonable to their specific service
- There are currently no standards of any kind. Up to the Secretary of State to uphold “comprehensive + efficient” service but no definition.