Instant Ideas and Collaboration

Summary – 10th July 2012 – Conferences, events and networking

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
  • @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..

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This entry was posted on October 19, 2012 by in Discussion Summaries and tagged , , , , .


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