Instant Ideas and Collaboration
To develop our careers, we all look to the support and inspiration of our colleagues, and at first these tend to be in your own sector and country, but a great deal can be gained by “crossing borders”, which can mean something different to every librarian.
Reaching out to others in our profession used to just mean face to face visits or conferences and could be quite limited, but in the digital age it has taken on other formats. For example, Twitter chats can span America, U.K. Australia, and South Africa, and have become increasingly popular.
Creating a professional profile today can include connecting and collaborating with library and information professional all over the world, devoid of borders. Virtually we can work together and produce projects that are sustainable. One, in particular, being the international librarians network.
This experience, for me, was hugely expanded by attending the international conference held by the Special Libraries Association (SLA) in Philadelphia in June 2016. I was able to attend thanks to being awarded SLA’s Leadership and Management Division Career Advancement Award.
SLA 2016 allowed me to meeting people from across the globe from Silicon Valley to natives of Philly and even Las Vegas, which has been a huge eye opener. When you come from a small enough country like Ireland, and an even smaller city like Waterford this wakes you up. It energises you to see the potential we have when we reach out and explore our profession.
It energises you to see the potential we have when we come together, we analyse and dissect how the other works, how we differ yet stay the same within librarianship. The biggest impact for me at SLA 2016 was being introduced to the role of a hospitality librarian. This for me had two worlds colliding, I was amazed that my previous career could somehow flow into librarianship.
As a new information professional, the support at an international conference like SLA is tremendous, you are encouraged and invited to all kinds of events. Everyone talks to you, you receive a buddy, you link up with people you have met on Twitter and through email and you connect. Conversations flow, people mention committee work and before you can say SLA you have your name in the pot. You sign up to write blog posts on sessions and you push yourself to attend events you never dreamed of going to.
I started this journey of connecting and collaboration with my Irish network of librarians and we are a great support to one another, it was Twitter and #uklibchat that really opened up librarianship and introduced me to the diversity within our profession. SLA has enhanced this journey that I will continue throughout my career as a library and information professional.
If you are internationally based, have been to an international conference or have taken part in an international Twitter chat, become part of ILN or have simply collaborated with someone outside of your own residence, please do come join us.
Our Twitter chat will be on Tuesday the 5th of July at 6:30pm – 8:30pm BST. Please add any questions to agenda that you would like seen discussed or mentioned surrounding the theme of Librarianship across borders.
Please note international times for the following:
Central Europe – CET – Central European Time – 7:30pm – 9:30pm
New York – EDT – Eastern Daylight Time 1:30pm – 3:30pm
California – PDT – Pacific Daylight Time 10:30am – 12:30pm
*Australian library friends may catch us the following day as it will be night time in Australia while we are having this wonderful chat. 🙂