This morning I had a meeting with a group of librarians who work in different sectors within the city of Cardiff. We are all part of the Cardiff Libraries in Co-Operation (CLIC) Staff Development sub-group which has been in existence for approximately five years now. Our task is to lay on staff development events that are free to attend for library staff who work in the Cardiff area. For a number of years we had access to funding from CyMAL via one of the Regional Development Officers, but at the beginning of this year all that changed and we are back to having a zero budget! So no more nice lunches at events, and no more expensive speakers! (or even any-cost speakers!). Not to be daunted we returned to our roots (we originally had no funding) and had our first zero-budget event since the change, in May. We invited three speakers from three totally different libraries to come and talk about their roles with an emphasis on the customer – “Knowing your customer: cross sector perspectives”
We were slightly anxious that with our back to basics approach we might not attract many takers, however much to our delight we were booked up within about three days of advertising the event. At least one lesson we will be taking away from this will be to book larger rooms in future!
The event was a great success, as we heard about the experiences of the Cancer Research Wales Librarian, the Welsh National Opera Librarian, and the Cardiff Prison Librarian. All had very different experiences to relate – and all had very different customer bases to work with.
This morning’s meeting was time to look forward and to start planning our next event. We have decided to focus on ‘Social Media’ which seems quite timely for me as I have just stared the cpd23 course! With some ideas for speakers and topics lined up, the next few months will see us putting the pieces together ready for the event in November.
We also assessed the figures and statistics for all our previous events to see who was attending, which sectors were represented (and which weren’t), and whether any institution was taking a lion share of the places at the event. Perhaps unsurprisingly we found that the staff from Cardiff University were probably the major component at most of the events – but when we discussed staff numbers around the table, we realised that CU had by far the greatest amount of library staff working for it, in comparison to the other institutions, so no wonder we had the largest representation. In an attempt to be fair to all parties concerned, at the next event we are going to attempt to initially allocate places proportionally to institutions involved to try and ensure that everyone gets a fair chance to attend. We are also going to try and make contacts with sectors and libraries that have had little or no representation at previous events – it may be that they have no staff/time to attend, little interest in events previously held, or perhaps they have never heard of us – in which case it is time to change that!
We also began to plan a few other interesting events that will take place next year, but I will blog about these nearer the time.