We’re having a Cardiff Libraries in Co-operation (CLIC) social evening on Wed 24th October, 5.30-9.30pm at Barocco. For anyone who works (or is hoping to work) in a library or similar environment, come and join us.
Tag Archives: CLIC
I’d never been to a CILIP Career Development Group conference before this summer, probably because I’m not a member of CDG so hadn’t paid much attention to their conferences before now; but this year their call for papers really resonated with the work that CLIC (Cardiff Libraries in Co-operation) does, and so in conjunction with Kristine Chapman from National Museum Wales I put in a proposal which was accepted.
The theme for the conference was ‘Together we are stronger’ and focussed on looking at opportunities for partnership and collaborative working. Collaboration could be between different sectors, within the same sector, between new and experienced practitioners, or working with academics, for example.
The event was held at a conference centre in Birmingham, and as to be expected from the theme, attracted attendees who were a mixture of new and experienced library and information professionals, and who worked in many different sectors. Librarians from the health sector were particularly prominent, alongside many from the usual higher education sector.
The conference was a mixture of plenary and parallel sessions; though with such a tight coalescing theme it felt a shame to have to miss sessions, as all sounded particularly relevant and interesting. The key note speaker for the day was Liz Jolly from the University of Teeside. Her presentation was entitled: ‘Developing our community of practice: learning together for a stronger profession’ and emphasised that professional practice needs to be underpinned by learning and research. She believes that we should all be life long learners and reflective practitioners; and noted that the more senior one gets one should still remember to ‘give back’ to the profession. Other tips she gave included the idea of networking with people who are different from you, and embracing a combination of continuity and change.
The first parallel session looked at ‘Sharing knowledge and experience’ and I chose to attend ‘Producing the evidence for effective evidence-based librarianship’ by Karen Davies (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee). She introduced the topic of evidence-based librarianship (EBL) by explaining that in many ways it had emerged from the concept of evidence-based medicine – something which I expect all the health librarians were aware of, but which many others weren’t.
EBL is about looking at the best level evidence to inform decision making practice in librarianship. We should also critically evaluate and appraise the evidence we have.
If we can’t immediately find any relevant evidence we should try looking outside the traditional LIS area, for instance education, management, and marketing are three areas where we might find comparative research or ideas which could be applied to librarianship. If we need to carry out the research ourselves it is also worth considering collaboration – with someone from a different library, a different institution, or someone who isn’t working in a traditional LIS role (ie look again to education, management etc). You may want to utilise a student (someone who wishes to do some research for their dissertation), though be aware that their aims may differ from your own, and it is always worth consulting with their supervisor about the project. Even if you are doing the research yourself consider contacting a possible mentor, someone who is more used to the research process than you might be, and who can perhaps cast a more critical eye over your prospective survey or research plan, and offer you advice.
Davies also mentioned the Evidence Based Library and Information Practice journal, which is an open access, peer reviewed journal, and a good resource for research that has already been completed.
The next session was on the ‘Wider professional outlook’, and as one speaker had had to cancel we were all able to attend the presentation by Patricia Lacey (Dudley PCT) & Emma Gibbs on: ‘Developing your own skills network’ . Their talk was about the West Midlands Health Libraries Network which has a learning and development group who put on one day ‘Knowledge sharing’ events (ie staff development/training days). They have a wide pool of hospital libraries based in the West Midland, and are able to utilise a variety of staff to run these event, with sponsorship to cover refreshments and venues. They also have job shadowing opportunities available on their website – this is a list of libraries that are willing to participate, individuals make contact and arrange placement themselves. In addition to the main Knowledge sharing events they also have a paraprofessionals group which focuses on training that is practical for the job.
The following session was the first of the ‘Collaboration & partnership’ sessions, and I attended the ‘Collaboration to show impact of information sharing skills training’ by Stephen Ayre (George Elliot Hospital NHS Trust). His presentation was about a collaboration of NHS libraries in England (mainly Midlands) who have pooled together to create an impact survey which can be used across all participating libraries to create a larger pool of evidence. They have been looking at the impact of education training on NHS staff, based on the Kirkpatrick Hierarchy; and have developed an impact assessment tool.
The second of the ‘Collaboration & partnership’ was where myself and Kristine gave our presentation on CLIC and highlighted the benefits of cross-sectoral staff development events.
In the third and final session I listened to Rebecca Dorsett (Royal United Hospital Bath) talking about: ‘Shelving together: collaborative working through different library environments’. Her key message seemed to be that we should be aware of different practices in different sectors that could be used cross-sector. With her top tips being that we should explore other library environments, be willing to share resources, and work together to create unique projects.
In addition to these presentations there was also a workshop session, and an update on the CILIP future skills project. Overall it was a very interesting conference and left me with plenty to think about. I will certainly watch out for CDG events in the future.
All the presentations are now available on the CDG website.
In case you hadn’t noticed CPD23, the online professional development course for library and information professionals started running again a couple of weeks ago. Although I completed the course last year, and got my certificate (hurrah!), last week I found myself revisiting the course in spirit, if not quite in practice. The Cardiff Libraries in Co-operation (CLIC) staff development group that I am involved with has decided that we would like to try and support staff in our local area who are working through cpd23. To do this we are aiming to run a number of sessions ranging from simple meet-ups to perhaps some practical events where participants can get some help on areas they are struggling with. Our first meet-up took place last Wednedsay evening in a bar in Cardiff (no, not a yurt this time) and was organised by @KrisWJ with details placed on her blog Taking for Binding .
We had a range of people turning up – some had completed the course last year, some had started last year but got stuck, some were thinking about starting the course this year, and some just came to meet up and have a drink with other information professionals. The bar had 2 for 1 cocktails on offer, and pretty soon most of us were indulging!
Lack of time seems to be the biggest hurdle for most people, both in terms of preventing them from starting, and also for holding them up, and preventing them from finishing. I talked to the few people who had finished the course last year to see how they had managed, and this is what I found.
- One person did most of the course at home.
- One person did most of the course at work – due to their institution having a generous staff development policy which gave them study time they could use.
- One person did most of the course at work – but in the lunch hour.
If you are lucky enough to have an institution that will support your professional development by allowing study time, then go for it! I think most of us, however, will not have that kind of generosity shown to us. At our meet up there was a group of people from one library who had started last year, and they initially all stayed behind after work one day a week to work on the course. Giving themselves time to do it, but also being able to support one another, which can be really beneficial. I think the answer to the time question is, if you really want to do the course you will find time – whether this means staying behind at work at the end of the day (or coming in early), doing it in your lunch hour, or doing it at home. Not everyone’s situation will allow for this, I realise, but you might be able to flexible elsewhere. One of the main driving forces, especially towards the end of the course, was the thought of getting a certificate!
To be completely honest, with cocktails in hand, we probably didn’t talk about CPD23 all that much! Not as a big group anyway, apart from establishing who we were, and where we were up to; but there were lots of other, smaller, conversations going on that night, and I think everyone enjoyed the chance to get together, and will look forward to the next time.
Strangely enough, the very next day I spoke at the CILIP Cymru conference about CPD23 and my experience. It is probably the first conference where I have actually been invited to speak, so I was very excited (nervous); even though it was essentially a re-run of the presentation I gave at the CLIC Social Media event last November. It seemed to go well (I was in the same session as Jo Alcock, who was fantastic), and I’ve heard comments that there were people in the audience who hadn’t heard about CPD23 until my talk, and were going to go and check it out afterwards (so hopefully I helped ‘convert’ a few new recruits).
I will probably keep an eye on the CPD23 blog to see how things are going, and it might encourage me to revisit a few areas where I had problems last year. I know one person who, even though they completed the course last year, is going to do it all again this year as she felt there were some areas that she didn’t focus on properly. Now that is dedication!
First week back at work in 2012, and so far I’ve had two CLIC meetings, one with the steering group, and one with the staff development sub-group. The staff development group are sorting out events for the next six months, and its looking like fun! With National Libraries Day on Feb 4th, we are going to do a tie in event, with a day of library tours (though not actually on the 4th as its a Saturday and we wouldn’t all be open). CLIC SDG is all about the library staff in Cardiff (as opposed to users/patrons/students/etc) and we are going to offer them the chance to visit as many different libraries in Cardiff as possible. Why, you may ask? Well, surely you know that most library staff are essentially nosey and want to have a peek at other people’s libraries (no, its not just me, honest!). Its a chance to look at new buildings, old buildings, different sectors, and might give people ideas about where they want to work next.
A similar but more expanded version of this is coming later in the year (May/June) when CLIC will be tying in with Cardiff University’s Information Services to have a ‘Do something different day’ when library staff across Cardiff will be able to spend a day, or half a day, working in a different library/sector. I’ve talked about this idea before and its a great opportunity to find out what its really like working somewhere else, without having to commit yourself to more than a day. It was always good when it was run within CU, but opening it up to the other libraries and sectors in the city will bring a whole new host of oppportunities.
Aside from these ‘taster’ days, we are also going to run a session on ‘innovative marketing on a low budget’ (probably in May) as we believe its something that would be useful to many of us; especially in these days of austerity.
And as if all that wasn’t enough, a few of us from the CLIC SDG are going to put together a poster presentation for the CILIP Cymru Conference taking place 17-18th May in Cardiff. The conference for Welsh library, archives and museum staff is normally hosted in Llandrindod Wells, so we’re lucky to have it down here this year, and I’m sure many of us will be volunteering to help out too.
Phew, on top of all that I better get some cataloguing done as well 😉
I’ve just had some feedback from the talk I gave last week at the CLIC event, although generally positive, a couple of comments noted that it was a bit rushed, and there could have been more eye-contact. Both fair points that I need to work on.
However, the reason it was rushed (aside from nerves!) was because the event was over-running. I was the last speaker and I didn’t start until about 15 mins after the event was supposed to have finished! As one of the organisers I was painfully aware that we were over-running most of the way through, and that we didn’t have any of those ‘red’ cards to flash at anyone. Its an obvious thing to do, give speakers warning that they have 5 mins left etc, and then tell them to stop – but without jumping up in their faces to do so. Why didn’t we do it? Well, we’ve never had a problem before as far as I can remember at previous events, though we did have more speakers than usual. Its never been an issue, and when it became one we weren’t ready. Ok, so that is a lesson learned for next time – be prepared!
But as a speaker, what should I have done? As a speaker who was also an organiser I knew about the time problems, I knew that people might not be able to go to the library tour we’d organised if we overran by much more, and that people might even have to walk out in order to get back to work on time. So, even though I knew no-one else had been made to cut their talk short, and even though I presumed many of them may not have realised they were overrunning, I didn’t want to take too long with mine.
I tried not to gabble (and I don’t think I did!), but I tried to be as speedy as possible within reason. I probably would have made more eye-contact if I’d had plenty of time (but I probably need to work on that too, I rely on notes and have not developed the ability to just ‘talk’).
If I hadn’t been part of the organising team would I have thought, ‘sod it, I’m taking as long as I want’…Probably not, as I’m a timid mouse really, and would still have been aware that I was the last in a long overrun morning. But what exactly is the etquette in these circumstances? It wasn’t my fault as a speaker that I was starting late, but is it my responsibility to be slightly speedier in my delivery?
My talk fitted its alotted 15 mins, and I didn’t have to miss things out, but I would have been a bit more relaxed without the time pressures, and would have come across as less rushed.
Last time I gave a talk I had a disastrous time as there was a virus on the conference equipment and my powerpoint wouldn’t run at all, so I just had to speak (from my copious notes!) without all the lovely pictures and graphs I had prepared. I’m beginning to think my presentation attempts are jinxed, and its not giving me any confidence!