Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Annual Report

Recently, the head librarian and I worked together on producing an annual report for the previous academic year. We feel it is important to speak up and show people what goes on behind the scenes here in the library.

Maintaining the library’s blog proves very useful when compiling an annual report. It can often be difficult looking back and trying to pinpoint key library activities over the previous 12 months. Regular postings on the blog make this process much easier.

This is the second year we have produced an annual report; we find it is a valuable marketing tool and a great way of taking the library outside the physical boundary of four walls. Sometimes, you have to push library activity under the noses of people before they see it (particularly those who don’t actually use the service), and this is our way of politely doing that. ‘X’ number of copies are sent to those in upper management positions within our institution and copies are also sent to the external partners we have worked with during the year. It is also available from the library blog. In addition to this, we have made the annual report visible via a wall display near the library photocopiers (a key area for sharing news!) and we often notice people browsing it whilst waiting for their printouts. We have received various feedback and it often forms the basis of conversations with people from other departments of the college.

In my previous role as a secondary school librarian I used to produce a similar report for the headteacher, and it was discussed in Head of Department meetings. However, this is where I felt the benefits of working in a team as opposed to working solo – there is always somebody with whom to discuss matters and bounce ideas around.

In a nutshell, I enjoy working on the annual report; it outlines the positive ways in which we help people, the ways in which we facilitate a useful service and how the department contributes to the college’s strategic aims. More generally, it reminds me of why I am proud to be a librarian!

Monday, 22 October 2012

Revalidation: random wonderings

Image by Xurble
Well, folks, I’ve registered as a revalidation candidate. Have been meaning to do it for ages and have finally gotten round to it. Can’t believe it’s coming up to three years since I first chartered. The time has flown by.

I’m quite unsure as to what a revalidation portfolio actually looks like. I’ve booked a place on a day course run by the Career Development Group (West Midlands division) entitled ‘Certification, chartership, revalidation and beyond’ and I’m hoping there will be some examples on display. I’m also hoping the day won’t only focus on certification/chartership. I may have gone through that process already, but I’m a first time revalidation candidate and - just as I did with chartership – feel uncertain of the whole thing.

I’m in different employment compared to three years ago, and I often feel as though I’m still learning. Is that okay for a revalidation candidate? Or am I supposed to feel completely confident and knowledgeable in everything I do? Is my portfolio meant to show that I’ve achieved lots and operate on a genius level basis? Is it normal to have these worries and concerns, or am I merely questioning everything unnecessarily?

I’m umming and ahhing about whether to find a mentor. If I remember correctly, it was a compulsory part of chartership, but it is only an optional part of revalidation. Having a mentor and working to agreed deadlines really helped me when chartering. Personally, I have a tendency to procrastinate and having a mentor might reduce the likelihood of this happening during revalidation. I’ve had a very quick glance at the mentor list on the CILIP website and not many of them mention revalidation specifically. Is having a mentor through revalidation the done thing? Will they think I’m incompetent if I request one? Would it strengthen or weaken my portfolio? It’s times like this I wish I knew someone who had gone through revalidation so I could bombard them with my random questions!

Questions, questions, questions! Fingers crossed, everything should become clearer after the day course…

Monday, 1 October 2012

Induction ponderings

Life is full of different paths to take.
Image taken by Andrea_44
It’s that time of year where the library gives inductions to new and returning learners. These subject specific sessions last between 30-45 minutes and cover topics such as searching the online catalogue, accessing e-books, e-resources and Boolean searching techniques. We also draw learners’ attention to the library website/blog, Moodle, ClickView and MyPC computer booking system. In addition to this, learners receive a tour of the library with useful resource areas pointed out.

The original idea was to facilitate inductions in September and then offer group referencing sessions in October. However, some learners are keen to get to grips with referencing and we are already delivering one-to-one referencing sessions as requested. I remember being an undergraduate student and stressing over referencing at university and would never have believed that one day I would advise and teach it!

There are 3 members of the library team who share the user education workload. Group sizes range from 5 to 25 and inductions have been delivered to foundation learners through to foundation degree courses, covering the majority of subjects taught at the college. Lessons are quite diverse in scope and in the 3 weeks since term began, I have so far delivered 32 sessions. Some have been more successful than others, and I’ve received some lovely feedback from observing teaching staff.