Saturday, 23 March 2013


On Thursday 7th February I attended a day event held by CILIP West Midlands branch. It was entitled ‘Promoting your service and the profession’ and was held at the Mary Seacole Library, Birmingham City University.

The event filled up within two days of the booking opening and there were approximately 50 delegates present. The agenda included the various activities:

  • Staff from Mary Seacole gave an introduction to the university library service
  • Gill Colbourne from Warwickshire library services spoke about how to promote a service which is part of a larger entity.
  • Barbara Band gave her first official presentation as CILIP Vice President. It focussed on how she uses her role as a school librarian to promote the profession to a wider audience.  
  • There was an overview of the changes being discussed relating to CILIP professional qualifications, given by Simon Edwards (Director of Professional Services at CILIP).
  • CILIP West Midlands Chair Roger Fairman gave a brief overview of what’s next for the branch.
  • There were also AGMs from CILIP West Midlands branch and two SIGs – CDG West Midlands and ARLG West Midlands.
  • A tour of the Mary Seacole library.
There was a lively Twitter conversation surrounding the day’s hashtag #cwmagm13. In the absence of a marketing officer, I tweeted on behalf of the branch and an archive of related tweets can be found here. I found this to be quite fun and hope to soon post about the experience of live tweeting from events.

I found the day really interesting, and - as always – it was nice to hear people speak who are passionate about the profession. In my current role, I find it frustrating that we are bound by ‘one-size-fits-all’ guidelines established by the college’s marketing department. In my previous role in a school I had much more freedom to whatever was best for the library, without having to get it ‘okay-ed’ by a separate department. However, despite this I understand the college must protect it's brand. It was interesting to realise that although we all work in different library sectors, we still face many similar issues regarding promotion of the service.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Revalidation on target

Image by
Having pondered it long and hard, I finally decided to plump for a mentor to help through my chartership revalidation. Unlike with first-time chartership, it isn’t a necessary part of the process, and I blogged my musings about it here.

Last time, my mentor worked in a secondary school (just as I did then) and this time, my mentor works in a further education college (just as I do now). I know there are things to be learnt from working with a mentor from a different library sector, but personally I prefer them to have a direct feel for the role I am in and the challenges it may/may not include. Also, locality is an issue to consider; in my appraisal at the end of last year, my line manager agreed to allow me one afternoon per half term to meet with my mentor. Luckily, my mentor works in a college less than ten miles from the college in which I work. Although this is not a huge distance, the majority of our communications will be conducted via email, which suits us both. I am keen not to infringe too much upon my mentor’s working week, as I know she is based in a very busy library environment.

Friday, 8 March 2013

HUG WM 2013

HUG venue - Friends Meeting House, London
Earlier this week I attended the Heritage User Group(HUG) winter meeting. It was held at the Quakers’ Friends Meeting House,directly opposite Euston train station. I’ve been here for previous HUG eventsand I’m always struck by the excellence of the venue. It’s in a prime locationand has a beautiful little garden in front of the entrance – a tiny havenamidst the noise that is London.

Heritage is the LMS used by our library, but HUG is completely independent ofIS Oxford (the developers of Heritage). It is run by a committee of Heritageusers from throughout the country, and now that I am on a committee myself, Iappreciate the job they do organising sterling events such as this.