Sunday, 23 November 2014

CILIP Update article

*Be warned – this is quite a self-indulgent blog post, sorry folks*

CILIP Update, July 2014

I first joined CILIP as a student while I was doing an MSc in information and library management. I can’t quite remember the exact year I joined, but it must be about 10 years ago.  Since then, the magazine would routinely drop on my doormat and make its way to my reading pile. Some months I’d devour it, some months I’d quickly scan it, other months I’d hardly open it at all. Despite my ever-changing reading habit, I’ve always had the same secret ambition, and this year I achieved it; to have an article published in the CILIP Update magazine.

I’d been leading a project at work which saw us migrate to a new authentication provider for our off-site resources. My line manager asked if I’d consider writing a brief piece for publication in a newsletter, and I did so during my Easter annual leave. By the time I’d finished, the piece contained 2,000 words and was far too long for inclusion in a short newsletter. I was surprised by how much I’d written, but the project couldn’t be outlined in any less. Pondering what to do with it, I sent it to CILIP Update on the off-chance and they replied in the positive!

Saturday, 15 November 2014

NVQ reflections

Do you ever say to yourself ‘that’s it, I’m never studying another course’? I’ve noticed I say that to myself every time I finish a course, but I always seem to start another reasonably soon afterwards. I enjoy learning and the act of absorbing knowledge. Does that make me a philomath? Or a glutten for punishment?!

Anyway, I digress. In 2012 I completed a line management course (which I blogged about here) and the following year I pursued this interest with another management course. I found the first course valuable and realised this was a development need of mine. I have a masters’ degree in library and information management, but I don’t feel such courses adequately address the logistics of leading a team - which, of course, is something many librarians do.  I enrolled on a level 5 NVQ and finished it this summer after almost 18 months. I decided on the level 5 NVQ rather than the level 5 taught course because of the evening times the classes were held. The traditional course would probably have been my preferred option, but I couldn’t make the time of the class so opted for the NVQ instead. I've studied an NVQ before (level 2 IT back in 2002), but I’d forgotten how differently structured they are compared to classroom-based courses.

Flexibility was a great strength of the NVQ and it fitted quite nicely into my life. Regular sessions were arranged with my tutor at a day and time to suit me, whereas with the taught course I would have to fit in with the class timetable. My job is quite busy and I am a long distance commuter, so this flexibility made a huge difference to my daily life. I was also able to personally select modules and study those that were most applicable to my current role and working environment.