Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Interview Qs

Image created using Wordle
Within the past six months I have attended two job interviews, one to work in FE, the other HE. After each interview, I reflect on my performance and how I approached the questions. I find this helps identify my strengths and weaknesses, as well as anticipate possible topics for discussion in future interviews. 

Monday, 16 February 2015

CILIP WMMN Members' Day

My entrance ticket
Last week was the Members’ Day for CILIP’s West Midlands Members’ Network (WMMN). I hadn’t been to this for a few years so was quite looking forward to it, especially as it was held in Birmingham and quite local to where I live. I hadn’t been to the Priory Rooms in Birmingham before, and it seemed quite a nice place to hold such an event. A silly thing, but several delegates commented on the size of the mugs – so much better than the small teacups usually available at these types of function! 

* The opening presentation was by David Ball and discussed open access issues. My career thus far has yet to be involved with such issues, so this particular talk was less relevant to me personally than the others. It seems quite a complicated topic. 

Sunday, 8 February 2015


Time for an inspection! Image taken by thom
I have worked in school and college libraries since 2003 and during this time I have worked through 6 Ofsted inspections. During these inspections I have held various roles ranging from learning resources assistant, school librarian and systems librarian. Each of these is a different rung on the ladder and has differing levels of authority, and I can see how my contribution during inspections has differed accordingly.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Apprentice success story

*Not* the library apprentice!
Image by Loren Javier
In 2012, the library in which I work appointed an apprentice. I'll admit that, back then, I was hugely sceptical. I felt the government was trading on the well-respected reputation of apprenticeships from decades gone by; my father, for instance, completed a 6 year apprenticeship to become a master craftsman. I wondered if a modern-day apprenticeship could offer a valid comparison. I was also concerned about the salary offered as it was much lower than that of a standard library assistant. I didn't want the apprentice to be short-change financially. However, I had no valid knowledge of apprenticeships and I am pleased to say my preconceptions were wrong.

During 2014, the apprentice completed her two year contract and was offered a permanent position within the library team. We were not obliged to offer a permanent post after the end of the contract, but we submitted a bid to do so which was accepted by HR. She had become a fully-contributory team member and of great value to the library.