Librarians with lives

I’ve been working in libraries since 2003 and I have set this blog up to address my (and I suspect others will identify) professional crisis.

I Chartered in January 2008 and I’m in the slightly unknown, slightly bizarre stage of my professional development. When you first decide on a career in librarianship the path you take in the first few years is pretty defined; graduate traineeship, library school, first professional post, chartership (although I didn’t exactly follow that path, as I’ll explain elsewhere) and then what? Revalidation 1? Revalidation 2? Fellowship? Retirement? Death? Scary stuff.

Coupled with that, my life has changed dramatically over the last seven years. Life has a habit of doing that, I find. Back then I was a carefree twentysomething and now I’m married with toddler twins and a full-time library job (and until now I was a solo librarian) and a Hotel Chocolat habit to support. I used to trot around the country attending courses, seminars and conferences and now I’m painfully aware that my continuing professional development file is sadly lacking – the last conference I attended was Umbrella 2009 and the last external training I had was in November 2008.

I’m fairly confident that there are lots of people out there in the same boat as me. CILIP tends to support those new to the profession and the retired members well but what about the people in the middle? Those of us that still like the profession, still like our jobs (and are lucky enough to have jobs) but simply don’t have the time to devote hours of our free time to CPD. There needs to be something for us to do that doesn’t take up much time, money or energy and that we can use as evidence of a commitment to CPD if/when we revalidate.

This is it: Librarians with Lives. I thought I ought to devise some rules. As I have no time to come up with a comprehensive list I’ve just got three:

1. All posts have to be written in 15 minutes or less (write a 5,000 word dissertation and I’ll know you’ve cheated)
2. Contributions from guest librarians/bloggers are very VERY welcome. Ideally, you need to be having a professional crisis of some kind. I’d really like contributions from fellow professionals who have chartered and are thinking of, or are revalidating. That’s what I’m aiming this at really.
3. Grammar Nazis need not apply – this hurts me as I AM one but this is about making connections, not writing perfect prose.

Final thing: I bet that somewhere in the blogosphere someone has already had this brilliant idea but I can’t be bothered to find out (and I follow a fair few library blogs) and in any case I’m sure someone desperately helpful (aren’t we all?) will soon tell me so I merely offer you a shrug and a ‘Whatever’ by way of a slacker return.

Librarians with Lives. CPD for the CBA.


3 thoughts on “Librarians with lives

  1. What a brilliant idea! I don’t meet your criteria (7 years in libraries but still doing my MSc and then going for Chartership) but will read with interest.

    • Thanks Niamh. As a former Aber DL person I’m always interested to hear from people that are now doing the course themselves – how are you finding it?

      If I can persuade my employer to fund it, I’m consdering returning to Aber at some point to do the Library Management MSc…

      Good luck with the course and keep reading LwL 🙂 it would be interesting to get a guest post from someone on the cusp of Chartership….

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