On Friday I won an award. At the the Research in Practice (RiP) Link Officers’ Annual Conference (LOAM) I was awarded Link Officer of the Year. Full disclosure: I won the silver award. The gold award – deservedly – went to Shelley Caldwell, Principal Social Worker in North Somerset. However, the certificate says Link Officer of the Year and doesn’t mention the silver bit so my LinkedIn profile probably won’t mention it either. Lets keep that between us, eh?! 😉
[Yup, I can’t say who I work for because people….]
It is always such a cliche when award winners say how honoured they are to win an accolade. However, it is generally true. I knew my manager had nominated me (which was very lovely of him) but the submission that Dez Holmes read out included information that he couldn’t have known about so there’s an anonymous guardian angel out there somewhere. Whoever they are I owe them a massive debt of gratitude.
Professionally I don’t seek awards but it is gratifying to be recognised and I also think it is a good thing for the information profession. Look at the text on the certificate just below my strategically-placed finger: “…embeds evidence-informed practice at all levels across the workforce…” …encourage colleagues to engage with RiP resources” “…they really stand out as a champion of evidence-informed practice”. All of this is what we do in the information profession. Every. Single. Day. If this isn’t library advocacy on a wider scale I don’t know what is. What we do matters. What we do makes a difference. If they know about it, people outside the profession notice and appreciate what we do. We need to be bolder about telling people. We need to learn to stand up and shout. We need to be proud of what we achieve.
[Note: I was the only information professional at the conference. I’ve been to a few RiP LOAMs over the years and there used to be a little group of us. No longer.]
Personally the award means an awful lot because this time last year I was incredibly unwell, had been off work for some time and no-one was quite sure (least of all me) if I would be able to go back again. To go from where I was in November 2016 to where I am now is actually mind-blowing. I made it back. I did it. I owe so many people so much for helping me achieve this. (I wrote a much longer post detailing how unwell I was last year but I’m not ready to share it just now because it makes for uncomfortable reading.)
I love being the RiP Link Officer for my organisation (not just because they give me awards and let me attend their annual conference with free food and wine) and I pledge to continue sharing the best evidence-informed practice service possible with my organisation, for the benefit of everyone.