LwL Podcast Episode 53 – Hong-Anh Nguyen

In Episode 53 of the Librarians with Lives podcast I chat to Hong-Anh Nguyen, Information Service Manager at The King’s Fund. I don’t want to give away too much because I want everyone to listen. She’s fab. That’s all the spoilers I’m willing to give you…

Hong-Anh is recruiting for a BAME graduate traineeship at The King’s Fund – contact her for more details.
CILIP BAME network is officially launching in the summer. Find out more here: https://www.cilip.org.uk/page/BAMENetwork

We recorded this episode in early February in person at Hong-Anh’s workplace. We chatted for about an hour prior to the recording, and the recorded interview itself ran to 1 hour 30 minutes. We’re chatty people! I have taken out the really non-librariany bits and put them into a mini episode, which will be released next week. I try to keep LwL episodes to an hour but Hong-Anh was so brilliant that I simply couldn’t edit anything else out.

Happy listening!

LwL Podcast Episode 49: Rebecca Hill

In Episode 49 of the Librarians with Lives podcast I chat to Rebecca Hill, Senior Library Assistant at the University of Huddersfield. She previously worked in FE at Huddersfield New College library. We chat about making the leap from FE to HE [spoiler – it’s not easy], library qualifications, Vikings, the usual….

Becky very kindly gave me some links to share with you:

  1. World Book Day fundraising for Book Aid International: 2013

https://www.huddnewcoll.ac.uk/news/2013-03-11-library-makes-a-difference-around-the-world

  1. First Student Library Volunteer team recognised during National Volunteers Week: 2013

https://www.huddnewcoll.ac.uk/news/2013-06-07-library-volunteers-rewarded-as-part-of-volunteers-week

  1. College Students & Staff read Alice in Wonderland for Read for RNIB Day: 2013

https://www.huddnewcoll.ac.uk/news/2013-10-11-college-reads-for-rnib

  1. Poetry by Heart 2013/14 – national poetry recitation competition success: 2014

https://www.huddnewcoll.ac.uk/news/2013-12-20-students-put-the-heart-and-soul-into-poetry-recital – College Heat & Championship

https://www.huddnewcoll.ac.uk/news/2014-02-17-jenny-proves-she-s-got-heart – Jennifer O’Sullivan wins County Finals

https://www.huddnewcoll.ac.uk/news/2014-03-24-pride-and-poetry-in-poetry-by-heart-finals – Jennifer O’Sullivan at the National Semi-finals in London

  1. Student Volunteer Team 2013/14 recognised & 2 V50 Awards: 2014

https://www.huddnewcoll.ac.uk/news/2014-05-09-library-volunteer-reward-celebration

  1. Six Book Challenge Success for Students: 2014

https://www.huddnewcoll.ac.uk/news/2014-07-03-reading-to-success

  1. Poetry by Heart 2014/15 – national poetry recitation competition success: 2015

https://www.huddnewcoll.ac.uk/news/2014-11-18-poetry-in-motion  – Saliha Khadim win’s College Heat & Championship

https://www.huddnewcoll.ac.uk/news/latest/2015-02-02-saliha-khadim-to-represent-west-yorkshire-in-the-poetry-by-heart-semi-finals – Saliha Khadim wins County Finals

http://www.huddnewcoll.ac.uk/news/latest/2015-03-27-2nd-year-at-poetry-by-heart-national-semi-finals-for-hnc – Saliha Khadim competing at the National Semi-Finals in Cambridge

  1. World Book Day 2015 – Author James Aitcheson visit:

http://www.huddnewcoll.ac.uk/news/latest/2015-03-06-world-book-day-2015-1

  1. World Book Night Book Giveaway 2015:

http://www.huddnewcoll.ac.uk/news/latest/2015-04-24-world-book-night

  1. Six Book Challenge Success for Students: 2015

http://www.huddnewcoll.ac.uk/news/latest/2015-05-13-another-successful-six-book-challenge

  1. Student Volunteer Success 2014/15:

http://www.huddnewcoll.ac.uk/news/latest/2015-06-18-college-students-are-vinspired

  1. Celebrating National Poetry Day & launching Poetry by Heart: 2015

http://www.huddnewcoll.ac.uk/news/latest/2015-10-09-national-poetry-day-at-hnc

  1. Students Alicia & Praveen achieve V50 VInspired Awards: 2015

http://www.huddnewcoll.ac.uk/news/latest/2015-11-23-v50-success-for-hnc-students

  1. Poetry by Heart College Heats & Championship: 2015

http://www.huddnewcoll.ac.uk/news/latest/2015-12-02-third-time-lucky-for-poetry-by-heart

  1. National Literacy Trust Big Book Sale: 2015

http://www.huddnewcoll.ac.uk/news/latest/2015-12-07-big-book-raises-62-for-charity

  1. Reading Ahead student shares reviews on Reading Agency blog: 2016

http://www.huddnewcoll.ac.uk/news/latest/2016-03-16-another-successful-year-for-the-reading-ahead-challenge

  1. 30th V10 VInspired award to Student Volunteer: 2016

http://www.huddnewcoll.ac.uk/news/latest/2016-03-23-further-success-for-vinspired-library-volunteers

  1. Reading Ahead Success for Students: 2016

http://www.huddnewcoll.ac.uk/news/latest/2016-04-18-reading-ahead-at-hnc 

  1. World Book Night Book Give Away – Record breaking success! : 2016

http://www.huddnewcoll.ac.uk/news/latest/2016-04-19-sharing-the-gift-of-reading-for-world-book-night

  1. Readathon sponsored read fundraising success: 2016

http://www.huddnewcoll.ac.uk/news/latest/2016-04-29-students-raise-impressive-sum-for-charity-in-sponsored-read

  1. Double V100 VInspired Awards for Student Volunteers: 2016

http://www.huddnewcoll.ac.uk/news/latest/2016-05-06-alicia-and-praveen-make-hnc-history-with-v100-awards

  1. Reading Ahead student starts book blog from challenge: 2016

http://www.huddnewcoll.ac.uk/news/latest/2016-05-13-reading-ahead-inspires-student-to-start-book-blog-more

  1. VInspired Scheme set to have another bumper year at HNC Library 2016

https://huddnewcoll.ac.uk/news/latest/2016-10-07-vinspired-scheme-set-to-have-another-bumper-year-at-hnc-library

  1. Festive Tales and Teapots party fundraise for National Literacy Trust 2016

https://huddnewcoll.ac.uk/news/latest/2016-12-13-festive-tales-teapots-party-for-national-literacy-trust

  1. World Book Day 2017 Celebrations:

https://huddnewcoll.ac.uk/news/latest/2017-03-06-hnc-celebrates-world-book-day

  1. Star Wars Day Celebrations 2017

https://huddnewcoll.ac.uk/news/latest/2017-05-09-may-the-force-be-with-you

  1. Summer Tales and Teapots Party for National Literacy Trust 2017

https://huddnewcoll.ac.uk/news/latest/2017-05-12-sequel-success-for-tales-and-teapots-party-fundraiser

  1. Young Writers Success 2017

https://huddnewcoll.ac.uk/news/latest/2017-05-16-young-writers-success

  1. Reading Ahead Record Breaking Success 2017

https://huddnewcoll.ac.uk/news/latest/2017-05-19-reading-ahead-2017-a-new-success-record

  1. Reading Matters/Beanstalk training for H&SC + Early Years Students 2018

https://huddnewcoll.ac.uk/news/2018-03-14-hnc-students-train-to-help-change-children-s-lives

  1. HNC College Short Story Competition 2018

https://huddnewcoll.ac.uk/news/2018-05-22-a-way-with-words

The next episode will be released on Tuesday 12th March and is a special 50th episode edition – LwL50.

Happy listening!

LwL Episode 30: Cassandra Gilbert-Ward

In Episode 30 of the Librarians with Lives podcast I chat to Cassandra Gilbert-Ward, Assistant Librarian at the National Art Library, housed at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Cassandra has had a varied career so far and has previous worked in prison, publishing house and academic libraries. We also discuss mental health, and work-life balance. As well as her full-time role, Cassandra is an ILS distance learning student at Sheffield and a keen rower. Cassandra blogs here

The next episode will be released on Tuesday 12th June and stars Louise Burkett.
Happy listening!

LwL Episode 13 Part 1: Tracy Z. Maleeff

In Episode 13 (Part 1) of the Librarians with Lives podcast I chat to Tracy Z. Maleeff, AKA @LibrarySherpa AKA @InfoSecSherpa. Tracy and I got really stuck in to recording this episode, so it’s in three (3!) parts. Part 1 is being released today and Parts 2 & 3 will be released simultaneously on Tuesday 12th December.

As Tracy is in Philadelphia, I’m in London and we’re both Librarians with Lives, it took us a while (six weeks) to get all three parts recorded over Skype Audio. We started in September and finally completed Part 3 in mid-October.

Part 1

In the first part we discuss inspired by public libraries but not wanting to work in one, making the most of the transferable skills that information professionals possess, MLIS courses in the US, qualifications and professional status, the QVC Library (!), working in law libraries, outreach and networking, British v American traits, and moving into the information security world

Tracy’s blog can be found here.

Parts 2 & 3 will be released next Tuesday 12th.
Happy listening!

LwL Episode 10: Helen & Amy from NLPN

In Episode 10 of the Librarians with Lives podcast I chat to Amy Finnegan, a health information specialist at NICE, and Helen Monagle, a senior assistant librarian (serials) at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU).

This is the first episode that features more than one person. Amy and Helen were together at one end of the Skype call and I was at the other. I was conscious throughout that I needed to give them both space to speak, and to refer to them by name as much as possible so that the three different voices were distinguishable.

Helen and Amy chat in-depth about NLPN, of which they are (with Catherine and Siobhan) co-founders: the process of setting it up, keeping the network going and continually being innovative. (I sound about 165 years old during this section, for which I apologise.) NLPN offer a job shadowing service, which I urge everyone to sign up to – either to offer to host or to take part in. The NLPN site also has a number of (written) interviews with information professionals on it and I may shamelessly ask some of the contributors to be on the podcast themselves at some stage.

We chat about becoming information professionals during an economic crash, lack of opportunity in public libraries, the depressing cycle of applying for library jobs and not getting them, Malory Towers, Chartership, I try to sell Revalidation (again) to them, and the importance of loving what you do. We also discuss library advocacy, ideas for public library campaigns, and the importance of evidence-based practice. A link to the abstract for an article on the tool that Amy mentioned can be found here.

In excellent news, I finally get to ring my bell ( the reason for this will become clear when you listen to the episode) AND we discuss setting up a private detective agency. I realised afterwards that I stole the idea for using a magnifying glass in the logo from QI, so I’ll have to have a re-think…

 

 

The next episode will be released on Tuesday 21st November and stars Tom Peach.
Happy listening!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chartership and the KISS Principle

Over the last year or so, as more of my professional peers have started the Chartership process, I have noticed that it has developed a mystique that I don’t think existed when I did mine in 2007. I think that Chartership candidates are making a much bigger deal of it than they really need to. Granted, compiling the portfolio at the end is a bit time-consuming and it’s hard to get the tone of the Personal Evaluative Statement right initially, but actually it’s no more difficult intellectually than writing up your thoughts for an annual appraisal.

There seem to be a lot of misconceptions about the Chartership process and in my role as mentor and as a concerned fellow professional I’d like to dispel some of the myths here*:

  1. 1.       “I don’t currently do enough to put into a Chartership portfolio”

Putting aside the fact that the people that have said that to me are practically running one aspect of the profession or another, everyone will have done enough development (either at work or externally) since they completed their qualification to make a decent attempt at a portfolio. I recently wrote my pre-appraisal review at work and was concerned that I hadn’t achieved as much as I had done the previous year. Six pages of bullet points later… My point is that unless you sit in a pit of your own filth day after day baiting celebrities on Twitter, you will have done things that you can put into a portfolio.

  1. 2.       “I’m not involved in enough committees”

Want to know how many committees I was involved in when I did my Chartership? None. Zero. Zilch. Well, I was on the Library Student Journal committee editorial board but that was online and I didn’t actually have to go and meet anyone. (Back then I was in denial about the whole librarian thing and didn’t want to fraternise with my peers). If you’re on a committee already – great! Put it in your portfolio. Don’t join something you don’t want to, or don’t feel comfortable with just to put it in your portfolio. You’ll end up resenting it.

  1. 3.       “Everyone does more CPD than me and I don’t measure up”

When pressed, these people admit to comparing themselves unfavourably to the Gods and Goddesses of library CPD. It’s a bit like taking up jogging and getting depressed a week later because you’re not matching Mo Farah’s PB for 5,000 metres. The average Joe (and in my case the very average Jo) cannot hope to emulate the great CPD feats of the few, but you can carve out your own niche. As long as your CPD methods work for you, who cares what everyone else is doing?

  1. 4.       “It’s all really woolly”.

Unlike everything you’ve done before, there isn’t a winning formula that will get you an A-Level or a degree. There isn’t a curriculum or a checklist. As someone that craves order and rules I found this a bit hard to get my head around to start with. However, I soon realised that within the parameters of the portfolio structure, I actually had a great deal of freedom to tailor my Chartership to what I actually needed to do to do my job better. So many people start a course and moan that it’s too generic, it doesn’t cater to their needs or it’s not applicable to their job. The beauty of Chartership is that it is what you make of it. It’s an opportunity for you to play teacher and set your own curriculum and who doesn’t have ambitions to be the master of their own universe?

  1. 5.        “I’m rubbish at reflective writing”

This whole reflective writing thing has a mythology all of its own. You aren’t aiming to become the next Aristotle here. I’m sure your philosophical meditations on the state of information seeking among the great unwashed are beautifully constructed nuggets of wisdom that will live on long after you’ve been reduced to a small pile of ashes but remember this: you’ve got 1,000 words to play with. If, for example, you have identified five development needs you’ve got 200 words for each section. You aren’t going to get much beyond a ‘When I did X I learnt Y and in future I would do Z’ approach and that’s perfectly fine. Save your meditations for a blog post.

This is all a very roundabout way of saying that people are making a much bigger deal of the Chartership process than they need to and once you’ve registered you just need to suck it up, stop whingeing and get on with it. Oh, and get someone to kick your arse occasionally, should you need it.

Keep It Simple, Stupid!

I have added my Chartership portfolio to LwL (see the tabs at the top of the page) for your delectation and amusement…

*These views are my own and are not endorsed by CILIP

Revalidation malaise

I registered for Revalidation back in January. I have done precisely nothing towards it since. I had a quick look at the documentation and downloaded a couple of templates and then? Nothing. A big blank space of nothing. I simply can’t work up any enthusiasm for it. What am I going to get from it? A step closer to Fellowship? Do I really want that when I’m in such a funk professionally? It’s not going to gain me anything at work, financially or developmentally.

Why should I persevere with it? Should I cut my losses and abandon the idea? I’d welcome your thoughts…