Page 1

Spring 2010

Volume 13

Number 1


Ned Potter

Pick me! Why should an employer choose you?

Why are we still defined by our buildings?

Annette Earl

Nicolás Robinson

What library school doesn’t teach you

Changing times, changing goals

ISSN 1468-1625 Impact, the official journal of the Career Development Group of CILIP: the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals; formerly the Assistant Librarian, the journal of the Association of Assistant Librarians. PRESIDENT Jon Scown Libraries West Development Officer Cultural Services Admin Centre, Mount Street, Bridgwater, Somerset TA6 3ES Tel: 01278 451201. Email:

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Impact Copy Dates 2010 Issue Articles Publication Summer 20 May 17 June Autumn 19 Aug 16 Sept Winter 28 Oct 25 Nov Career Development Group Website: Registered charity number: 313014

Spring 2010 Volume 13 No. 1 CONTENTS 2 NED POTTER Why are we still defined by our building 5 CHRISTOPHER RHODES New Professional activities 7 NICOLÁS ROBINSON Changing times, changing goals

10 ANNETTE EARL What library school does not teach you 13 SUE EDGAR Pick me! Why should an employer choose you? 15 AFRICAN PRISONS PROJECT: BURSARY WINNER 17 VINCENT McDONALD Thank you VSO 20 PREMILA GAMAGE & TRACEY AINSLEY Development of the Prabhavi Organisation library - Sri Lanka 22 DATES

Guest Editor Christopher Rhodes (Honorary New Professionals Coordinator) Library Executive House of Commons Library Email:

Honorary Editor Alison Barlow Information Librarian Nottinghamshire County Council Beeston Library, Foster Avenue, Beeston, Nottingham, NG9 1AE Email:



to this special, guest edited, New Professionals’ edition of Impact, which showcases work from last year’s New Professionals’ Conference and gives you a taste of our exciting proposals for the year ahead! In this edition, we bring you the winning paper from our 2009 New Professionals’ conference by Ned Potter, which acts as good advert for this year’s New Professionals’ Conference on Monday 5th July at the University of Sheffield. This is one of three conferences we are running this year, all of which feature in this issue. There truly is something for everyone. Returning to new professionals, Nicholás Robinson surveys some of their current challenges from a Spanish perspective and Annette Earl provides some of top tips for newly qualified librarians that you won’t hear at library school. Sue Edgar from Sue Hill Recruitment then outlines what it is that makes new professionals so valuable to employers. We also include news of the winner of the African Prison Project bursary, an update on the CDG international project in Sri Lanka, and a moving account of Voluntary Services Overseas’ (VSO) volunteer Vincent McDonald’s time in Pune in India. We hope this edition of Impact inspires you to embrace some of the opportunities that CDG offers to new professionals and also to librarians at all stages of their careers.

Christopher Rhodes and Alison Barlow

Printed in England by Headley Brothers Ltd, Ashford, Kent

Impact Spring 2010



Why are we still defined by our building? Ned Potter Winner of 2009 New Professionals’ Conference Best Paper Prize


popular culture and public perceptions:

he information profession is full of creative, dynamic and ambitious people - yet we are still fighting against firmly established, damaging myths and stereotypes.

Old Maid Librarian Policeman Librarian Inept Librarian Librarian as Parody Hero/ine Librarian

Those outside the profession still define us by the buildings we work in; we carry with us the baggage of associations with ‘the library’, and it does not matter how much or how little time we actually spend in the building itself.

You may have more of your own. Seale does capture the main portrayals well, and it is worth examining them in a bit more detail.

The Old Maid librarian is really the dominant stereoReproduced with permission from type; frumpy and sexless, Many of us have escaped sitting behind her book-issuing desk wearthe physical confines of the library, without ing terrible clothes and oozing unhappibeing able to escape the preconceptions ness. Seale also points out a ‘Young Maid’ that go with it. derivative of this - we are all familiar with the I want to look at what those preconcep- moment in a film when, perhaps in slow tions are, why they really are important motion, the Young Maid will shake her hair out of her librarian’s bun, remove her and what we can do to change them. librarian’s glasses and affect a miraculous swan-like transformation into the love-interWhat preconceptions? est of the hero. (At least you women have It seems we Information Professionals have that transformation to look forward to; us been preoccupied with this subject for a men start off meek, mild and dull, and that’s while – and why not? No profession has pretty much how we stay…). quite the canon of unfavourable stereotypes from a broad range of sources, as The Library Policeman is the person who librarians. takes delight in punishing library users for their lateness, their noise-levels, or really We are all familiar with the most common just anything at all. The building is very stereotypes. In 2008, Maura Seale (1) ex- important in this definition – it is because plored this in detail and came up with five the Library is his domain that the policeman major categories of librarian in mass media, can scare and cow people who normally Impact Spring 2010


would not look twice at him in the street. The library policeman is marginalised and ignored by society at large, so when he is in his library building he can finally extract revenge with a series of petty grievances.

if they try and subvert them or treat them ironically. So is the doll a good thing, a bad thing, or something that does not require any kind of attention at all? I honestly do not know.

The Inept Librarian, carries on this theme, being not inept at his or her job, but socially The Hero/ine Librarian, as the final stereotype, is a more positive portrayal, with an inept, or out of touch. example being Giles from Buffy the VamThe Librarian as Parody takes us into rather pire Slayer who often saves the world, apmore murky waters. This refers to being parently. Unfortunately he does so from a fully aware of the librarian stereotype and sort of Victorian ideal of a library, all wood either playing up to it or dismantling it com- cabinets, globes on desks, and dusty old pletely to become an exaggerated opposite. books. He has no familiarity with informaAn example of the latter is the film The tion technology. As the modern librarian Librarian, in which the macho hero is, to uses technology all the time, even a relaquote Seale, “a sexy, adventurous librarian tively positive portrayal of a librarian such with two love interests.” as Giles is obstructive to our users seeing as we really are. An example of the former is the Nancy Pearl action figure. Nancy Pearl is a sort of cult-librarian figure in America, and author of the well-received 2003 volume Book Lust. She has her own action figure (as shown on the opening page) which comes complete with a stack of books. The most controversial aspect of the figure is the push-to-shush function. Is this an example of librarians reclaiming or appropriating their image for themselves, subverting the stereotypes by embracing them, and underNew York Public Library mining them with a kitsch librarian doll? Or is this simply pandering to, and perpetuat- Why it matters ing, the stereotype. Some, like Nancy Pearl, would argue that these stereotypes do not matter. It is my ‘we need to confront it head on, belief that the stereotyping issue is signifibecause ultimately it interferes with cant enough that we need to confront it our ability to deliver a service’ head on, because ultimately it interferes with our ability to deliver a service. Generally I think the shushing-action doll is funny. But, there is an over-arching issue I surveyed 50 members of staff at the Unihere which is that it is perpetuating the versity of Leeds library on whether they felt stereotype; any librarian-as-parody figures library workers receive sufficient respect draw attention to the stereotypes and fur- from outside the profession. Only 8% said ther embed them into popular culture, even ‘Mostly’; the largest group (50%) said ‘Not Impact Spring 2010


Really’. More than one person commented that most people do not know it is a skilled profession at all, or that you can qualify in it. A lack of respect results in a less successful information provision. A colleague, Dan Pullinger, found in his 2004 study (2) that only 27% of respondents described staff in an academic library as ‘computer literate’. Students do not realise the extent to which modern content-delivery methods are driven by the library, and many do not come to us for help with IT. And of those that do, many are not inclined to trust our advice.

guidance, she says, they must think first of the librarian when they want authoritative information.

Ultimately, it is down to us (particularly the new professionals who will shape the Information Profession in years to come) to ensure others recognise the importance of what we do and that the nature of information provision and information workers is changing. Those outside the profession are struggling to catch up with who we really are and what we really do in the 21st century. We must update them whenever we can, As well as impacting on our ability to effec- using every means available to us. tively influence our users, our image is also important in terms of recruiting to the pro- Our most common and perhaps effective fession. In 2006 Alan Danskin (3) noted that opportunity is in the day-to-day interaction 33% of the cataloguing workforce in the US we have with our customers. As in the old will retire by 2010. In the UK many of the sporting cliché – you are only as good as customer-facing staff, who made library your last game. We are only as good as our work their career, are close to retirement to last customer interaction – every single be replaced with younger people for whom thing we do must be customer focussed, the job is only transitory. Retiring staff will positive, and reflect the role of the modern need replacing – and at the moment, insuf- information professional. This really is the ficient numbers are being attracted to a primary weapon we have in our armoury, profession wrongly seen as boring. This with which to shake off the old associations alone is a convincing argument for why our that cling to our building, and so also to us. image really does matter. Ned Potter LIFE-SHARE Project Officer, University of Leeds.

What should we do about it? Cynthia Shamel (4) suggests a coordinated and highly developed marketing strategy. She makes some excellent suggestions, such as having marketing as a core module in library school programmes and marketing ourselves as well as our resources. She also emphasises the importance of positioning librarians as ‘the primary conduit for the transmission of information from wherever it exists to wherever it is needed’. This may sound like what we already try and do, but Shamel is talking about wider public perception: in the same way everyone knows they should contact an accountant for financial advice or a lawyer for legal Impact Spring 2010


A longer version of this paper is available at Ned blogs at the (1) Seale, M. (2008) ‘Old Maids, Policeman and Social Rejects: Mass Media Representations and Public Perceptions of Librarians’ in Electronic Journal of Academic and Special Librarianship, 9 (1) (2) Pullinger, D. (2004) An investigation into the existence of a relationship between student perception of academic librarians and uptake of the services they offer. (3) Danskin, A. (2006) “Tomorrow never knows:” the end of cataloguing? Address to World Library and Information Congress. Accessible via /IV/ifla72/papers/102-Danskin-en.pdf , p. 4 (4) Shamel, Cynthia (2002) ‘Building a brand: Got librarian?’ Searcher, 10 (7). Accessible via

New Professional activities Christopher Rhodes


became CDG New Professionals’ Coordinator roughly 12 months ago and I will take this chance to outline a few highlights from the past year and some of the opportunities in 2010. The first CDG New Professionals’ Conference was held in July last year at London Metropolitan University. It was attended by nearly 100 delegates, with nine first time speakers delivering presentations, on subjects ranging from marketing yourself online to conceptions of librarianship. The lively debate which accompanied these presentations will hopefully be repeated at the second New Professionals’ Conference, to be held in July this year at the University of Sheffield. The format will be different this time, with a number of workshops giving delegates the opportunity to interact with experts in smaller groups. The plenary sessions will again involve first-time speakers and the opportunity to debate issues of interest to new professionals.

ties in library roles around the country. This is the kind of innovative and important scheme which helps the profession by increasing the diversity of the workforce. It also provides great opportunities for new professionals and mirrors some of the core goals of CDG. I have volunteered to meet with the trainees and have offered the support of CDG, to ensure that they have every opportunity to begin successful careers. One of the biggest opportunities to make a tangible difference to the profession, is through CILIP’s Big Conversation. This consultation will attempt to ensure the relevance of CILIP to LIS professionals in the coming decade and Biddy Fisher, President of CILIP, has said repeatedly how important she considers the views of new professionals to be. This chance to influence the future of our professional body should not be ignored. I would strongly encourage anyone reading this to take every chance they have to get their views heard and their opinions recorded.

A graduate day has been held in London for several years, providing a good opportunity to present the merits of careers in information. For the first time, this year, these days will be extended beyond London. The New Professional Support Officers will work closely with CILIP’s Membership Support Unit to plan and run these days at locations around Britain, extending the reach of the profession to people and places that have not been approached in this way before.

Last year CDG succeeded in providing new professionals with a stronger voice within the profession, provided new opportunities for new professionals from different sectors to interact, and created the New Professional Support Officer Network that has enabled people in the early stages of their careers to receive assistance and guidance from other new professionals in their area.

The Past President of CDG, Maria Cotera and I attended the launch of CILIP’s Encompass Trainee Scheme. This scheme seeks to place trainees from ethnic minori-

Christopher Rhodes Honorary New Professionals Coordinator

Impact Spring 2010


It is my hope that this year will be just as successful as the last.

Proving your worth in challenging times Career Development Group New Professionals Conference 2010: Forum and Debate from a New Professionals Perspective In partnership with the Department of Information Studies, University of Sheffield

Monday 5th July 2010, at the University of Sheffield

Programme Opening address:

Sheila Corrall, Professor of Librarianship & Information Management, University of Sheffield

Plenary presentations from new professionals, followed by debate

Parallel interactive workshops

Bridging the gap: From employability to employment

Entering the world of blogs

Building skills on a shoestring:

Creating effective CVs

led by Ned Potter

led by Lizzie Russell (Sue Hill Recruitment)

Unpaid work, making it count Taking charge of your CPD

Taking the twit out of Twitter

Proving the value of peer networks

led by Bethan Ruddock

Attitudes that add value:

Creating elevator speeches led by Lucy Marris and Andrew Cox

Broadening your skills Traditional skills in a changing world Unleashing your professional edge

Closing remarks: Conference chair:

Biddy Fisher, CILIP President Maria Cotera, CDG Past President

Best paper prize (voted by delegates) sponsored by Sue Hill Recruitment

Delegate rates CDG members - £55 + 17.5% VAT = £64.63 CILIP members - £65 + 17.5% VAT = £76.38 Non CILIP members - £75 + 17.5% VAT = £88.13 Students & Unwaged - £35 + 17.5% VAT = £41.13 For more details, a full programme and bookings visit Impact Spring 2010


Changing times, changing goals Nicolás Robinson


new year begins and with it comes new opportunities for new professionals. In a time of many changes – the economic crisis, climate change, new technologies, among others – the key to success lies in providing added value and looking at these phenomena not as obstacles but as a chance to prove ourselves. To quote Bronowski (1), “at such a moment the man who can direct others, in thought or in action, can remake the world”. As is typical at this time of year there are a number of top tens and predictions in the press. One of the latter attracted my attention recently. On 28 December, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) published an article about new jobs and promising career paths expected in the next few years. The article, entitled “Landing a Job of the Future Takes a Two-Track Mind” (2), gives an interesting perspective on the skills and knowledge expected of job seekers.

has traditionally been our environment: libraries. We have to learn to look outside our buildings, our books and our shelves and see the potential we have and make a change.

To quote a phrase from the WSJ article: “Case managers do everything from managing the flow of information between practitioner and insurance company to mitigating risk to the hospital”. Can we not do that job? Does that kind of competence ‘There is a huge economic crisis, not belong to information professionals? If they are closing libraries, cutting so, then why are employers thinking of staff. What can you do?’ nurses for this role and not us? Maybe because we still have a lot to prove. Maybe Though the article does not contain a list of it has not even crossed their minds. future jobs and the words ‘library’ or ‘librarian’ do not appear, the skills described Names don’t matter mirror those of information professionals, promising news for today’s new profession- As you can see I am not talking here about als. librarians, at least, this would not be the proper name for this kind of professional, What employers are looking for are infor- but who cares what it is called! At the 2009 mation managers. They may not be calling CDG New Professionals’ Conference (3), I them that because they do not know what talked about new profiles that had arisen in information professionals are capable of Spain due to technology and to the changes doing. We must learn to demonstrate our we are experiencing in our profession. Durvalue and not become obsessed with what ing my presentation I described three

Impact Spring 2010


online access (4). To compound this a recent OCLC report (5) stated that most researchers find library collections poor and prefer to create their own personal collections. As professionals we often struggle to keep up and rail against change, but what if we altered our mindset and looked at this as an opportunity, not an obstacle? This does not have to be bad news for librarians, it Today society needs and demands more does not mean academic libraries are not than ever the skills and techniques that the needed anymore; what it means is that our interdisciplinary nature of our profession role has changed. provide us with. Information technology expertise, information-seeking techniques Let us look at the OCLC report as an and information management are just a few example. Researchers stated that they of the competencies that we can provide as would be happy to share their personal information professionals. Jorge Serrano, collections with other researchers. Maybe who studied Library and Information Stud- there is an opportunity there for us to ies at the University of Granada, is an excellent example of an information profes‘Society needs and demands the sional who has successfully applied all his skills and techniques that our knowledge and skills in a different context profession provides us with’ outside the library environment. Having worked in e-commerce, marketing, search engine optimisation and benchmarking he provide the means to make this happen. is currently head of the Contents Depart- Libraries, as physical places, are losing ment at, a company their original importance as information whose aim is to manage information and centres. The Internet has replaced them. “contribute to the future definition of com- But libraries, as information providers and munication”. If asked, Jorge Serrano al- educating centres are more necessary than ways replies the same way, ‘I don’t care ever. Researchers and students are now what they call me: librarian, information overwhelmed with information; they do not professional or even IT specialist, I always know how to look for it, how to organise it or do the same kind of job and use the same how to share it. We can be their guides and skills, the only difference is in how I apply demonstrate our value by for example teaching them how to use RSS feeds, how them’. to share information or just helping them Academic libraries: changing habits, control the multitude of information channels available. changing services Spanish professionals who have developed a unique career profile, which makes them irreplaceable in their respective institutions. Not all of them work in libraries but they still consider themselves members of the same profession. What I wanted to show then and would like to emphasise now, is the enormous scope of our profession.

One of the fields where many changes are taking place is in academic libraries, where patrons’ information behavior is changing rapidly. Researchers do not go to the library anymore; they have substituted it with Google. What is more, they won’t even think about reading anything that hasn’t got Impact Spring 2010


Looking for a job, how to make it happen? But, enough of professional challenges: you are a new professional, you have just finished your studies and are looking for a job. There is a huge economic crisis, they

are closing libraries and cutting staff. What often needed in order to find responses to issues, such as some of the changes that can you do? Where should you look? are happening in the scientific community. Well, first of all let us get our priorities right. Are you aware of the different paths you “If we do not think of jobs can take? Last year, at the Faculty of Comin terms of the professional skills munication and Documentation, in Granawe have .... we are da, we organised the second Conference selling ourselves short” on Career Opportunities for Library and Information Science Graduates (6). Here, one of the speakers suggested three possi- Finally, remember that activism is always a ble career paths, which are perhaps the way of career development and that networking is vital in order to find new opportutraditional routes we think of: nities. It is not just being a good Ÿ research professional, it is telling people who you are. Ÿ public sector Ÿ private sector.

Nicolás Robinson University of Granada, Spain.

I would suggest different options: Ÿ Ÿ Ÿ Ÿ Ÿ Ÿ

research public libraries academic libraries archives commercial enterprise publishing

Nicolás is part of the Science and Scientific Communication research group, examining information behaviour in the scientific community. Further information about his research can be found at

Of course you can probably think of more categories that can be added. My purpose is not to describe professional profiles, but to encourage us to widen the view of opportunities we should be considering. If we do not think of jobs in terms of the professional skills we have and concentrate only on the library sector, without considering other fields of endeavour we are selling ourselves short. This was highlighted recently by Michael Clarke (7) who blogged about the need for professionals in publishing, emphasising both scientific publishing and literary publishing. Research, for example, is a field of interest that should, but is often not, considered in today’s difficult job market. A post in a University does not necessarily have to lead to academia. As I showed at the New Professionals’ Conference (8) new profiles can derive from research. Applied research is Impact Spring 2010


(1) Bronowski, J. (1978) The Common Sense of Science. (2) Middleton, D. (2009) Landing a Job of the Future Takes a Two-Track Mind. Available at: 78604574624392641425278.html?mod=rss_Today% 27s_Most_Popular (3) Robinson-Garcia, N. (2009) New Technologies, New Professionals. Available at (4) Salo, D (2010) available at sts_why_your_access_to.php. (5) Palmer C. L et al (2009) Scholarly Information practices in the Online Environment. Available at 2009/2009-02.pdf (6) Presentations (in Spanish) available at: us (7) Clarke, M. (2010) Available at /interested-in-a-career-in-publishing-recruiting-thetalent-we-need-for-the-21st-century. (8) Daniel Torres Salinas, researcher at EC3, has written about a new information system designed to increase research productivity at the University of Navarra, Spain. One of EC3’s main sources of income comes from implementing his information system.

What library school does not teach you Annette Earl times mean relocation; new town, new job, new everything. It takes time to adapt to any new situation but some things can offer nowing that the ‘powers that be’ consistency and stability. were looking for articles specifically aimed at those new to the profes- For me, these things include knowing the sion, I suggested that a piece offering number of a local taxi firm (I would always advice to help settle into a new post might be able to get home), where the local takeaway was (I would not starve) and where be worthwhile. the public toilets were (vital!). These may all seem like trivialities but knowing what Then I was asked to write it. makes you comfortable in your personal Let that be a lesson to those newbies surroundings is one of the most effective among you who are still paddling at the methods of ensuring you settle in to your edge of the CDG waters – ideas are almost new professional surroundings and gives you a solid foundation upon which to build invariably followed by actions! your professional skills. If only that were true of our daily professional lives where theory and practice can be an Top Tip 2: Ignorance is bliss anathema to each other. This can appear It is really quite simple – nobody expects an absolute truth when entering into your you to be able to carry out all aspects of first professional post. Resourcing issues, your job by the end of your first week. We internal politics, children vomiting on the do not expect it of other people and yet we newly cleaned carpet – library school did seem to think it is perfectly reasonable to not devote lectures to such things. demand it of ourselves. Frankly, this makes no sense at all because worrying about I am an expert in precisely nothing, but with what you do not know (but what you think several jobs now under my belt, I have you should know) does not actually help managed to identify five top tips that have you to learn it any faster. Be kind to yourhelped me settle into a new post as quickly self. Accept that it is going to take some as possible; together I call them the time before you will feel comfortable with all ‘Pyramid of Professional Perpetuity’ (trust your responsibilities and duties and realise me, all will become clear..). I hope they may that it is absolutely fine to ‘know that you do resonate with some of you and prove not know’. This is probably a blessing rather vaguely interesting and/or useful to others. than a curse because, very soon you will know far more that you ever wanted to! Top Tip 1: Taxis, Takeaways and Toilets It is well known that the strength of any Top Tip 3: Indulge your inner child

Plugging the gap: top tips for newly qualified librarians


building lies in its foundation and given that There are many adjectives to describe chilwe talk of ‘building’ our career, the same dren but for the purposes of this article I maxim holds true. A new post can some- shall content myself with just one. InquisiImpact Spring 2010


tive. ‘Why? But why?’ You get the idea. Children constantly question why things are the way they are – a trait lost to us as we become adults. Yet questioning the ‘why’ of any situation only results in an increased understanding of our surroundings. It helps us to identify the strengths and weaknesses of what we do and asking this in a professional context can often lead to more efficient and effective ways of working. If you are new to an organisation then asking questions is often seen to be a useful evaluation tool by the employer as well as allowing you to acquire the context and constraints of your new role more quickly. Top Tip 4: Smoke and Mirrors I can still clearly remember my first one-toone session with my line manager about two weeks after beginning my first professional post. It included the assertion that whilst I had not actually done any ‘real’ work to date, I had built up some useful connections and contacts. At the time I distinctly remember feeling criticised and having failed expectation. However, time and experience have allowed me to look back at that meeting with an ironic smile. I have since realised that my biggest professional strength is communication and to act as a ‘bridge’ between various groups and individuals. I now deliberately spend the first week of any new job getting to know the names and faces of everyone I can and introduce myself to them. This includes the senior management team, receptionists, facilities staff and the canteen lady (priorities…). It is much easier to ask for, and accept, help when you know the people involved.

while activities you undertake at the start of your new position. Top Tip 5: Aesop’s Advice Remember the story of the tortoise and the hare who raced each other and against all odds the tortoise won? The lesson usually associated with this fable is ‘Slow and steady wins the race’. The race here is with nobody but yourself; if you pace yourself you will settle in to your new role relatively quickly and with ease. There will always be an unforeseen hiccup or two along the way but confidence is the key – every measured step taken is ultimately a step closer to achieving your professional goals and ambitions.

‘Some people would call me mad - I work in a library and volunteer in a library on my day off’ Now, I will readily admit that the Pyramid of Professional Perpetuity has a ridiculous name but it is also an accurate one. Each new tip or skill that is learned may be thought of as another block which can be added to the structure and therefore the pyramid continues to grow and is never really complete. After all, is that not what CPD is – a continuing commitment to build on our knowledge and understanding of the world around us? We each have our own pyramid in which we choose to arrange the blocks in various combinations until we create a structure that is right for us. There is no right or wrong and as long as we remember that, each new job becomes a little easier to settle in to.

Now, all this writing has given me an appeIntroductions and networking may not seem tite. Fortunately, I know a takeaway nearlike ‘real’ work at the time but the dividends by… Annette Earl that are ultimately paid out will prove this to Project Manager, Peninsular College be one of the most productive and worthof Medicine and Dentistry.

Impact Spring 2010


Raising the Bar Conference 2010 Career Development Group Senior Professionals Conference In partnership with the Personnel, Training and Education Group of CILIP (PTEG) Thursday 10th June 2010, at Newcastle upon Tyne’s impressive new Central Library

Following the success of Raising the Bar 2008, our first joint conference with PTEG, we are pleased to announce our new joint conference specifically aimed at middle and senior managers. Consisting of a mix of plenary sessions and small-group interactive workshops delivered by engaging speakers, including CILIP President Biddy Fisher, themes include: Taking others along with you when implementing change

Using Web 2.0 for professional advocacy Scenario planning - back by popular demand

Combating disillusion

Delegate rates CDG/PTEG members - £120 + 17.5% VAT = £141.00 CILIP members - £150 + 17.5% VAT = £176.25 Non CILIP members - £180 + 17.5% VAT = £211.50 Unwaged - £50 + 17.5% VAT = £58.75 For further details contact Conference Chair Maria Cotera: Tel: 020 7679 2302 or visit

A New Look for Sequels Sequels, the reference tool widely used by public libraries and bookshops, formerly published by CILIP’s Career Development Group, is shortly to be produced in a new electronic format under the title ‘’. The content, works of fiction and non-fiction in series, will remain the same with the readdition of material removed from previous editions. Accessible using author, title or series searches, data will continue to be edited by Mandy Hicken, with updates on a weekly basis. The annual subscription will be £200, with no restriction on the number of terminals on which the database can be used. Each subscriber will have a unique password with which to log in. For further details contact Mandy, Impact Spring 2010


Pick me! Why should an employer choose you? Sue Edgar how they present themselves to a potential employer.

Sue Edgar asks, ‘what do you, a new professional, offer an employer?


fter completing academic studies then comes the scary time of looking for that first ‘role’. But in tough economic times do you fully understand the skills that employers want? And will your first interview be as daunting as facing Simon Cowell on a judging panel? Academic study and qualifications offer a theoretical approach to how an objective can be achieved. A service for all, readily available and non-discriminatory, but in practical terms what skills and competencies are potential employers looking for ? Looking at many advertisements it is clear that employers are looking for more than a professional qualification. Words such as flexible, enthusiastic and committed spring to mind. Getting a professional qualification indicates that sound functional knowledge has been attained. It is those non-tangible skills that add a different dimension to your candidacy. The key question is ‘What skills and attributes does the 21st Century Information Professional need to succeed?’ You will need to have good functional and social skills and Emma Illingworth and Sarah Ison of the University of Brighton utilised work done by Farkas in 2006 (1) which identified sixteen such skills when presenting at a Forum in 2009 (2) - “Unleashing the potential: new professionals in the workplace”. From embracing change through to diplomacy and marketing skills, the new professional must be able to develop these skills and also show flexibility and adaptability in Impact Spring 2010


When beginning your job search for your first role or first move it is critical to fully realise what it was about the profession that drew you in and what excites you. Is it service delivery to your customers be they in the public, academic, charity or commercial sectors? Is it more technical in terms of technology being an enabler for services and the flow of information? Is it the backroom organisational roles to ensure collections and resources are purchased, managed and made accessible? Understanding why you chose this path will ultimately drive your enthusiasm and career development. At Sue Hill Recruitment we are finding that our clients are seeking new professionals that have already picked up some nontangible skills in concert with the functional skills they will get from their respective courses.

“I want to tell people what I think, not what they think I should think” A forthcoming conference in the US has identified the following as key elements of skills/competencies for information professionals: professional etiquette, appropriate business behaviour, a sensitivity to office politics and diplomacy, an ability to deal with conflict and communication skills But do these resonate with you? They clearly show that employers are not only expecting strong functional skills but that they want more for their £s. Are these realistic expectations by an employer for someone applying for their first role?

Are these requirements unrealistic? Not really and once you delve into your prior experiences from clubs, societies, school activities, part-time work, student life, internships and paid work during holidaysyou will be able identify what competence has come from what experience. What you

which are often referred to. ‘Intelligence is quickness to learn. Ability is the skill to apply what is learned. Competence is the ability and desire to apply what is learned. Desire is the attitude that makes a skilful person competent. Many skilful people are incompetent. Ability without the right attitude is wasted’.

‘Softer skills are being increasingly emphasised’

You may encounter interviews that probe your competencies and questions such as: ‘How did you manage an important assignment and what were the results?’; ‘How do you set up the priorities for your day-to-day work?’; ‘How do you update your knowledge and skills?’

consider implicit in simply naming an employer and stating your job title and duties may not be clear to an HR professional tasked with screening CV. Your CV must truly reflect what you are offering to an employer: it is your personal marketing leaflet to tempt an employer. At interview it is over to you to ‘sell’ your full range of capabilities that are relevant for the role.

By giving examples (that may not always be from a work situation) you make it clear to the interviewer that you have good project management skills, good time management and kept abreast of professional trends and Hard skills are important and can be de- technologies. scribed as your ‘bread and butter’ skills but Coming back to the question what have you the softer skills are being increasingly em- got to offer? Lots!! phasised. As a new professional entering the industry Often many do not see a need to master the you offer knowledge that is current from softer skills and assume they cannot be your studies; enthusiasm; strong ICT skills learned. Friends, family or colleagues may and sound functional capabilities. seem to have a natural flair for speaking or Now go and sell your potential! possess bags of confidence. There is not a Sue Edgar skills gene for talent and we as a species can be our own worst critic, not believing Senior Appointments Recruitment Manager Sue Hill Recruitment. that we can be as good as others. People we see as having good soft skills have often Sue Hill Recruitment specialises in placing library and worked at them for years. Speaking in information professionals at all levels, from graduate public for the first time is terrifying. Going trainees to senior executives. for your first interview is scary but at the Farkas, M. (2006) Riding the Shift: On Being a Successful same time full of anticipation and excite- (1) 21st Century Librarian. Accessed via ment. What are skills? Competencies? Abilities? Are they interchangeable? Mutually exclusive? Shiv Khera an Indian motivational speaker gave some clarity around these questions Impact Spring 2010


(2) Illingworth, E., & Ison, S. (2009) Unleashing the Potential: New Professionals in the Workplace. Paper delivered at the first CDG New Professionals Conference, July 2009, London Metropolitan University. Farkas, M. (2008) Beyond 2018: Transformation and Future of Academic Libraries. Accessed via Shridar, M. S. (1999) Skill Requirements of LIS Professionals in the new e-world. Department of Library and Information Science, University of Mysore, Mysore, India 1999

Enhance your career prospects with work-based or distance learning @ Northumbria MSc Records Management – 2 years distance learning MA/MSc Information and Library Management – 2 years distance learning PG Cert. Community Engagement – 1 year distance learning PG Cert. Information Security and Governance* – 1 year work based distance learning BSc Librarianship – 27 months or 51 months distance learning

Why Northumbria? A strong and successful reputation in the delivery of distance learning CILIP, Society of Archivists, Skills for Justice National Occupational Standards accredited courses/modules Proactive employer engagement in “Being taught by enthusiastic, dedicated academics that know and love the subjects they teach is a great element to the course.” James Wells James Wells

For further information please visit our website at If you wish to discuss your application please contact either Dr A. Pickard at or Dr C. Laing at *Subject to validation

African Prisons Project Bursary winner


n December we advertised a bursary to visit the African Prison Library project in Uganda. Foundations have already been laid by previous volunteers at the project and the recipient is to continue on with this work.

worked as both a health and school librarian.

Susan also has experience working internationally, volunteering in Somalia as a coordinator of a community project and in Malawi taught computer skills and volunThank you to all that applied. We were teered with a street children project. amazed at the amount of enquiries and the high standard of applications we received. The above is just a snapshot of Susan’s wide and varied knowledge and skills, all of I am pleased to announce our bursary has which will be valuable assets to the African been awarded to Susan Mahony. Prisons Project. I look forward to Susan sharing her experience with us in a future Having previously worked as a volunteer in issue of Impact. a psychiatric borstal, Susan has trained in Tracey Ainsley social work and has worked as a probation CDG Honorary International Officer officer and youth justice worker. Having retrained as a librarian in 2003, she has For more information see Impact Spring 2010


Working Smarter: Making More of an Impact With Less Career Development Group UK National Conference 2010 At CILIP, 7 Ridgmount St, London WC1E 7AE Monday 17th May 2010, 10.00 am - 4.00 pm

Programme Morning plenary presentations

Afternoon parallel sessions


How to reduce the hidden cost of meetings


Training on a budget




Marketing on a budget


Time management skills


Using volunteers


Professionalism for success

A range of speakers from across the library and information sectors will include: Susie Kay, Kathy Roddy and Carol Brooks

Delegate rates Career Development Group members: £90 + 17.5% VAT = £105.75* Non-members: £105 + 17.5% VAT = £123.37* An ‘Early Bird’ discount of £10 will be applied to member and non-member bookings if booked by 31st March 2010 Students & Unwaged: £50 + 17.5% VAT = £58.75* (limited places available) *Delegate rate includes refreshments and buffet lunch

Artsline access codes: E, G, W, X

Contacts For more details: Nicola Healey (Hon. Events) 01934 647166, To book:

Contact Anna Grigson (Hon. Treasurer) by Tuesday 4th May 2010

Post: Honorary Treasurer, Career Development Group, Bedford Library, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, Surrey, TW20 0EX Email: Impact Spring 2010


Thank you VSO Vincent McDonald


y two years as a Voluntary Services Overseas’ (VSO) volunteer in the Indian city of Pune are rapidly drawing to a close. I have been living here in Pune as a volunteer, rather than in my home in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, after being made redundant from my job with Suffolk County Council. Just before this I had taken a diploma in Public Relations, to help me with the Communications parts of the job I had been doing for Suffolk. This qualification helped when it came to applying to VSO, as there is a demand for people with communication and PR skills. But, I might equally have got a placement through my general management skills and experience, or through knowledge picked up about organisational development, or fundraising. All these skills are in great demand in the developing world. They are looking for Documentation Advisers, a role which any information professional would be suitable for. If you are wondering whether volunteering abroad would be something you could do, you might be surprised at exactly how advanced your skills probably are compared to the developing world. For instance, I am something of a computer expert in this organisation, not because I have great skills (they are quite modest compared to some of my ex-colleagues in the UK), but simply because I have had a good basic training. I have the European Computer Driving Licence, so have some knowledge of Word, Excel and so on. I have given tutorials here on things like password protecting documents, using Track Changes, formatting text boxes, and downloading and using

Impact Spring 2010


Skype. With the help of a volunteer techie from a local IT company, we have set up a website; I have spent a lot of time helping colleagues with written and spoken English and the standard here has risen noticeably over my two years. Recently, I explained to a local boy, Balaji the difference between ‘a’ and ‘an’, and showed him how to split up one of his interminable sentences by replacing one or two of the ‘ands with full stops. I know he understood, because he later showed me an email he had written which clearly demonstrated his new skill.

‘The standard of English has risen noticeably here, with my help’ In the second year, I became more involved in advocacy, trying to change things. The biggest campaign we ran, and our greatest success, was to get free second line treatment. Second line is necessary for anyone for whom the first line drugs fail, because they build up a resistance for one of several reasons. The first line drugs are free, but second line are not and the cost is about 6,000 rupees a month. With the average wage in India being about 5,000 rupees a month, you can see how prohibitively expensive second line is. It drives marriages to breakup and people into poverty, or they die because they cannot afford to buy the drugs. With the help of a group of pro bono lawyers we both won a case in Bombay High Court and pestered the health authorities until they implemented the free medicines. Other smaller campaigns have been either partial or complete successes.

One of our other campaigns involved helping HIV positive people in Latur district fight the exclusion of positive children from a village school. This was an important battle to win to avoid creating an example that

would spread to other schools, the last thing needed in trying to defeat stigma against positive people being school ghettos. In connection with this campaign, I visited an orphanage set up by a benefactor a year ago in Pune, to take in positive children. The orphanage, which had been open a year, can take 50 children. Presently they have 36, with numbers growing steadily. They take children from two years old who stay after 18 until they find work and are able to support themselves. The older children help out around the orphanage. The children go to a local school. Though the teachers know about their positive status, it is kept secret. There is no point in risking a Latur - type incident.

CD4 count (a measure of the antibodies available to fight the HIV virus). Later the children and staff have a communal dinner sitting on the floor. All the food is cooked on the premises. Teyjaswini, who manages the orphanage, showed us round. When we got to the sick room she nodded towards a bed upon which was a wrinkled blanket, but no body. Then I noticed poking out from the top of the blanket, the head of a child with large eyes fixed on us. Her tiny fists were clenched, her body bulk so insubstantial it looked like a rumple in the cloth. ‘Namaskar’, I said, in traditional Indian greeting, and reached out my finger to her fist. There was no movement though her eyes followed us. ‘She has no reaction’, said Teyjaswini, ‘she has Meningitis’. ‘How old is she?’ ‘Six’ she replied. She looked no more than two. Teyjaswini explained later that curtailed growth is a side effect of the drugs that keep them free of AIDS. A few weeks later, I heard that the little girl had died. We went into the room where the children all sleep in bunk beds in two tiers. At 4 o’clock in the afternoon most were having their afternoon nap though few children grinned to my whispered ‘Namaskar’. It was deeply touching to see them and I came away glad. They are pariahs in a society that often does not understand HIV and AIDS, and regards it with distaste. But here they are treated with gentleness and love. I asked Teyjaswini about her background? “Are you a teacher, or a social worker, or…?” “I am a housewife’, she laughed.

After school the children have a sleep, then drinks and snacks, before evening tuition in These memories will stay with me for the music, dance, yoga and meditation. This rest of my life. I thank VSO for them. idea was introduced by the benefactor, who Vincent McDonald believed it created a more rounded tion but there is also clear evidence that yoga and meditation help maintain a higher Impact Spring 2010


Notice of 115th Annual General Meeting Notice is hereby given that the Career Develop- Any motion of which notice is received by the ment Group Annual General Meeting, is to be Honorary Secretary in accordance with Rule 17 held at Bromley House, Angel Row, Nottingham, of the Group Rules will be placed on the agenda. NG1 6HL on Monday 10 May 2010 at 6pm. “Rule 17 – A statement shall appear on the Bromley House is one of Nottingham’s hidden notice that, if a member wishes to put a motion gems. Situated in the centre of Nottingham, step to the meeting, notice of the motion shall be back in time to visit Nottingham’s Subscription made in writing, signed by the member, and shall Library which dates back to 1816. Noteable be served on the Group Secretary not less than items include a collection of Victorian fiction and twenty-one clear days before the date of the a number of religious sermons. meeting.” The AGM is open to all CDG members and will include the awarding of an Honorary Fellowship to Kath Owen (Service Manager Customers Staff & Development, Nottinghamshire County Council) who will speak on CPD. Refreshments will be available with an opportunity to have a look around the library. Accessibility: E S G Please contact Stella Wisdom (Hon. Secretary) to notify your attendance by Monday 6th May. Tel: 01937 546873. Email:

Reproduced with permission from C. Barstow

Career Development Group 115th Session: 1st January - 31st December 2010 The following members have been elected to serve the Career Development Group on the Presidential Team and as Honorary Officers during 2010: President - Jon Scown Past President - Maria Cotera Vice President - Viki Lagus

Hon. Learning Coordinator - Karen Poole Hon. Membership & Marketing Officers (joint) Beatrice Coveney Louise Gordon Hon. New Professionals Coordinator Christopher Rhodes Hon. Secretary - Stella Wisdom Hon. Treasurer - Anna Grigson

Hon. Editor - Alison Barlow Hon. Events Coordinator - Nicola Healey Hon. International Relations Officer Tracey Ainsley

Thanks are due to all members who have contributed to the nominations process by proposing and seconding candidates, as well as to all the new and continuing members of the Presidential Team and Honorary Officers for their hard work, commitment and willingness to represent and serve the Group. For enquiries about the nominations process or to read the nomination forms please contact Past President Maria Cotera: Tel: (direct line): 020 7679 2302 Impact Spring 2010


New Career Development Group International Project The Prabhavi Community Library Project The Prabhavi Community Library Project is a partnership between the Lanka Community Information Initiative and Career Development Group International, which is funding the project with £5,000. The common aim is to develop a community library run by a group of enthusiastic youths in Weranketagoda, Ampara, a very rural area affected by Sri Lanka's 30-year-long civil war which ended on 18th May 2009. In addition to developing the library, workshops to develop literacy (including digital) and digital story telling to help the community to speak about social issues are planned. The long term objective of the project is to guide and assist the library and information centre to function as a modern library using ICT and to become a model library for others. The beneficiaries of the library include the local community, including women, children and teachers in the nearby school. The project will be officially launched on 14th April at CILIP Headquarters after London & South East Divisions AGM (see Dates, p.22).

Development of the Prabhavi Organisation library - Sri Lanka Premila Gamage & Tracey Ainsley


he thirty year long civil war in Sri Lanka ended in 18 May 2009 allowing people to travel around the country freely. The Lanka Community Information Initiative (LCII – came across Prabhavi Community Library quite by chance during their many post-war trips to the eastern Sri Lanka while working on another project that they are involved in.

Prabhavi Community Library is managed by an enthusiastic group of young people who are trying hard to develop the library. Although LCII was very keen on rehabilitating this community library, it was not possible due to lack of funds. Thanks to the kind intercession of CDG International via Maria Cotera and monies raised by Career Development Group members, LCII has now been able to secure funds to proceed with LCII is a not for profit organisation whose the development of the library. mission is to: ‘aspire through introducing progressive Despite the fact that the library is functionknowledge management initiatives to em- ing in less than ideal conditions — no proppower communities to have their voices er electricity, basic furnishings and limited heard in the development process at local, educational and recreational materials—the national and global level.’ group of young volunteers involved have Impact Spring 2010


demonstrated a genuine commitment to the educational lives of students and well-being of their community. This made Prabhavi Library an ideal choice for LCII project, because it ensured the local support essential for success.

LCII firmly believes that the best successes come from providing a range of educational and recreational experiences which create new and lasting opportunities for the whole communities future. To ensure this the second phase will build on these initial supplies and will include: Ÿ Implementation programs to enhance information literacy (IL) and lifelong learning in the community especially for students and women Ÿ Provide workshops on new media to provide an opportunity for war affected families to express themselves e.g. digital storytelling LCII will provide their expertise in delivering IL programmes and digital story-telling workshops.

LCII have received 50 percent of the funding to start with phase one of the project. A group of LCII members visited Prabhavi library in Ampara in December 2009 and made arrangements to obtain necessary approvals from relevant authorities to carryout renovations. Unfortunately, due to presidential elections of Sri Lanka, it looks like this will take longer than expected. Phase One will focus on basic infrastruc- Estimates for the work have been received from masons, painters and suppliers and ture including: hopefully renovations can be started in mid February. Ÿ Repairs and renovations to the building Readers will be able to keep up to date with Ÿ Refurbishment of the library includregular articles and photographs on the ing suitable furniture for children library’s development from both the web and adult users pages of the LCII and Career Development Ÿ Updating the collection to include Group. books/magazines/AV in local languages for education and leisure Premila Gamage Ÿ IT equipment Project Co-ordinator, LCII Ÿ Training for the librarian in managing the new library Tracey Ainsley Ÿ Automating the library service and Honorary International Relations Officer providing training in the use of ICT The long term objective of the project is to guide and assist the library and information centre to function as a modern library using ICT and to act as a model library for others. The beneficiaries of the library include the local community, women, children and teachers in the nearby school. This is to be accomplished in two phases.

Impact Spring 2010


Dates Date: Monday 15 March 2010

Contact: Joel Kerry Email:

Event:Deep web by Paula Younger Division: Wales Time: 9.00am - 1.00pm Venue: University of Wales, Newport, Caerleon Campus. Cost: ÂŁ15 (CDG members); ÂŁ25 (nonmembers); Discounts for students/unwaged are available Further Information: Hands-on course. Topics covered will include RSS, Wikis, Blogs, bibliographic databases and library catalogues. All delegates will receive a certificate of attendance Contact: Sharon Crossan Email:

Date: Tuesday 30 March 2010 Event: Chartership & Certification Event Division: Joint event run by Sussex and London and South East Divisions Time: 2.00pm - 4.30pm Venue: Crawley Library, Southgate Avenue, Crawley, RH10 6HG Cost: Free Further Information: Portfolio workshop with Karen Poole (CSO). Michael Martin (CILIP's Qualifications and Professional Development) will talk about the Chartership and Certification processes and two successful candidates will present their experiences Contact: Abigail Luthmann Email:

Date: Tuesday 23 March 2010 Event: West Midlands CDG & CILIP branch AGM Time: 12.00pm - 1.30pm Venue: Conference Room 4, Birmingham Central Library, B3 3HQ Cost: Free Further Information: A great opportunity to meet the CILIP president Biddy Fisher Contact: Jess Humphreys Email:

Date: Wednesday 14 April 2010 Event: AGM and launch of Prabhavi Community Library Project Division: London & South East Divisions Time: 5.45pm - 7.45pm Venue: CILIP, 7, Ridgemount St, London, WC1E 7AE Cost: Free Further Information: Premila Gamage will speak about the Prabhavi Community Library Project. See p. 20 for more details. Contact: Chris Rhodes Email:

Date: Friday 26 March 2010 Event: Visit to the National Railway Museum Library Division: Yorkshire & Humberside Time: 2.00pm - 3.30pm Venue: National Railway Museum Library Further information at

For more information see Regular CDG events bulletins are available. Register now for CILIP ebulletins.

Cost: Free Further Information: An introduction to the Museum's Specialist Library services and resources Impact Spring 2010

The Career Development Group has been awarded the CILIP Seal of Recognition, which recognises high standards in the content and relevance of its training. 22

Impact Spring 2010 Volume 13 No 1  

A Special New Professionals' issue highlighting the 2009 CDG New Professionals' Conference co-edited by Chris Rhodes (Honorary New Professio...

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