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Steps West Newsletter of the Career Development Group, West Country Division No. 2 – Spring 2009

In this issue

Editorial Welcome to the second issue of our newsletter and the first one under our new name Steps West! Congratulations go to John Hughes from Gloucester, the winner of our competition! As well as winning the prize draw, his name suggestion will be used from now on. If you want to find out more about John, read his article on page 3. Thanks go to everyone else who suggested a name! Also in this issue you can find out more about our committee members and events we have planned for the next months. And our neighbouring division, Devon and Cornwall, uses the chance to advertise their Annual General Meeting.

Editorial ― Meet the committee ― Forthcoming event ― Competition winner steps up ― Devon & Cornwall Division

Meet the committee Lizz Jennings – Candidate Support Officer & Affiliated Members Representative I have had a varied career path, which has taken me through several library sectors: workplace, public, prison and most recently academic. As a result, I have also taken the new route to Chartership through ACLIP Certification rather than through a traditional academic route. I have been a member of the Career Development Group since starting my library career in 1999, and joined the divisional committee in 2008. I joined the committee in response to feedback from my Chartership application that I should engage more in professional networking possibly not the first time I have been told I should “get out more”! Having worked for large library services, the need to meet other profess-

sionals never felt as pressing as it would have, had I been a solo librarian, but I have found the committee work to be very good for stimulating interest in areas outside my day-to-day role. My current role at the University of Bath is as an Information Librarian for E-Resources. Day-to-day, I am responsible for troubleshooting electronic journals, liaising with publishers and suppliers as well as creating new orders. This is my first technical services role, although I had a number of related tasks as part of my job as a Tax Library Assistant. I achieved my Chartership about a year ago, and was one of the earliest to do this through the ACLIP route. This

has its advantages, in that the Chartership format is comparable to the Certification format, and one is therefore used to writing reflectively. Conversely, it is much harder to define “professional” as reaching this point through experience doesn’t always make the line very clear. I felt my experience with both ACLIP and MCLIP would be useful to others, so have become one of the Candidate Support Officers for the West Country region. I have found my membership of the Career Development Group to be useful throughout my career so far. Of the ten or so special interest groups I have been a member of over the years, this is the only one which I have been a member of continuously!

A group of CILIP, The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals Registered Charity No. 313014 Debating issues – developing awareness

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No. 2 – Spring 2009

Forthcoming event The West Country division presents An evening talk on digitisation Want to know more about the digitisation of media such as text, graphics, film and sound? Intrigued by digitisation and digital collections? Come and hear one information professional talk about this fascinating topic and discuss his experience of working in the field. The evening will take the form of an informal presentation. Topics covered will include: • • • •

Types of media suitable for digitisation How digitisation is carried out Problems and challenges in digitisation How digital collections are managed and promoted

The event will be of interest to information professionals from any sector, particularly those who have little or no knowledge of digitisation. Speaker:

John Hargreaves, University of Bristol


Wednesday, 1st April 2009


7.30pm to 9.30pm ; please arrive by 7.15pm for a prompt start


Bedminster Public Library St Peters Court Bedminster Parade Bristol BS3 4AQ


Money to be taken on the day. Non-CILIP member - £15 CILIP member - £10 Student - £5

Refreshments will be available. Booking information: Please apply by email to Nicola Healey ( or by post to Somerset Academy Library, Level 4, Yeovil District Hospital, Higher Kingston, Yeovil, Somerset, BA21 4AT. Please include the following information when booking: • • • •

Name Email address CILIP membership number Library sector

No. 2 – Spring 2009

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Competition winner steps up by John Hughes, Gloucester – winner of our newsletter name competition Now that I can add this to my CV I thought it a good time to let the Group know who I am, where I come from and where I am going. I retired from Gloucestershire Libraries in 2002 after an eventful career as County Stock Editor (1977–1989) and in two Group Librarian posts (1989–2002). “Eventful” mainly refers to a series of restructures that, in my case, provided interesting opportunities or in one preGloucestershire case, closed some doors. As someone who had previously occupied specialist posts (reference and information, prison libraries, readers’ advisory work and stock management), being presented with the need to manage service development was something of a culture shock. The practice of service leadership and management and staff development was certainly a new challenge and I was fortunate to have a team of experienced and dedicated specialists in support. There were good times and some struggles but on the whole the experience was broadly rewarding provided that library users’ needs and feedback were visible to me through the management processes. What I lacked was management experience at an earlier level (local/branch library management could have been of value, for example). On the training side, a more

structured approach to accredited training would have been welcomed. Five years before I planned to retire, an opportunity to qualify as an NVQ Assessor arose as part of a pilot scheme for training Library Assistants. The intention was to introduce NVQs as accredited training for those staff that had aspirations to progress to posts at Level 3 and above and the NVQ in Library and Information Services seemed to fit the bill. I continued with this assessment work right up to retirement, extending this to Customer Service NVQs beyond the Library Service with the support of a Lead Assessor contracted by the county council. As my 42 years of service approached (necessary to ensure receiving a pension based on 40 continuous years) I searched for a way to continue my assessment interests beyond salaried work. I struck lucky with the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM), newly formed in 2002 by merging the Institute for Supervision and Management (ISM) with NEBSS Management. Following ILM’s training processes I am now an External Assessor and External Verifier and have recently become a Fellow of the Institute. Just turned 66, I intend to continue with this work indefinitely: it has provided me with an alternative network of support and friendship, gets me out and about in the South West

and provides lots of opportunities for home working (it pays a few bills too!). To return briefly to the competition, I have always enjoyed word play and am pleased that the quick turnaround reading scheme operated by Gloucestershire Libraries is still promoted as “Fastbacks”: another book token was quickly spent before I retired! Gloucestershire Tasks, Information and Procedures for Staff was reduced to GLOSTIPS as the acronym for a staff manual that I was particularly proud of until someone suggested that it sounded like something one might purchase from a chemist! An equally inventive name from another member of staff, GLEANFAST (Gloucestershire Libraries Events and News For All Staff) was still in use when I left. My pursuit of similar competitions is ongoing of course. To conclude, I’d like to wish everyone who reads this edition of Steps West all the very best as you begin, continue and in some cases, conclude your careers. I know from experience that retiring from a career is just one more step in personal development, a continuum that should never end. Thanks, too, to Katrin Flemming for providing the opportunity to contribute to this newsletter.

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No. 2 – Spring 2009

The West Country division is offering a sponsored place to the Career Development Group National Conference

The Devon and Cornwall division of the Career Development Group would like to invite you to the 2009 Annual General Meeting

"Your wish is my command: Improving the customer experience"

Wednesday, 1st April Paignton Library, Torbay 1.30pm – 3.30pm

Monday, 20th April Liverpool John Moores University 10am – 4pm


For more information about the conference, please check our website. ( bysubject/careerdevelopment/whatwedo/ nationalconference2009.htm) We are offering £200 to cover the cost of the place, and to go towards transport and accommodation costs. This sponsorship is only open to colleagues living or working in the West Country and who are members of CILIP. The successful candidate will be asked to write a report about the event for our newsletter.

"Librarianship education - choices and challenges for new professionals" (Jackie Chelin, Deputy Librarian at UWE). This session will focus on how new professionals might go about picking the right "course" of action for their career in librarianship. Jackie will outline the educational opportunities on offer in the South West and the support networks available. There will be a raffle to raise funds for the Career Development Group’s international projects. There is no charge for attending this event.

If you would like to be considered for this sponsored place, please write a statement of approximately 200 words, about why you would like to attend the conference and how it will benefit you professionally. Please send your statement by Wednesday, 1st April to Nicola Healey. (

Refreshments are being kindly offered by Torbay Library service. To book a place and for further information please contact: Heather Johns (

details,, ideas, suggestions Contact details Would you be interested in joining the committee or want to find out more about the group? For more information, please contact our Secretary Nicola Healey ( or check our website ( divisions/wcountry/). Please send any comments about the newsletter or your ideas and suggestions to the Editor Katrin Flemming (

If you require a large-print copy, please contact the Editor Katrin Flemming (

Steps West Issue 2  

Welcome to the second issue of our newsletter and the first one under our new name Steps West! Congratulations go to John Hughes from Glouce...

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