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Central Issues Inside this issue:

The Newsletter of the West Midlands Division of CILIP’s Career Development Group Spring 2012

Issue 24 Editorial


Supporting the Framework of Qualifications: a day of discovery and reflection


From your CSO


Committee Profile


CDG WM 7 “Christmas” meal Keeping in touch with CDG


CDG National Conference


Vacancy Bulletin


Editorial Welcome to this bumper Spring 2012 issue of Central Issues! CDG WM members were busy towards the end of last year, with a full day at Rugby Public Library, including a Chartership/Certification course (see p.2), a tour (see p. 3) and a Portfolio Building Surgery (see p. 4). If you’re considering or currently working on your CILIP qualifcations, you’ll find details of similar upcoming events on page 5. We also have a New Professionals’ Support Officer, Trudi Pledger, who has recently joined the committee and you can read about her route into libraries on page 6. She also attended the CDG National Conference in 2011 and you can read her report and find out about the CDG National Conference 2012 on pages 8 and 9. Hope you can make it! You can find out how the CDG “Christmas” meal went in January (see p. 7), and if you’d like to keep informed of future events, you’ll also find details of how to stay in touch. Don’t forget there are always opportunities to get involved, including specific vacancies on the committee— see the back page.

The Career Development Group is a special interest group of CILIP, The Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals. Registered Charity Number 313014.

Georgina Hardy Newsletter Editor

See you soon! We’d love to see you at one of our upcoming events:    

CILIP WM Branch Information Day, Wednesday 18th April (see p. 5) CDG WM Committee Meeting, Wednesday 2nd May (see p. 6) Chartership/Certification event, Dudley, Tuesday 22nd May (see p. 5) CDG National Conference, Wednesday 18th July (see p. 9)

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Supporting the Framework of Qualifications: a day of discovery and reflection On 24th November 2011, CDG WM organised a full day of professional development activities at Rugby Public Library. Three of those who attended tell us about the different parts of the day.

Josephine Olukemi Laogun begins by telling us about the Chartership / Certification Seminar... The day started with the Candidate Support Officer, Sabelo Mapasure’s, introduction. He informed us of the role of the CSO and also discussed ways in which the CSO can help us pre-read our portfolio before submission. He also brought many samples of successful portfolios and encouraged us to go through them so we can have an idea of how portfolios are written. This is a good thing for some because they were seeing how portfolios look for the first The entrance area of Rugby Public Library time. He mentioned we can access samPhoto Credit: Lisa Basini ple portfolios from the CILIP website which I have done since then and it has really been beneficial for me. Michael Martin, who is the qualification adviser, also took to the stage and highlighted the different stages of Chartership and Certification which are: mentorship meeting stage, PPDP writing stage, portfolio writing and submission stage and finally appraisal stage. He mentioned there is no strict structure or template which is a great relief because I always love to show individuality and creativity in whatever I do. The only requirements are to have the type in 12 point font, submit 3 copies of the portfolio, make sure your name and membership number are reflected and to have your job title on the application page which you will submit with your proposal. I learnt quite a lot from Ayub Khan’s lecture. Ayub Khan is the head of Library Services (Strategy) for the Warwickshire Library and Information Service and is also a CILIP Trustee. He started his talk by listing the progression in his career which many librarians would identify with. This talk was really inspirational. There were lots of brainteasers which left me re-evaluating my role and position as a librarian. I particularly enjoyed the SWOT analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. What are the strengths and weaknesses in my profession that enhance my career or hinder my progression in the career? What are the opportunities I am presented with in my job and what are the threats I am encountering in my daily activities and professional development? The highlight of his talk was when he mentioned what is being done in the War-

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wickshire 24/7 library service, a chat enquiry service, staffed 24/7 by librarians across the UK and United States. This is not really different from the Question Point service which my organisation, The Open University, participates in, however some vital questions like copyright issues in relation to global knowledge sharing were discussed. Overall, it was an amazing experience for me and I would encourage librarians and library assistants who are looking to get Chartered or Certified to attend one of these seminars. Josephine Olukemi Laogun is a Learning and Teaching Librarian at the Open University Library, Milton Keynes.

...Lisa Basini tells us about the tour of Rugby Public Library… As part of the day, we were offered a tour of the facilities. I was quite impressed by the size of the public library, and even though some of the floor space is shared with local organizations (such as the HMRC enquiry counter) there is plenty of space to walk around the shelves and various sections of the Library. Rugby Library recently converted to RFID as part of a gradual roll-out across Warwickshire Public Libraries. The new self service machines are lined up on the left of the entrance. Where the enquiry desk used to be in the entrance is now open space which makes for a more open and inviting first impression of the library and copies of popular books have been put on display here. Another unusual feature was that while Rugby uses the Dewey decimal system the shelves were not organised in Dewey order. Popular subjects such as cooking books and biographies were closer to the front of the library where they are easy to spot and less popular subjects were further back. The shelves have also been arranged at angles to each other, which creates little areas such as the teenage reading area, but which also stops it just being rows of shelves, which can be intimidating for some users. I was also impressed by what the staff referred to as ‘boutique-style’ shelving. The top row on some of the shelves has been used to display books, which makes navigation of the shelves easier for browsThe Teenage Reading area ers but also gives a platform for displaying Photo Credit: Lisa Basini new purchases. The first floor, where the computer area is, overlooks the book stock below and adds to the open feel in the library. I also liked the large windows at the back, partly because they let loads of natural light in and partly because the view is of the church next door, which is why the newspapers and magazines are in this part of the library, along with

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some soft seating so that people can relax in the area while they read. The tour was quite extensive; we were taken all over the building, including the stacks and the offices. All of the staff were very friendly and welcoming and they were happy to answer all of our questions. Having only worked in a Health Library it was very interesting to see the differences between the two environments - if this opportunity came up again I would highly recommend it. Lisa Basini is a Senior Library Assistant at Telford Health Library. ...and finally, Jo Alcock talks about the Portfolio Building workshop. I chose to attend the portfolio building workshop in the afternoon, delivered by Sabelo Mapasure. Although I haven't formally started the Chartership process yet, I have been collecting evidence and would like to know what sort of information I'm going to need to record and get some ideas for how I might want to structure the portfolio. The session began with some frequently asked questions with Sabelo talking us through the answers. We also had the opportunity to ask our own questions too, which was useful (there seems to be so much confusion around the CILIP qualifications so it's good to be able to ask questions without feeling stupid!). After a quick break where we got chance to look at some successful portfolios, we were then given a number of activity handouts to work on and asked to start thinking about the evidence we have and what sort of things we might want to put into our portfolios. Quality rather than quantity is definitely the recommended approach (think of the poor assessors!), so we discussed ways of selecting the most appropriate evidence. Variety will make for a more interesting portfolio, however the focus needs to be on the quality of the evidence. The assessment criteria are of course key to the qualification and therefore the portfolio, so it was useful to spend time thinking about how the activities we have done or will do and the evidence we collect will relate to the criteria. I found it a really useful start to the Chartership process, I definitely think I'm a lot clearer now with understanding what is expected and what I need to do. It was especially useful to see some portfolios in the flesh so that I can picture the sort of document (and the approximate size) the finished product will hopefully be! The workshop combined with the introductory presentations from Sabelo and Michael Martin (CILIP CPD) in the morning, the inspiring career planning talk from Ayub Khan, and the tour of Rugby Public Library was a really enjoyable day. It confirmed my decision to begin the Chartership process and I now have a number of actions to get me going (registering is of course the first hurdle!). Jo Alcock is an Evidence Based Researcher at Evidence Base in Birmingham City University. You can find Jo on Twitter @joeyanne and at

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From your CSO... CDG WM’s Candidate Support Officer (CSO), Sabelo Mapasure, keeps us up-to-date with news and events for those working towards CILIP’s Framework of Qualifications. I’m very pleased to announce that I will be assisted in providing support to candidates across the West Midlands by Sue Helm, who is now CSO Support. We are planning to hold another Chartership and Certification event in Dudley: Date: 22nd May 2012 Time: 10am to 3pm Venue: Dudley Public Library Further details will be added to the CILIP calendar soon. If you would like to attend, please e-mail me or Sue (contact details below). We also plan to hold a Chartership/Certification course in October. The venue and date have not yet been decided but the format of the day is likely to have the course in the morning, 9:30am–1pm, then a Portfolio Building Surgery in the afternoon, 2-5pm. If you need any advice on your draft portfolio; or if you need to borrow example portfolios; or to find out about the training dates; or any general enquiries: please feel free to contact me on or Sue on

CILIP WM Information and Networking Day including CILIP WM Branch AGM and CDG WM AGM Members and non-members of CILIP are welcome to join us for this celebration of library and information services in the West Midlands. Highlights include:  Presentation from host (Coventry University) and tour of the Lanchester library  Keynote presentation on career planning for all stages of your career (Ayub Khan, Head of Libraries - Strategy, Warwickshire Library and Information Service)  Update on CILIP priorities, achievements and activities (John Dolan OBE, Chair of CILIP Council)  Optional tours of Coventry History Centre, and Herbert Art Gallery and Museum Date: Wednesday 18th April 2012 Time: 10.00am - 4.00pm Venue: Lanchester Library, Coventry University For more information and to book your place, see:

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Committee Profile Trudi Pledger New Professionals’ Support Officer (NPSO) Working in libraries is a second career for me. After a degree in Psychology I went down the teaching route and taught A’Level and GCSE at a FE college but three years later knew for my own sanity I needed to change career direction. I sought careers advice and decided to move in to the world of libraries. Getting my foot in the door was a little difficult at first, so after going on various visits and shadowing in academic, public and health libraries I was able to secure a part-time position in a public library. I spent 12 months in this role and the experience I gained was invaluable and I believe helped me get a Library Assistant role in Serials with my current employer, Birmingham City University, back in 2007. I’ve been at the university now for 5 years and things have gone scarily fast. After spending 18 months as a Serials Assistant the opportunity came to move to Document Delivery, again as a Library Assistant, and I spent another 18 months in this position. In that time I also completed my MA Information and Library Management via distance learning with Northumbria. Juggling full time work and studying was, at times, challenging but I knew that wanted a career in libraries and gaining the qualification would benefit me, so I persevered. And it did. Within a few months of completing the course an internal promotion to Serials Librarian became available. Initially the post was only a fixed term contract but after some restructuring (and another interview) I was made permanent. In the two years I’ve been in the role I have moved from Technical Services to the eLibrary team so have had to develop my technical knowledge and understanding. I’m a relatively new member to CDG-WM and attended my first meeting back November 2011 as I wanted to find out more information about the New Professionals’ Support Officer vacancy. I thought it offered a good way to become more involved in my profession. I hope I can do the role justice—if you are a New Professional in the West Midlands, please do contact me on

Do you want to join Trudi on the CDG WM Committee? Come along to our next committee meeting to find out what it’s all about! Contact or just turn up: Date: Wednesday 2nd May 2012 Time: 6 — 8pm Venue: Aston University Library, Birmingham (15 mins walk from New Street Station) — for directions see

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CDG WM “Christmas” meal This year’s CDG West Midlands “Christmas” meal was held on 26th January 2012. Lindsay Snell went along… As I have never been to any local CILIP events, and only recently moved to the West Midlands, I thought the “Christmas” meal in January would be a good place to start. Three of us met at Chez Jules in Birmingham, which is a French restaurant (as the name suggests). It’s close to New Street station, so I found it quite easily even though I was running late. There was a nice atmosphere in the restaurant, and we all enjoyed the food. After the main course, after some indecision, we decided to stay for dessert. The evening was a good opportunity for me to meet new people – I had never met either of the other two at the meal before. I always find it useful to get a perspective from librarians with experience in different sectors to myself. We talked about a number of different subjects: our current and previous jobs, how different things are done in our respective libraries, CDG West Midlands, Chartership, and the profession as a whole. We did talk about things other than libraries too! The “Christmas” meal was a very enjoyable evening, and I would recommend it to anybody thinking about going to similar CDG West Midlands events in future. Thank you to Anna Brown for organising it. Lindsay Snell is Outreach Librarian at Bucknall Hospital, Stoke-on-Trent.

Keeping in touch with CDG Find us on Facebook to discover more about CDG WM events and activities. By joining the group you will find out about the latest CDG WM events as soon as they are promoted and see who is in the CDG WM committee. For more information visit: Sign up to the CDGBULLETIN JISCmail list to receive monthly events listings: Find us in your web browser: default.aspx

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CDG National Conference 2011 On a rainy day back in November 2011, Trudi Pledger headed to Bristol to attend her first CDG National Conference... Entitled ‘The practical professional’, the day was split into two themes: ‘Becoming a career chameleon’ and ‘Making a splash – how you developed your service’. Over 10 sessions, information professionals from various different sectors shared their knowledge, experience and expertise. Since the Winter 2011 issue of Impact is a special conference edition that outlines most of the papers presented and also has some reflections from a couple of attendees (well worth a look), I’ll concentrate on the things which stood out for me. Having recently gone down to one helpdesk at the institution where I work, I was interested to hear about how Jo Myhill’s team of Academic Liaison Librarians (ALLs) at the University of Bedfordshire were dealing with the problems of no longer being physically visible to students. The impact for Jo’s team has meant they have had to change focus, moving away from traditional areas of librarianship and into the more unfamiliar fields of marketing and promotion. At times Jo described this process as challenging but by increasing their presence virtually, via for example, the webpage and subject librarian blogs (one of which has 500 subscribers), and physically, via a welcome back desk and roving, staff are being recognised by students even outside the library so this approach seems to be paying dividends. The ALLs also have their own logo which helps with their branding. This session definitely provided food for thought. Sandwiched between the morning and afternoon sessions was a speed networking event. I have to admit this was the thing I was least looking forward to. One thing which provoked anxiety was that we were advised to bring our business cards to hand out (this is not something we have at my institution and I thought I’d be the only one without them, thankfully I wasn’t) but I also wondered how the session would be structured. We were split into small groups of three and had some key areas to discuss – who we were, what we did, Speed Networking at the what was unique about our role (harder to think of CDG National Conference 2011 than you might imagine) – and after a few minutes Photo Credit: Sarah Ison rotated to another group. It was intense but more enjoyable than I had anticipated as it meant I engaged with people I might not ordinarily have done so. I think though, for me, it would be have been more beneficial to have had the event maybe mid-morning as I always find it difficult to strike up conversations with people when attending a conference on my own.

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Throughout the day the uncertain job market was referred to. One speaker described how we don’t climb the career ladder anymore; instead it’s more like a ‘scramble net’ Others spoke about how they had found themselves in situations they didn’t want to be in; being out of work, going through an organisational restructure. Having experienced both of these I am fully aware of how these can affect motivation. To deal with this, people offered tips, stressing the importance of being flexible / adaptable, keeping up-to-date with what’s happening in your chosen field but other sectors as well, taking advantage of opportunities that come your way, reflecting on what you’ve done and using this to inform where you want to be. This isn’t easy and momentum can wane but the important thing is to keep going. It was a really interesting and full day and thank you to those who organised it. Trudi Pledger is Serials Librarian at Birmingham City University.

CDG National Conference 2012 Are you inspired by Trudi’s report to attend, or even present at, the next CDG National Conference? If so, you’ll be pleased to know it’s in the West Midlands!

CDG National Conference 2012 “Together we are stronger” Although the library and information sector continues to experience budget cuts, redundancies and de-professionalisation, we continue to recognise the wealth of innovative thinking and action, experience, knowledge and expertise within the profession. The theme of this conference is learning from each other and working together to develop a stronger and more effective information profession. Date: Wednesday 18th July 2012 Venue: Austin Court, Birmingham Submissions are invited for presentations of 20 minutes and workshops of 45 minutes covering aspects of this theme. Proposals (maximum 300 words) must be submitted by 5pm, Tuesday 10th April 2012. For more information and the submission form, see

CDG WM sponsorship for conferences We try to offer sponsorship for members to attend conferences, such as Umbrella or the CDG National Conference, whenever funds allow. Sponsorship normally includes reasonable travel and accommodation expenses. To find out about sponsorship opportunities from a range of organisations including CDG WM, subscribe to LIS-AWARDS.

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Vacancy Bulletin Getting involved in your professional organisation is a very rewarding way to contribute to your profession and can provide you with plenty of opportunities to address skills gaps in your CV. CDG WM currently has two vacancies on the committee — if you would like to find out more, e-mail or come along to our next committee meeting (see p. 6). CDG WM committee roles are flexible and can be fitted around your work and home commitments. Committee meetings are usually held four times a year on a Wednesday evening (6-8pm) but if you would find these difficult to attend, we would still like to hear from you! We believe that committee involvement is about more than attending committee meetings, and are always happy to receive a written report from those unable to attend in person.

Events Officer While all CDG WM committee members get involved in organising events, the Events Officer ensures that this is as straight-forward and consistent as possible. This might involve maintaining lists of venues, speakers and ways to effectively publicise events, as well as ensuring quality by correct use and application of the CILIP Seal of Recognition. This role would particularly suit someone looking to make use of or develop skills in ensuring standards are met, negotiating with suppliers, teamworking, and collating, maintaining and communicating information.

Vice Chair The Vice Chair supports the Chair in their work leading the CDG WM committee and coordinating the activities of the Division. This is an excellent opportunity to find out more about how to manage a committee, perhaps with a view to taking on the role of Chair in the future. In the meantime, there is plenty of scope for you to develop your expertise in an area you are particularly interested in; for example, you could organise events, develop the division’s Social Media presence, focus on fundraising for the International Projects, or capitalise on connections with CDG National Council and CILIP.

Gain valuable experience for your CV or Chartership/Certification portfolio—by getting involved in a friendly and welcoming environment!

Profile for Career Development Group - West Midlands Division

Central Issues, Spring 2012  

The Spring 2012 issue of Central Issues, the newsletter of CDG WM.

Central Issues, Spring 2012  

The Spring 2012 issue of Central Issues, the newsletter of CDG WM.

Profile for cdgwm