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Central Issues The Newsletter of the Career Development Group West Midlands Division Spring 2007 Editorial…

Contents….

The days are beginning to lengthen and spring finally seems to be on its way. This issue features articles on how 3 librarians became librarians and negotiated the pathway to Certification or Chartership. There’s also a profile of our incoming chair and a chance to get involved with CDG either by joining the committee or by contributing to a forthcoming newsletter. For those of you attending the AGM next week on March 7th—see you there! Katrina Sked

The long and winding road that 2 leads to … Chartership

A Chartered Librarian is born! How did I get here?

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Top tips 4 Take the plunge … and get involved

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Profile of our incoming Chair

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Your “Cut-out-and-keep” guide to forthcoming events in the region 6

The current CDG West Midlands Committee Back row, l-r, Helen Bayliss, Vanessa Bell, Frances Hall, Georgina Hardy. Front row, l-r, Gail Owen, Katrina Sked, Abigail Williams.

Now is the time to get involved! - see page 5 for more details!

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


The Long and Winding Road that leads to ‌.Chartership Having worked in an Academic library for over thirty years it might seem strange that I have only recently joined the Career Development Group of CILIP. You may wonder what the reason behind this decision was, and the simple answer has been the Framework of Qualifications. I have never been in a position to be able to take a professional library qualification, (although I did do a City and Guilds Library Assistants Certificate many years ago), but I now have the chance to use my lifelong learning by taking the road to Chartership via Certification. I’d read about Certification briefly but ignored it, until I attended a WESLINK event where one of the guest speakers was Karen Newton, one of the first recipients of the new award. Karen got me hooked on the idea of doing this myself. Having joined CILIP, I would need to submit a portfolio of information for the award. I started by downloading as much information as possible from their web page. At this point, I discovered that although there were examples of submissions, unfortunately none were from anybody working in an academic library. I joined the Associates email group and wrote an article for Open Access , the West Midlands CILIP newsletter, hoping to contact someone in a similar position. Although I did get some useful contacts, nobody was working at a university library, so I realised I was out on limb. Having a mentor is not a requirement for Certification, but one of my work colleagues, Jackie Brocklebank, is a trained CILIP mentor. I decided a mentor would be an advantage and registered with her. I would be her first ACLIP candidate, so it would be a learning curve for both of us. The portfolio for Certification consists of a CV, a Personal Statement, a Personal Development Plan, a supporting letter and evidence to support the submission. The CV was fairly easy to produce and the Personal Development Plan mostly covered items I had already identified in my appraisal meetings. But the problems came more with the Personal Statement, as I had to condense over thirty years of training and experience into four A4 sides, remembering all the time I needed to evaluate everything. This was really where the advantage of having a mentor helped, and I would recommend that anyone thinking of Certification should use one. Finally, my portfolio was finished and was duly submitted to CILIP. After a delay which felt like years, but was only a few short months, I finally heard that I had been successful and was now Val Scott ACLIP. Everyone at Aston has been very supportive of me working towards Certification, especially Jill Lambert and Frances Hall (now at the University of Wolverhampton). It has made me realise just what I have learnt over the years, and what my contribution to the library has meant to others. It has also been a big boost to my confidence. I am intending to work towards Chartership, although this will be put on hold for a little while as Aston is having a new library management system during 2007, and this will take up quite a lot of my time. Val Scott, ACLIP Information Coordinator, Aston University Library & Information Services


A Chartered Librarian is born – from conception and gestation to birth Becoming a Chartered Librarian happened the way most things happen in my life; ”one thing leads to another..” and there you are!

Conception I got my first information job as placement student at the cool London Chamber of Commerce. Although I was doing a business course, and was supposed to do something on marketing/finance/etc, I got this placement as an Information Assistant. It was honestly a great experience and I felt there was a whole world behind it… Gestation I decided then to find out more about becoming an Information professional. A year later (and a couple of part-time jobs as library assistant) I was doing the MSc in Library and Information Management at Loughborough University. I almost “passed away” that year having to do the course full-time and working part-time in the evenings. Years of experience working and studying at the same time proved useful and I managed to organise myself and even pass the course. Having a background in business and with such a Masters in my pocket, I managed to get a full-time Information job at the Nottinghamshire Chamber. After such busy year, I was surprisingly more motivated than ever and started preparing the next step in my Information career, the Chartership. Birth CILIP’s guide to prepare for it is a must-read/must-do guide through the whole process. My advice, read every single step of the guide (one, two, three or as many times as you need) until you understand what they are exactly asking for. Even if you feel it’s taking too much time and you can’t wait to get started, taking your time to understand the guide first will save you precious time later. Finding a mentor as soon as possible is also very important. Mentors are usually quite busy people, so try to make things easy for them. The easier for them, the more efficient they will be. Take notes in every meeting, work on those notes towards the next meeting, and don’t leave things behind. Seminars and one-day courses organised by the Career Development Group are also essential. They gave me all the tips and advice I needed to prepare for Chartership. Don’t forget that it’s mandatory to attend to at least one of these seminars/courses. Mandatory or not, they are definitely a must if you want to go in the right direction. When you feel ready, send the application to CILIP for assessment and be patient…it took me a few months to hear from them! What a long delivery…but what a cutie baby! Tomas Muniz Information Officer, Nottinghamshire Chamber


How did I get here? Hi. I’m Abigail Williams and I work as an Assistant Librarian at the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust. I remember at school that I enjoyed using the library and had vague ideas about becoming a librarian but when I finished my ‘A’ levels I decided university wasn’t for me. For six months I worked as a casual labourer in the gardens of a National Trust property. I loved it! Working outside, in all weather, was great. My temporary contract soon came to an end but I was now thinking about university. That year I started a B.A. in Archaeology. This, I thought would be my route to working in the outdoors. At the end of the course though, I drifted into a temporary contract at BT Directory Enquiries and then a job with the Court Service. My next job was in a call centre. Boy was that a wake-up call! I hated it! I realised I needed a career and thought of library work. Ten months later I was starting in a graduate trainee post in one of the MAFF (now DEFRA) libraries in London I then took a masters course at Loughborough followed by three years working in public libraries. My partner then took a job in the West Midlands and I moved to be with him (he won’t get rid of me that easily!) and that is how I find myself here. Abigail Williams Assistant Librarian, Information and Library Services, Heartlands Education Centre, Birmingham.

Is there something you wish you’d known when you started Chartership/Certification? Did you find something that saved you time/stress? Want to share your brilliant ideas with others? Then contact us! - We are looking to put together a “Top Tips” section for forthcoming newsletters. Email your contributions (short paragraphs) to wmcdgppo@hotmail.co.uk and we’ll publish the best ones in future issues.


Take the plunge …. and get involved! Opportunities are now available for new members to join the friendly and informal West Midlands Career Development Group committee. Unsure if you can commit the time? Here’s five good reasons to join! 

Continuous Professional Development: gain the skills which matter to employers such as chairing meetings and organising events.

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Enhance your CV by showing there’s more to you than the nine to five.

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Network with your fellow professionals, working with colleagues from a range of organisations and sectors.

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Benefit from paid expenses: the group will pay your travel costs.

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Have fun with social and fundraising events.

To find out more, why not come along to the next committee meeting? Contact the Chair for more details - cdgwm@hotmail.com

Ever wondered who the people on your local CDG committee are? Over the next few newsletters we will be including profiles of committee members so you can see we really are just normal people! First up is our incoming Chair, Georgina Hardy.

Georgina Hardy Information Specialist (Engineering and Life & Health Sciences) Committee Role: Chair, after the AGM in March. I'm currently working at Aston University Library & Information Services, in a subject librarian-type role. I've been in this job for about 18 months now, and it's my first professional post since finishing my MA in Librarianship at Sheffield University. The Information Specialists all get involved in quite a bit of teaching here, which I'm really enjoying, and Aston is very supportive of CPD, so that fits in well with my aim to get chartered this year, and my involvement with the CDG committee. I decided to get involved in the committee to widen my perspective (it's too easy to narrow your focus within your own sector after finishing your Masters course) and am really enjoying being involved with such a friendly bunch of people!


Dates for your diary Your “cut out and keep” guide to what’s happening in the Midlands with CDG over the next few months. Fit for the 21st Century : Library tour and AGM Wednesday 21 March 2007. Sutton in Ashfield library. 4pm - 6pm. Free Come and see the newly refurbished Sutton in Ashfield library, fit for the 21st century. This will be followed by the East Midlands Division AGM, which is open to everyone and would be a good way of meeting your committee and seeing what we get up to! The tour will start at 4pm. Park in Idlewells Shopping Centre, NG17 1BP. Contact Liz Guildford ( elizabeth.guildford@nottscc.gov.uk ) for more information. …………………………………………………………………………………………………. Preparing for Chartership Tuesday April 24th 2007. Harrison Learning Centre, University of Wolverhampton. 10am - 3.30pm. £5

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This workshop will offer advice to anyone who is interested in, or undertaking, the Chartership process, whatever stage you are at. We will be looking at the process and value of chartering, and how to produce a successful portfolio. There will also be plenty of opportunity to ask questions and view example Chartership submissions. For more details contact: Frances Hall, email: wmrlo@yahoo.co.uk …………………………………………………………………………………………………. Visit to British Geological Survey, Keyworth Thursday 24 May 2007. British Geological Survey, Keyworth 2pm - 5pm Free The BGS is the United Kingdom's premier centre for earth science information and expertise. The library here has grown to become one of the world's major earth science libraries. Come and see what goes on here and the role the library plays in this important institution. We will be having a tour of the fossil museum, records centre, the core store, and of course the library! There is on-site parking (NG12 5GG) or a bus from Nottingham City Centre. The tour is free, but places are limited. To book, contact Rachel Mackenzie ( rmack@bgs.ac.uk ).


Central News - CDG WM Newsletter