missrachelsmith

CPD23: Conferencething

with one comment

This week, I’m thinking about Thing 15 in the 23 Things for Professional Development programme: attending, presenting at and organising seminars, conferences and other events. Actually, the reason why it jumped out at me when I looked down the possible CPD23 topics for this post is because I’ve been reading tweets and blog posts over the last couple of days about the Library Camp event at the weekend – it sounds amazing and I kind of wish I’d been there! Except I don’t, because I would now be even more tired than I already am. Which is pretty tired, post Freshers-madness last week.

Attending

I’ll tackle attending first, as that’s the one I have most experience of. I went to my first big conference last year – the UC&R and CoFHE 2010 conference – after I managed to wangle a sponsored place from UC&R Northern. As a Library Assistant, I didn’t feel like I could really ask to go to a big national conference like that (in my head, that’s the kind of event that the Subject Librarians might attend, or members of Senior Management Team). So I was really pleased to be offered the place and be able to attend. It was my first opportunity to meet people from libraries all over the country and I took away lots of ideas. Attending really broadened my horizons in terms of being able to evaluate what we’re doing well as a library and what’s not so great.

Since attending that first conference, I haven’t looked back in terms of going to conferences and events. You can read my thoughts about some of the events I’ve attended here, here and here

Presenting

As well as attending conferences, I’m now also exploring the possibility of presenting at them. I helped the library to win a CILIP Marketing Excellence award, and alongside a colleague gave a presentation to the 2010 PPRG conference about our winning Library 24/7 campaign. Earlier this year, I blogged about answering a call for papers for the first time and being unsuccessful.

What now? Well, I think I might feel ready to throw my hat in the ring again. The LILAC call for papers is out and there might be a good short paper in some of the work I’ve been doing recently, if I put my mind to it. Or if only I could find someone who is equally afraid of presenting a workshop on their own at the 2012 UC&R and CoFHE conference… (hint hint!).

Organising

The other Thing to think about for Thing 15 is organising events. That’s something I haven’t really got involved in outside of a work context. Have you been involved in organising conferences and seminars? Is it something I should start to consider?

I’ve certainly found this week’s Thing thought-provoking. And maybe something else will come out of it…

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Written by missrachelsmith

October 11, 2011 at 10:05

One Response

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  1. Hi Rachel, about asking to go to conferences etc, the worst management can say is no. When I worked at Newcastle university there was an exchange programme called the Tempus programme with a link to exchanges with Poland. A group of Polish librarians came to our library and as a library assistant I was involved in some of their training and social acitivties. When the request came out for Newcastle staff who were interested to go to Poland I put my name forward. I was the only library assistant to do so and all the others were in supervisory or management positions. I was chosen and went to Poland for 9 days with some colleagues. It was a great experience, I had to do my first talk at Turun University library (which I was terrified to do), but learnt a lot about the Polish libraries and how different they were to ours. We visited Warsaw national library also and in our free time were taken to different places by different staff from the library. When other library assistants asked how I was ‘chosen’ I said I just asked! I’d encourage everyone to do so. The benefits you bring back for yourself and your institution can never be understimated.

    Tracey Ainsley

    October 12, 2011 at 10:16


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