Playing catch up

with 2 comments

This blog post is so entitled because I feel like that is exactly what I’m doing at the moment. I recently had a week off, due to a horrible cold/flu/chest infection, and on arriving back in work this week I’m finding that there’s a lot going on and my brain is still slightly like mush. So as I can’t quite keep up with all the things I’ve missed, the things I’m in the middle of and the things I’m organising for CILIP Chartership, I thought I’d write a sort of ‘this is where I am’ post to get myself up to date.

The few weeks before I was ill were really positive in terms of progressing with my Chartership work. I had my first meeting with my Chartership mentor, Jackie, where we talked through my draft Personal Professional Development Plan and discussed how I was going to monitor and record all the actions I’m taking in working towards Chartership. Following this meeting, I submitted my initial PPDP to CILIP, and I also sent the document to my line manager and the head of the library service. We had a meeting to discuss the activities I had proposed, and I found that the Librarian was happy to support pretty much all of my development aims, suggested some ideas, and committed to supporting my training activities both from a financial perspective and in terms of work time. This left me feeling secure in the knowledge that my employers were behind my professional development, and was a fantastic outcome to the meeting.

A few days later, however, and I had to take sick leave. I’d just started a blog post reflecting on some of the training activities I’ve already undertaken – I’ll attempt to finish it soon and get it up. I also started writing a letter to my MP in support of Save our Libraries day, but again this fell by the wayside. While I was off, I missed a couple of quite important sessions: I was due to go on a Mentoring training course, run by the University, which would mean I could mentor new staff during their first weeks and months of working at the Library. It’s not the end of the world, as there will be another session organised sometime later in the year, but it would have been a good thing to cross off this month. I also missed out on interviewing candidates for the employability award run by the University’s careers service, which would have fed nicely into my Chartership work on management skills and University strategy.

Whilst I was away, the Library Services manager contacted me to confirm a work experience placement student was coming in at the beginning of March. I’m going to act as the supervisor for the placement during the student’s week with us – this is a fantastic opportunity and will fulfil part of my Chartership training aims. However, it’s a challenge to arrive back in work with a flu hangover, to be faced with catching up on all the work that was dropped while I was away, and think about organising an appropriate and interesting timetable for the student – but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

The other thing that’s happened in the past few weeks is that I’ve confirmed the work experience placement that I’m going to undertake at a local FE/sixth form college in late March, with the aim of gaining a better understanding of what it is like to work in another sector of librarianship. I’ve also got some work to pull together for the placement, because as well as learning about how their library operates, I’m also going to present sessions to the college library staff about how our reading list process works and what we do in terms of student support.

So that’s what I’ve been up to, and not been up to – and it feels much better to see it all written down and not floating around in my cotton-wool brain!


Written by missrachelsmith

February 18, 2011 at 12:30

2 Responses

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  1. What an inspiring blog post! Your chartership progress is very organised and you have lots of activities planned, it’s great to hear you are so well supported by your employer and manager too.

    This post has definitely spurred me on to finish my dissertation so that I can start thinking about chartership next year maybe.

    Jo Alcock

    February 19, 2011 at 14:06

    • Thanks Jo! I don’t think of it as very organised really – it’s just the way I work in general (although you wouldn’t think of me as that on top of things if you saw the state of my work desk!).

      Yes, I have lots of Chartership activities in the pipeline. That’s what I see as the point of it as an exercise – an opportunity (or excuse!) to undertake training and development activities slightly out of my normal sphere of work. I know Lex Rigby has commented upon this in some of her blog posts on her Chartership work as well.

      Pleased to hear you found the post inspiring!


      February 20, 2011 at 20:20

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