Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Things 6 & 7 - real-life & virtual networks

I’m cheating and combining two things this week, but I feel it’s justified because lately many of my online connections have developed into real-life ones, and much of my real-life connections are supplemented by my online presence.

When I took part in CPD23 last year I was only just starting to get involved with professional bodies (formal and informal) and I was often a rather passive participant. With the impetus of CPD23 behind me I am becoming more proactive, and I do feel it has been beneficial, not just in terms of what I have learnt and the professional development opportunities it’s created, but just in terms of boosting my confidence. It can be a little intimidating as a (relative) newbie to the profession, but it’s surprisingly easy to get involved, and once you are you wonder why you didn’t do it sooner!

The list of organisations you can become a part of on the CPD23 blog is really impressive, I thought I’d just add a little about my own experiences of some of them.

Online Networks
LinkedIn – last year I set up my account, but didn’t really do anything with it. I’ve been planning on updating it ever since, it’s still not happened!
LISNPN – I joined a while ago, and have been on a few of the meet ups (see my post on the latest one here). I think of LISNPN as a really great springboard to help you get acquainted with your fellow library folk. The resources section is full of useful information, from LIS course reviews, to guides to making presentations, and interviews tips. They also post job vacancies on the site, and share them via their Twitter account, @LISNPN.
Pinterest – I’ve just joined and so far I’ve not done much with it, but I’m looking forward to catching the ‘pinning bug’

Real-life networks
CILIP – I joined a year ago, and so far I’m finding it is worth it. I attended the CILIP New Professionals Day this year, which was really great and I’ve taken part in some CIG online forum discussions (little bit intimidating) and I’ve just heard that the Rare Books Group is planning on running some events in Wales (hooray!). I’m also heading up to the CDG/New Professional conference this July, as (along with Karen Pierce) I will be doing one of the presentations (scary!).
SLA (Special Libraries Association) – the SLA has a Museums group, so it was an obvious choice to join. I’m looking forward to exploring more of what my membership will offer; I’ve heard good things about them.
ARLIS – Although I use our institutional membership, rather than have a personal one, I still try to get involved; the email lists are great for keeping up to date with what’s happening in the art libraries world. I just wish I could make it to the regular visits they hold, which are too far away for me, they always look amazing.
MLAG (Museum Librarians and Archivists Group) – they used to be the London Museum Librarians and Archivists Group, but have since opened up their membership UK wide. It’s free to join, and is open to anyone working in museum libraries or archives. It can be difficult to make connections with other museum librarians (we are a rare breed!), so it’s great to find an organisation dedicated to it.

But, probably the organisation I get the most out of is CLIC (Cardiff Libraries in Co-operation), who provide free training and events for anyone working in libraries in Cardiff and the surrounding area (I blogged about the most recent event here). CLIC was set up in 2005 with the help of CyMAL ( Museums, Archives and Libraries Wales) and is free to join. I’m currently a member of the Web Development Team and at the beginning of this year I also joined the Staff Development Group.

This year CLIC has decided to try and organise regular meet ups for people doing CPD23, we held our most recent one in May. So, if you live near Cardiff, or just fancy a visit, then let me know and I’ll make sure you get added to the invite list for the next one!

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