Wednesday 16 May 2012

CILIP HQ go back to the floor

Mark Taylor, of the CILIP external relations team, talked at the May meeting of CILIP in the Thames Valley about the initiative that saw everyone at the CILIP Ridgemount Street HQ work shadowing information professionals of all varieties, in an effort to reach out to members and potential members of our professional body.  This push to gain insight into what members do on a day-to-day basis and how this may affect what they want from CILIP comes in an effort to better represent all CILIP members after a major re-structure at CILIP HQ with everyone’s role changed or re-evaluated in some way.  As you may have noticed this was only a part of the wider effort, with other measures including a survey of members and non-members and CILIP staff getting attending many different events and using it to inform their work.

From the CILIP HQ side of thing the work shadowing programme was deemed a success in that (at the very least) valuable contacts were made within the industry on which they can draw in the future, and vice versa. One of the most important lessons Mark felt had been learnt was the failure thus far to reach out to those information professional that have no physical ‘library’ space and tend to be loan working – really those that no longer see themselves as ‘librarians’. This kind of exercise may be a good way to reach them. Going forward, all new staff will be encouraged to go on a work shadowing placement. As of yet there are no plans to repeat the exercise on a Ridgemount St wide basis, at least not annually.

Some debate ensued about what CILIP is doing to help libraries, and particularly school libraries, to demonstrate their worth.  Mark entered into this agreeing that it was difficult to prove this by comparing performance in the national landscape as there are no nationally agreed measures by which to do this. CILIP are trying to develop dialogues with the institutional decision makers, such as school headmasters to try to discover what they would count as evidence. Further along, we all decided mystery shopping was probably a bad technique in trying to establish the performance levels of a service(!)  And of course #UpdateNichols featured.  Otherwise there was some discussion about how CILIP HQ view us the members, some taking umbrage with the word ‘customer’, when the relationship is perhaps more reciprocal than a basic transaction. If anyone wants to comment further on that or any of the above then please do so below.

Monday 14 May 2012

Calling all Berks/Bucks/Oxon HE and FE Library staff...

Do you work in HE or FE in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire or Oxfordshire? Would you like to  get out of the Library a bit more, keep up to date with current Library issues in FE and  HE, network with colleagues from across the sectors, and give your professional development a boost?

Then read on...

The CoFHE (Colleges of Further and Higher Education) and UC&R (University College and  Research) groups of CILIP are merging to form the Academic and Research Libraries Group,  ARLG.  In the Berks/Bucks/Oxon area, this means CoFHE Mid-West and UC&R BBO are  dissolving, and re-forming as ARLG BBO. And we want you!

Even (especially) if you've never been involved in a professional group before, this is  a brilliant opportunity to get started. In the past CoFHE and UC&R have organised local  training events on many themes, from diversity in libraries to e-books, from managing  difficult customers to libraries and Web 2.0. But it doesn't all have to be conferences  and events - would you benefit more from a blog, a mailing list, Twitter feed, informal  evening get-togethers? We want your ideas - and your participation. Being part of a  local group is a great (and inexpensive!) way to broaden your perspectives, boost your professional development, get involved in activities beyond the scope of your day job  (marketing, budgeting, chairing seminars...) and enhance your CV - all while getting to  socialise and network with other local librarians.

We're holding an inaugural meeting/round-table discussion, for all interested education/research based librarians working in the region, on: Tuesday 29th May 2012, from 2 -  4.30 pm, in the Board Room at Oxford and Cherwell Valley College's Oxford campus (Oxpens Road, OX1 1SA - see ). The College is a short walk from the station and from city centre bus stops; there is a public car park at the Oxpens ice rink opposite the college.  There'll be refreshments, so please email Rob Collier from this list:

Thursday 10 May 2012

That's just what we do

This is the first post of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in the Thames Valley (happily shortened to CILIPTV!) sub-branch blog. This opening post is just by way of an introduction to who we are and what we do. As a sub-branch of CILIP South East, which is in turn a regional branch of CILIP, we represent librarians and information professionals on a very local level, hopefully providing members with networking opportunities regularly and on their doorstep.  
The Great Expectations pub in Reading
where we hold our monthly events
We hold monthly meetings (so far usually in Reading, but our first in Oxford will be June 6th) where there tends to a core crowd of very friendly faces working and/or trained in all branches of the information profession. At these meeting we have talks by professionals with varied experiences and specialities so that members benefit from a wealth of knowledge from across the profession. For those of you working towards a CILIP qualification we even provide a handy-dandy certificate to go in those portfolios!

We hope to post reports on our monthly events so that those who can’t make it know what they missed and also serve as a basis for discussion - CILIP members are welcome to comment! Perhaps after the event thoughts may occur to those present which they want to share with other info people rather than boring the socks off their loved ones.  Guest posts from info professionals around the Thames Valley about their work are also welcome so if you feel the urge to shout about what you do then please be in touch. Contact details and further information on events and the committee can be found on the website. We are also on Twitter and Facebook. Watch this space for the low-down on the 5th May event when Mark Taylor from CILIP HQ spoke to us about staff experiences when they went 'back to the floor'.