Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Reflecting and Networking, things 5 & 6

A catch-up post for Things 5 and 6.

Thing 5 - Reflective Practice

I am quite a reflective person, I do spend a lot of time thinking over the things I do, have done and may do in the future.  I may even be a little too introspective for my own good.  I’m always the first to start a post mortem of a party or occasion where I may have made a total arse of myself and spend the following week stressing about it and what I can do (or not do!) the next time to prevent such feelings of stupidity.

I think I really started to reflect on my professional practice when I was midway through my Traineeship.  I was unlucky at interview and was called in when the original candidate quit after a month in the job.  This auspicious start to the year (or, my career) made me really conscious of my own abilities and skills, and other people’s perceptions of my work.  It wasn’t until I found my feet at Corpus and started to explore what other people were doing that I started to assess my own professional progress, as it were.  I wanted to get more involved to make the most of my Trainee year so I made sure to take up people on offers of visits and training opportunities.  I took part in OxLib Teach Meet where I delivered my Trainee presentation a day early and to real live professional Librarians!  I asked a lot of questions.  I read a lot of blogs.  I was always up for more tasks and responsibilities.  I think my Trainee year provided a brilliant springboard for library school and the Oxford library network – indeed I am still now at Corpus and studying part-time at UWE.  I am still using things I’ve learned from being a Trainee, notably the training sessions themselves fed in to some bits of coursework and readings.  I use the fact that I was a Trainee to connect with other library people in Oxford as most are interested to hear how you got on and then offer their own pearls of wisdom.

I tried to write a reflective piece about my first year atlibrary school, but it is very descriptive instead.  Library school is allowing me to think about what I am learning and applying it to my work and vice versa too.

As far as reflecting on CPD 23 Things goes though - I am not doing so well.  I know I am too focussed on my own progress and should be reading more and commenting more on other blogs.  With that in mind, as soon as I hit 'publish' I'm off to comment as I've never commented before..

Thing 6 – Online Networks

Over the last few months I’ve tried to make the most of being on Twitter, which I suppose is the main online network I follow.  I like finding out about key issues in the profession by reading the tweets that unite or divide.  It is also excellent for keeping on top of many jobs that are posted.  (I’m not seeking a new job, but it is useful to see how the job market is looking in my sector.)

Strictly personal and becoming evermore the burden I can’t see myself ever opening this up for professional networking.  Facebook is like the how-is-it-not-finished-yet party you can’t leave for fear of missing something hilarious. Or gross.  Or grossly hilarious, that you know everyone will be talking about for months and months and just why would you want to exclude yourself from All The Fun anyway, yo?  However, I do use it to keep up with and share photos/links/articles with my nearest and dearest who are all flung to the four corners of the globe.  For this Facebook is pretty good as everything is in the same place and just everyone is on it.

I don’t fully understand why I would need or want to join LinkedIn at the moment. It seems that a lot of what it offers can be found elsewhere.  I can’t face setting up a profile just for the sake of it as I know that I would forget to update it.  If anyone can tell me why I should definitely get on it, please comment below!  Are the groups worth it? Maybe I’ll change my mind and come to it when I am actively job hunting.  I take on board the point about Google searches which can’t be laughed off as it’s a given employers will be looking you up!

LISNPN/CILIP Communities
Now, these are two networks I should exploit more. I enjoy the guest blog posts for LISNPN and it does seem to be a very active network.  CILIP Communities is a tiny bit terrifying but I’m sure once I suck it up and start to explore I will make some great connections!  I don’t know if I am alone in finding the CILIP website quite hard to navigate and find things though? Don’t tell, like.


  1. Hellooo; Being more comment-y now; networking n'all.

    The thing about LinkedIn...I wasn't keen either, and just thought of it as another tick on the Social Media check-list. BUT, I have found that it's a handy place to keep a detailed and complete work history. All your training, skills, experiences are listed...then when it comes to Person Specs and things like that, there it all is in front of you.
    There may be better ways of storing that kind of information, but I quite like it now.


    1. Hi hi, nice networking :)

      You make a good argument. It would be great to get all my professional stuff down in one place (at the moment it's all in various Word docs on my laptop) and it will help me meet other people with similar professional interests too. It's something to add to my post-cpd23 things to do list for sure.

      Have you used any of the groups and other features? Have many people contacted you?