Would like to meet at #cilipconf18

The post is aimed primarily at other attendees of the CILIP Conference 2018*. There will be lots of people at the conference and I’d like to increase my chances of finding people who I can have really useful conversations with – and knowing what to talk to them about. A job title and employer often don’t give you a huge amount to go on. So here’s a bit more about me and why you might be interested in speaking to me, as well as some other things I’d be particularly interested in talking to people about. Comment here or tweet me (@library_lizzie) if you’d to meet up!

If you’re coming to the CILIP Conference I’d encourage you to write your own ‘Would like to meet’ too.

My role

Officially my title is Leventis Library Manager and I’m employed by a company called CCI Services Ltd. From this, you probably wouldn’t guess that I am a solo information professional running a small workplace library for a collaboration of 10 organisations – 9 biodiversity conservation organisations and the University of Cambridge – called the Cambridge Conservation Initiative. I also run a training programme, facilitate access for the whole collaboration to library and training resources from each of the collaborating organisations, and provide advice on various topics from copyright and reference management, to web tools and research data management.

You can find out more on my LinkedIn profile.

Reasons you might find me interesting

I have experience of:
  • Merging libraries (from 4 partner organisations to create a library for a collaboration)
  • Moving a library into a new building (well, it was refurbished rather than new, but it was a very extensive refurbishment)
  • Running a library & information service for multiple organisations
  • Supporting use of web-based technologies & apps as a librarian / information professional
  • Science librarianship
  • Volunteer recruitment and management
  • Solo librarianship
  • Entering the LIS profession from a science background
Projects in progress:
  • Developing a training programme (in a workplace setting)
  • Setting up / managing digital display screens to share information
  • Supporting research data management
  • Setting up a Knowledge, Information and Data Management special interest group to facilitate discussions with colleagues in similar roles across the collaboration
(Potential) projects on my horizon:
  • Improving knowledge exchange within the collaboration
  • Developing resources/communications for new starters to introduce them to the collaboration and the central collaboration-wide team (not limited to the library & information service).
  • Digitising small quantities of our serial collection, currently unavailable online

I’d like to meet …

I’m particularly interested in chatting to anyone with experience in:

  • Moving into knowledge management from librarianship
  • Libraries / information services in charities, NGOs, other third sector organisations
  • Shared libraries / information services (serving more than one organisation)
  • Anything on my Projects in progress or (Potential) projects on my horizon lists above

*If you’re not going to the CILIP Conference, I’d still be very happy to hear from you on any of these topics! Comment or tweet me to get in touch.



Communicating copyright

Today there was an event run by LIS-Copyseek called Communicating the Copyright Message. I couldn’t attend in person, but thanks to the wonders of Twitter I still managed to engage with attendees and learn a few things.

  1. INFO: The CLA license terms are changing – I didn’t manage to catch from the tweets exactly what the changes are, so need to follow up on this one.
  2. IDEA: Call short training sessions a “Copyright Briefing” https://twitter.com/jsecker/status/755717394526531585 I think this would go down better with my users than “Copyright Training” – for a start it sounds shorter, and in some way I feel “briefing” has more connotations of providing lots of useful information and somehow fits better with the style of some sessions I am planning.
  3. IDEA: Copyright card game – going to investigate further how this works but sounds interesting. https://twitter.com/UKCopyrightLit/status/755711608794521601 Could fit in well with my ambition to add an element of “play” to my training?
  4. REMINDER: Biscuits (or other food/drink-based encouragement) should be used at all library training sessions – it does actually encourage people to come. https://twitter.com/Bekky/status/755744844304244737
  5. REMINDER: Try not to appear scared when teaching copyright – the audience will notice! https://twitter.com/PentonLibrary/status/755705318236094468
  6. REASSURANCE: I’m not the only one who worries about having to say “no” to people when the topic of copyright rears it’s head https://twitter.com/PentonLibrary/status/755764663682338817. In sessions you can start from the point of view of what you CAN do, rather than what you CAN’T do, but this is harder when responding to a direct “Can I …?”, or worse “Yes, but surely I can …?”. I think the only advice I can give myself and anyone else on this one is have a selection of “No, but you could…” answers and remain sympathetic but positive.
  7. IDEA: The idea of a copyright community of practice is one to investigate further https://twitter.com/UKCopyrightLit/status/755778434438205440, and possibly apply to other topics – it might work as an approach for various info skills.
  8. REASSURANCE: This made me breathe a sigh of relief!

Finally, thank you very much to everyone tweeting from the event!

Thing 10: So you want to be a librarian?

This post was written for 23 Things for Professional Development, Thing 10: Graduate traineeships, Masters degrees, Chartership, Accreditation.

Thing 10 is about routes into librarianship and the qualifications needed to be a librarian.  I’m right at the start of my career and so far following what is probably considered the standard route.  I completed my undergraduate degree (in geological sciences – a bit less standard) last summer, am now coming to the end of my year as a graduate trainee and am about to start a masters degree.  I’ve really enjoyed reading other people’s posts on the other routes they’ve taken into librarianship.

Graduate traineeships

As I write this I have only one week left of my graduate traineeship.  For the past 12 months I have been the graduate trainee at the Radcliffe Science Library at Oxford University and it has been brilliant.  As part of the Bodleian Libraries training scheme I had regular training sessions (roughly half a day per week) with 17 other trainees on wide-ranging topics such as library school, what it’s like to be a subject librarian, eresouces, library use of web 2.0 and the work of conservators.  We also had several library visits arranged for us and were encouraged to organise visits to each other’s libraries.  This has really widened my knowledge of the library profession, even if only at a basic level, and I think has provided me with good grounding to start my masters.  I was also very lucky in having a supportive supervisor who encouraged me to take advantage of any other training offered by staff development that I was interested in.

One important point about graduate traineeships is that they are all different.  Some, like mine, have organised training sessions while others give you the breadth of experience because you rotate round several different library departments within the year.  The day-to-day work, even between traineeships that are part of the same scheme, can vary massively.

Masters degrees

In just over a month I will be starting an MA in Library and Information Studies at UCL.  I will be studying full-time as I am in the very fortunate position of having obtained AHRC funding.  If I hadn’t got the funding it would be a different story.  I certainly wouldn’t have been able to afford to study full-time and I would have had to save up for a couple of years to afford to do the course part-time, and that would be without further increases in the fees.  Realistically I think in the end I would have decided to go for another part-time or distance learning course which didn’t involve me having to live in or commute to London.  It’s been said before but I think it’s a real shame if people aren’t able to do the course that they want just because of high fees and very limited funding.

So, why do I want to do this masters degree?  I’m hoping I will learn the skills and knowledge I don’t already have that I will need for the sort of job I would like to move on to.  I’m not saying it’s the only way to get those skills, but I do think it will be the easiest, and for me best, way of doing so.  More importantly it seems likely I will need the qualification to progress in my career.  I keep an eye on job adverts to see what is required for the sort of job I’d like to be moving on to and almost all of them require a postgraduate qualification.  I’m also hoping to enjoy the course!

Although I hope the masters will be good preparation for a professional post I think there are skills it won’t cover. IT skills are important for most library and information job roles and some job adverts I’ve come across even specify a qualification such as ECDL (European Computer Driving Licence) or similar as desirable.  So I’ve decided to brush up on my IT skills and am planning on completing the ECDL while I’m studying at UCL.  Has anyone done any other IT qualifications which they’ve found useful (or not)?

Other qualifications

One of the things that surprised me when I entered the world of librarianship was that librarians don’t generally need any qualifications in the subject their library specialises in (if it does specialise).  Most, but not all, of the subject librarians at the academic science library where I work have a background in the subject they support, but this seems less common in other libraries.  I wonder, is this because subject knowledge really isn’t important or because you can learn enough about the subject on the job?  Is it different for different subjects or different sectors?  It was interesting to read in Lorna’s post that as a law librarian she has a HNC in Legal Studies.