By Adrian Vaughan and the CILIP Information Literacy Group’s New Professionals Sub-committee
Dunghills rise, and castles fall, for we are equal, one and all. That’s my toast to the new year, as we all still find ourselves living through unprecedented times, continuing to take care of ourselves and each other, and I hope, like me, you’re looking forward to a Spring bringing new promise and renewed hope.
2021 has been interesting to say the least, sure didn’t our New Professionals sub-committee start up! We have met a few times now, gotten to know one another that bit better, and shared, debated and, yeah discarded too, all sorts of ideas that we feel might be of particular benefit to New Professionals in our industry.
So, we think now is the ideal time for us to share some of our exciting plans for 2022, but before we do, what is our definition of a ‘New Professional’?
A current student or recent graduate of a Library course, or anyone new to a library job (<~5yrs experience) can be considered a new professional.
How about a prospective LIS student? Or a more experienced library worker new to a leadership role? Or anyone with LIS-related goals?
Honestly, while our focus is on new professionals as defined above, I think our three primary projects for 2022 will be of interest to all manner of library and information science professional, and anyone who sees value in networking opportunities, advocating for our profession, and lifelong learning for personal growth and development.
So, without further ado, we’re entering the new year with three primary projects in various stages of development, and I’ll list these now before providing you with an overview of what you can expect from us over the coming months.
- A digital showcase of Information Literacy Projects undertaken by libraries like yours
- Randomised Coffee Trials
Information Literacy project case studies
What can you expect?
The ILG New Professionals Sub-committee is interested in information literacy practice that has been developed to reach a specific group of learners. We are compiling a series of case studies, which document focused projects that have been designed to reach these groups. We are considering the widest range of examples, from established work in academic environments; small and often ignored individual work; bold innovations; and work from health and other work settings. The case studies will be presented as short blog entries and podcasts, with support from our committee members in the editing, development and preparation of the material.
How can I help out?
If you, or someone you know, has a story to tell about their work, we’d like to hear from you. Our aim is to capture a snapshot of the exciting work currently taking place. If you would like to nominate either yourself of someone whose practice deserves wider attention, please submit the details through the link below.
Randomised Coffee Trials
What is a Randomised Coffee Trial?
A Randomised Coffee Trial is a way of meeting new people and networking in a 1-1 informal way. You’ll be matched with someone else from a different sector and given 6 weeks to arrange a virtual catch up at a time to suit you both. We’ll provide some ‘conversation starters’ but you can discuss whatever you want – the point is to share experiences and get to know each other better.
Why should I sign up?
If you’re new to the library profession, this is a perfect way of meeting others who are in the same boat as you. You can share experiences, learn about different sectors and receive support. People who have attended a Randomised Coffee Trial before have enjoyed meeting new people and have been able to share ideas and best practices that they can take back to their organisation. You can sign up by filling in the Google form below by February 7th, and we’ll let you know who your RCT partner is.
What can you expect?
We aim to produce a podcast later this year, with interviews taking place throughout the summer months. Our goal is to release each episode on a weekly (or fortnightly) basis then from the first week of September on.
Who are we interviewing?
Ideally, I think both new and experienced library and information science professionals and advocates should be given a voice here. Our aim is to motivate, inspire and entertain, through the sharing of insights and ideas, anyone involved in, or interested in, library and information literacy projects and strategies. We hope these informal and relaxed chats will be of particular benefit to our ‘new professionals’.
How can I help?
Between now and April/May, we will be reaching out to potential interviewees. Might you be interested in speaking with us and our prospective listeners? Or, maybe you know of a new, or an experienced library professional whose voice needs to be heard! Even if you don’t, please help us spread the word by sharing our blog posts. The perspectives, the particular interests, the goals and the random thoughts of library professionals at all stages of their careers, can only help those new to our industry.
We will be ‘cold-calling’ potential guests very soon of course too, with an invitation to join us for a twenty-ish minute, very informal and friendly chat on some suitable date over the summer months. If you hear from me, absolutely take it as a compliment, and I can be reached anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org for anyone who’d like to get in contact.