Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Good news everybody!

I have just received good news:

"I am pleased to inform you that at its meeting on 25/01/2011 the Chartership Board accepted your submission for Chartership. You are therefore invited to register as a Chartered member of CILIP."

Yayyyy!!! :D

To wrap up everything, I will do some reflection on the entire process, it will wrap thing up for me and it is always good to look at the entire process when finished.

More later!

Friday, 17 December 2010

Final update

......the portfolio has been checked, printed and is sitting in the out tray.

Phew, it feels strange. I am getting withdrawal syndromes already, perhaps I should open the sealed envelope again and just read it though again, just in case I forgot something ........ worst thing would be if the appendix and page number doesn't match! ............. amazing how little things can matter so much!

I've heard CILIP has stopped advertising the new MCLIP in the national newspapers, great! Just when I needed some support to show the value of my CPD at work.......

Anyway, so the portfolio should reach CILIP next week and hopefully I will hear some news in six months time, good news I hope.

Thursday, 16 December 2010


So, the CILIP Chartership Handbook has been updated. It is good timing, because I am one day away from sending in my portfolio, so have just been reading it just in case anything has changed since I have been away.

I did notice this bit:

"You will be demonstrating your professional judgment in the selection and organisation of your evidence. The emphasis is on the relevance of the material; quality is more important than quantity! You may include examples of personal reflective writing (not necessarily intended for publication) where they provide evidence of professional development. Your portfolio should be reflective and evaluative."

The past couple of days I have been trying to reduce the number of evidence in my portfolio, such a difficult task! All that effort that has gone in to the evidence that I have now excluded, it is painful!

Not that numbers matter, but I have reduced the number of evidence from 29 different documents, to 21, this includes the CV, the PPDP and so on.

I am scared that I have removed too much now, what if they think I have not included enough evidence?

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Online Information 2010

Although I am finished with my Chartership portfolio (door closed, just waiting for lift off) I am going to keep posting my CPD experiences on my blog. This way I will stay in the routine of looking at outcomes and reflecting on my experiences at work. Perhaps using it for my revalidation in the future, who knows.

So I attended the Online Information 2010 at Olympica Conference Centre in London ( after a years break (blame it on the baby!).
I had prepared myself for the exiting rushing around from seminar to seminar and stall to stall. My manager gave me some of her input for things to look out for and I was hoping get updated on the latest happenings, tools, websites and information sources I had missed out on while on maternity.

As usual there were free seminars on different topics. I tend to select the ones I find interesting and create a timetable for myself so I don’t miss any of the seminars. But this year I was a bit disappointed with the seminar selection, they didn’t have much on career development or new tools, no Phil Bradley or Karen Blakeman or anybody else going through the latest LIS stuff. I attended 4 out of 5 seminars on my list, and they were nothing exiting to be honest. Other people must have felt the same, because a lot of people were walking out after the first 15minutes, and even I was tempted to do so to avoid falling asleep.

I felt very disappointed, as the seminars are what I look forward to and I bring back lots of new ideas and a lists of things to do and websites to visit etc. Whoever selected the speakers for the free seminars this year must have been very desperate! Or maybe all the good ones were kept for the expensive masterclasses??

I also noticed that there were fewer students attending this year and also fever CPD or career related seminars. It seems to have become more commercially focused this year. The conference seemed to suit buyers or managers more, rather than students or graduates. Obviously, I didn’t attend with the intention of purchasing anything, which is why I felt a bit out of the target.

Another thing I noticed was the low attendance and also several empty exhibitor stalls. Many of the usual exhibitors were not present, for example Mintel, KeyNote, Oracle, Datamonitor and so on. And I wonder why?

So what did I get up to?

Well, I had a good long chat with Michael Martin from CILIP at the stand (where they also had the Wii bowling set up!) about my Chartership, what doors it opens up for me and I learned that when I finish my Chartership I could get enrolled at a distance learning university and possibly go straight to the dissertation. THAT makes me feel my Chartership gives value! He also spoke about how an unnecessary long portfolio be a negative thing, so I will need to look at the portfolio with fresh eyes and reduce and only keep what is relevant to the criteria, perhaps using a chartership criteria matrix.

At the Ebsco stand, I asked if our contact person was around, which she wasn’t so instead I asked what new is happening at Ebsco, and the lady said “oh not much”…… so I just walked to the next stand.

I spoke to CLA about the new Print Disability Licence, but I was told that it all depends on the licence we have at the moment (e.g. business licence) and I was told that the best thing would be to speak to the person dealing with it at CLA, which is what my manager and I had in mind anyway.

I noticed the Direct Marketing Association’s stand, and asked them what they were there to promote, and it seemed they were there just to recruit members! Not sure how though…..

Then I spoke to a gentleman at the Eurostat stand, we started talking about the European Commission’s database first which had some useful data I could use for my enquiries, but then he told me he was Scottish, which he didn’t look because he was originally Italian, but he studied somewhere else and now lives in Switzerland with his Danish wife from Randers! It is nice to know there are lots of people out there like me with a complicated story to tell.

As I was walking around I tried to find some databases that would hold some technical/technological statistics, as I have been asked so many times why we don’t include market data on the hard core subjects in our collection, along with retail/leisure and so on. I really tried, but at the fair I only found database providers who offered article databases for scientists, not really useful for marketers! I think I will try and check the British Library's Business and IP section to see what they have on this.....

Finally, I had a long chat with Graham from Soutron who is almost like a relative of the Library. He has designed a new product called Solo which is an upgraded version of Textworks.
Textworks is like the backbone of the Library. Solo is much more contemporary with its databases linked with urls and it has all the technological features you tend to see with the library databases these days. Inspired by the internet, it is much quicker and avoids the walls between the different sections of the catalogue. I actually forgot to ask him to show me the enquiry logging bit, which is a bit silly of me as that is what I would have like to know about.

It is not a revolutionary product by any means, but it would make many daily tasks quicker and it just means a lot to have the latest software when you use it day in and day out! So thumbs up for Soutron Solo! Let’s hope we buy it soon!

If I had to rate the overall conference experience, I would give it 3 out of 10, while in the past it has been a 8 out of 10. But I wouldn’t have known that unless I had been there, amirite?

I didn’t bring back much on the latest trends in information retrieval, the only CPD related inspiration I got was by speaking to Michal Martin and the buzz was just not there.

Oh and next time, if I go, I will bring my own sandwich, I found £5 for a cheese and tomato Panini so crazy that I didn’t bother getting a drink with it!

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Customer Service and Technology?

So, am finally back from my maternity leave, things are a bit crazy still, but I am all set to get back on track again.

I had a funny moment, I didn't say anything at the moment, but yesterday when a lady said to me: "today being a librarian is all about customer service and about the new social media tools....." I just wished I had told her there and then that THAT (and more) has always been the case for Librarians; customer service is one of our core principles, when was it not part of our work?

Also, from what I understand of history, we have always adapted the latest technologies into our work, from very early on actually, so just because the libraries are using web 2.0 tools now, doesn't mean we just opened up our eyes to technology today. It's like, just because your eyes are closed, doesn't mean I am not here!

That is all I wanted to say....... feel better now.....

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

In the meantime.......

This has happened!

Instead of reading the CILIP magazine alone, I read it with Gurveer:

My chartership is more or less ready to hit the press now and I am going to hand it in either before my maternity leave finishes, that way I do not need to extend it with the new updates at my work, or as soon as possible after begining work again.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Academic libraries article......

While scanning the daily newspapers today (noh I don't do it for pleasure, it is part of my job trust me!) I came across this article in The Guardian. I have highlighted some of the sentences in the article which made me nod my head while reading. I must admit, despite being a Librarian I hardly read books anymore, strange world isn't it?

In The Guardian, Tuesday 18 August 2009:

Academic libraries are undergoing a quiet revolution

Being a librarian these days is all about technology and customer service; no time to stick your

Anne Hannaford has a passion for what libraries can mean for people. Photograph: Andrew Fox
Thirty years ago, says Professor Jane Core, director of library and learning services at the University of Northumbria, people went into librarianship for a quiet life that had a bit of cachet. If they think that now, however, "they may be disappointed," she says. "Here, our focus is on working with people and with information." There's not much spare time to stick your nose in a book.
Applying for a job in a university library because you "love reading" isn't going to get you very far these days. These hallowed repositories of academic knowledge have changed beyond recognition over the last decade, and the people recruited to work in them have to be willing to embrace new technologies and customer service with an alacrity that would likely horrify the shushing custodians of the past.
The digital revolution in the late 1990s transformed – and is still transforming – everything, explains Toby Bainton, secretary of the Society of College, National and University Libraries (Sconul).
"It's been a mixed blessing," he explains. "Distributing and sharing information is much easier, but things are much more complex behind the scenes. Students think that what they see on their screens is free, but information is very valuable and has to be bought, so often what they see is very strictly controlled by contract."

I am not going to insert more of the article, don't want the newspaper to come after me! But you should be able to read the rest of it on the Guardian's website.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Information Officer needed!.... organisation is looking for an Information Officer (to replace me while I am on maternity leave from September) and so far we have not been very lucky! So if anyone out there is looking for a full time temp work in a marketing library situated in a lovely location (Maidenhead) with lots of staff benefits (free lunch is just one of them!) please let me know!

I know when I say Information Officer it sounds like it could be someone doing more or less anything, could be in a reception, at a police station, in a council and so on, so I understand that the title is what makes people feel that it is the sort of thing anyone can do (which explains the lack of qualified applicants for this position!).

Sorry but we do require a person with a LIS related qualification! It does state so on the advert, but unfortunately we (our profession) have not been successful in making the Information Officer a librarian related title only, and this is the punishment!

Luckily my manager (being a Librarian herself) feels the same way as I do (and should do!) that a Librarian's role cannot be replaced by a non-qualified librarian (unless we are talking about someone with years of experience in librarianship without qualifications...... which is a quite rare anyway...). It would have dangerous consequences for the existance of our profession, so why dig our own hole? We should naturally keep loyalty to our own profession just like any other profession would. I can imagine HR people may not fully agree with this (they have their reasons I guess!) but just like a Marketer would not want to be replaced by a Librarian, a Librarian cannot be replaced by a Receptionist (no offence to receptionists, they are very nice people, my mum is one of them even!)

What if I was a Business Librarian or a Business Information Researcher? Do you think it would help?

Anyway, any questions, please get back to me. I am very friendly and I am always happy to help :)

Thursday, 23 July 2009


Okay, the person who asked me has now come back to me after reading my previous post and she doesn't want to know why I blog (thank God!), but wanted to ask the benefits of blogging for chartership. Now that is much easier to answer. I'll give you my story:

When I started my Chartership (ages ago!) I was struggling to write notes and my thoughts would be all over the place which gave me a setback of 6 months. Another thing that was bothering me was never understanding how to be relective, the right way. Sure I would think and look back at many things I had learnt, but I never managed to get used to reflective writing until I started writing this blog.

I started noticing blogs while working on enquiries at work and one day found a blog by one of my previous uniy friend in Danish on the development of her work at a children's library in Copenhagen.
In her blog she would write anything and everything she felt the need to share about her work and it was a very interesting read, a bit like reading someones diary, except that this one was work related so I could actually make some use of it too!

My blog became my tool to motivate me as the blog made me visible in the public. To begin with I never imagined anyone would ever stumble across it! But slowly I began to understand that there are actually people reading my silly constructions of words.

You need to keep a blog up to date which forced me to think of my chartership more often than I would have normally. You would think that this should have made me complete my Chartership much quicker, it probably should have, but the truth is that the blog opened up my world to so many new tools to try, which distracted me, but I was distraction in a good way :)

My blog:

- has made my thoughts publicly accessible, making me think twice about what I do at work
- has given me dicipline with regards to Chartership
- has given me a place to practice reflective thinking
- gives me the freedom to whatever I choose to write about, no rules and restrictions
- has introduced me to new web technology which I left behind when completing my studies
back in 2005 and has brought me up to date once again.
- has become my notebook; Instead of writing down my notes and thoughts for myself on a
sheet only I can see, I am doing it in front of others and getting feedback on my thoughts at the
same time
- is also a useful place to let off steam, as it is my personal blog, it is all about me

I am hoping this will be useful to other bloggers or soon to be bloggers as well. Blogging has really worked out well for me, even though I am not much of a writer and English is not even my first language. Getting your thoughts out in public is a different thing altogether, you don't have to have a conversation with yourself any more, it's much easier to blog and become part of a wider community that does not exist elsewhere.

Moreover, I am the only one in my department who blogs which means that if this is something my organisation today or in future will be doing I will at least have some advantage.

I know it is much more valuable and looks much better to have your article published in a LIS magazine but that isn't me, I'm not really a writer, I am just a web user librarian who wants to contribute to online content :)

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

The blog

I am almost at the final states of my chartership now. I must admit the confusing part is not over yet, but I won't go into that right now.

The other day I was asked why I blog and why do I write a blog about my chartership?
It almost sounded as if it was a strange thing to do, as if it is too boring to read and write about!

It made me wonder.

Is my blog just a self created tool that I use to talk about my chartership for my own sake or do is there a greater meaning?

Give me a couple of days and I will get back to you on this one.......

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Still here....

Well, not much going on here these days. Why? Well my organisation has decided to increase our levels of censorship on the internet! Hmfh! I basically do not have access to my own blog now even though it is part of my CPD which my organisation is paying for. But of course this is not something our IT department would know so I have requested this site unblocked……… so hopefully soon……………. In the mean time I am writing the little headings or introductions to all my evidence. It is not that it takes a lot of time, it is more a lack of concentration and I would like to share another thing that makes it much much harder to complete my portfolio, it’s CILIPs chartership board’s meeting dates; if you would like to submit your portfolio on one of the dates (for example the 8th July ‘09) you have to hand in your portfolio three weeks before this date! So you could say that the deadline is actually 3 weeks before the 8th! Moreover, if I do hand it in in time, there is a 50/50 percent chance that the examiners will see it this time around, if not then next time! It means that the deadline is not really a deadline!

Monday, 6 April 2009

Twittering away

Yes yes I have now joined Twitter too........... hmm, its all good. I think sometimes it takes a lot more work than just joining, you have to dedicate yourself in a way you might now expect to begin with. So if I just keep it at this stage for now, when I get a Aha! thought for what Twitter can do for me, then I will go straight there and continue. for now, I have just joined for the sake of joining. Can't say I am not being honest.
Was reading in the news, Google might be taking over Twitter .......... it seems like everything I touch turns to Google!

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Marketing the library services

Yesterday an email was sent around to our members and studying members as a "reminder" of the library services they have access to as members. It was probably the only marketing of the library that did not have other services included, or where the library was not just a "side dish". In other words: This email was about the library only!! What an honour!

It was a quite simple email, with a professional layout and examples of the type of searches we could do and it was a great success in terms of response.

The only thing I can complain about is that the email was sent out in the late afternoon, 45 mins before we close and we were aware that this email was being created, but had no clue it was being broadcasted on that day! So as one out of the two people on the telephone I must have sounded surprise in the first call referring to this email.

Done about 30-40 enquiries today!

Friday, 27 March 2009

My Marketing Search Engine

Inspired by a web 2.0 I attended, I have for a while been fiddling with the thought of creating a search engine for all my marketing resources which I have created as a researcher in my current for the past 2.5 years.

Although the bookmarks in my browser are a great way of keeping all the links in one place and even in subject order, when it comes to actually using them you need to go through many links before you actually find what you are looking for, unless your brain is so sharp that you have all your bookmarks memorized, in which case you really do not need any of these tools!

I have looked around and out of all the search engine customization tools out there (such as MSN's Live Search Macros, Eurekster Swicki etc) but have now narrowed my choices down to two candidates. The first one is Rollyo. For over a year I have heard this word, coming in, but discretely gone to the back of my mind with the label "to be looked at later". It has several times been recommended by Phil Bradley whose blog I follow. The second one is Google. I have seen lots of websites using a adapted version of Google as a search tool for their websites, I believe the organisation I work for was once of them even. The benefit of using Google's version would be that my Gmail account, my Blogger account, my Picassa picture album, my Toolbar etc is all in the Google family, which means that with one login and password everything is accessible. Not to mention things will look familiar for me. Moreover, from what I have read so far, there is not a limit to the number of pages you can add to your search engine in Google's version, unlike Rollyo where the limit is 25. I think I have made my decision, I am not happy that Google is the winner, but let's see, I might give Rollyo a try later on.

So far I have only looked at the different types of search engine customization tools and chosen mine, now I need to create it and next would of course be to test it's usefulness.
I wonder if the Google search engine will give me the possibility of tags or meta data or thesaurus terms..... hmm....

I have only added a few of my bookmarks, but it has already created a mini search engine for me to test:

By the way, the link to this search engine (easy for me because I can just log on to my Gmail and access it) is probably something I will have to bookmark:

Thursday, 26 February 2009

more photofun

I know this probably has nothing to do with chartership, but this is really cool and needs to be shared:
Photofunia is a lot like ruletheweb site so this could be an addition to Phil Bradley's suggestion in Gazette this week, only I think I like it more than ruletheweb :)

It's very straightforward, go to the website, select a image you would like and upload your picture (PS if you are not interested in your picture going public, tick the box!) and see your image be created! I would have shown a couple of examples, but I'd rather keep them private!Enjoy!

personalised bus ad


Thursday, 19 February 2009

Shape the Agenda event

The Chartered Institute of Marketing publishes bi-annual papers known as Shape the Agenda papers. They set out the latest thinking on topics affecting the marketing profession, and at the launch of a new paper is accompanied by an event held at CIM. As the Institute is a chartered body, it supports marketers in their chartered CPD programme in a similar way CILIP supports librarians on their way to Chartership.

To widen my knowledge of marketing, and to stay up to date on the latest marketing topics, I attended the Shape the Agenda event covering the topic “The benefits and impacts of social marketing”. The Library assists in writing of the agenda papers, from research to proof reading, and when a publication is released the library becomes the first point of contact. Knowing that I will be contacted regarding this topic, it is in my interest to understand as much as possible so I can share my knowledge with the customers.

My experience in this role has made me realise that although I am not a marketer, many customers expect a high degree of marketing insight and knowledge from me. I am expected to know more than just how to find the information; I should also be able to understand and explain marketing to the marketers who contact me. This is one way of building specialist knowledge in the field of marketing, and it is as important to attend marketing events for my job as it is for me to attend events for library professionals.

Although a lot of marketing knowledge can be obtained by reading for example, course books in marketing and agenda papers, taking time out to mingle with marketers and take note of their questions and use of technical marketing terms gives me much better tools and greater confidence to deal with enquiries.

I am thinking of including this in the portfolio, lets see. I could enclose a session evaluation as proof of my attendance of the Shape the Agenda “Less smoke, more fire: The benefits and impacts of social marketing” event. I did not complete and return the form as I went as a member of staff rather than a member of the CIM.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Librarian name change

I read in The Daily Telegraph of 13th January 2009 (page 13) about "Librarians reject name change":

"Changes to the library system in Edinburgh that would have involved renaming librarians "audience development officers" are likely to be rejected by the city council.
Librarians threatened to strike over the proposals, which would have meant self-service borrowing systems in which customers scanned books in and out themselves.

Audience Development Officers? Naah!!!!.........I wouldn't like it. Why not work on improving the image of "librarian" rather than thinking of creative titles to replace it?

I agree on this statement on marketing of libraries:

“I think we need to promote librarians even more than we need to promote libraries. Very few people know what librarians do and fewer know what training and education we have. People seem to think all we do is read, check books out and shelve them”.

From “Libraries in transition to a marketing orientation” in International Journal of
Volunteering Sector Marketing, November 2007

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Wordle again

I wanted to make a bookmark for our library, we do send out books by post, so why not add something useful to remind our readers about us?
It would have the usual things like contact details and opening hours, but I don't want too much text on it either, I was thinking of adding a word cloud like the above.

It doesn't make sense, nothing to read, but it is a picture made of words and all these words describe us, so basically it is a picture of us, the library.
I made it in

It is not that after doing the marketing your library course that I have come up with an idea of a bookmark, this is something that I wanted to do last year as well. It could have been a little flyer, but a bookmark is a little tool that has use to the reader and is kept, most importantly it is useful! We want to get a message out about us and what we can offer, we are not talking about a nationwide 2 months campaign here!

If it turns out that I get permission to use this for our first bookmark, I will mean I have found out what Wordle can be used for, something I questioned in an earlier blog entry.