Thing 7 is all about networking in real-life and with Professional organisations. This is a thing I find difficult. Not with meeting people, not with networking but with my geographical location. Living in North Wales is akin to living in the Bermuda Triangle, nothing survives in here so you have to go outside and explore further afield, just not in the Winter!
I have to admit I haven’t really got on board with professional networks ….. yet! I do use the CILIP site quite a lot at the moment, but that’s because I have decided to start the Chartership process and I’ve signed up for all the lists they recommend. Unfortunately I find that any Welsh get togethers & that included #cpd23 meet ups nearly always centre around Cardiff or somewhere in South Wales. I suppose I could have got up and organised something in North Wales but lethargy got the better of me, sorry and all that, but maybe next time!
I do look out for every available training opportunity going and loved the JISC Summer Bytes held this year via webinars. These were great fun, short and sweet. I took lots of notes, names and contact details. I shall be in touch to pick all your brains later!
There have been a number of training courses I would have dearly loved to attend that have been organised by CILIP. Unfortunately my work place finance department won’t agree with the cost which would have to include train fare, course cost and the fact that they are often held at the end of the financial year.
So it is enormously helpful when a wonderful opportunity to network with lovely professionals comes about in the guise of Mashed Library Unconferences. I attended my first #mashlib in Birmingham. I was very apprehensive, totally out of my comfort zone and clutching a crap laptop with no battery life and a smart Nokia E63. I was in awe of some awesome people but they were all awesome and made me feel really at home and at ease. Most of what I listened to went completely over my head but I saw the opportunities that learning about this stuff could bring. I was hooked. I have since attended #mashlibs in Huddersfield and Bath and have met some wonderful people all with the desire to share their crazy ideas and cake!
The latest library unconference I have signed up for is Library CampUK 2011. By the looks of it, every Librarian and information Specialist in my twitter list has signed up for it too. By the time we have all said hello and hugged it will be lunchtime! I am really looking forward to this as an opportunity to get the project ideas I am putting together for work, researched and started. I have a large list of questions and intend asking each and everyone of the attendees all of them!
I have found that over the last 12 months with a combination of networking online through Twitter, attendance at conferences (sorry, unconferences) and completing a few courses, I have started to be “part of the in-crowd”. I have guest blogged on a couple of occasions, been mentioned in dispatches, and gained the confidence to blog on my own blog about my experiences. As someone told me “I need to put myself about a bit”.
And dare I say it … by this time next year I hope to have been able to push myself to do a bit of presenting too.
I’m winding up there as I’m scaring myself 😉