A network for new and aspiring library professionals
After the wonderful conference drinks reception (ask Helen nicely to show you our #CILIPselfie with the band) I got up bright and early to attend the breakfast seminar by the Tinder foundation. This presentation was another that was not directly relevant to me, as their work is not aimed at a HE audience. The Tinder foundation aims to increase digital inclusion, targetting digitally excluded populations. I still find it baffling that as recently as last year, almost 10million people are classed as ‘offline’. Obviously public libraries play a huge part in helping some of these people to get online and therefore improve their quality of life. The Tinder foundation also offer training for library and information professionals.
The first breakout session of the second day was on Information Management by Clive Holtham. I attended this session as I feel that information management is an area that I need to increase my knowledge of. Clive structured his presentation around 8 key thinkers in the field of information management. He also linked each thinker to Liverpool in an entertaining way! The main point of this presentation was that current management education does not equip students with the necessary skills to effectively manage information, because it does not focus on the intuitive skills delivered by arts and humanities subjects. This session was interesting, but did not really offer much in the way of solutions except to say that education should be linked to practice where possible. In terms of thinking about transferable skills from HE to the workplace, it was relevant to my current role. At the University of Leicester, we have a transferable skills framework, which is used to inform teaching sessions. My team is going to begin working more closely with the Careers Development Service to embed employability content into our information literacy sessions; it will be interesting to see how this develops.
The final breakout session of the conference was in the Digital Futures strand. Ned Potter discussed the futility of discussing futures in his interview for us, and I have to say that the ‘future’ part of the Digital Futures strand didn’t really come through for me. I felt that the two presentations in this session were not focussing on innovation, but rather reflecting on current practice. I decided to attend the social media session by Andy Tattersall and Leo Appleton as I have responsibility for my library’s social media and was hoping to pick up some useful advice. However, I felt that the presentation was aimed at people who have not yet used social media or have much awareness of social tools (e.g. altmetrics). All in all, I’d say my experience of the CILIP Conference was a positive one, the keynotes were thought-provoking and the workshops allowed me to reflect on my current practice. I think an area for me to work on in future is my networking skills – I definitely need to push myself to speak to new people more. At the moment, it feels easier to do this at small events but there is no real reason for this to be the case.