Friday, 15 July 2011

And... reflect

Thing 5 is reflective practice – simply, what have I learnt so far and has it been useful? I’m glad this is being addressed as a ‘thing’ in its own right - reflective practice is becoming central to professional development. Whether a librarian seeking Chartership or Archivist seeking Registration, both schemes require a reflective presentation of a portfolio of developed skills. 

The professional body for archivists, the Archives and Records Association, recently surveyed its members on the question of long-term CPD – one question asked, should Registration expire and require renewing via a fresh application, every 5 years for instance? I would personally welcome such a move – but may be in the minority on this one. I feel strongly that information professionals shouldn’t consider themselves ‘safely’ Chartered or Registered – reflective CPD should be a ongoing activity throughout our careers. The alternatives – ranging from apathetic disinterest to outspoken complacent scorn toward any new practice or technology – will leave us at risk of being left behind by the bright young things of the future. 

So far, I have found CPD23 extremely useful in a number of areas. One would be building networks – not just virtually using tools like Twitter, but right here on campus. I can feel quite isolated as the only archivist in my workplace, surrounded by librarians. Taking part along with them has helped me to feel on an equal footing as a fellow information professional, and I feel we’ve got to know each other better through reading each other’s blogs.

Another major benefit has been the development of a Special Collections and Archives blog, in the last couple of weeks. This has been the subject of theoretical discussion for a couple of years, but upon three of the five members of the new ‘blog team’ setting up their own blogs for CPD23, the subject of blogging came to the fore and we were able to push together to set one very quickly and with minimum fuss. I’m not permitted to launch it publically yet, but watch this space in the coming weeks : )

I have been using Twitter for some time and have found it extremely useful in building networks, sharing links, keeping up to date, and generally feeling part of something larger than my desk in the basement. RSS feeds were new to me, and I’m using them regularly now I’ve downloaded a Google Reader app for my Android. This pushes new notifications at me, which helps a great deal, otherwise I would never find the time or opportunity to check it.

Lastly, I’m really looking forward to a South Wales librarians’ meet-up next week as part of Thing 6. This wouldn’t have happened without CPD23 to provide the impetus and Twitter/blog comments to help with the organising. I’m going to meet several people I only know through Twitter, one of which works in a library 200m from my workplace, which I have never visited. 

More generally I have learnt to speak up and participate more online. I’m working to get over the feeling that I have nothing original, or of interest to say. 

Less lurking, more interaction.


  1. I'm so pleased to hear that cpd23 is having such a positive effect on you and your colleagues! It's just what we hoped could happen... I'm looking forward to the special collections blog launch.

    And I love the phrase 'outspoken complacent scorn toward any new practice or technology'.

  2. So glad to hear your cpd23 experience is providing synergy at your workplace and among regional colleagues. I think it makes a big difference to have your coworkers engaged in the same professional development program.