Thing Seven: Real life networks

Posted: July 2, 2012 in Uncategorized

In a previous life, before I started working in the library/information sector, I worked for a professional body. We (Devon & Somerset Law Society) provided CPD courses, a recruitment service, a newsletter, social events, a sporting tournament etc. for solicitors and other legal staff. Interestingly, some local law societies also have libraries but this one didn’t. We did struggle sometimes to get interest and involvement from trainee and young solicitors, who may not have seen the Society as relevant to them and their needs. But for the new professionals that did make the effort to get involved (e.g. joining committees etc), it seemed to make a big difference. Law is a very networked profession and – through their involvement with the Society – these new professionals were able to meet partners and senior staff from big law firms, that they may otherwise have not had the chance to meet.


So, in short, I left this job and moved into my graduate trainee year with a sense that professional organisations were A Good Thing. I’ve probably become a touch more cynical since, but that basic sentiment remains. I joined CILIP in my graduate trainee year and have been a student member since. Next year, after I’ve submitted my dissertation, I won’t qualify for the student rate anymore, so I’ll have to think about what I get out of CILIP (or what I could get out of CILIP). I do want to charter, so I think that reason alone is enough to keep my membership going.

I have been to a couple of meetings of my regional CILIP branch (Thames Valley). This hasn’t been easy as they’ve always been on the same day as my library school classes. Now that the taught part of my masters is out of the way, I’m going to endeavour to go along to more of these meetings. When I worked in an academic library, I found these meetings a refreshing change since it allowed me to meet people from public/school/health libraries too.


Among the (very comprehensive!) list of professional bodies and societies that Bethan listed on the main cpd23 blog for Thing Seven was ASLIB. I had come across ASLIB as a publisher during my masters but hadn’t looked at their website to see what they offer as a professional body.

Since I have  moved from an academic library to information management in the NHS, I was interested in investigating a professional body such as this, which looks beyond libraries and librarians. Their journal ‘Managing Information’ looks particularly interesting. And they offer free membership to students! So, I’ve dropped them an email, and hopefully will be a member soon.

Real life meet-up in Oxford, June 2012

As a final point, I ought to mention the ‘real life meet-up’ that Lizzie Atkinson organised in Oxford, to tie in with cpd23. Around 8 or 10 of us turned up for some library and CPD gossip and I was able to meet some new people, as well as catching up with some familiar ones. Seeing some humans made a nice change from all the website visiting and web 2.0 experimentation that has formed cpd23 so far!


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