Tuesday, 6 September 2011

New Year Resolutions

Those of us working in education have two New Years; the usual January one, and the start of the academic year in September. Having spent most of my life studying, and all of my non-student years working in academic libraries, the new academic year has always been a time of changes, new directions and new starts, and so I always feel more inclined to make resolutions at this time of year rather than on the 1st of January. This year is no different; it’s my first September as a fully-fledged librarian and I am full of ideas and plans for the near and slightly more distant future. I thought it would be fun to share my New Year Resolutions and to find out if anyone else is making any. I also hope that by writing them down and putting them in the public domain I will be more likely to stick to them!

Get back on track with Chartership
I felt really positive about the process when I registered for Chartership back in March, but since my initial burst of finding a mentor, attending a “preparing for Chartership” event and writing my PPDP, I feel like I have lost my way with it. I know that I have been doing loads that can go in my portfolio, and I’ve been reflecting on my blog about everything I’ve been doing, but I still feel like I’m not really getting anywhere with it. I have now decided to try to get back on track and do my best to meet the deadline I originally set for myself, which was to be ready to submit by next July. I think I need to do this by speaking to my mentor a lot more, actually putting things into physical and electronic folders of evidence rather than letting them drift around the internet or my desk, and reading the Chartership Handbook and Building your portfolio again.

Get really good at teaching!
I really enjoy teaching and it’s one of the reasons I went into academic librarianship, but I haven’t yet had the opportunity to do a huge amount, or lots of sessions in a short space of time, which I will probably be doing when term starts. I have a few ideas about how we could improve our evaluation procedure and hope to be involved in planning sessions, as well as delivering lots of them, and fully intend to work hard and get really good at teaching!
Catch up with CPD23
I will do this. Honestly! I want to finish the programme and I want to do it properly and thoroughly and to take something valuable away from it.

Become more active in my roles outside of work
I’ve been a New Professional Support Officer for my local CILIP Career Development Group for a while, but haven’t really done that much for various reasons. This year I want to be more active in reaching out to local new professionals, organising events, socials and training if possible, and really demonstrating what CDG can do for them. I also have lots of ideas for the LIS New Professionals Network (LISNPN), for which I have recently taken more responsibility, and I want to make sure I put at least some of these into action.

Blog more, about a wider variety of things
I only started blogging this year and, whilst I think I have written some good posts, I’d like to blog a bit more frequently, and on a wider range of LIS-related topics. I have loads to say about new professional-related issues, but I am not just a LIS new professional, I am a general LIS professional too.  I also enjoyed branching out a little when writing about my “seven books that changed the way I see the world” recently, so I’d perhaps like to write on some broader topics too.

Apply for more sponsored places/bursaries
I only developed the confidence to apply for sponsored places and bursaries to conferences this year, and it has served me really well; I had a fantastic time attending Umbrella 2011. I intend to keep an eye out for further similar opportunities to attend events that I probably couldn’t otherwise.

Start thinking about the future
I suppose some of my other resolutions, such as getting on with Chartership and blogging more widely, feed into a general desire to start preparing for the future. My current contract ends next July and I feel that I should now be starting to think about what happens next, as time passes very quickly and it’s best to be prepared. I’m also starting to come to terms with the idea that I won’t be a new professional forever (although that breaks my heart!) and that the time is approaching when I need to start thinking about what my professional identity will become.

I’d love to hear about your New Year resolutions if you’ve made any!

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