Thursday, 21 July 2011

Thing 7 - Face-to-face Networks and Professional Organisations

So, from online networks to face-to-face organisations. I find face-to-face networking much more difficult to get on with. This is for two main reasons. One is time. Since I moved to London, I’ve been thoroughly indulging my obsession with theatre which takes up several evenings, including tonight which sadly means I’ll miss the cpd23 meet-up in London. Perhaps I’ll regret going to see Dr. Faustus at The Globe if, as is forecast, we get heavy rain.

Shakespeare's Globe - one of my favourite places in the world

The second reason is that I find it very difficult to talk to new people and I get incredibly nervous about going to things, particularly if I don’t know anyone. I enjoyed the New Professionals Conference, but then again I did know several people there already. Soon after I moved to London I forced myself to go to the joint CILIP London/Career Development Group London AGM and actually quite enjoyed myself. I got chatting to a couple of people (by which I mean, they started chatting to me – starting conversations with strangers isn’t my strong point) and one lovely lady even gave me her business card and said I was welcome to get in touch. I kept meaning to email her but it’s been months now and she would probably find it a bit strange if she suddenly got a message from me out of the blue. I won’t deny that the free wine certainly helped me cope with this event...

Necessary for networking? (Photo courtesy of yashima on Flickr)

I am a member of CILIP and have been since I started my graduate traineeship in 2008. Initially, this was largely out of obligation, but in the last year or so my opinion has changed and I feel membership is worth it, partly because of the increasingly visible advocacy work they are doing, and partly because of the networking opportunities such as the aforementioned New Professionals Conference. Not to mention that I want to charter at some point in the future.

When I moved to London I responded to a call from the Career Development Group for new committee members so I am now a member of the London division. I feel a bit of a fraud at the moment as I haven’t really done anything. Due to one thing and another I’ve only been able to attend one meeting and don’t feel I have enough experience to make a proper contribution. Hopefully I’ll be able to change this in the future.

A big issue for me surrounding professional networks is the cost. I’ve just received my CILIP renewal letter and the jump from student membership to full membership is a bit of a shock. This is one reason I’ve no current plans to investigate organisations like the Special Libraries Association even though I’ve heard lots of good things about many of them. Maybe in the future! I very recently discovered, thanks to Twitter, that CILIP membership offers automatic membership of IFLA, which is something I’d like to look into.

As I mentioned in my post for Thing 6, I am already a member of LISNPN but I’m racking my brains to remember if I have actually attended one of their events in person. This is something I should probably rectify.

I quite like the sound of LIKE (doh) but on the date of the next event – which does sound like fun – I will be sunning myself on a Portuguese beach. This may be something to look at when I get back.

So, to summarise, my aims are:
  • Play a more active role in CILIP CDG London
  • Investigate IFLA
  • Attend a LISNPN event
  • Check out LIKE

Plenty to keep me going I think!

3 comments:

Sarah Wolfenden said...

I like LIKE too. I've been to a couple of events and the organisers are incredibly nice and friendly. I'd like to be more involved in CILIP CDG London and always mean to go along t something but work usually gets in the way! I didn't realsie that about IFLA so I'll be interested to see what you find out. I'm a Liaison Officer for CoFHE LASEC so if you'd like to know anyhting about what we do please feel free to get in touch.

Lorna said...

Hello :)

Just wanted to say that I enjoyed reading your post.I know what you mean about being nervous at new events and having to force yourself to attend things. I also did a traineeship in 2008 and have just got my first librarian post. I got my CILIP renewal form through last week aswell (having previously had a student one!) so still deciding on that. Anyway just wanted to say hello and enjoying the posts :)

Lorna

Laura Steel said...

Thanks both! I'm not a member of CoFHE at the moment, but I'll look into it!