Thursday, 28 July 2011

Cpd23 - Thing 7 - Face to face networks and professional organisations

Thing 7 is about two things - face to face networking and professional organisations. I used to feel a bit silly networking as I thought that even though I could get a lot of knowledge from other people I had little to offer in return. Also I felt like you had to be a bit of a cold fish to network as basically you are talking to someone in the hope they may prove useful! I find it can be a nerve-wracking experience walking into a room full of professionals that it's sometimes easy to forget I am one! What I now try to do is walk in quickly, ideally not too late when everyone has already introduced themselves, find a table with two or three people on and ask if I can join in. I've found that the less scared I pretend to be the less nervous I come across to other people. I'm terrible at remembering names so if I've got on well with someone I'll make an extra effort. To encourage people to remember me (I haven't convinced myself I need a business card yet) I try to remember to wear something bright - like a yellow top or a red dress - I'm only 5ft so it can be quite easy to miss me sometimes - it also helps that I've now married into a silly surname which no-can spell but is easily identifiable as me!

Not my hats but you get the idea... image by Beglib taken from Morguefile
On 21st July I went to the CPD23 event in London, where there were so many people and speeches that it was really difficult to speak to as many people as I would have liked. I went wearing two hats - one as a cpd23 member wanting to find out what was out there and the other hat was as a CoFHE LASEC Liaison Officer trying to encourage more interest. I think I succeeded in both objectives. People showed interest in CoFHE LASEC and hopefully they will turn up at the AGM meeting in November or be encouraged to write a blog for us. We currently have enough members on the committee however the CDG LASEC could do with a few more and I would really recommend being involved.

At the event I met some people who I follow on Twitter, which was a little strange - is it just me or does 'Hi, I follow you on Twitter' sound a bit stalkerish? Jo Alcock told me how being both in the CoFHE West Midlands and in the CDG  increases the liaison between both groups - perhaps in response I should get more involved in the CDG LASEC group myself.  I don't think this will happen in the near future though as work is going to get increasingly busier over the next few months. She also highlighted the advantages of the ALA which I hadn't looked at because of its focus on America (obviously). She claimed that she has got a lot out if it, especially from her attendance at the ALA Annual, so I am going to have a little investigation.

Tina Reynolds, another Tweeter I follow, enthused about the SLA and the BIALL and encouraged me to sign up, despite my protestations about not being a law librarian. I'll have a look, however, I am concerned that this all going to take a big chunk out my purse and my time - neither of which I have in abundance. I should say for the record I am a member of CILIP and am so because it is the main professional body of most librarians. I am also doing my Chartership at the moment so it is required of me.

So in summary - I am involved in:
  • LIKE
  • LISNPN - a tiny little bit
and am going to investigate:
  • ALA
  • SLA
            so  lots of investigations and reading for me and then a proper look at the prices of these memberships and whether I can justify them.

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