Professional issues Archives - Jo Alcock Consulting
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Professional issues

This morning I received some coaching from someone I have a co-coaching relationship with. I came into the session with just a small issue (OK, maybe not so small) - that of my identity. I attended a workshop on personal brand earlier this week and it pushed some of these niggles to the forefront of my mind. I've been struggling with my professional identity for a few years, and have blogged about it previously when I moved from working in a library to working in a research role within a library (but not located in a library), and again when I...

A few years ago, I experienced a bit of a professional crisis. I was working in my job as Evidence Based Researcher (and loving the projects I was leading), chairing CILIP West Midlands, and participating in ALA Emerging Leaders. Everything was great and I was really relishing all the challenges and experiences. Internally though, when I stopped to think about all the great opportunities I had, I was panicking. How had I managed to get this great job? How had I managed to secure such a brilliant project? How had I managed to get people to support my involvement in...

I was recently interviewed by Jo Wood for her new Librarians With Lives podcast where she interviews people who work in the library and information profession about their career history, their passions, their dreams, and some lighter questions too. Jo approached me a few weeks ago and we recorded the interview in August. She did give me an idea by email of the sorts of things we might discuss, though I didn't prepare too much so a lot of the conversation was spur of the moment (though Jo did an excellent job at steering the conversation so when I listened...

Do librarians struggle with work-life balance? Work-life balance is a hot topic in all fields of work at the moment it seems, including librarianship. Many people I chat to outside of the profession are bewildered about this - don't librarians just deal with enquiries and switch off when they're not at the library? Well maybe some do, but none I know. Most librarians I know do indeed spend some time doing customer facing duties such as answering enquiries, recommending resources, and teaching information literacy skills sessions. But in order to do any of these activities competently, there's a lot of behind the...

Following some discussions at the CILIP in Wales Conference on leadership, there seem to be a number of people interested in reading books/articles on leadership as part of a reading group. I put together a list of any of the works mentioned from the conference and shared it as a Google Document which others have added to (and added their details if they are interested in joining in). A few people have asked about the Library Leadership Reading Group so here are some FAQs on how I see it working. Can I join in? Of course, this is just a group of people...

Leadership is one of the areas I'm focusing on for my CILIP Chartership and as a result I've been involved in a number of different activities based on this topic. I thought it would be useful to consolidate them and share some of the key lessons I've learnt. These have derived from my involvement in the following activities:
  • ALA Emerging Leaders program (including leadership training at ALA Midwinter)
  • Chairing CILIP West Midlands committee
  • Joining Future Faces Birmingham
  • Giving a presentation on Developing leadership skills through professional engagement
  • Attending the CILIP in Wales Conference on leadership
  • Reading core leadership texts, articles and blogs

Apologies in advance for what may be a very confused post, I've had lots of thoughts running through my head that I wanted to write down! [caption id="" align="alignright" width="120" caption="I'm not one of these (though I did use this in my presentation at my first library job interview!)"][/caption] Well, you're reading Joeyanne Libraryanne so I'm guessing that after reading the title of the blog post you're thinking, "erm...

I found last year's resolutions useful in helping keep me on the right track last year, and am pleased to say I kept most of them - here's a review: Complete my MSc dissertation - finished in July Attend more conferences - I attended lots of great conferences and events in 2011 Implement the Getting Things Done system at home and work - I seem to have this sorted for electronic information, though need to work on physical organisation of paperwork and notes Participate in Library Day in the Life - I took part in both rounds of Library Day in the Life in...

At Online Information 2011, I presented in one of the European Librarians Theatre panel discussions. The discussions are hosted by EBSCO and SLA Europe and bring together librarians from different parts of Europe to discuss a topic and the experiences within their country. My session, 'Everyone is talking but is anyone listening?' focused on social media. It was chaired by Sara Batts (see tweet below), and my fellow panelists were Katrin Weller and Dennie Haye.   I think the panel discussion flowed well - there was largely agreement across the board on a number of different factors, suggesting that libraries across Europe are at a similar stage with social media (the panel had representatives from UK, Germany and The Netherlands). There were some really interesting examples from my fellow panelists - one example of Yammer being used for internal communication (in an international organisation with staff dispersed geographically), and one example of Facebook being used by a University before students arrived to help answers queries and help them begin to make friends. The main messages I took from the session were that libraries and librarians should experiment with social media to see what works, and should aim to understand more about their users as no two libraries will use social media in the same way. You can see the tweets from the session at the #elt2011 hashtag (thanks to @WoodsieGirl and @EBSCOUK for such comprehensive tweeting!) and there is a write up of the session on the SLA Europe website. As mentioned before, I decided to get  information for my section of the discussion via a brief survey - many thanks to those who gave feedback. The main themes emerging from the results of this are shown below.

I've been asked to take part in a panel discussion as part of the European Librarians Theatre at Online Information next week titled 'Everyone is talking but is anyone listening?'. I've got some ideas from my own experience and conversations with others, but as I'll be representing the views of the UK I wanted to open it out and ask you to help me. If you work in a UK library, please complete the form below (or complete the online version) to let me know your views. The feedback is anonymous - though if you have something you are particularly proud...