For some being a new library and information professional is a chance for you to experiment and explore all things LIS.
The profession has broad levels of knowledge and skills. As you investigate and identify all areas on offer it can begin to overwhelm and bemused some new graduates.
I for one was very bemused, as I moved through the Masters I subscribed to all the Library blogs and noted all the professionals to follow and engage with on Twitter. However, as time moved on I began to accumulate a number of documents. These documents were relating to a number of topics most of which I was not reading and later realising I had no interest in.
The need to retrieve, and store this information in my mind is a way of “staying in touch” with the wider world of library and information professionals.
As I began to weed my ever growing collection of documents, I decided to question each piece;
Why would I read this?
What could I produce from reading this, a blog post or add it to my literature review for a potential article?
Who would benefit from me submitting an article about this topic or reading a blog post about this topic?
What was my interest and what was the value of this topic giving me as a professional?
I questioned these over and over.
The one question that struck me was who would benefit from me submitting an article or blog post? The way I intend to read these topics is to increase my CPD and by doing that I would keep on top of my professional reading whilst
The way I intend to read these topics is to increase my CPD and by doing that I would keep on top of my professional reading whilst showing my CPD with various library blogs.
The next question then I came to is who do I choose? I am not prepared to join every association nor am I going to read through all the library blogs that are live.
What I am prepared to do is sit down and look at who I am interested in and see what they are interested in. Moreover, I decided which of the library conferences or unconferences will I be able to attend this year, certainly not all of them. As I noted the ones I would like to attend I matched the organisation or association that arranges them.
From here I noted many things, by focusing on a few library associations and joining them I could connect with a wider network yet control the flow of new information. I could then engage with this new information on a scheduled basis, newsletters, webinars, lectures etc. As I have a keen interest in social media I wanted to not lose this global platform for interaction so I chose an organisation that was not based in Ireland but had a presence on Twitter.
Here I began to engage more with a selective few that were happy for me to blog or tweet about the topics in their newsletters or webinars. The access to the professional information was more defined, I still find other pieces serendipitously but I take my professional reading from these organisations first and foremost.
I am no longer overloaded with unnecessary information, the lesson learned here is you don’t have to read it, only read it if it interests you. From there do plan to produce a piece of writing something from the article or journal.