The Casual Librarian

My thoughts and opinions


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LAI CDG

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On Wednesday 10th of April Croke Park Conference Centre, the Library Association of Ireland, Career Development Group got together to organise an event for Professionals in work and how to enhance or renew their skills. In addition advice was given to guide Professionals that have recently been out of work along with the emergence of New Professionals into the world of Librarianship.

Two of the committee leaders Giada and Daniel were our speakers for today. Giada led the conversation with a very engaging Prezi presentation, where she gave a background to the establishment of the CDG which was something that amazed me; the group really have only begun to emerge in the last 12 months! My perception was this was a long established committee, so I was very eager to see their plans for the future.

Giada and co, have many ambitions for the group one aspect is to embed a job’s forum within the LAI’s website, and to work in conjunction with employers in order to establish another platform to seek us as potential employee’s.

This is a positive ambition of the committee as the establishment of Libraryjobs.ie has given me and my fellow classmates from SILS in UCD a lot of hope and encouragement for the future.

In addition future ambitions include the “libcamp”. I had not heard of the English version, however as Giada illustrated the event seems very engaging, the day is very informal, a topic is chosen beforehand within a group with similar ideas and you “pitch” this topic/idea to the floor! It sounds delightful, as there are so many issues surrounding our profession that you don’t always get the time to engage in debate, or even find people with similar or contrasting ideas. I am really looking forward to this event and I hope I can be a part of it!

Giada’s presentation then focused on Professionals within work, and she had a positive message. “Learn, Go, And Do”! This message would be a great workshop for any library to engage in.

Libraries today are facing many restrictions, however if you brought this plan into your institution you can change the outlook within the Profession and view these challenges as road block you need to divert from not stop at!

The procedures in which Giada outlined is to constantly keep up-to-date with the issues/topics/challenges surrounding you and your position. Get involved with the many debates that are being held via social networking. Personally I find Twitter an essential tool, even if your knowledge of the topic is sparse you still gain a lot from these conversations. I do take part in the Irish Libchat (#irelibchat) and it is great as you may not know these people but you build an online rapport with them. This is extremely beneficial when you attend conferences as this connection is already well established and you have found the links you need to help you within the issues and challenges facing you.

Another way to build your network is through Mailing lists and Newsletters; these illustrate the current issues and challenges facing this Profession. The people established within the various institutions need to engage with these issues in order to find solutions. So build up your social network, engage with the debates at conferences and keep up-to-date with issues and challenges, it is the only way to find solutions to the many problems facing Library and Information Studies!

This model Giada created is what she adopted as Professional Activism which is very true. The Professionals that are in the Professions need to renew their skills at a time when this profession is being threatened, and engage in dialogue with their colleagues from various institutions nationwide and worldwide to see how these have managed and used these challenges to be more effective for their community.

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