Growth of a Librarian


Networking – In Person
July 22, 2011, 3:14 pm
Filed under: CPD | Tags: , ,

In order to network properly one has to get out of the virtual world and into the real world, so for the second Thing this week that is what I did.  I started small by going along to the meet-up in London that was arranged specifically for cpd23-ers.  This was a fun event, although apparently I haven’t been reading enough London-based bloggers since I only recognized two people, a former classmate (who I went with) and one of the speakers (whose blog I follow).  This meant, however, that everyone I met presented a new opportunity to find out about a different corner of the library world, and I now have several more great ideas of blogs and twitter accounts to follow.

This may have been my first networking experience, although I don’t always know quite what qualifies as networking.  I have been to a work-related conference as a student, and volunteer-related conferences, events, and trainings, but I never conciously think about networking.  Partially because I don’t really like the term networking – it reminds me first of politicians with fake smiles, gelled hair, and over-enthusiastic handshakes, and then (once I get the first image out of my mind) of spiders webs.  Terrified of spiders.

Obviously there is a lot more to networking than my immediate mental images suggest, and if I’m going to get serious about the profession I’ll need to start taking networking a bit more seriously too.  So far the only semi-non-virtual networking organization I’m a part of is LISNPN, as discussed in my previous post.  I’ve seriously considered joining CILIP, but never quite decide to in the end.  I’ve found some useful information on CILIP’s website over the past year and I continue to keep an eye on it, along with BIALL and the ALA.  Sometimes I think I’ll wait to join any of these organizations until I’m actually working as a professional in the field, when it will presumably be much more useful and relevant.  That may, in fact, be the entire reason I’ve struggled so much with networking (unfortunate mental images connected with the word aside): I don’t actually see myself as a professional yet, and therefore I don’t quite see what I could contribute (or gain) in professional networking.  If this is in fact the case, then it definitely needs to be the first thing I change about my own self-image!

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3 Comments so far
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It’s great that you’ve taken the first step! I’m not a member of CILIP myself (wait until week 7 for my part-rant) but I think everybody who is studying towards librarianship or even considers it can contribute to the library-coversation, so don’t be shy and think of what you have to say as important 🙂

Comment by bumsonseats

You made me laugh with your networks/spiderwebs image! Hope the law librarian hook-up was helpful. Remember that your freshness/new take on things is valuable to your colleagues as their experience is to you.
Thanks for the link,
Lauren

Comment by Lauren LaTulip

Fantastic – your description of the connotations of ‘networking’ made me laugh out loud! It is nice to know that I am not alone in finding that term utterly cringeworthy! Great that you got along to the London meetup – I couldn’t make it in the end, but it sounds like it was worthwhile – hoping to make the next one (if there is a next one in London!)

Comment by Law_Lib_Extraordinaire




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