Friends Toasting at a Party

I thought I’d continue the tradition I started last year and end 2009 by posting a reflective blog post about the year.

It’s been a year full of ups and downs, mainly ups thankfully – although at times it’s been difficult to focus on the positives, I’ve learnt a lot this year about myself.

This time last year I had recently started my first professional librarian job, and one year in I’m really enjoying it – it was definitely worth all the hard work completing my Diploma. I’ve had the opportunity to work on projects such as improving the way we manage inductions, sharing information about our information literacy provision via an online shared calendar, communicating with our users via online technologies such as social media, and an evaluation of a collection leading to a lot of weeding and rearrangement of one of our rooms. It’s a part time position which has also given me the opportunity to also develop other areas.

I’ve learnt a lot more about marketing thanks to my work with my boyfriend at Cookies and Java, and this has given me inspiration for my MSc Dissertation. I had hoped I’d complete it this year to be honest, but life took over and my new target is the end of next year (this may also be too ambitious, we’ll see!).

I’ve also been able to spend time focusing my efforts on researching areas which really interest me, and I’ve done a heck of a lot of professional reading this year – books, journal articles, conference papers and blog posts. I’ve also attended conferences (highlights include the CoFHE Conference, New Professionals Conference, The Library Show and Middlemash – which I still need to write up!), training events, and participated in a number of other events online.

One major achievement for me this year is that I have spoken at two events, the New Professionals Conference and the CILIP Graduate Open Day. I was incredibly nervous but must have enjoyed it since I’ve volunteered myself for more! I’m really glad I decided to give it a go and am particularly thankful to my boss who encouraged me to go for it, and to role models such as Meredith Farkas for their inspiration and advice to push yourself that little bit further.

I’ve authored and coauthored more journal articles and it’s been really exciting to see my name in print. I’ve also continued to write posts for this blog, and really enjoy sharing my ideas and particularly getting comments back from readers. As I touched on last year, blogging has become integrated into my routine and is a really useful avenue for reflection or sharing ideas; it’s something I have also encouraged others to do this year.

My professional network has grown so much in 2009, particularly with other UK librarians and new professionals, and I think this is a massive highlight of 2009. The growth of popularity of Twitter has contributed enormously to this, and there are a number of new UK librarian bloggers too. I’ve also been able to meet a number of these people face to face this year which has been great (I was particularly starstruck when I met Phil Bradley at the Library Show), and I hope to meet more in 2010.

Being more connected with the librarian network in the UK has made me excited about what the future might bring for the profession, and I’m glad to have the opportunity to be a part of that change. The New Professionals Conference was a really positive event – there was so much enthusiasm and energy and it was great to meet other new professionals. Many of these, including myself, are now becoming more active in the future of the profession by becoming CILIP activists or even just making sure their voice is heard – the CILIP 2.0 event earlier in the year showed just how much people evidently have to say. CILIP’s Big Conversation in 2010 will hopefully bring some exciting ideas (although I share other’s worries that the initial invitation seems elitist).

I’m looking forward to the challenges of 2010 – for me personally that will include my MSc Dissertation, marketing responsibility for CILIP West Midlands, speaking at the CoFHE/UC&R conference, and possibly starting my Chartership. There will also be new challenges within my job role due to a restructure, and within the library profession as a whole with the changes in society, the economy and education. All I can say is bring it on, here’s to 2010! Happy New Year everyone 🙂