I’m very fortunate to be in the position where I am able to get involved in a number of professional activities – committee work, presenting at conferences, publishing articles etc. I really enjoy these activities and like to be involved in the profession both for my own personal development and to help others; it can be very rewarding.

However, sometimes you have to say no to things. It might be something that you don’t feel capable of doing (or you know someone else could do a far better job); it might be that it’s something you’re not as passionate about as your other commitments (or maybe even something you don’t agree with or have ethical issues with); or it may simply be that you can’t fit everything in. Laura wrote an excellent post recently about prioritising activities and finding time for yourself – something I have recently come to realise is incredibly important. I’ve had to think recently about my priorities to help me manage my time effectively and ensure I have time to do the activities which are important to me, and I thought I’d reflect on this process.
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As a personal member of both CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) based in the UK, and ALA (American Library Association) based in the US, and being involved in a CILIP branch committee and a group committee, I’m always interested to find out about what the professional organisations do and how I, as a member, can keep up-to-date and get involved where appropriate.

So when the opportunity to attend ALA’s first Virtual Town Hall, an online webinar, I was interested to find out more and signed up. I’m a relatively new ALA member so I don’t know much about the structure of ALA yet and I’m still learning about the different groups and round tables, but I thought this would be a good opportunity to find out more about central ALA issues and some of the priorities of the organisation.

It happened tonight (I’m writing this as it happens!) and I am so impressed that I wanted to share some thoughts about the organisation of the session and something we can maybe bear in mind for similar CILIP events. Read the rest of this entry »