I’ve recently written a couple of guest blog posts for Kiyomi Deards, who I keep in touch with via Twitter but whom I haven’t actually met in person yet (I think she kept avoiding me at ALA Annual in June, I’m hoping to track her down at ALA Midwinter in January!).

Kiyomi asked me to write a guest blog post and complete an interview as part of her leaders of tomorrow series on her blog. I decided to write from an international perspective about my experience at ALA Annual, and share my top tips. Hopefully they will be relevant to anyone attending a large conference for the first time, whether it’s ALA, SLA or any other library/tech conference. The blog posts are now both available on Kiyomi’s blog:

I’ve subscribed to the comments for both posts so please feel free to add any additional tips or ideas, or ask me any further questions on the interview.
ALA Emerging Leaders badge

ALA Emerging Leaders

Just a brief blog post to share some exciting news – I’ve been offered a place on the 2012 class of ALA (American Library Association) Emerging Leaders program. For those who don’t know what it is, here’s a bit of information about ALA Emerging Leaders:

The American Library Association (ALA) Emerging Leaders (EL) program is a leadership development program which enables newer library workers from across the country* to participate in problem-solving work groups, network with peers, gain an inside look into ALA structure, and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity. It puts participants on the fast track to ALA committee volunteerism as well as other professional library-related organizations.

(taken from the ALA Emerging Leaders webpage)

What it basically means is that to participate I will need to attend the ALA Midwinter event in January (Dallas) where I will be introduced to ALA as an organisation, meet my fellow Emerging Leaders, and join a group to work on a project within ALA. I’ll then work with that group from the end of the conference until June when we will attend ALA Annual (Anaheim) to present our findings. After that, each Emerging Leader is expected to continue to support the organisation – it’s often referred to as a fast track to getting involved in ALA.

It was recommended to me by so many people at ALA Annual last year, and I’m really excited about being a part of it. I can’t wait to meet the rest of the Emerging Leaders (some of whom I’ve already found on Twitter at #el12ala)!

*It is open to non-US residents too! I may need to ask for this to be altered – I wonder if I am the first international member involved in this?



I recently attended my first CILIP AGM. I helped organise the CILIP West Midlands AGM earlier this year but this was a much more formal affair. I learnt a lot about CILIP and its governance, so thought I’d reflect on my experience and share my thoughts (well, actually it was my soon-to-be mentor for CILIP Chartership who prodded me to record my thoughts and gave me some starter questions whilst it’s still fresh in my mind).

Read the rest of this entry »

Motor Yacht Helios in Darwin Harbour February 2009

Would be nice if Chartership involved chartering a boat...

So, the dissertation is over and I should get my results in December. I’m taking a little bit of a break from studying now but I’m planning to start my CILIP Chartership next year so I’ve started doing some preparation for that.

To charter or not to charter?

For me this was an easy decision to make – I’ve been wanting to begin my Chartership for a while now. Since starting my first professional level post in October 2008, I’ve been engaged in a number of different professional activities in order to increase my understanding and further develop my skills. Professional development is an important element of my career, and I view Chartership as the first step of this journey.

Read the rest of this entry »

Wow, what a day! I really enjoyed Library Camp UK 2011 yesterday, and wanted to jot down some quick thoughts from a personal perspective whilst it’s fresh in my mind.

Sarah points out the next session

One of my sessions - really enjoyed the conversation at this one

Read the rest of this entry »

Tomorrow I’m joining 174 other people interested in libraries at the first Library Camp UK. I’m hoping it’s going to be a little more civilised than the photo above – at least it should be drier as it’s indoors. It’s being held in Birmingham so I don’t even have to travel far (although getting up early on a Saturday will be a bit of a shock!). Read the rest of this entry »