UoL Library Blog

Develop, debate, innovate.

Unto the next generation

Posted by gazjjohnson on 7 October, 2008

I had a very interesting Friday last week, which is as you all know one of my freelance days normally spent at home screaming at a dictionary or painting something around the house.  For a change I went down to CILIP to speak at and take part in their Graduate Open Day; a bit of coincidence with the Uni Open Day on Saturday.  The brief I had was to be part of a panel discussion on social networking/Web 2.0 and how I use it as a professional, followed by an afternoon of speed-networking.  The Graduate Day was the sort of event I wished I’d had as a new, slightly moist behind the ears librarian.

As a participant rather than an attendee I had a thoroughly fascinating time chatting to (sorry, speed-networking with) the new and wannabe librarians, quite a few of whom weren’t just interested in their careers but becoming professional active. I know speed networking of old, having used it extensively for SHERPA/JISC and it works really well, no matter what the format used.  We used triads, JISC use topic tables and CILIP used a slightly simpler model where “professionals” sit on the inside of a circle, and then have three minutes to talk to one person who moves on at the sound of the gong.  Or in this case gavel.

What myself, and most of the other “professionals” there weren’t quite prepared for was that the 90 or so delegates in attendance (yes, do the Maths and work out how long I was speaking) weren’t all newly minted post-graduates of library and information schools by a long chalk. Oh no indeed, I spoke to quite a few people who were still only in the 2nd year of their undergraduate degree and were just using the day to explore possibilities; which meant all the LIS stuff we were talking about was a bit in code for them – translating it took most of the three minutes in some cases. 

However, they were by and large a lively and enthusiastic group to talk to, which was a real bonus. I also came away having had a very reflective time with regard to my own career/skills etc. Kudos to CILIP for organising this event, and roll on the next one.  I even had a bit of time to and from St Pancreas (sic) to take some amusing photos of statues – but that’s a whole different story…

2 Responses to “Unto the next generation”

  1. sarahw9 said

    Did you get any vibes about changes in attitudes / approach from new graduates / nearly graduated?

  2. gazjjohnson said

    Nah not significantly – other than a lot of them are sick of being stuck with menial tasks as trainees. But then that’s rather been my experience of the sector management culture as a whole, promote by seniority not ability in most cases.

    Makes me think all this “greying profession” malarky might well finally up-tip the apple cart!

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