Thursday, 21 July 2011

[CPD23] Thing 7: Face-to-face networks and professional organisations

By John 'K' on Flickr
Last night I went along to the CILIP East of England meet up organised to tie in with this week's Thing. Unfortunately I'd forgotten about this when booking Harry Potter tickets for me and Rory so my appearance at the CILIP event turned into rather a flying visit!

Somewhat ironically, the majority of people wrote their Twitter username on their name sticker, which I was glad of in a few cases because most of my networking tends to be keyboard-to-keyboard rather than face-to-face! However I think I knew most of the people there from CILIP and Cambridge Library Group events anyway.

I'm a member of both of these organisations, and have found both, but especially CLG, useful ways to get to know and (that dreaded word) network with other librarians. I say especially CLG because the main CILIP events I've been to have been in London and Manchester, and I've found getting to know the librarians who live and work nearby in Cambridge has been more practically useful right now.

Representatives from various CILIP groups were at the event, and I had an interesting talk with Jo, Charlotte and Jen about CILIP branches and groups, and being on committees. I'd quite like to get involved more and sit on a committee. I thought about it this year but knew I'd be off to somewhere else in September so didn't want to sign up and then flake out when I moved away. But it's definitely something I could imagine doing in a year or so.

The other network I'm part of is LISNPN, but so far my involvement with that has been entirely online, I'm sorry to say I haven't made one of their face-to-face events yet. Okay, this is a resolution for next year, to go to a LISNPN event!

On the whole I think I do okay with 'real life' networks and organisations. My natural tendency at networking events is to be a bit of a wall flower, but I've found chatting to people beforehand on Twitter to be a good icebreaker when I meet them face-to-face. Online and offline networking complement each other quite a bit really, and I wouldn't want it to be a case of one or the other.

(In other news I really liked the film. Alan Rickman and Maggie Smith were both knock-out and yes, I cried!)

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