Thing 10: Librarianship Training Options and Thing 11: Mentoring

Ooops! I knew I was behind on my CPD23, but I didn’t realise just how busy my July was going to be! Luckily I’ve written most of the posts, I just need to publish them! Things 10 and 11 are closely linked for me so they are sharing a post!

I have almost finished my CILIP Certification portfolio – and I have to say that I would recommend it to Library/Information Assistants, especially those who want to use it as a step towards Chartership.

My Bachelors and Masters Degrees aren’t in Librarianship (Literature and Information Technology respectively) so when I decided that I wanted to qualify as a Librarian I didn’t particularly fancy doing another Masters, especially considering that I only graduated from the last one in September 2011, so I had a look online at the alternatives. Certification is designed with Library Assistants in mind, but can be used as a step towards Chartership for those who are qualified in a different field, such as myself. If anyone wants details about what is involved, let me know! I’ve really enjoyed building my Portfolio and it’s given me a chance to get out of the library too as I’ve attended Certification/Chartership training days as well as gotten involved in CILIP training events and even the Career Development Group (West Midlands) committee, none of which I would have done otherwise – I’ve even made some friends!

Another advantage has been getting a Mentor. My Line Manager suggested someone from a different Library Sector as they will be less familiar with the environment you work in and will ask different questions (such as about acronyms you might use without thinking, but which aren’t used in other sectors) which in turn is great preparation for sending your portfolio to the assessors who may not be from your sector either.

I’ve had some good discussions with my Mentor and I think that’s it’s a good thing to have contacts in a different sector too. My mentor has been really supportive during my Certification process and just having someone to proof read it makes all the difference when I’ve been staring at a page endlessly – I could fiddle with the portfolio continuously without ever deciding it was finished, so I made the decision to send sections to my Mentor and after she had ok’ed them to not touch it afterwards!

The Blogpost on CPD23 lists few qualities of a good mentor and mentee – and I would like to add a tip to this for anyone working towards Certification (or even Chartership). When I went to my first meeting with my mentor, she was impressed that I had started my portfolio and was already gathering evidence (in fact I had started saving things and taking photos of displays etc when I first decided to work towards Certification). My mentor said that meeting with someone with nothing to look through was a waste of time, so even if you only have rough notes and disorganised evidence, it’s better than turning up to the first meeting empty handed.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Thing 10: Librarianship Training Options and Thing 11: Mentoring

  1. Nic

    Thanks for posting this about certification – It’s something I’m um-ing and ah-ing (along with the masters) and would love to hear more about the ins and outs if you were ever going to post again about it?
    Good luck with finishing the portfolio!

    • Was there anything in particular you wanted to know about? I’m not currently planning a post solely about Certification, CPD23 is keeping me busy at the moment, but I can answer any questions you might have.
      Lisa x

      • Nic

        To be honest Lisa, I don’t know *too* much about it. I’m not a member of CILIP yet, so when I am I’ll be able to see what’s on the site behind closed doors (!) but I have seen 1 example of a portfolio and it looks like a lot of work! How did you go about finding a mentor for it – through the intended routes or otherwise? And how did you tackle the development plan and all the reflective writing?

        Too many questions I fear – but thanks a lot for replying to my other comment so quickly already!

  2. Finding a Mentor was easy – there’s a list on the CILIP website, organised by region so you basically just email one of them with your details and CV (there’s a suggested layout form on the site)
    The reflective writing was fairly simple, it’s clear what they want you to demonstrate and the evidence just backs up your writing and development plan so if you say ‘I want to do a First Aid course’ and then do it you can add the certificate as evidence. I also included meeting minutes for a few groups I belong to and photos of a display and some posters I did as promotional work.
    Anything else I can help with, let me know – I’d be more than happy to offer advice. There’s also an email mailing list you can sign up to, I can email the details if you’re interested.
    L x

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