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.