Student Perspectives is our series of guest posts written by current #citylis students.
So far, what I am finding is that progress comes in waves. Since March of this year, I have been recording and reflecting on my role as a library professional and the extra things which I can document as evidence for my chartership portfolio.
What I have learnt so far:
1. It is always a good idea to get stuck in. Whether it be joining a new library related group, attending a workshop or going a library visit, the experience will be useful to you in some way.
2. While the first point is definitely true, it is worth bearing in mind that not all of this experience will be suitable for capturing for your portfolio. On a few occasions I was involved in projects with the thought at the back of my head of ‘well this will make a good piece of evidence for my portfolio’ only to be proved utterly wrong.
Although these have all been useful for reflecting on and improving my reflective writing, some haven’t demonstrated what I wanted to evidence. I now realise that THIS IS OK. For example, I got involved in my first twitter #uklibchat. This was a really useful experience. I got a sense of what it was all about and I contributed to it. However, when I came to reflecting on the event I realised that I hadn’t participated as much as I really should have, some of my posts had typos and I had missed some really interesting posted that I could have replied to.
Of course this was an excellent moment for reflection, however for my portfolio would I really want that reflection to be: shouldn’t make typos!! Instead I was able to absorb this experience. Consider my involvement in the next #uklibchat and think about why I was going to contribute to this particular topic. Why was it relevant to me? Did it relate to my job and the objectives of my employer? What could be the impact of my participation? Could I give help and advice on this topic to others? These questions have helped me to better prepare and I will integrate them into my reflective writing after the event.
3. Reflective writing is HARD, but you get better at it the more you do it. I was lucky enough to attend a workshop on reflective writing to improve information literacy provision at Birmingham Library earlier this year. I have also invested in some books on the topic – these were suggested to me during a twitter #chartership chat (thanks guys!). Also I managed to get hold of an old edition of the CILIP portfolio handbook for a couple of pounds online and I have borrowed the latest edition from my university library. I would highly suggest getting some support in this. I did not find reflective writing to be an easy thing to do. The hardest part (which I still struggle with) is differentiating between descriptive writing and reflective writing.
4. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. I have been very busy at work, so a lot of my evidence collected has been around what I am already doing at work and making sure that I am formalising the reflective practice I am required to do in my role, into my evidence building.
5. Have some fun with it. For the wider content aspect (criteria 3) this can really be way out of what you usually do professionally. This is a chance to get involved with larger debates in libraries. If you are particularly passionate about issues in your section, this is an opportunity to do some campaigning, join some groups, other some politicians…
Hopefully some of that is useful. If nothing else it has helped me to focus my thoughts on the progress and think about what I want to do need.
Find out more about CILIP and chartership at http://www.cilip.org.uk/.
Student Perspectives is our series of guest posts written by current #citylis students. If you are a current #citylis student or alumni and would like to contribute a post, please contact Ernesto Priego at firstname.lastname@example.org
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