Thing 7 is all about networks and I attended a very enjoyable event this week at the Maypole pub in Cambridge run by the CILIP East of England Branch. I got the opportunity to catch up with some Cambridge librarians I hadn’t seen for a while and to meet some new people and all over a drink. What could be better? Although in my case there was no gin in sight despite the results on the Wikiman’s excellent blog post “The Great Library Stereotypometer“.
One of the interesting things about the meet up was the number of librarians who are experiencing building work in their libraries at the moment or it is just about to start, or in my case finished last year. So a lot of people were in temporary offices and trying to maintain computer access, but still managing to blog. Hopefully it will be worth it all by the end of the projects.
I was talking to a London librarian about the networking opportunities I had had by being a member of CILIP. She asked about which meetings and events I had been to for this, especially in the Eastern Region, and I realised that actually the longer term benefits of networking I had gained from being on committees. My first experience was as a committee member on the National Committee for CILIP’s University, college and research special interest group at the turn of the century (makes me sound old!). I then moved from that to the East of England Branch committee. I enjoyed meeting people from other sectors and the broader remit. On that committee at some point or other I was editor of the Sunrise newsletter, Secretary and chair. The editorship I did with 2 other colleagues and it was something we were all new to but really enjoyed. Most people I approached to write articles were very agreeable and it was a great way to find out about different parts of the region. The Branch also gave me the opportunity to become an assessor for CILIP’s ACLIP award and that was a whole new learning experience. I hadn’t realised how active I had been in CILIP over the years until I was chatting about it. I would highly recommend it either as a chance to try something new or use the skills you already have.
I looked at some of the other organisations you listed and I liked the sound of the SLA. I am certainly going to investigate that further.