Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Committee-d to CPD?

After thinking about the possibility of Chartering for a while, I am finally registering this week. As yet, it’s all quiet on the mentor front. This lack of a mentor started me thinking about motivation during the initial stages and what I expect to get out of the Chartership process as a whole.

Chartership for me means several things. It is a badge of professionalism, a standard which is recognised by others in the profession as the mark of professional competence. With enough time and advocacy, let’s hope others outside our profession will also begin to appreciate the significance of Chartership. It is a process through which I will learn to reflect on my experiences and to develop my skills in the areas of leadership and management. It allows me to extend my knowledge of the library and information profession beyond the sector in which I work. It lets me see the different issues facing each sector of the profession and also explore the common issues that unite us all. I believe that this process will allow me to become an active, confident and competent member of our profession with the skills to nurture and mentor the next generation of library and information professionals. Which brings me back to mentors. And support.

Jennie’s Chartership blog raises some interesting questions about support structures within the workplace. It got me thinking about other support structures that exist within our professional landscape. Which got me thinking about CILIP. I really believe that if I just read Update every month and passively consumed CILIP’s email updates, I would seriously review my membership status. The fact that CILIP is becoming a more high profile player in the area of advocacy would perhaps make me think twice. However, I think that the best way to really get the most out of membership of our professional body, as well as getting the most out of our professional selves, is to join a committee.

I joined the Career Development Group’s East of England committee as an ordinary member last year and have been New Professionals Support Officer since January. I am enjoying this role so much that in fact it is one of the factors that has prompted me to go for Chartership. Being part of a committee where everyone around you is as committed to CPD as you are is so empowering. No one needs convincing that what we’re doing is a positive benefit to both our own development and the development of our members. I regularly deal with new professionals via email and via LISNPN ; it is great to feel a part of this network of new professionals. The committee is comprised of people at all stages of their career and from different sectors of the profession within the Eastern region. Committee meetings make me realise how we have different issues facing each sector. Yet certain issues such as funding or user engagement and advocacy really do affect everyone.

I started this blog post talking about support structures for Chartership and I think that committee membership is a rewarding option for anyone thinking about going through this process. I am committed to CPD and it is so refreshing to meet with a group of people who are all as committed as I am – if not more! It gives me something to aim for once I’m Chartered.


Jennie Perry said...

I totally agree with you that being actively professionally engaged is much more satisfying than simply paying a membership subscription. I have found that my committee work for ARLIS and now a little bit for CILIP has not only been great for my own motivation but it has provided me with a lot of valuable evidence for my Chartership portfolio too. I'd recommend it to anyone who is able to devote a bit of time to it.

I had a hard time finding a mentor to start with but have found it an incredibly valuable relationship for the Chartership process. I just wish it had been easier to find one as it nearly put me off Chartering altogether! Best wishes for your Chartership (and thanks for the link up :))

venessa said...

I think this is great news, and any kind of engagement with professional activites completely enhances your experience in the workplace - it gives a rounded connection rather than just Cilip membership. Good luck with it all, and let us know your progess :0)