There was an error in this gadget

Friday, 2 September 2011

CPD23 - Thing 15 - Event participation

In Thing 15 we are encouraged to think about our involvement in seminars, conferences and events in all their glorious technicolour.
A suitable alternative sub-title would be Why Don't You Just Switch Off Your Television Set and Go Out and Do Something Less Boring Instead?'. Some of you may remember that this was a cult BBC children's TV programme from the 1980s. To be reminded of your mis-spent youth, see:

I've done just what it says on the tin and been fortunate to participate in a number of events, either by attending or organising. In particular as:

  • Aerospace and Defence Libraries Group (ADLG) conference in 2009 
  • CILIP's Umbrella 
  • IFLA's World Libraries Conference held in Durban, South Africa in 2007
There is a tendency to think that being an attendee at an event is equivalent to having a day off. In fact, conferences and events are hard work in themselves if you are truly to make the most of them - by networking, listening hard, asking the right questions. Having said that you should take a balanced approach about pacing yourself throughout the day (and evening if the event runs over a few days).

As a conference attendee, I've always tried to reflect and share on my learning experiences. However, there is always more that I could do better, such as being more prepared in advance and asking more questions. This and other suggestions are offered by the writer and speaker Scott Berkun in his blog post - 'How to get the most out of conferences'.

  • Network for Government Library and Information Specialists (NGLIS) conference on "Do Information Professionals have the key to the door?" in April 2011.
I was slightly reluctant to put my name forward to help with organising this, but it is one of the activities I've been most proud of recently. It provided an opportunity to learn new skills, for instance liaising with suppliers. And I learnt that I can be a bit of a control freak.
By actually organising an event, you really feel you are making a much bigger difference.

I am now looking forward to getting involved in planning the 2012 Government libraries conference and making it even more successful than before.


At the moment, I would classify myself as a 'presenting virgin'. I've only had a chance to present at one 'biggish' conference, at a work related Export Group for Aerospace and Defence Annual Meeting in October 2010. I jointly presented together with my manager about export control awareness training and activities.

Given the opportunity I'd like to find many more chances to present although I'm sure to be quaking in my boots and am sure to feel under prepared.

I'm inspired by Lisa Cotter and Donna Robertson, two Australian health librarians, on presented a paper on 'Presenting at a conference - you CAN do it!' and by the experiences of those who've presented at librarian New Professionals Conferences.

Now I just need to find the right events...

No comments: