This week’s Thing is about our professional involvement in library-related conferences and events. One of the first library-related events that I attended was the Libraries@Cambridge Conference in January 2011, at which myself and the other Cambridge graduate trainees did a presentation on the value of graduate traineeships. The presentation went pretty well and afterwards we uploaded it to SlideShare, where it managed to gain over 1000 views. This led to it being featured on the SlideShare homepage, which was brilliant, although unexpected! The PowerPoint slides don’t really speak for themselves without the accompanying script, but the presentation is here for anyone who is interested:
When myself and the other trainees were initially planning this presentation, we decided to split the roles into those of us who would design and write the presentation and those of us who would actually get up to speak, because it was only a short talk and there weren’t enough speaking slots for all seven of us. However, I was more than happy to volunteer for one of the writing roles because I’m far better at writing than I am at public speaking! I don’t have any plans to speak at a conference in the future because, aside from the fact that public speaking makes me quite nervous, I just don’t have any real interest in making presentations. I’m not a performer and I have no wish to become one – that just isn’t who I am and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. My professional interests are tied much more to the research and writing elements behind a successful presentation, and so any contribution that I make to presentations at future conferences is likely to be in these terms rather than as a speaker.
Other events that I’ve attended include a CILIP New Professionals Information Day, a Cambridge TeachMeet, and a Librarians as Teachers seminar. I found all of these events really useful and informative and I met lots of interesting people at each one. I’m going to be attending Library Camp in October and I’m really looking forward to this – having never been to an ‘unconference’ before, I’m interested to find out how the presentations and discussions will be structured in this more informal environment. I’m also hoping to be able to attend the New Professionals Conference next year, as I missed out on it this year due to work commitments.
Attending events is definitely something that I will continue to do as part of my professional development, because I feel that I benefit a lot from doing so and I always come away having learned something new and interesting. As for organising events myself – this is something that I might be interested in doing in the future, but at the moment I have no immediate ideas or plans for an event. Perhaps an interesting project will present itself when I am at library school 🙂