Third post on #npdishine14 from Penelope Dunn who both presented on the day and displayed a poster on her creation of a CPD Diary – an excellent resource for ALL Info Pros – applicable to all levels of experience. Check out Penny’s impressions on #npdishine14 here.
On Saturday last I attended the New Professionals Day Shine where new information professionals showcased their information expertise. This was my first NPD event and certainly won’t be my last. After viewing the three posters on display I was amazed by the work that newly qualified info pros had already accomplished. Two of the posters were developments from last year’s MLIS capstone project and those people involved are adding to their skill set by presenting posters at an event like this. Poster 1 was entitled “GP’s Information Seeking and Use of Open Access” by Sarah Kennedy and Kate McCarthy which was a development of their capstone project. Poster 2: “The Forgotten Zine Archive” by Tom Maher and Mick O’ Dwyer showcased their work in promoting an alternative special collection. Poster 3: “Keeping a CPD Diary” was an insight to the presentation we would later hear by Penelope Dunn.
Up next was Kris Meen who worked as a volunteer on the “Memorial Atlas of Ireland Exhibit Project” at NUIG. He described is experience of using MIT’s “Exhibit” and its advantages and disadvantages. Exhibit is an open source software that allows the user to create dynamic and interactive web pages. Kris spoke of teething problems with the software such as browser compatibility. However he informed us that there is loads of online assistance out there for users having difficulty code. We were shown examples of other projects that used Exhibit such as an interesting display of the US Presidents and a collection of cereal toys!
After these two presentations it was time to vote for the best poster. Congratulations to Mick and Tom from “The Forgotten zine Archive” who won a Raspberry Pi!!!! How cool is that?
Caroline Rowan was up next discussing her experience of using competency based interviews. Having been both the interviewee and interviewer recently, she described her experience of using a scoring matrix to assess suitable candidates for a student peer position in the Glucksman Library in UL. Beside each question she had either excellent, good, acceptable, fair and poor and ticked the appropriate box for each question for each candidate. This allowed her to differentiate the suitability for the job among the interviewees. She demonstrated the difference of each scoring matrix by using examples so we were able to understand her assessment. She then distributed 2 pages of examples of common competency based interview questions. The secret of competency based interviews is to always be prepared and have examples ready to show how you achieved a particular task. Other useful tips include: a good firm handshake, using positive language and seeking feedback on interviews. Prepare for some harsh criticism of where you went wrong in the interview – this is the most important. This is where you learn from your mistakes.
To end the presentations was Penelope Dunn a subject librarian from the UK who recommended everyone start keeping a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) diary. This involves thinking about all the skills and experience you have acquired and developed in the past and how you can then use them in your job applications, interviews and indeed your current job. Penelope described her experience of job hunting and how she used to write down her skills on post it notes. Finally then she kept a diary of every old and new skill and placed them in a word document and referred to this for each job application. Keeping a CPD Diary allows you to reflect on past experience and also shows any gaps in your skills set. It also identifies any training gaps. It is recommended that your CPD diary is divided down into different skills and doesn’t just include Information and Library related work but all experience eg. dealing with a difficult customer while working in a pub or a shop. Keeping a diary as you go along in your career can easily be achieved by using the “Evernote” app. This organisational tool is a quick way to document thoughts or ideas and refer to them when needs be. It is better than having loads of pieces of paper everywhere!
The best presentation was awarded to Jenny and Catherine from the DRI. The ladies won a free pass to the Academic and Special Libraries Conference in 2015.
Well done to everyone involved. New Info Pros are really displaying some fantastic work and representing the profession in a fresh and positive light!