New Professionals around the World

New Professionals are great networkers and community builders. This has already lead to a large number of groups for and by new librarians around the globe. We compiled a list of initiatives for you to get an overview on what is happening in different countries and areas of the world. . Also check out the NPs around the world-twitter list which is a great resource to follow the day-to-day business of these groups!

New Professionals Day Ireland has been updated to the IFLA New Professionals listing. Check out this blog for more details and connect with our international colleagues.

Theory into practice…

For those currently pursuing their studies on the road to becoming an information professional, do you question whether all this theory will be of use when you graduate and are working within the field?

As we’ve previously mentioned, we are all recent graduates of UCD SILS, but our experience on putting the theory from our various courses into practice applies to all who pursue this career path. Two of our number are employed in Irish libraries, which is not bad for being recent graduates, and one is in full time employment but not within the Information Professional field. However, within all our jobs, we have utilised our learning from the Masters, putting into practice various aspects that have enhanced our own working environments.

  For myself, within my first proper week of working in a library, I had to assist a Ph.D student with SPSS software and explain quantitative and qualitative research. Since then I’ve assisted numerous students with their research, pointing them in the right direction for their particular area of study. So those of you, currently going through the rigours of observation, notation and then the transcription of your interviews for Research Methods II be assured, it will come in handy!

Two of us, one in the library field and one without, have utilised our attendance on ‘The Teaching Librarian’ course producing information literacy sessions for both academic and business audiences. We both have utilised Articulate software, Dropbox, and Prezi in order to develop and enhance our teaching sessions. I have encountered through my work with both Undergraduates and Post-Graduates, that the Kulthau model on the information process rings true for most. Whether a fresh faced teen or the more mature researcher, we can all encounter problems. As an information professional, I assist them but also provide encouragement and hopefully support in their research quest. I’ve also encountered students who suffer library anxiety and as someone who felt that self-same feeling when I first became an Undergrad, I understand only too well how that can impact on one’s studies. So all our learning from Claire McGuinness’s excellent class has already in such a short space of time, been put to good use and into practice. Luckily for us in Dublin, Claire has taught at both UCD and DBS.

So what about the core ‘librarian’ skills of cataloguing I hear you cry as you struggle with your assignments for AACR2 and MARC21 et al? Christoph at UCD has taught us all very well, and I have to admit for myself I have become a committed cataloguing geek.

I completed a voluntary project during the summer whilst completing my MLIS and working full time, with Christoph’s advice ringing in my head.  I poured over the AACR2 manual, figuring out how I should go about cataloguing particularly tricky items as ‘every day is a school day’ in cataloguing. Subsequently, I have gone on to assist in another voluntary project, but this time utilising Dublin Core. Whilst loving AACR2 – Dublin Core is ideal for this particular project. Most ‘librarian’ roles incorporate some aspect of cataloguing and the joy of Dewey so rest assured you will be utilising it. If you manage to catch any of Jane Burns presentations, she will also illuminate the importance of understanding taxonomies, cataloguing and classification and it’s utilisation outside the library realm.

Of course, the one area that all modern Information Professionals should be aware of is the field of web and IT skills. Whilst we don’t need to be programmers, we do require the skills to understand what is required to provide information effectively. Luckily, I attended Web Publishing and Information Architecture and I have incorporated the learning from them both into all aspects of my paid and voluntary work. Understanding and being able to code in HTML has been of huge benefit, as is being familiar with aspects of web design and information architecture. Completing usability testing and creating pre and post test questionnaires have already been a huge benefit to me in my working sphere. Completing projects that allow you to create and learn in a safe environment, before you test out your ideas in the world of work, has been an invaluable exercise.

So take heart, enjoy what remains of this semester and work hard, the rewards both personally and professionally are very high. The sense of achievement when you incorporate some of your learning into your working life is immense, or at least it is for us. Each one of us has found that the MLIS has provided us with many skills as well as the interest and knowledge to seek out and improve on what is becoming a solid skill base for our future careers.

Get Tweeting…

Those of you not on Twitter – are missing out on a great information resource.

Twitter

The LAI Career Development Group hosted their first event yesterday and ‘live tweeting’ enabled a very rich exchange of information to those attending and also those absent. By using a hashtag – all could be connected to what was happening instantly at the event – #cdg2013

As an Info Pro or soon to be Info Pro – you need to engage with Social Media – not just with your ‘friends’ but more importantly with your colleagues.

If you have a smartphone (whether android; iphone or windows phone…) get on Twitter – it will really open up a whole new world of Information to you.

Smartphones…

We will be looking at the importance of Tweeting for New Professionals – so please bring your phone or tablet along to our first event and make sure you’ve joined Twitter.

It’s really not that scary – it’s fun and you get to network with your fellow Info Pros & hopefully your future colleagues.