Following the path of one assistant into full librarianship
A couple of weeks ago now I received my membership pack for CILIP. Having officially joined, I immediately started to take advantage of the benefits that membership gives you. First of all, subsidised books from Facet Publishing (the arm of CILIP that publishes specialist books on the information profession), and secondly, the PKSB.
PKSB stands for Professional Knowledge and Skills Base. It’s a map and guide to the knowledge and skills which might be expected of librarians or people working in an information environment. Designed as a self-assessment tool it helps people identify areas for professional development and as well as skills sets already possessed.
The chartership (and other levels) of professional registration that CILIP offer use the PKSB as part of the evidence for your portfolio. They request a copy of the initial PKSB and a copy of the final PKSB, indicating that they expect people to use it to guide their learning and development of skills.
I’m currently working my way through the pdf. It’s divided into sections which build on one another.
At the center is Ethics and Values, which should be evident in all others aspects of working. Above that you have Professional Expertise, which is divided into eight sections to do with the different areas of information services and management. On the same level are generic skills, with four sections for skills which are useful but can apply to any job. And on the outside is context and wider knowledge.
I already know what my key areas are, but using the PKSB I can identify areas that are not only helpful to librarians, but ones that I may be interested in as well. At the moment I am very good in the IT and Literacy Learning sections, and whilst I have basic knowledge in most other sections, I really would like to know the models and theories behind information management and organisation.
I haven’t completed all of it yet, and this is just on my own. If I sign up to Chartership, then I will have access to a mentor who will be able to help me go through and better identify the knowledge that I possess and areas to work on, but I can still see how this is a useful document, and will even be applicable further on in a career in information.