Following the path of one assistant into full librarianship
As I mentioned on the last post that I made to this website, I was spending the next week or so completing the PKSB (Personal Knowledge and Skills Base) as one of the first steps in Chartership. I’ve now done that and had my first meeting with my adviser – although it was quite informal as these things go, but we went through some parts and he gave me a few hints and tips I’ll get onto.
One thing I did find was that CILIP don’t give you much in the way of instruction on how to fill it in. Yes, there are technical instructions on how to actually input information into the sheet, but I didn’t really get a sense of what I was suppose to do with it at first. Browsing around the web, I found a few other blogs of people who had completed Chartership (one of the reasons I am keeping this is not only for personal records, but in case it helps anyone else who might be doing similar things to me) and one of them advised only tackling the sections that you were interested in, don’t do all of them, it takes a long time. Also CILIP do recommend picking 6-10 areas for improvement, and completing the whole sheet might lead to far more than 10 areas.
So, the sections I completed were:
Do I think that these are the only ones I need? Of course not, but given where I want to head as a professional, these are the sections that I want to give attention to (and of course you fill in the ethics and wider sector knowledge ones, that’s general background information).
So, out of these sections, I ended up choosing 10 skills that I would like to try and improve over the course of the Chartership and they are:
As you can see, I have a definition theme to the skills that I have chosen. I do have a little bit of variety in there however – Networking is something that I am beginning to realise is a key skill for a professional, and thus something I should work on improving since it’s not really something I have engaged in before. I also want to improve my knowledge about the wider sector as I think I could easily work in different sectors and it will be valuable to learn about the general trends affecting libraries (which is something that gets touched upon a lot in my masters modules).
Is this all that I am going to do? Of course not, these are simply the areas I have identified from the PKSB. If opportunities comes up for other training of events in other areas, then I am not going to pass them up just because they don’t fit in one of these areas. That is one of the primary bits of advice my mentor gave me – take advantage of all opportunities that you can, because it all counts for professional development, the PKSB is just a guideline (and you don’t fail for developing different things than you picked out, or even for not developing all the ones you did).
The other bit of advice he gave me is look out for advocacy groups or campaigns to join in with. They’re a very good way of getting to know other people, and an excellent part of service promotion, and letting people know what library and information professionals can do for them. It’s certainly something I will keep an eye out for, but as with many things, I think that I will have more time to dedicate to this as the master’s work get’s completed.