This online conference organised by The Learning Revolution Project had the theme Expertise, Competencies, and Careers. I was planning to participate in the live sessions however for unforeseen reasons I ended up watching the recordings at a later date.
The opening keynote (1 hour) was introduced by Julie Todaro and discussed the American Libraries Association Libraries Transform Campaign, an initiative designed to increase public awareness of the value and impact of library professionals. The key takeaway message is about branding and making the brand known. There were then a panel of speakers, John Bertot presented Re-envisioning the MLS, Valerie Gross presented Our expertise, and Eileen Abels presented Educate to innovate. The focus was on the changing socio-tech-economic landscape and how libraries are/need to respond. Highlights included recognising a paradigm shift from libraries as connecting people to information to helping solve life problems, value shift from measuring library use to the difference they make, positioning libraries as educational institutions, not in the formal sense as we usually understand but as centers for lifelong and informal learning, teaching for the future and not the now.
I watched four other sessions (30 minutes each). In Lisa Chow and Sandra Sajonas Librarians in the 21st Century: Designing a career strategy for evolving roles and opportunities there was plenty of practical advice I have already encountered before, such as getting your name out there by creating an online presence, publishing and presenting and getting involved with associations and groups. After completing the first INF305 assessment on ePortfolios I particularly enjoyed their description of them as “resumes on steroids”.
Devina Dandar’s Conquering imposter syndrome: Bridging the skills gap between new graduates and professional highlighted the highlights the commonly experienced feeling of being not good enough when everyone else thinks you are and that you are going to be found out as a fraud, feeling like you do not know much and that everyone else knows way more. This is definitely something I have (and still) suffer from.
In Competencies for information specialists, Melissa Fraser-Arnott outlined the results of her analysis of competencies across various information professional disciplines. This was quite interesting allowed me to demonstrate to myself how some of my own skills and experiences align with her five identified competency areas.
Finally David Stern’s Elements of effective leadership explored how leadership is different from management and explores the aspects of leadership required for libraries to succeed in tough operating environments.
Some of the practical advice provided in these presentations are easy enough for me to complete while still studying this year which will help me to better plan and kick-start my career. Items now added to my to-do list include: conduct a personal strength analysis; create a personal business card with a mini-resume on the back; seek out a mentor for when I begin to job-hunting; align current skills with competencies applicable to information industry and explore options to develop leadership skills – an area I am most definitely not confident with!