CILIPS Autumn Gathering 2013

Where to start? First thing to say is thank you, CILIP in Scotland, for a really great conference, in particular to Catherine Kearney and Sean McNamara for organising it all.

My 5am alarm call in London seems to have been later than most people coming from elsewhere in Scotland, but I think everyone deserves a gold star for such early starts.

Set on the edge of Holyrood Park, the venue was perfect and allowed for some magnificent views. The conference was packed full of great content, both keynote and parallel sessions. Barbara Band kicked us off with such enthusiasm for her job as a school librarian and set the tone for the day, that of advocacy. I headed to the parallel session on CILIP’s Professional Knowledge and Skills Base (PKSB) by Simon Edwards. I confess I’m new to the PKSB. It struck me as a wonderful tool for self-assessment and, relevant to my line of work, for job applications and interview preparation. Interviews are about competencies and the PKSB is a repository for all of yours. It allows you to identify your skills and knowledge gaps and consider your own CPD. All of which, in turn, helps with advocacy, with communicating inside and outside the profession. Key to my engagement with this tool was very much the presentation of it by Simon. Enthusiasm is infectious and I think we all left the room feeling upbeat and enthused.

Liz McGettigan
reminded us, in her keynote speech, we must get better at recognising what we do and at showing off. “There are so many fabulous things going on in Scotland. Stand up and become a player.”
After a splendid lunch and an interesting chat with a school librarian from Aberdeenshire, I listened to some case studies of information literacy in practice. First the National Library of Scotland and their innovative ways of teaching children about primary sources for research. Followed by Duncan Chappell and Jennifer Higgins from the Glasgow School of Art with their award-winning InfosmART product to aid study and increase skills. I found it really interesting to hear about the different research and study approach taken by art students.

Next up was my turn, talking about elevator pitches. I thoroughly enjoyed presenting to a wonderful group of delegates. As a facilitator, it’s just wonderful to witness so many good conversations and networking happening before your eyes. So, thank you to all who took part so energetically!
The day ended with a very entertaining and thought-provoking keynote from @simfin on e-safety and the death of privacy. This is where I wore down my iPhone battery by tweeting. A lot. One of the key messages was this – “if you’re not managing your identity, someone else will. Embrace the absence of privacy.”
I wholeheartedly recommend checking out the #CILIPSAG13 tweets.

Everyone I met at the conference was friendly, warm and engaging. There was such enthusiasm for the profession. CILIP in Scotland put on a cracking conference and I’m really thrilled to have been invited along.

– Suzanne

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