What do you keep in your toolbox?

ManchesterNLPNToday I'm treating you all to another guest blog! This one is from the lovely Helen Monagle at ManchesterNLPN (That's New Library Professionals Network, to those of you not in the know…). They recently held their fourth annual event – A New Professional's Toolkit – which SHR was delighted to have been able to sponsor. Read on for Helen's highlights of the day…


On Saturday 19th
October we held our fourth event at Manchester Metropolitan University’s
Business School. We kicked things off with a presentation from Simon Barron,
which focused on digital skills in the library and information community. Simon
conveyed that new technology is changing our perceptions of the world and the
interactions we have with others. Simon highlighted that information is at the
centre of these changes – making it an exciting time to work in the library and
information sector.

Many new jobs advertised
specify the need for IT skills, if you can demonstrate these you will stand out
in the current job market. In order develop tech skills, Simon provided the
following tips:

  • Using
    Linux or Unix is a good way of understanding the fundamentals of operating
    systems – install Linux on your computer, then explore, experiment develop your
  • To
    enhance your communication skills, use Twitter, blogs, network and contact
    people about publishing and presenting.
  • Sign
    up to things like Code Academy to learn coding skills or a specialist MOOC.

All will demonstrate
your ability to self-teach thus illustrating your commitment, enthusiasm and
willingness to learn which are all employable skills.

The second session
which focused on copyright and e-learning was expertly delivered by Jane
. The session included a copyright quiz, which unfortunately highlighted
how little I know about copyright- something I need to amend!

Jane discussed the
librarian’s role in providing copyright advice and support, and the rules when
using e-resources, web content, images and multimedia. The delegates were
encouraged to consider common queries and misconceptions – an eye-opening

The final session on
Open Access was delivered by David Jenkins. David emphasised that open
access is changing the research landscape; for library and information
professionals, this is an opportunity to guide and educate users in new areas.
Communication is key: information professionals have a vital role to play as
advocates and as teachers. Despite the challenges of open access (i.e. lack of
trust, double dipping etc.) our success in this developing aspect of our roles
depends on how useful we make ourselves to our users. Therefore, we need to
demonstrate our skills, our expertise and engage!

The event would not have been possible without our generous sponsors and our marvellous speakers
and of course all those who attended. Follow us on twitter for more about our
network: @manchesternlpn


Leave a Reply