Learning Log 66 – Fellowship Meeting 5 #Fellowshipfive

Date: 8/11/17

Number: 66

Significant Experience: The 5th meeting of the Fellowship Group

What Happened?: Normally the whole thing discussion is private but considering I was the presenter in the Action Learning Set I’m allowed to say! The problem was my inability to pick up/continue an ongoing piece of work after I have stopped working on it. The main discussion points were around organisational issues (expected) and professional confidence (*very* unexpected)

So What?: This was really very useful as it brought forward issues about my professional confidence/trust in my abilities that I had not consciously considered before. It also led to my thinking more about the value I place on my time.

Now What?: I am going to produce some ‘golden rules‘ to how I approach non-1 sitting finish work and examine strategies to breaking down these non-small works into more finish-able chunks. By doing this it shall improve my belief in my own work, which shall improve my effectiveness for my organisation both in quality and my honest time spent on projects.

When & Where?: 10th August 2017, Manchester


Learning Log 67 – Creating my Golden Rules for non-small work requests

Date: 8/11/17

Number: 67

Significant Experience: Creating my golden rules to increase productivity in

What Happened?: At the August #Fellowshipfive meeting – I had an Action Learning Set in which I discussed my inability to re-pick up work and how this affected me. These golden rules were my action/approach to solving this issue.

The Rules

  • Have a plan of what this work will entail – what stages will the work involve (think Project Management)
  • Before starting create sensible stopping points (for example between stages)
  • When stopping – produce bullet points explaining what you’ve already done and how you feel about what you have done.
  • When picking up again – have you learned anything that alters what you have already done?

So What?: It was important to get this done as it is a time sink and a confidence drain. Also I should have done it last month!

Now What?: Now I am going to have these to hand and build them into my daily work approach. I have a large search to be done next week that will span several days (including a weekend) so it is a good test

When & Where?: 8th November 2017

LwL Episode 8: Michael Cook

Who is this…

Librarians with Lives

In Episode 8 of the Librarians with Lives podcast I chat to Michael Cook who is a Knowledge & Evidence Specialist. Yes – a health librarian at last! We chat about pilfering books from libraries (not something we wish to encourage),working your way up up in a particular sector, literature searching in health settings (and the crossover with my role), public health initiatives, giving back to the profession, mid-career mini-crises and rediscovering information professional mojo, and the impact of being parents on our respective roles.

If you listen very carefully you’ll hear the *exact* moment that #Libraruns is born. Michael and I have subsequently recorded a side-special on Librarians who run, which will be released in the New Year.

We also discussed @NLPN_ – Helen and Amy from the Network will be the stars of Episode 11 of the podcast which will be released on 21st November. Michael gave Amy…

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Learning Log 77 -Delivering Endnote Training

Date: 27th October 2017

Number: 77

Significant Experience: First time delivering training via Skype, first time delivering EndNote training, First time delivering training to strangers in *5* years

What Happened?: Following initial discussions about how we could support a team that was based throughout the Northwest a series of training sessions were requested on different aspects of information skills – the first of which were on EndNote, These were to be delivered group face to face but also with Skype screen sharing. The opportunities to deliver training had significantly reduced in my previous role, and it had been a long time since I had delivered to a group. This coupled with the technology (which played up – but not the Skype bit)  the fact it was on software I had only been using for 6 months and for a new organisation with their own standards/approaches.

So What?: My heart hadn’t grown fond of training in the five years I had not be doing it – much like presentations (or talking to people), i always viewed it as a necessary evil of the role, so wasn’t looking forward to it. But, as with everything, I have learnt that if i present as myself rather than what I think people want (or as a previous manager tried to make me do – as they would) or try to deliver someone else’s training session, I come across as more believable-and it shows. In terms of the newness of the topic, as discussed elsewhere – I had observed an EndNote expert deliver training, taken the key messages they pushed and morphed them into a message delivered in my voice which was both expert and authentic. Also I had used Endnote more in my 6 months than everyone else in room in total – just because of the job!

Now What?: I am going to take the confidence gained in the delivery of these sessions (and the positive feedback) to form the basis of future training delivery to ensure high quality, authentic training that will increase the users skills and understanding of effective information skills.

When & Where?: Manchester & Liverpool, 17th & 18th October 2017

Learning Log 70 – Fellowship Meeting 6 #Fellowshipfive

Date:  27/10/17

Number: 70

Significant Experience: The 6th meet-up of the fellowship group. The meeting on 15th September was cancelled.

What Happened?:  Although conversation will remain private, this session followed a different path as we were 2 members short (although their height is inconsequential) so led by SH, we had a round-table looking at our progress (me: non), reasons (me: many) and future actions (me: last times + catch up on reflections) – we then morphed into a ‘shut up & write session’. As ever it was a relaxed and welcoming session with plenty of LOL’s and pastries…

So What?: This was perhaps the most important meeting for me since the initial meeting as I had lost my way badly with all things fellowship, and I worry that if this meeting hadn’t happened I may have just gone full ‘fuck it’ mode. It is a good group where we can share and work through worries and issues that directly and in-directly effect our fellowship approach.

Now What?: I am  re-energized in all things #fellowshipfive going to complete my actions from last time – including my ‘golden rules’ to stop me restarting work. To counter-act the lulls that seem to happen during the extended breaks we are going to try an informal ‘this week I did’/next week I shall’ approach on the whats-app group…breaking it down into small chunks 🙂

When & Where?: Joule, Manchester, 24th October 2017

Learning Log 68: Growth and the realisation its OK to be yourself.

This isn’t really about the podcast, more the journey to it…

What Happened: I was interviewed by Jo Wood for the ‘Librarians with Lives’ podcast series. It was my first time being interviewed ‘live’ – having done print interviews and first time on a podcast. The very excellent Jo Alcock put me us in contact. I’m not going to go too much in depth about what was said because

  1. That’ll be covered by Jo W. herself;
  2. I can’t really remember fully – but we did look back at my career in libraries and discussed people who I thought were really important in my career.

So What: So doing this podcast – although only an hour out of my day got me to thinking about how how much I have grown– both professionally and emotionally in last few years.

To do something like two or three years ago would have been unthinkable. The thought of putting myself  – not just myself as a librarian, but myself as the ‘whole’ –  on display in an uncontrolled manner even on this small scale – would have been a  stone-dead no-go. (I still dreaded it, was so very nervous – and had a great urge to back-out. But I didn’t.) Personally, beyond (vapid, cringe-inducing*) opinions on Twitter, I had never been much of a social creature beyond my inner-circle of friends & colleagues, through lack of confidence and shyness. Professionally – I was a bit better, but only due to having important people bringing this out in me.

However, personal growth (interlinking maturing and understanding some wider concepts – such as imposter syndrome, authenticity …thanks again Leadership Programme!), has allowed me to accept myself – personally and professionally. This started from quite a sad place but I feel like I have grown into my own skin.

In the past I felt like I had been trying to portray a better version of me, especially professionally,  – which in truth was just bits of people I admired splodged together, rather than honestly seeing who I was and working with that.

It’s OK to have flaws (mouth being quicker than brain being a recurring one!), be a bit boring – something I talk about in the podcast – not even Ryan Reynolds is perfect!  Doing your best and doing the best are two different things – and that is OK. If you do your best, you can do no more . I truly understood this out training for a half marathon in 2016.

This is not to say I am immune to personal and professional criticism, in fact – probably the opposite. But I am comfortable enough to accept that not everyone will like or respect me. That’s OK. If they don’t, fuck ‘em.

But… the podcast – yeah it was alright 🙂

Now What: Well, the podcast goes live on the 31st October, so hopefully I won’t be ran out of town! There is a chat between Jo & I about running due out early in the new year. In terms of growth, I have mechanisms  in place to ensure I don’t step back to far on down days (mindfulness, running, family time) and I am trying to challenge myself professionally and personally to continue to grow and appreciate life.


Also my Twitter opinions are still vapid, but don’t make me cringe as much reading them back…

Learning Log 60 – Fellowship Meeting 4 #Fellowshipfive 

Date: 24th July 2017

Number: 60

Significant Experience: It was the 4th meeting of the #fellowshipfive . The meeting on 23/5 was cancelled for obvious reasons

What Happened?: This was a different approach to ALS and of the meeting generally but that’s not my story to tell! Though it was interesting conversations for everyone – with a theme of disorganisation being prominent!

So What?: These are really interesting chats with similar issues facing different members of the group is heartening! It feels simailr to when I started my role after exclsuivley being a solo-librarian to have peers to bounce ideas of is great!

Now What?: I am going to try and find a dedicated workspace in the house and I am going to try and do ‘shut up and write sessions’ in the office once a week to increase professional development productivity.

When & Where?: 17th July 2017, Manchester.