Passion for the Profession can be expressed in many ways

Our CILIP Chief Executive, Annie Mauger,  invited librarians via Twitter to ponder some controversial views expressed in a blog, ‘Deprofessionalisation and the blogosphere’  The article decried the standard of social media communication being conducted by professional librarians. Its author suggested that ‘the knowledge and skills that make up (professional expertise) should be our primary concern’ and argued that more journal articles and discussion of  content was what was needed. The article set me reflecting on our own situation in Scotland.

I think that while there is a place for considered and well argued journal articles, the social bonds engendered by participation in e.g. Twitter are equally important in encouraging a sense of community and common interest.  This can lead to debate but also activity and learning based around the profession.

One recent example of Twitter enabling this was the ‘tweetmeet’ organised by Anabel Marsh which led on to planning and participation in activities for National Libraries Day.   Activity has since grown into a semi regular event sponsored by CILIPS to encourage librarians from all sectors to meet up and share experiences while learning a little more about each other’s professional practice. (There’s another tweetmeet organised to take place at 6.15pm in the Bon Accord Pub, North Street, Glasgow, on 14th March if you’re interested in coming along).

As for the blogosphere there are some examples of writing  rooted in experience rather than theory and from which we can all learn. Here are a few blogs from Scottish colleagues you might care to sample:

 Nicola Osborne who works for EDINA is expert at liveblogging of events – a real skill – and she always posts something of use for those with an interest in social media and libraries.

Neal Buchanan from the University of West of Scotland posts on educational events and activities in which he’s involved – useful for anyone who isn’t able to attend in person.

Christine Irving blogs at  on the LIS DREAm project as well as what she has been up to professionally.

These are just three examples from Scotland but there are many more. What’s your favourite Scottish library blog?

Information Literacy and Public Libraries

Last week was a busy week for the project with meetings and or presentations everyday.

On Monday morning we were in Greenock at Inverclyde Libraries talking with the People’s Network Librarian Sean McNamara about identifying areas for possible IL input into existing courses they offer and new courses for 2009. Courses such as an employability course run through their local community partnership with Fairer Scotland funding and Career Planning in conjunction with the West of Scotland University. Discussed Web 2.0 tools and the possibility of using a blog for learners to give their thoughts and feedback on the course/s. Inverclyde Libraries Manager Sandra MacDougal joined our discussions and we spoke about staff training and IL including: the Information Handling Skills course and qualification as part of the SLIC 2000 Learners Project (used by Midlothian Lothian Public Libraries for staff training) and the POP-i course (developed and used by Bradford Public Libraries for their staff) also the previous NOF courses and the recent CILIPS / SQA ICT qualification for Libraries. Some of their staff are currently undertaking the ICTL qualification.

We have had similar discussions with the Mitchell Library in Glasgow and the Ewart Library in Dumfries. The Ewart Library offer an expanding programme of tutor led computer training courses and workshops in their libraries to assist local communities (in partnership with Adult Literacy and Numeracy Partnership , the local college and other learning providers). Included in the programmes is The British Computer Society eCitizen package which includes information literacy although it does not identify it as such.

Glasgow REAL Learning Centres which are part of Glasgow Libraries have a new team in place of Learning Support Officers who will look after the learning centres (including learning portfolios, ITC and the employability agenda). Of interest to the project is the partnership between Glasgow Libraries and the Chamber of Commerce and the breakfast sessions held at The Mitchell Library.

I’m sure we will be hearing and seeing more information literacy work in Public Libraries. If you are interested in this area then the Information Literacy Website has a section on IL and Public Libraries.