Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Thing 16: Advocacy, speaking up for the profession and getting published #cpd23

Wow - 16 is a BIG thing!

I don't think I have done very well in this area myself, I used to be one of Those People who thought librarians stamped books all day and came into librarianship quite unexpectedly. I think possibly my first (vague) brush with advocacy was writing about this for the Library Routes project in 2009.

Currently I have 2 sets of opportunities for this kind of activity:

1. The Day Job
My job, now I think about it, does involve advocacy in many forms, but this wouldn't have especially occurred to me if hadn't been for this Thing. I work in an academic setting, so it;s a bit different to the kind of advocacy described for public libraries in the CPD23 blog post. But it is still advocacy and it takes many forms, probably the top 4 are:

  • Reporting on stats and management information to demonstrate the work of my team to senior management
  • Working with our Marketing Advisory Group: I am currently working on a specific marketing campaign to improve the customer perception of my team (and other customer services teams) and increase awareness of the breadth of skills these staff have
  • I work with school 6th forms (teachers and students), managing induction sessions to support their studies and help to increase understanding about academic libraries and the importance of our work
  • Working with a committee to plan and manage library orientation and basic information provision for new customers throughout the academic year

2. The CILIP stuff
Outside of my day job I also work with the CILIP West Midlands committee as the Newsletter editor in my "spare time". And it is in that capacity that I hope to be more involved in wider advocacy.

Bits of work including organising and staffing a careers stand and representing CILIP WM at the last ever LIS show in Birmingham have been great and reasonably productive. But 
National Libraries Day Complete Logosadly my biggest idea so far was scuppered by several life-events intervening and resulting in me having to abandon most of my CILIP involvement for the last 4 months or so. But the plan WAS to use CILIP WM capacity to help libraries in the region to publicise events for National Libraries Day back in February. The idea was to gather info from libraries running events, write press releases and get the info out to various places - free newspapers - not free newspapers - local TV and Radio stations - etc. to increase general awareness of the day and also of specific local events. 

I suppose there is always next year. Anyone want to help out ready for Feb 2013?

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