I’m finally publishing this blog as part of the 23 Things for Professional Development (#cpd23) programme. Thing 1 is to create a blog and explain why I’m taking part in the programme.
I’ve actually had a blog for a couple of years now. Sitting there, domain registered, neglected, waiting for me to come and tend to it. In my time at JISC Netskills I’ve taught countless courses on blogging, its benefits and the many ways blogging can be used. I used to demo this presentation highlighting the potential uses of blogs, so in theory I know all about their potential:
But to my shame have never started my own blog. Of course I have many excuses – Who am I writing for? Will I have time? Who will be interested in what I’m saying? At Netskills I worked on many diverse projects and thought this would be confusing for any potential ‘audience’ for my blog. Now I realise I’ve missed the point. This blog is actually for me. But if others find it interesting then that’s a bonus.
I’m not a natural reflector – I’m more of a do-er. I will reflect on the success or failure of projects and how to do things better next time, but I don’t tend to reflect in such a considered way on my own development, which is ironic for someone who is so interested in CPD! So I hope this blog will encourage me to do that. I also realise now that the diversity of the projects I worked on at Netskills put me in quite an interesting position. I don’t work there now but I still have that experience and retain those diverse interests which I hope will give me a viewpoint worth sharing.
I’m currently off work on maternity leave after starting work back in libraries. I took a new role as Assistant Liaison Librarian at the Robinson Library in Newcastle University last July. I started out in libraries and over the years I’ve trained many librarians from all sectors, so I’m back experiencing it all first hand again.
I’m using the 23 Things for Professional Development programme as a catalyst to starting this blog, but also this is an opportune time for me to reflect on my career. I’m facing new challenges in my recently changed role so I think this is a perfect time to finally get over my blogstipation (‘1. noun. To be unable to think of anything to blog about, i.e. writer’s block for bloggers’ – from another favourite demo from blogging workshops – the blog glossary).
The title of this post comes a presentation I’ve seen given a couple of times by Maxine Miller, Collections Development Manager at the Tate Gallery (at the CDG/PTEG Raising the Bar conference & CILIP New Professionals day – both in 2010). I found her to be an inspirational speaker and enjoyed listening to her describing her career, the challenges she faced and the experiences which proved pivotal for building her confidence and self-belief. Something that has stuck with me was her advice that sometimes you need to challenge yourself to try new roles and acquire new skills that may not come naturally. But she assured, you’ll find you can achieve goals if you are confident in who you are – say “this is me, this is who I am and I say what I do because of it”.
So this is me and this is my blog.