Chartership Chat, Thursday 1st August 2013

School holidays perhaps meant that it was a quiet time for the chat, and a few of us were distracted by childcare. As usual, it was a 'free for all' on the chat but a few themes came up: Keeping a reflective learning journal and finding time to study. Next Chartership Chat is Thursday, 15th August.

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  1. Finding time to work on portfolio submission is perhaps a common concern for most candidates aiming to complete either Aclip or Mclip. Many of us have read 'time management' books, books on conquering procrastination tendencies...
  2. The 'Procrastination Book' is a book that I had recently read myself. Whilst it hasn't quite stopped my procrastination, it has allowed me to understand why I do it, and how I can improve. What I have started doing instead is 'productive procrastination'. Which appears to be choosing a more attractive job to do instead. Supposed to be working on compiling a list of evidence for Chartership, but can't face it? That's ok. Do something else - but make sure it is productive. Throw out old evidence. Tidy your folders. Sort out your stationery drawer - you know you want to. But make sure you go back to your original task - and provide yourself with a reward at the end.
  3. Mobeena Khan (@greenstreebling) recommended a book by Julie Morgenstern, but there is also 'Productivity for Librarians' and Jo Alcock's bi-monthly columns on 'getting things done' in Cilip's Update for those looking for inspiration about tools and techniques to use to get back on top of things. To find Jo's articles, go to the latest digital edition of Cilip Update, search for 'Jo Alcock' and change the search options to include all editions.


    One of the things that I've done to enable me to work on my portfolio submission as and when I can is to create a portable office. I don't have a laptop, a tablet or any device that allows me to work on the go, apart from a smartphone. Although I work with a paper notebook (As a touch typist, I can't stand attempting to type on a smartphone), I scan everything to Evernote using the Evernote camera feature. This means that I can capture thoughts, to-do lists, reflect on courses, books I'm reading or techniques I'm putting into practice whist hanging around train stations - but keep all my notes digitally in one place, making them searchable. The use of notebooks in Evernote also means that I'm gradually building my portfolio, piece by piece. 
  4. To the bag, I add whatever LIS book it is I'm reading at the time (I've just finished 'Metadata for Information Management' and am about to start on Ned Potter's 'The Library Marketing Toolkit', almost one year after obtaining a copy!) One day, I'll save up enough money to purchase a laptop small enough to carry and use on the go, but in the meantime, this seems to work for me.
  5. One of the things I have done over the past few years is to keep a reflective learning journal. I think I can still improve on my writing, and certainly improve on the speed of reflection, but aside from Chartership, I find it useful to monitor my own progress, figure out which 'new skills' have become part of my every day practice at work, and think about what I still need to work on. The learning journal is different from my learning log - which is simply just a list of courses I have attended, where and when, along with the location of any evidence (usually in the form of a certificate). The learning journal takes it further. My own is fairly unstructured, but includes: What I did, feedback I received, how I felt, (feedback to myself, almost), what I could improve next time. It comes across as fairly self-critical and perhaps that's something I can improve on. A book I'd recommend is 'Reflective Practice' which includes a chapter on keeping a learning journal and how to use it to inform and improve your own professional practice. There are also some resources on the 'Cilip Qualifications Wiki' around reflective practice. If you've found other resources useful, please do add them.

    The idea of learning journals merged into the practice of keeping a record of the books you've read. Pam Martin appreciated seeing annotated bibliographies submitted as part of portfolio's, and Mobeena spoke about her use of blogging as a tool to keep track of her reading.
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