Professional meetings round up

In Information industry, Professional Organisations, Uncategorized, Web 2.0 & all that on April 18, 2009 by Hanna Tagged: , , ,

Back in March I attended the AGM of the Commercial, Legal and Scientific Group back in March and the meeting was supplemented by a seminar about entrepreneurship. What with the credit crunch people might be thinking about using their redundancy pay to start a business, not as strange an idea as you might first think. The speakers were inspiring and introduced many tips but moreover they pointed out the differences between being an employee, a consultant and an entrepreneur. As an employee you weigh up job security (or relatively in a stable economic climate) with lack of control over your work direction. As a consultant (or possibly an entrepreneur dipping their toes into the water of self-sufficiency) you may be more respected for your opinion (as an outside expert) and therefore can charge more for your time but of course you may not be working all the time, you have to pay your own taxes and sort out your own pension etc. But you can pick and choose projects, become involved in an active community of information professionals who help one another out and possibly learn more than in a 9-5 job, flitting across sectors like a business butterfly. Taking this to the next level whereby your one-person consultancy becomes a software developer or information powerhouse and you become an employer suddenly you stop being innovative and start being an evil vendor only interested in capitalist exploits as opposed to furthering the profession as a noble employee in your open plan office. It’s an interesting journey.

Cilip in London holds fascinatingly broad topical talks once a month in a quaint pub in Farringdon. I went to the talk on 14th April hosted by the head of passenger information at National Railway Enquiries. They are the official source of information relating to train times and hopefully what is happening regarding delays, engineering works, all those things several audience members felt the need to share, like telling jokes where everyone knows the punchline. Anyway the process by which this happens and how NRE gets this information out to the public (who possibly want different things to train operating companies, the funders and string pullers of NRE which itself is non-profit making). A database called Darwin is fed information from twice yearly timetables and pushes this information out through the train operating companies whose own messages of woe from controllers feed back into Darwin. Train operating companies can decide what and how to send information to passengers and so the one voice vision of a single consistent source of high quality, timely and relevant information may be lost. There may be an analogy with what NHS Evidence is trying to do and in a similarly crowded marketplace…

Some future meetings that have caught my eye:

East of England Information Services Group is hosting a day long seminar entitled Digitally native or digitally naive: library and information services for the next generation which encompasses lots of interesting debate about who our new consumers of information are and how we can meet changing needs through how we train information professionals. So I’m intrigued as to what the CILIP bod on the bill will say to convince us CILIP atheists as to their role in an environment where they are seen as out of touch on web 2.0 issues at a time when mailing lists for librarians and information professionals are dealing with academic versus social uses of technology issues and using new tools to, in contrast, increase information literacy skills.

CLSIG is holding their next seminar on 21st April on making a business case in the face of business review (they are very good seminars if I do say so myself as their publicist). In a related theme the Health Libraries Group is having a joint study day with Information for the Management of Healthcare on change management and business planning on 8th May in Cardiff.


One Response to “Professional meetings round up”

  1. […] planetjan placed an observative post today on Professional meetings round upHere’s a quick excerpt…active community of information professionals who help one another out and possibly learn more than in a 9-5 job, flitting across sectors like… […]

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