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Professional networking & development. Where do I belong?

In How to work better, Professional Organisations, social networking on August 4, 2010 by Alan Lovell Tagged: , , , , , ,

This is a thinking aloud type of post. I’m sitting here, in-between finishing work and going off to lindy hop around the synagogues of the west end of London, and I’m thinking I really do need to network/do CPD better. The fact that I have not done so is of course 99.9% my fault. But the 0.1% that I feel I can blame on external circumstance is that I’m never quite sure of which group I belong in. We’ve had the role of CILIP debate and I don’t really want to re-hash it. But I do feel, and arguably incorrectly, that CILIP and, within CILIP, the HLG are kind of dominated by libraries, and I don’t really feel like a librarian. In fact I don’t feel at all like a librarian. I feel like an information, evidence-head sort of person. I know that in London there is London Links, though that’s really only for NHS staff. There was also a Monday night thing, back room of a pub sort of talk followed by chat. I went to one of those, organised by CILIP. Are they still running? They were quite good. I should have gone more often.

What I suppose I’m wondering is are there super groups I ought to be joining out there that will make me feel part of a happy clan, and/or is there a place for a new society, or social network, or meetup group etc, that is really around health and medical information, is evidence focussed, to have as its aim discussion towards working out how to keep up with the genuine information revolution that we find ourselves in the midst of? Does anyone use Ning these days? Would a new social networking platform capture the imagination? I doubt it.  Or should we just be more self reliant and get on with it; sign up to LinkedIn, find a mentor perhaps, read journals, go to the odd conference drink a few beers and get chatting to people – you know, the old fashioned way?

Maybe it’s simply a result of working as the sole information specialist in a small organisation… one always feels a little, well, isolated.

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4 Responses to “Professional networking & development. Where do I belong?”

  1. Hi – With Ning no longer offering free accounts groups are moving elsewhere, but people have mixed views as to how successful Ning groups were anyway. There are conversations on Twitter and people worth following there with an interest in health and medical information.

  2. Londonlinks is just the slightly peculiar name for the website that relates to NHS librarian networks / activity at London SHA level. People can obviously read it but it is not really the same sort of thing you are talking about. That said London Health Libraries do collaborate with CHILL (who may be even more librariany – ask Hanna) and often allow those with an interest to attend events if there is space remaining.

    I think the meeting you are thinking of in a pub happens on Tuesdays and is organised by CILIP in London. They are still running but sligtly reduced in regularity.

    I am not very convinced by your belief that HLG is all about libraries. You might argue that it is NHS dominated but then what part of the healthcare picture in this country is not heavily NHS influenced? Most of the talks I went to at HLG conference did not particularly imply a physical library – many were actively about working without one, about engaging with managers, about interfaces, techniques and technology.

    People need to stop obsessing about the Library word. Just because it says library does not mean it is about a pile of books in a room.

    That said – I want to see CILIP (and in health that means HLG) do more to promote the kind of networking opportunities you sound like you are seeking. Hopefully we can build the kind of tools that would allow solo profs in health to easily find each other.

  3. Hey Alan,

    You should check out LIKE (London Information and Knowledge Exchange) on Linkedin, very much open to all and brilliant for networking! You can join easily by adding this as a group to your profile but just turn up to events and it’s free.

    • Just the price of dinner and a glass of something but it is a deal at £10. The September event has been really popular- ‘sold out’ in the first 3-4 days and in the ides of August to boot. So I probably won’t be able to go, but maybe check out October.

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