Dear Colleagues – this is the final farewell from the PTEG committee.  We are delighted that CILIP have recognised that the work of PTEG has such impact on all members that it is better hosted centrally and opened up instead of being the work of a Special Interest Group.  Exciting times are ahead and I look forward to a much wider training offer being made across the country – particularly focussing on management skills and progressing in the profession.


The new CPD Forum will be taking over the delivery of a ‘core offer’ of training as well as the management of the Mentor Support Network (and the Candidate Support network of CPD).  The provision of Mentor Training and Professional Registration Workshops will be delivered by the MSOs and CSOs through the Regional Member Networks.  A full outline of this will come to you from the Member Support Team at Ridgmount Street with the offer of a new Special Interest Group for the remainder of the year.


Over the years PTEG has delivered a great deal of value and we will be including a history in a special edition of Impact, which will focus on the past achievements of both CDG and PTEG, later in the year.


For now I’d like to express my thanks to the current members of the committee who have helped and supported this transition, as well as to all those past members who worked so hard in both setting PTEG up as a group and managing its work over the years.


Finally, I’d like to thank you all for being members of PTEG and supporting our work and I wish you all the best for the future.  I hope that we will continue to see many familiar names attending  activities as they move out around the country.


Carol Brooks



Umbrella Wow! Future Skills, Future Rolls by Hannah Bennett

I am still buzzing from my experience of attending the umbrella conference. This is my second in a series of blog posts about umbrella for PTEG. This time I will cover my general experience of attending Umbrella for the first time and one of the conferences key themes ‘Future Skills, Future Rolls’ as this fits into my role as a CILIP Mentor.

Overall Umbrella was incredibly inspiring not just in terms of the speakers but also in terms of the other library and information professionals I had the pleasure of meeting. The positive vibe of the conference (helped along by Unbrella’s social events) fostered a sense of joint purpose as well as a sharing of ideas and best practice across all sectors of the profession. The venue was fantastic and easily accommodated the 600 delegates! The app was useful but once I had registered and got my hands on the glossy paper programme I didn’t look back. I enjoyed tweeting throughout the conference; however, concentrating on the speaker, following the #hashtag and then tweeting took all my power in multitasking.

Future Skills, Future Rolls for the profession was one of the four themes of Umbrella and impacts not only on our own roles but also on those of our mentees and the skills they develop.




Janice Lachance, CEO of Special Libraries Association International (SLA) gave an inspiring keynote speech on ‘Highlighting and using your expertise.’ For me her key message was that in this ever changing information environment we need to learn from each other as professionals and adapt to change. It’s not about job titles and roles, our focus should be on transferable skills and expertise including, research skills, organisation, referencing, analysis, information skills, advocacy, communication as well as the power to persuade and influence others. Janice also highlighted the importance of a-lining your role with your organisations which is a key part of CPD and also Chartership. Absorb as much information about your organisation as you can and think about how your skills and expertise can benefit senior management. Read what they read (blogs, news etc.) and you will get to know how they think and then what information they want. Information is not just meeting needs but a tool that drives decisions. Librarians and information professionals do this by providing the right information to the right people at the right time. You don’t have to work in a library to use your skills and have an impact. Look for jobs and don’t be afraid to create them.

Janice worked at the White House as Bill Clinton’s Chief of Staff and I just had to chat to her afterwards but not about libraries about the West Wing! I am a big fan and to hear from her first hand about how realistic the TV show is and how she met the actors as they job shadowed in the White House just blew me away!

Ben Showers from JISC gave a great talk on ‘Tooling up: arming the librarian of the future. Think Rambo! Think big guns! This is the image that Ben showed us at the beginning of his talk. The key themes were Participation, Understanding and Emergence.

  • Participation is about engaging communities with a purpose examples are crowdsoucing, moocs and the summer of student innovation project.
  • Understanding: We need a greater understanding of how we are using technology.
    • Digital Residents (live life online) vs Digital Visitors (take from it the bits we need) we are all a bit of both using the Internet in different ways.
    • The Learning Blackmarket: students using social media in different ways, collaborating and exchanging ideas.
    • In the future we may see Lofi spots not wifi spots, a place with no distractions especially for students in exam time.
    • From chore to core: redistribute where the value is and focus on the right thing.
    • Emergence: Change is going to be the norm we need to have processes that enable us to adapt. Ben thinks the world will become a computer and we will interact with it. Take advantage of open access options and find the free alternative! Emergent skills, the decline of the specialist and rise of the generalist and entrepreneurial.

He ended his talk with a Bad News Sandwich! 1) We are part of a community, share and learn from each other and don’t reinvent the wheel 2) Disruption is a feature not a bug… (this was the bad news, change is a feature that is here to stay) 3) This is the best time to be a librarian. We are here at the start of the Internet. Just remember it took 150 years from the first printing press (which produced porn) to the first academic journal.

Rebbecca Bartlett, Innovation Manager at the Library of Birmingham touched on the future skills, future rolls theme in the debate ‘Where does the internet end and

the library begin?’ by highlighting that a Library of the 21st Century is not just the building but a relationship between digital and physical. We need to explore how can we change adapt and reform by seeing the Internet as an extension of services – “a library without walls.” Through utilising mobile technology, crowdsourcing and gaming Birmingham Library hopes to double the “footfall” (this could be digital footfall too and has changed the way the see their KPIs) of 16-35years! Geoff white, Technology Producer for Channel 4 News also touches on this theme by saying that Future rolls is about multi-skilling. People don’t want infinity of information, they trust in the gatekeepers e.g. Librarians. Find the need that’s not being met and make that your priority!

Here are the top tips from the Leadership in the Information Profession Debate about what makes a good Leader:

  • Passion and belief in the service
  • Lead by example, delegate and give credit
  • You can’t change who you are but knowing is very important, you can learn to act out of character
  • Network, collaborate and share best practice
  • Be strategic
  • Be an advocate
  • Keep your skills up to date
  • Work well as teams you can’t do it on your own
  • Attitude: say yes!
  • Do it with a sense of humour
  • Have a little bravery and take advantage of the situation
  • Influencing beyond authority: have your narrative clear
  • Have a critical friend.

I am glad to see critical friend in this list as this how I see myself in terms of supporting my Chartership mentees and it’s nice to see that this is important at other stages of your career too.

Cpd23 and the CILIP PKSB, Jo Alcock and Niamh Tumelty gave a great presentation that highlighted how 23 things  can not only help new professionals but can also map across the PKSB to help Chartership candidates who wish to improve their IT, communication, leadership and advocacy skills.  It is definitely something I will be recommending to my mentees.

#uklibchat presented by Ka-Ming Pang is another thing I will be telling my mentees about. It’s an online twitter chat which happens for 2 hours once a month and is a great way to improve your knowledge and network with other professionals. The are also new feature articles and summaries available on their website  

Ka-Ming was really inspiring and motivational saying “I started something and you can to!” Also encourage your mentees to check out Chartership chat on twitter and follow #chartership is stay in touch with other candidates.

Hannah Bennett
Assistant Librarian, LRC
Guildford College, Stoke Road, Guildford, Surrey, GU1 1EZ

Umbrella 2013: Looking forward to the conference – Hannah Bennett

This is the first in a series of posts by Hannah Bennett, winner of the PTEG place at the forthcoming Umbrella 2013  conference. In this article Hannah talks about what she is looking forward to at the conference.

I am delighted to have won the PTEG bursary to attend CILIP’s Umbrella conference and exhibition 2013. It’s less than a week away now and I am really starting to get excited!

I have only recently become a CILIP mentor and never attended Umbrella before. It’s going to be a great opportunity to increase my network of professional friends and gain new knowledge and ideas. It will also contribute to my own professional development as well as the development of Guildford College LRCs, where I work as an Assistant Librarian, and benefit my mentees.

I am especially looking forward to finding out more about ‘Future skills and future roles: what society will need of the profession’ (one of the conferences key themes). This is particularly topical in light of the new changes coming into place for the CILIP qualifications in the future. The Audience session by Ben Showers from JISC ‘Tooling up’: Arming the Librarian of the future’, the keynote address by Janice Lachance ‘Highlighting your and using your expertise’ and the session by Jo Alcock on ‘23 things – links to the CILIP framework’ caught my eye as unmissable. I completed 23 things after I Chartered and found it invaluable for updating my skills principally in terms of technology and can see that it has real potential to link in with and support qualification candidates. Attending these sessions will allow me to support my mentees in the development of their PPDPs, guide them in the skills they will need in the future and highlight their expertise in their portfolios. As well as making me aware of skills that I could develop myself.

The other 3 key themes of the conference also sound interesting:

  • Information to best support society: Information and digital literacy is one of my main interests within the profession and sessions on this will feed into Guildford College’s current iSkills project where we are creating interactive learning modules using Xerte on a range of information skills. The digital future is an interesting one and I will be fascinated to see if the Debate on day one can actually tells us where the Internet ends and the Library begins!
  • Forming and informing the Government’s agenda: information matters and it’s what we do.
  • Partnerships for progress: This is hot topic not just within Further and Higher education but in society in general and one which I know little about. It would be a great advantage for me and my colleagues to hear about new developments in community engagement and partnerships and the Debate on community managed libraries will be one to watch.

I have never been to an event that has its own app before! This is a very exciting and something I would love to try out. I am also very intrigued to attend the Conference’s unconference called UNbrella to see how the concept works. I have read about similar events and seen Library Camp unfold on twitter and I am looking forward to not just soaking up what I am learning at the conference but also participating.

I will be tweeting from the PTEG twitter account throughout the conference and I am looking forward to meeting other members of PTEG there too.

Hannah Bennett
Assistant Librarian, LRC
Guildford College, Stoke Road, Guildford, Surrey, GU1 1EZ

Introducing a New PTEG Committee Member – Julie Griffiths

Following a shift in my workplace responsibilities I have recently begun managing two new professionals taking on their first management roles. As part of my preparation for this I spent time reflecting on the role of managers in the public library sector. I considered the practical skills that need developing and how I could offer support and guidance to them. One month on I am relishing the role of mentor and looking to further develop this aspect of my job.

When I saw a call for new committee members for the CILIP special interest group, PTEG I thought that this might be an opportunity I was looking for and seemed as though it might be a role I would enjoy.

The meeting I attended was friendly and open, I even made a few points – not bad for my first time! The committee is from across the LIS sector so this could open up opportunities for me to learn new ways of working that I may be able to apply or adapt for my workplace.

We discussed the evolution of the CILIP branches and groups and the role PTEG would like to play in the change, we looked at the possibility of re-branding or re-launching as part of this process. We discussed the upcoming Umbrella conference and planned the groups training offer for the next 12 months.

PTEG supports and develops managers and management skills in LIS environments and after the meeting I definitely felt this was an exciting time to get involved with the group; I look forward to my continued role and thank the group for their welcome.

Julie Griffiths BA (Hons) MA MCLIP
Operational Manager – Halton Libraries

Secondment from Faculty Librarian to Research Publications Librarian for 9 Months – Katy Jordan

This is the fourth in a series of articles which outline the experiences of library staff from the University of Bath who were involved in a recent series of secondments at the institution and what they learnt from the experience. In the posting below, Katy Jordan talks about her experience of working as the Research Publications Librarian for 9 months.


Copyright The Library, University of Bath 2013

Copyright The Library, University of Bath 2013


Was it what you expected? Yes and no.  Kara had given me some insights into her work, so I knew in principle what lay in store for me.  What I wasn’t prepared for was the scale and complexity of the work, or the sheer volume of it.  I was expecting the routine work of keeping the repository populated with new publications from University of Bath researchers, but with REF 2014 just around the corner, there was a huge amount of additions to be added to the repository and they just kept coming!  I was expecting to work with the University Research Committee, but what I didn’t realise was how much bibliometric and advisory work this would involve.  Add in the sudden arrival of the Finch Report and the revised RCUK guidelines, and the need to advise the Committee on implications for the University’s research procedures led me into a whole new area in which I felt out of my depth (very good for me).  I knew about the installation of Pure, the new CRIS, and this at least was much as I expected – a full-time job in itself, involving lots of dialogue with ePrints and Atira staff, with Katy McKen and team, and with bemused researchers.  I was even aware I would be involved with a JISC project to establish a data archive here at the University of Bath, and this too led me into unexpected areas and at first felt very daunting as I struggled to balance the demands of this project with the rest of my workload.

What did work?  For me, the best bit was working with the two systems, ePrints (the repository) and Pure (the CRIS, produced by Atira) and helping to get them to talk to each other effectively.  The Pure dream team (3K+ M)[1] proved incredibly effective in identifying the glitches and highlighting them for fixing by Atira.  It was good to be working with such highly effective people, a real inspiration; and the sheer satisfaction of finally seeing data flowing into the right fields in the right way cannot be underestimated (geek alert).  I enjoyed working with the Opus team too, with Katie and Nickie, who bore very kindly with my constant questions as I tried to get up to speed with ePrints, copyright, and office routines generally.  And what worked most of all for me, which I have come to appreciate more than ever now I’m back in my Faculty role, is the way the work has refreshed and revitalised my approach to my normal work.  I have a new and wider perspective, and renewed enthusiasm.  I had hoped this would happen – it was a major reason for wanting to try the Research Publications role – and I have not been disappointed.

What didn’t work?  Sharing an office does require a different kind of approach to working.  I value my own space, and working with another person in the office required a bit of mental adjustment.  You have to be aware of the other person, and it’s not always easy to have a free and frank phone conversation, or a confidential meeting.  Luckily Katie and Nickie are good people to work with who made this as easy as it could be.  The only area where I felt I struggled was when I really had to concentrate on writing a report.  Maybe I’m easily distracted, but this was the time I felt I had to get away into private space.  Luckily Kate’s old office was free at that time so I used that a fair amount: no phone distractions, no interruptions, just me, my overheating brain and a PC.  No excuses!

What you learned from the experience: What didn’t I learn!  I learned a lot about working with a major University committee: for instance, that you don’t always get the guidance or brief you’d like when being actioned to write a paper.  In that situation I gained the confidence to decide what I thought they needed to know, and to present it authoritatively.  I gained a working knowledge of copyright as applied to Open Access publishing, and a fair bit about Open Access itself, an area where I had only the sketchiest understanding previously.  I learned a huge amount about data repositories, and how researchers currently store research data (don’t ask, it’s not pretty).  I delved into bibliometrics of various kinds, really extending my knowledge here, and getting to enjoy the process of finding and presenting the data (geek alert again – I like stats!).   I learned two new complicated database systems, Pure and Eprints, from scratch.  And I re-learned what it felt like to have that uneasy and slightly panicky feeling that arises when one is in a new job, and trying to learn a whole raft of new things all at once and as fast as possible, so that you don’t look like a complete idiot when dealing with colleagues from the library and the wider University.

I learned that I was entirely capable of diving into a completely new area of the profession, and getting up to speed with it in very short order.  This kind of short-term change of scene is a great way of revitalising one’s work and professional awareness.   I would recommend it to anyone who, like me, has been in the same role for a good few years, who doesn’t want to move house and jobs, but who would like to refresh and re-energise their career.

[1] Katy (McKen), Katy (Jordan), Katie (Evans) and Mary (Loakes)

Katy Jordan
February 2013

The CILIP Mentoring Award 4 by Carol Brooks

The following is the fourth and final article in a short series of articles about the CILIP mentoring scheme and the newly introduced Mentoring Award. In this article Carol Brooks reflects on the purose and role of the Mentor Support Network.

The Mentor Support Network: Way back in 2005 when CILIP introduced mentoring as a requirement for Chartership, PTEG were asked to switch their former ‘supervisor’s network’ to a Mentor Support Network.  Already formed as a regional network we undertook Mentor training ourselves and then a few of us set to and wrote a programme which would deliver the basics of mentoring skills and introduce what the CILIP scheme was all about. We trained all the Mentor Support Officers (MSOs) in the package and then, pairing up initially, we started to deliver the package around the country.   Initially there was an MSO in each region although today we are down to 6 dotted around the country (see http://www.cilip.org.uk/get-involved/special-interest-groups/personnel/mentor-support-network/pages/mentorcontacts.aspx for your local contact).

So what is the role of the MSO? It is quite simple really – the MSO is there to offer one to one support for mentors as they start up or whenever they have a query – usually by phone or e-mail.

We also have a Jiscmail list https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/cgi-bin/webadmin?A0=LIS-CILIP-MENTOR which all mentors can join as sson as they are registered.  This enables anyone to ask a general question or seek general advice using the experience that has been built up through the Mentor Network.

Most MSOs also run a Mentor training day in their region each year and where possible facilitate a Mentor Support Network meeting/exchange of experience in their region to allow mentors to exchange their experience and support one another.  It also enables the MSO to update people on any changes in processes and regulations. 

This year, in response to feedback from our training, we are going to deliver a full day course on further developing mentoring skills.  We know it’s quite a rush trying to cover mentoring skills in half a day so we’re adding this additional course to assist people’s CPD in this area. 

I love being the Network Co-ordinator – it’s a wonderful role and I do hope we’ll see lots of you coming along to the new course.  Gil very eloquently laid out some of the real benefits of being a mentor – it benefits the candidate but it so enriches the life of the mentor too.

If you are not yet a Mentor look out for our courses this year – they are posted here https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/cgi-bin/webadmin?A0=LIS-CILIP-MENTOR

We will be updating this regularly as soon as we have finalised dates and venues.  In addition to what is on the list so far there will hopefully be courses in Wigan, London, Shrewsbury and Flint (North Wales).  There may also be others and we are always open to requests for us to attend different areas if we can get venues and sufficient people to make the course viable. 

Join us as a mentor – it is so hugely rewarding and it helps us build the profession for the future.

If you’re already a mentor and would like to support other mentors as an MSO for your area please contact me: Carol Brooks carol.brooks@derbyshire.gov.uk   01629 535866 or 07770 703727

Carol Brooks
PTEG Chair

February 2013

Secondment from Reader Services to Academic Services as an Information Librarian – Emma Stuart Edwards

This is the third in a series of articles which outline the experiences of library staff from the University of Bath who were involved in a recent series of secondments at the institution and what they learnt from the experience. In the posting below Emma Stuart Edwards talks about her move from Reader Services to Academic Services as an Information Librarian. This has been a permanent change (replacing her predecessor who became a Subject Librarian at another institution).


Copyright The Library, University of Bath 2013

Copyright The Library, University of Bath 2013

Was it what you expected? Yes! I had been working towards applying for a role like this since I started the MSc Library & Information Management. I had spent a short period of time at the information point on level 5 and also shadowed [my predecessor] Chris Wentzell briefly. I had a good idea of what the role entailed. I probably hadn’t expected everyone to be as encouraging and supportive as they were as I overcame many firsts (first library skills session, first difficult enquiry…). I have also been surprised how many opportunities to learn and engage with projects and colleagues have arisen and I’ve really enjoyed those experiences.

What did work? I felt that I fitted in very well with [the Subject and Faculty Librarians] Hilary and Hannah. They were both very accommodating, especially at the beginning when I spent most of my time on study leave! I didn’t really feel I settled in the role until June/July. But they both made me feel very welcome and kept me up-to-date. I think having had the previous experience of the information point and general library knowledge from my time at the issue desk was a benefit as this enabled me to just get on with the job.

What didn’t work? Possibly the fact that I was able to get in and get on so well meant it was easy at times for us all, including me, to forget I hadn’t been shown/told/taught certain aspects of the role. It certainly wasn’t a problem, it was actually really encouraging to feel the people around me had that much confidence in me and I must have looked like I knew what I was doing!

What you learnt from the experience? I want to be a Librarian! That I’m more capable than I thought! I  suddenly realised I’d achieved the very thing I really wanted and stepping out of my comfort zone to achieve each new thing I come across is really only the starting point of what I hope will be an exciting career!

Emma Stuart Edwards
Library Assistant (Issue Desk) – Information  Librarian (AS) [Academic Services]
February 2013

Secondment from Cataloguing to Acquisitions – Elly Cope

This is the second in a series of articles which outline the experiences of library staff from the University of Bath who were involved in a recent series of secondments at the institution and what they learnt from the experience. In the posting below Elly Cope talks about her  sideways move from Cataloguing to Acquisitions within the Technical Services team when the Information Librarian for Acquisitions was seconded to cover a Subject Librarian role.

Copyright The Library, University of Bath 2013

Copyright The Library, University of Bath 2013

Was it what you expected? So far, sort of! Cataloguing and Acquisitions work very closely together  so I had an idea of what they did but not really how they actually do it. It’s a very steep learning curve!

What did work? Hopefully it’s still working – I’m constantly learning and getting quicker at the routine things. I’m very lucky to have such a good team down here who know the work but also trust me to be able to answer their questions and make decisions!

What didn’t work? Covering my old job after I’d started in Acquisitions was not ideal as it meant there was a backlog in both places. This made it hard to train the new person in Cataloguing as well as clear the piles of work on my desk.

What you learnt from the experience? That Acquisitions is actually quite fun (but don’t tell Cataloguing I said that)… I’m still learning and getting new work to do. It’s great trying out new things, gaining confidence in my librarianship abilities and discovering that, actually, I might know something about it after all!

Elly Cope
Information Librarian (Chartered) Cataloguing/Information Librarian (Chartered) Acquisitions
February 2013

The CILIP Mentoring Award 3 by Gil Young

The following is the third in a short series of four articles about the CILIP mentoring scheme and the newly introduced Mentoring Award. In this article Gil Young, reflects on what winning the award meant to her and her experience of being a mentor.

“I first heard about the CILIP mentoring scheme when the qualifications framework was reviewed in, I think, 2005 and thought “I would like to do that, it sounds fun as I’ll get to meet lots of other library information professionals.” Since receiving my training I have been lucky enough to mentor a number of people and my first impression was correct, it is a fun thing to do. It is also interesting, incredibly worthwhile for my own personal development and very humbling meeting all the amazing professionals I have been lucky enough to mentor.

Being a CILIP mentor is not about telling the mentee what to do, it is about building a respectful relationship between 2 professionals. You have to be absolutely honest with your mentee but in a way which respects and acknowledges their professional experience. I have always taken the view that I can suggest things but if the mentee chooses not to take that advice, that is their choice and is just as valid as if they had taken it. The best mentoring experiences are those built on mutual respect where both parties are equally committed to the relationship.

The key to building this relationship is the mentor agreement. You need to be absolutely clear at the start of the process as to what you both are aiming to get out of it and what you expectations are. It is also important that you like each other, not usually a problem with library information professionals, but if that liking is not there then the relationship will not work. If this does happen to you, and I’ve been lucky so far, it is better to walk away at the start rather than try and make something work. Ultimately the relationship is about supporting the mentee on their Chartership journey as it is them working towards and paying for the qualification.

The hardest thing I have found about being a mentor is when one of your mentees is not successful with their application.  This is disappointing for both mentor and mentee but does not mean that that the relationship has failed or that either of you has done something “wrong”. If this happens to you it is important to talk through what has happened with your mentee and agree a way forward. This might mean that you need to re-asses your mentoring relationship and maybe even end it. Whatever happens this needs to be done in a way that is supportive to the mentee and leaves them feeling in control of the situation.

I heard I had won the award when Michael Martin called me at work. I was thrilled but rather overwhelmed as well. The person who had nominated me, Bethan Ruddock, was an absolute pleasure to mentor and I genuinely feel that I learnt a lot from her. It was an example of the mentoring relationship at it best with us both getting lots out of it.

If you are thinking of becoming a mentor I can’t recommend it enough. You can find our more about the Cilip scheme on the mentoring pages of the Cilip website and further information on mentoring in general on the PTEG section of the site.”

Gil Young
CPD & Partenerships Manager, North West Health Care Libraries Unit
February 2013

Secondment from Subject Librarian to Bibliographic Services Librarian – David Stacey

This is the first in a series of articles which outline the experiences of library staff from the University of Bath who were involved in a recent series of secondments at the institution and what they learnt from the experience. In the posting below David Stacey talks about his 9 month secondment  from the Academic Services team (Science Faculty) to the Technical Services team.

Copyright The Library, University of Bath 2013

Copyright The Library, University of Bath 2013

I am Subject Librarian for Computer Science, Mathematical Sciences and Learning Partnerships (i.e. our partner colleges and related courses).  The secondment was 20 Feb to 16 Nov 2012. I moved from the Academic Services team (Science Faculty) to the Technical Services team where I became our Bibliographic Services Librarian and oversaw the Acquisitions, Cataloguing and Copy & Print teams. The remit was book/e-book focused (my counterpart in that role focuses on the serials and a number of other teams).

The secondments began due to a member of staff going on maternity leave and a request by  a colleague to have a go at her role with our institutional repository. This led to a chain of secondments right down our organisational structure, each involving internal selection procedures (appropriate interviews etc). A further case of maternity leave led to even more complexity with the changes.

At the end of the 9 months we had a ‘How was it for you?’ session whereby each member of staff gave a short presentation about their experiences. A quick, 60 second interview for our staff newsletter, Piglet, has been produced by each staff member.

Was it what you expected? It was a steep learning curve initially. I had anticipated the overlaps with my SL role in terms of negotiating and liaising with publishers, handling budgets etc. I was particularly interested in expanding on my financial and personnel management skills and that definitely happened in a big way. It took a while to get on top of the day-to-day procedures and most pressing objectives, particularly where learning Agresso was involved.

What did work? Developmental work with e.g. Patron-Driven Acquisitions, exploring the best e-book purchasing models and learning more about Agresso and the financial procedures have been fantastic. Being able to work with three diverse teams, chairing recruitment panels and helping plan CPD activities with colleagues has been particularly rewarding.

I think the SDPRs helped me learn more about the roles of each staff member and as Copy and Print were first up, I got to know them from the start and made efforts to involve everyone in some changes to the office and procedures.

Getting a more strategic and long-term view, working with purchasing consortia (SUPC), Primo Implementation group, Managed Print Service and through meetings with Gavin and Steve, has broadened my view on our service.

What didn’t work? The e-textbook development work has been a bit of a mixed bag as most publishers are protecting their core content, so subscribing to Rang & Dale’s Pharmacology was one of the few successes here, but it did open up a lot of other avenues with publishers and get me quickly up to speed with the types of e-book purchasing models, pricing and pitfalls.

It was a period of a lot of staff changes and this impacted on acquisitions in particular. If I had a longer stint I would have liked to have spent more time focusing on the procedures at all levels in the team, as I was able to do with Copy & Print.

What you learnt from the experience? First off, I am really going to miss working with TS and I am sure this will be the start of more cross-team collaboration. I have learnt a lot and feel a more rounded and overall better Library professional for doing this. I enjoyed the various managerial tasks I was learning and look forward to putting them to good use in future. Trying something completely different is revitalising and I felt I learnt more in a short space of time because of the added challenge that presented.

David Stacey
January 2013