Archive for January, 2015

Calling all new professionals and library students! Apply for the SLA Europe ECCA award now! Winning the ECCA award was life changing, and certainly career changing. All applications must be received no later than Friday 20th February 2015, 23:59 GMT. Winners and unsuccessful applicants will be notified no later than Friday 27th March 2015.

See full details here for 2015: http://www.sla-europe.org/early-career-conference-award/


Guys, guys, the deadline for the SLA Europe Early Career Conference Awards 2014 is just before midnight on Valentine’s Day. Forget your lovers and apply.

@pennyb @pennyb

I have won other conference bursaries, because I am a lucky sod and I work hard on my applications, but this is the one.

This is what happened when I won: I met amazing people, I went to California (I’m very narrowly travelled, there’s never been the money for going to the US or similar), I hung out with my fellow ECCA crew, I fell in love with the SLA Europe guys (especially current SLA president Kate Arnold, who is awesome), I watched ridiculous ceremonies and ate a sandwich bigger than my head, I was confused beyond belief about legal knowledge management stuff, learned about amazing library roles and I made contacts on escalators.

SLA is the Glastonbury of conferences. It’s huge, it’s spangly…

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Wow – when I look back at my blog post a year ago to see if I stuck to any of my resolutions, I cannot believe it has already been a year! Yet at the same time, so much has happened since then.

Life, in it’s wonderfulness, is unpredictable. And as such, some of the objectives I set myself didn’t quite happen. On the other hand, 2014 was an absolutely brilliant year for me that may be difficult to top; I achieved my life-long ambition of winning an Irish Dancing Prelimiary Championship; I became Secretary for SLA Europe and I was generously awarded with a travel grant to help me attend the SLA conference in Vancouver, Canada; I went on holiday of a lifetime to Thailand; I achieved CILIP Chartership status and I also took a new exciting job opportunity.

New job

Last May, I made the very big decision of taking on a new role at Norton Rose Fulbright, and leaving a permanent position with a great team at Trowers & Hamlins to do so. I have been remiss in not comparing the two roles and what I have learnt in my new job, so I will make sure to do so in a separate blog post very soon. But as such, some of 2014’s work-related resolutions became irrelevant, and I now need to set some new ones!

SLA Europe members

SLA Europe members

SLA conference in Vancouver

Attending the SLA conference in Canada was absoluely fantastic. Vancouver is a place of breaktaking beauty with a constant backdrop of dramaic mountains. I am so pleased I had the opportunity to visit Canada for the first time as a tourist, as well as obviously attending my second annual conference; from which I learned much more by being a working professional with some experience, in contrast to my first SLA conference experience as a library school student .

I would like to set a resolution of attending at least one conference in 2015, but this may depend on finances later in the year. I would also love to attend SLA’s annual conference in 2016, but as I am trying to save for my first property, again, we will have to just wait and see.

Chartership certificateChartership

One of my biggest achievements in 2014 was obtaining CILIP chartership. It took me a year of working on my chartership portfolio every day on my lunch break, and many meetings with my amazing mentor Sam Wiggins, but I finally got there, and looking over my portfolio I am so proud of my work. I think the sense of achievement I have is due to the amount of work and time I put in to it, and it is well worth it! Being chartered means I am looking at my role and how I fit into the library service and the larger workpace different and more strategically, as well as constantly looking for professional development opportunities for myself.

As I had such a fantastic mentor, I am going to aim to become a mentor myself in 2015 so that I can help others through the process. I am also going to work on revalidating my chartership for the summer.

Public speaking

After presenting at the BIALL conference in 2013, I was afraid that if I didn’t present again in 2014 that I would lose this skill, which took me many long and pianful hours to hone! So I volunteered to present at the CLSIG, BIALL and SLA Graduate Open Day again in 2014. I intended to write a post on how this went, but sadly this never happened (due to conference and changing job, etc.) I used mostly the same presentation slides, and it went very smoothly. I think it was an improvement on the presentation that I gave the year before as I was more confident, I didn’t speak so quickly, and my jelly legs were gone (see my original post for full jelly legs symptoms!). I still had to practice my presentation in the mirror a few times before the real thing, and I still had some nerves on the day but I thought it went really well.

In my new job I am required to present an induction once a month to new joiners, so I hope that this will keep my presentation skills in practice.

Non-professional goals

I would like to attend a yoga class for the first time. When I pass the yoga classes in my gym, they are generally full of very fit-looking and flexible people, so I have always been too intimated to try it. However, I have heard so many positive things about it, and I have a bad back, so I have decided that 2015 is the year I need to get over it and at least try a class! I would also like to get fitter and healthier generally, and go to the gym more and eat better.

This year, I am going to try and save money so that in 2016-7 we can buy a property. This sadly means no big holidays this year. As a result, I am going to write a list of places I want to visit in the UK, and have a go at visiting at least some of them. Any suggestions of places to go would be very welcome.


I wish everyone a happy and healthy 2015!

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