CPD23 Thing 7: Face-to-face networks

Bethan’s Thing 7 blogpost

In terms of career development, this is the area I think I need to work on most. I’ve never been good at approaching people I don’t know – I’d be the one loitering by the tea/biscuits/wine waiting for someone to take pity on me. But I decided when I started Chartership last year – really when I started to take my career seriously – that I needed to expand my professional network, and improve my networking skills in the process.

Most of my professional networking is done online, but face-to-face offers something lacking in online contact – a chance to engage in natural conversation, to talk without other distractions. I feel like I know someone better once I’ve met them in person.

There isn’t a lot of career progression available in my role – we’re such a small department that there isn’t a ‘ladder’ as such – so I need to look outside for ways of furthering my career.

So which professional organisations have I been involved with so far?


When I joined the Guardian as a researcher nine years ago the department was heavily involved in AUKML (the Association of UK Media Librarians), and automatically paid membership. I attended social events, AGMs and the conference in London (funding wasn’t available to send me to the residential conferences elsewhere). I also wrote for the quarterly newsletter Deadline.

Unfortunately the sector has shrunk over the past decade, and the decision was made to fold a couple of years ago. Another reason to expand my professional horizons.


I’ve been a member for just over a year, and I’m working towards Chartership. A couple of weeks ago I attended the Umbrella conference in Hatfield (which I will blog about when I find my notes!). I’ve written a couple of articles for CILIP Update too, and I’d like to write more.

I went along to Cilip in London‘s tie-in event for Thing 7, and as well as enjoying the free wine I made some really good connections – people I follow online but hadn’t met, people I knew but hadn’t touched base with in a while, and some people I’d never met before. My online community has expanded as a result, meaning the connections I made will continue.

The talks and discussions were interesting (and not just the ones about wedding dresses!) – more to write up when I find that notebook! I would definitely consider getting involved in a committee, but I don’t think now is the time for me. I’m already juggling babies and work, and I know being a committee member would benefit my Chartership but I’m not sure I would find time to write my portfolio if I got involved! I barley have time to keep up with CPD23 – did I mention this post was late?

SLA Europe

I’m not a member, yet, but I’ve been to several SLA events (and we’re the reigning champions of the Winter Warmer quiz). I’m considering joining now that my company pays for professional membership of CILIP.


I went to my first LIKE event last week, a guided walk which was purely social – I skipped the tour of the Guardian! – but still afforded a chance to chat to other professionals. I might get a bit more involved with the next event.

To do:

  • Join SLA Europe?
  • Follow up on contacts I made at Cilip in London event
  • Get involved with LIKE?
  • Chase up suggestion for Update article

3 thoughts on “CPD23 Thing 7: Face-to-face networks

  1. Pingback: CPD23 Thing 7: CILIP in London event | Librarian of tomorrow

  2. Completely agree with you about getting involved with CILIP group committees- and I don’t even had babies to worry about!

  3. Pingback: CPD23 Thing 19: Bit of a breather | Librarian of tomorrow

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