How many things? Only 23.











{July 5, 2012}   Going for gold. Or, library qualifications (Thing 10)

This week we’re looking at library qualifications and training.

Discussing the route we took to end up where we are today is the subject of a future ‘Thing’ I believe, so I will try not to stray into that too much here. However, surfice to say I had experience in public and university libraries before beginning my master’s in information and library studies, although they were not graduate traineeship posts.

The Thing10 blog post covers graduate traineeships, masters’ degrees, chartership and certification. Since completing my master’s degree I have not been in a library post that required chartership so this is not something that I have explored in my previous or current jobs. Unless I change jobs I don’t feel that chartership would be beneficial for me right now.

Through the annual performance management plan process where I work I have to keep a portfolio of evidence – I don’t know what CILIP’s chartership portfolio of professional development looks like but after 6 years in this post I have quite a few documents now recording my work, progress, training and evidence of praise etc.

What other qualifications might be appropriate for my current role? Project management is one possible qualification I could look at – PRINCE2 for example is offered by my employer, but it’s finding the time and the resources to undertake this. It’s a 5 day course and would be useful for my current job role as programme manager for the Libraries Inspire strategy.

I’m also personally becoming more interested in communications work, and would possibly explore some sort of training or qualifications in this field. Quite what I don’t know!

Outside of librarianship I recently studied and passed my yoga teacher training diploma with the British Wheel of Yoga. I have to do 15 hours CPD a year to retain my qualified status with the BWY – similar to CILIP requirement I believe? I love racking up my 15 hours and frequently have acquired 30+ hours a year.

Finally, a coincidence. A colleague in work was asked last week if she could confirm what “formally qualified librarian” meant in reference to one of our documents. I asked on Twitter and got a few replies, but she received a reply from CILIP which confirmed that to be formally qualified one has to have completed a CILIP accredited course, at degree level or above.

Here in Wales there are two foundation degrees in information and library studies (at Glyndwr University and Coleg Llandrillo), and an ICTL diploma but as these aren’t yet accredited with CILIP, librarians who complete them don’t officially count as formally qualified librarians.

A chartered librarian is considered to have professional status. I didn’t realise there is a difference between a qualified librarian and a professional librarian.

To confuse the matter more, you can charter with CILIP through their certification process without having a library qualification. But, certification itself does not mean you’re qualified. So you could be certified and chartered, and thus be professional librarian (the chartered bit), but not be a qualified librarian (the accredited course bit).

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Nia Ellis says:

We must both be super organised to have caught up so quickly. Project management is something I’m also interested in, as well as change management, effective communication, business process management, cost-benefit analysis etc. Some kind of mini-MBA would be good, and if it was library-related so much better.
I think that recently I learnt a huge amount on an attempt to submit a grant application to the Big Lottery Fund – nothing to do with work – but covered SMART targets, options appraisal, stakeholder analysis, stakeholder feedback and evidence. Still hopeless on creating SMART targets though.



Wow, you’re interested in quite a lot. We have to have 5-6 SMART objectives/targets for our performance management plan each year, so it gets you in the frame of writing them.



In many institutions it makes no difference once you’re in post – you don’t get promotions or increased pay from any of this. It only comes into play when you go for a new post. To be honest, I think that accreditation with the HEA is more relevant if you work in HE as a liaison librarian, since it gives you a shared interest in learning and teaching that is understood by the academics you work with. I got my Associate status then, recently, Fellow status with the HEA. It is also not onerous or expensive since it is a one-off payment and doesn’t require paying annual membership in order to keep the title. As soon as CILIP introduced periodic re-evaluation of chartership status I stopped being a member. It’s not that I don’t do CPD and evaluate my work – that is an ongoing process – it’s just that I didn’t want to have to keep doing it for an external organisaiton, or get caught up in the situation whereby if I stop paying money CILIP wouldn’t allow me to call myself chartered any more.



Thanks for your comments Karl. I’m sure the Higher Education Academy professional recognition http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/professional-recognition that you mention is of interest and value to other librarians in HE if they also undertake teaching responsibilities.
Here in the Welsh Government we also have professional groupings so you can be part of a network of similar types, and they offer CPD and training opportunities as well. I should have put that in one of my posts on networks but forgot till now!



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