This is an easy "thing" for me to write about, because I've always been professionally involved.
- CILIP. I got chartered (ALA) in the Library Association as soon as I'd put in the requisite amount of experience, and written my professional development report. Actually, it wasn't nearly as difficult as some people would have you believe, so if anyone reading this is still working towards chartership, then my message to them is, 'Please don't worry about it!'. I'm happy to be a sounding-board for anyone with any concerns about it. Anyway, I've been a member ever since, and I also supervised my maternity cover's chartership. Although it wasn't easy getting away to attend events when I had young children (I only had 3 months' maternity leave after the birth of each child), I tried to keep active at arm's length, and I did write a couple of articles for Personnel Training and Development, in 2001. I've nearly always subscribed to more groups than the minimum two, though my choices have changed from time to time. More recently, I submitted my Fellowship application a couple of years ago.
- IAML (UK and Irl). I joined IAML at the same time as I joined CILIP - as a librarianship postgrad at College of Librarianship Wales, Aberystwyth. Within a year, I was working as a music librarian in South Tyneside, and at that stage I became IAML (UK and Irl)'s Newsletter Editor and Brio Reviews Editor. This meant trips to London for Exec meetings - which I managed until the kids came along. If you begin to see a theme emerging, I'm afraid it's that people without children inevitably get more involved in group activities and committees, whilst full-time working mothers with three young children tend to get less involved! I was Brio Reviews Editor from 1989-1992, but withdrew slightly from involvement in professional organisations while the kids were young; there was a dip in my conference attendances, although I did get away to day-events from time to time. More recently I've written for the Newsletter and Brio, spoken at a couple of conferences, and written a review and a paper for Fontes (the international organisation).
- Locally, I've represented the RSAMD (now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, since our namechange) at SALCTG (Scottish Academic Libraries Cooperative Training Group) for many years, and I've just become Convenor of that group. It's good to be involved in something local, where you get to meet people with similar interests over an extended period of time.
- For quite a while I also represented RSAMD at the SCURL Disabilities Group, addressing access issues for disabled readers, but the group has disbanded now. (I gave a paper and published an article for that, too.)
- In 2002, I found three nineteenth century Dundonian flute manuscripts after a library refurbishment. You might ask why I'm mentioning this here: it's because it marked the reawakening of my interest in musicological research. In one sense, it is coincidental that this marked the start of my youngest son's school career - in another, it's perhaps just as well! From 2004-9 I studied part-time for a PhD, alongside my full-time job. This has led to a lot of networking in musicological circles, particularly the Royal Musical Association. I'm currently on the Council for that, too. I've attended RMA research students' conferences, and published a paper in the RMA Research Chronicle. I'm also a member of the international specialist Eighteenth Century Scottish Studies Society - I've written a paper and a couple of book reviews for them, too - and I attend Musica Scotica conferences locally in Glasgow. More presentations and another published paper.
- I now lurk on Twitter, which is a great way of keeping abreast of professional concerns. More so for librarianship than musicology, I have to say. Maybe I'm just not following the right Twitter trends. It's more vital to my day-to-day existence that I keep up with librarianship stuff. I haven't given up on the research - indeed, I have a book at the publishers' right now - but I earn my daily crust as a librarian.
Sometimes, I feel I haven't made much progress professionally, having been in the same job 24 years. But looking at this lot, I certainly haven't stagnated. That's something I can be proud of, I suppose!