Here's the link for Thing 16 on the CPD23 website. This is a tricky one. I'm all in favour of speaking up for the profession, but as the author of Thing 16 admits, the big question is how to do it. Thing 16 finishes with a list of suggested 'Things to do'.
So, here goes!
Rebel without a Cause? Not me!
- Consider why it's important to advocate for the section of library and information sector that you work for or want to work in.
- Because music libraries are getting thinner on the ground, especially public libraries with adequate music provision.
- Have a think about what advocacy you've been involved in. Give examples so we can pool resources and inspire others to do the same. Or, give an example of some advocacy that you think has been particularly effective – library-related or otherwise.
- Well, I've advocated within our institution for more information literacy / user education, and that has been taken on board in the new curriculum. (There were 'have your say' sessions, and I had mine. I got gasps of amazement when I reported a student's mother phoning in asking for recordings to help with their offspring's dissertation. But I think that was influential in kickstarting the drive to improve our provision.)
- As to other examples - the recent drive to save public libraries has been inspirational and effective, but it's not something I've been involved in.
- If you haven't been involved in advocacy, reflect on what your skills are (or which you want to develop), what you're most passionate about and think about what you might be able to do.
- My skills? I'm articulate, enthusiastic, and I believe I write well. And I've published quite a bit, on music librarianship, musicology and 18th/19th century cultural stuff. (My first book is due out in March 2013, but it's not a librarianship book.) I would like to help get the Wighton Database back online again. The Wighton Collection of early Scottish music has a dedicated room in Dundee Central Library, and is supported by the Friends of Wighton. I've joined as a Friend, and I've recently become Campaigns Officer with the Library and Information History Group.
- If you're passionate about public libraries and want to help – let Voices for the Library know! We're keen to get more people involved with things like asking organisations and well-known figures for supporting statements, securing sponsorship, liaising with other campaigning bodies and representing us at events.
- At the moment, I've got quite a lot on my plate, so I watch what's going on with public libraries, but haven't taken an active part.
- If you've got any potential content for That's Not Online! let Jacqueline know.
- That's a new one on me. I'll bear it in mind.
- Think about where advocacy fits in with professionalism – maybe comment on Johanna's blog post about Activism, Advocacy and Professional Identity or if you can get hold of any, look at some job descriptions and identify where you think the advocacy might fit within the requirements of the roles.
- Again, I'll need to think about this.
- Publication challenge! A prize for anyone who gets a piece of library advocacy published.
- Oh, I do love a challenge! I can write. I just need to find a cause to write about. I think I have to write about the Wighton Collection, don't you? Watch this space ...