Tag Archives: cilip

Chartership #2: mentor and registration

I was very close to giving up the whole thing before I’ve even actually started. Before sending in my registration form, I thought I’d first try to find a mentor. I was looking for someone in the London area, as I’m at least once a year in and/or near London and there’s a long enough list with names. I was trying to find someone working in a library/position similar to myself but unfortunately, only very few of them have a mentor’s profile with informations about where they work and what they do. Eventually, I settled on two persons. My first choice turned me down immediately, which I found rather frustrating, as in the mentor list, it stated clearly that she had free capacity for a mentee (it still does so, actually). Whatever her reasons were, I was really considering to forget about the whole thing and enjoy my free time instead.

 About two weeks ago, however, I gave it another try. I contacted the other person I had picked out and, fortunately, he agreed to be my mentor :-). It seems, though, that we don’t really work in the same library environment at all. But then, this does not really matter so much. So now I really need to write that job description and post my registration – and then start working. I had a look at the documentation, which I had printed out some time ago, over the weekend but suddenly realised that most of it was about “certification” rather than “chartership”, which seems to be something entirely different. It is all rather confusing. And even on the according pages on CILIP’s website , the two things seem to get mixed occasionally. Or maybe the PPDP and portolio for both are pretty much the same? (I must admit that I don’t really understand yet what the difference between the two is…).

Anyway, I found a copy of Margaret Watson’s Building your portfolio. The CILIP guide, London 2008. 978-1-85604-612-1 in a library in Switzerland (RERO – they really having everything!) and have ordered it by interlibrary-loan. I hope, things will become a bit clearer then. And of course, there’s always my mentor to ask…

I’m quite looking forward now to start working on the portfolio, strarting with the PPDP, although I’m afraid that it’ll be hard, hard work. The greatest problem of all, I fear, will be the language – having to write it all in a foreign language really isn’t easy. It just never really sounds “right” enough…


The first step to chartership

About 2 months ago, I decided to try to become a chartered member of CILIP  Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals. Apparently, I meet the requirement, which, for overseas members, are: having been an associated member of CILIP for at least one year, and having at least 2 years  (full-time equivalent) professional practice (fortunately, my 90% part time in Switzerland equals full-time in Britain 🙂 ). And having a recognised training and degree in librarianship, of course.  So far so good. But what exactly is this chartership? What is it good for? And why should I want to do it? According to the handbook, this is, what it is:

Chartered Membership is the second level of professional qualification awarded by CILIP and is considered the ‘gold standard’ for information and library professionals. It is recognised throughout the world. […] Chartered Membership is not an academic qualification but a recognition of the highest standards of professional practice and a commitment to undertake continuing professional development.

In other words, by going through the chartership process, one demonstrates one’s qualifications as a professional member of one’s profession.The reward is that one’s name is added into some kind of charter. Or something like that. I must admit that, as there isn’t really an equivalent in Switzerland, I still don’t seem to get it a 100%. But apparently, it is quite an important and useful thing to have for library and information professionals in Britain. So why would I want to do it? (Especially as I have my doubts about the “recognised throughout the world” when it comes to Switzerland). Because, actually, I find it not a bad thing at all to do, as going through the process (and this seems to involve quite a lot of work) means to evaluate one’s own work, one’s place in the professional field, to look over the fence of one’s own work, at the bigger picture, to formulate one’s visions and interests and plans, to get a clearer picture of oneself as a professional, one’s professional environment and one’s contribution to the profession. I think, it is worth a try.

The first step is to register. There is, of course, a form to fill in and a fee to pay. But, as I’m an overseas member, which means following “pathway 2”, there are some further requirements, such as job description, CV, certified copies of qualification. As all my documents are in German, I have to check first if I need to have them translated into English (which I hope not). So even registration won’t be as quick and easy as I thought. But it doesn’t really matter, there’s no hurry. The next thing will then be to find a mentor. But one step after the other…