Professional Registration: Round the First Bend in the Road!

Fall-foliage-wv-winding-country-road - West Virginia - ForestWander via CC License on Wikimedia Commons

Well, after my post last Saturday on coming up with my Professional Training Plan, I am happy to report that my plan has already been approved – yay!

So it is now due end of February 2015 so I can start my plan.

As promised, my plan has now been approved so I’ve put my plan below:

Professional Training Plan – Abigail Willemse – January 2014

  1. Understand what it means to be a library and information professional (1 activity)

    1. Explore the balance of professional & personal in social media profiles for professional librarians through reading, observation, and blogging. Consider how this applies to my professional practice. (Professional Knowledge or Communication, BOK 1)

  2. Understand the ethical base of the profession and the code of professional conduct (1 activity)

    1. Read the LIANZA Code of Professional Conduct and produce a document reflecting on how I have applied this in my professional practice. (Professional Communication (if I share this document on my blog), BOK 1)

  3. Develop a breadth of practice relevant to your role (3 activities)
    From my Position Description as Electronic Resources Librarian at Wintec (a, b, c):

    1. Manage, facilitate, and administer all aspects of the Library’s web presence and provide leadership in its enhancement

      1. Learn HTML and CSS to help with my role in administering Wintec library’s website in my new professional role commencing February 2014. (Professional Practice, BOK 7)

    2. Take primary responsibility for aspects of the digital research repository and services relating to the management of information

      1. Investigate policies detailing preservation and rights management for items contained with Wintec’s digital repository and modify or create if necessary. (Professional Practice, BOKs 5, 8, or 9)

    3. Research, evaluate, develop and communicate new technologies likely to affect information provision and teaching and learning in higher education and provide training.

      1. Evaluate a range of different technologies, tools & packages for their applicability & appropriateness in Wintec library. (Professional Practice, BOKs 6, 8)

  4. Address knowledge and skill gaps not covered in your qualification or required for your job (2 activities)

    1. Map my new job description against the BOKs and discover the areas which are less required by my role (these are likely to be BOKs 1 and 11). I will update this plan each quarter as I identify these areas & find activities to fill them.

  5. Understand the breadth of library and information services and diversity of customer requirements (2 activities)

    1. Understand users’ expectations of Wintec’s library website and find ways to increase the usability of the website. (Professional Practice OR Leadership, BOKs 3, 4, 10)

    2. Understand users’ expectations of service at the reference desk and develop knowledge of common questions or problems. (Professional Practice, BOK 10)

  6. Participate in professional networks and activities (2 activities)

    1. Present at LIANZA weekend school 2014 & seek feedback from others. (Professional Communication, BOK 7)

    2. New Professionals NZ – continue to create content & collaborate with others to build up a range of resources for NZ librarians. (Professional Leadership, BOK 2)

    3. Continue in my role on the LIANZA Waikato BOP regional committee. (Professional Leadership)

    4. Participate in informal networking events (such as library breakfasts).

  7. Understand the New Zealand context of your work, in particular awareness of the Treaty of Waitangi and Matauranga Maori (2 activities)

    1. Attend either a Matauranga Maori course or an equivalent activity/course. (Professional Knowledge, BOK 11)

    2. Read & comment on articles and/or book on Maori knowledge concepts and service provision & learn from colleagues. (Professional Knowledge, BOK 11)

It’s not required to put in suggested Domains of Knowledge and the BOKs after your activities, but I put them in for my reference to ensure I have something in each Domain and that I covered the BOKs. These may change – they are suggestions – but they do help to ensure my plan is well-balanced.

My plan may change slightly over the next 12 months as I need to submit it to my mentor for quarterly reviews and sign-off, but the basic structure won’t change.

I’m recording my learning in my online journal, using the Revalidation Journal Template provided by LIANZA. It has a space for the date, description of activity, what you learned (have to keep that to under 30 words – argh!), which domain it fits into, and which BOK it fits under.

I’ve shared both my Professional Training Plan & Portfolio of Learning (aka journal) on Google Drive with my mentor, so we can both access (and edit) them anywhere, anytime.

So I think that’s all from me – now I just have to start doing it, and recording my activities…

That’s probably easier said than done!


Professional registration: The next step

2014-01-11 13.58.03

So after doing some initial planning, which I discussed in my first post on this topic, I went to have lunch with my mentor to finalize my Professional Training Plan for the next 12 months.

I’ve just realized that maybe not everyone is familiar with this idea of Professional Registration and what it involves here in New Zealand so just allow me to digress for a few minutes…

LIANZA Professional Registration

So I started the process with applying for LIANZA Professional Registration. Some of the benefits listed include:

  • increased professional status
  • one-on-one mentoring to guide your professional development in your first year
  • a framework and focus for ongoing training and development goals
  • an assurance for future employers, that a registered member meets professional standards of competency in the body of knowledge and ethics required for professional library and information work
  • proof of your commitment to professional growth and development
  • the right to use the letters “RLIANZA” after your name
  • International benchmarking and recognition of professional library qualifications for New Zealanders wishing to work overseas

I went Route A as I  finished my BA (Library & Information Studies & The Humanities) in June 2013. Because I had completed an accepted qualification, this step is fairly simple – basically gaining approval from the Board to go ahead. I am required to undertake a mentoring period of twelve months during which time I have to meet certain obligations. At the end of this 12 month period, once the Board has approved my record of completed training, then I will be a Registered LIANZA member (RLIANZA). This lasts for three years, at which point you are required to submit your revalidation journal.


So I got through the planning stage, and went to chat with my mentor about my Professional Training Plan which outlines the scope of my professional development activities over the next 12 months.

It was really useful to discuss my plan with her and see which BOKs (Body of Knowledge) components my plan met – as it needs to cover all 11 BOKs with at least one activity in each over this next year.

The key thing we talked about was keeping the plan as a loose framework. It’s challenging – particularly when starting a new job in about a month – to tie down everything I’m going to need to learn, or even which areas will be the most important. We ended up using my three role purposes from my new job description to guide the bulk of our planning:

  1. Manage, facilitate, and administer all aspects of the Library’s web presence and provide leadership in its enhancement
  2. Take primary responsibility for aspects of the digital research repository and services relating to the management of information
  3. Research, evaluate, develop and communicate new technologies likely to affect information provision and teaching and learning in higher education and provide training.

As I’ll be working in a small team, my role will also involve covering the reference desk and some aspects of circulation work. Because of this variety, I don’t need to worry too much as most of my work will naturally cover the bulk of the BOKs. There’s a few – BOK 1 (Information Environment, Policy & Ethics) and BOK 11 (Awareness of indigenous knowledge paradigms, which in the NZ context refers to Maori) – that I’ve needed to plan to cover more.

Another thing we talked about was making sure the plan included words like “investigate” and “explore” before we drilled right down to specific actions, because it’s important to assess the situation before you start coming up with solutions.

So I guess you could say my Professional Training Plan could boil down to “Learn my new job” – but broken down into the right categories against the BOKs, and thinking broadly about covering all aspects.

So we’ve finished my plan and sent it off for approval – yay! Once it’s been approved, I might post it up on my blog.

So over the course of this year, I’ll be required to:

  • Submit draft Training Plan for approval – done
  • Record my learning against the relevant Professional Practice Domain and Bodies of Knowledge (BOK) in an excel journal template called my Portfolio of Learning
  • Provide a copy of the Training Plan & Portfolio of Learning quarterly to my mentor for her to sign off
  • Meet with mentor as required to discuss progress & seek guidance
  • At the end of the 12 months, complete the plan and portfolio and submit to mentor for sign-off
  • Write a statement of self-reflection on learning undertaken and indication of continuing professional development over the next three years (as part of re validation process)
  • Complete the application for professional registration and submit these completed documents (plan & portfolio) to the Board for sign-off

I’m really excited to kick-start this process, and am really looking forward to starting my new job in February as I’m sure things will start to fall into place more naturally. There’s a lot to learn, but I plan on taking it one step at a time – and trying not to expect too much from myself right away; new jobs can be pretty draining!

So here’s to a year full of new professional learning & discoveries!

The start of my LIANZA Professional Registration journey…

Study 29 photo
Day 29: Studies by Snugg LePupp via CC license on Flickr

So I am embarking on my professional registration journey with LIANZA – I hope to trace the next 12 months of mentoring here on my blog as well as my overall impressions of the Professional Registration Scheme.

So – where to begin?

I applied for Professional Registration back in August 2013 once I had finished my BA and was eligible to apply for pre-registration. I received my acceptance letter a week or two ago, saying that my pre-registration has been approved and now I need to find my mentor (already done!) and come up with a Professional Training Plan for the next twelve months. Then it needs to be signed off by my mentor and then I go ahead and complete the plan and record my learning in a Portfolio of Learning, which can be based off the Revalidation Journal template available on the LIANZA website.

Seems straight-forward enough…

So I started with mind-mapping some professional development activities or opportunities I could do over the next twelve months (or maybe further ahead).

Mind map of professional development ideas rotated

The trouble I’m having is that I’ve already been involved in a number of professional development activities over the past year, some of which included:

  • Writing two books reviews for Library Review
  • Presenting two sessions at LIANZA Conference 2013
  • Writing two 3000 word papers (one for my BA research and one for the Conference paper)
  • Writing abstracts for my Conference submissions
  • Being part of the Communications Committee for LIANZA Conference 2013
  • Running ANZ 23 Mobile Things with Kate Freedman for 6 months (May-November 2013)
  • Being a member of the LIANZA Waikato/BOP Regional Committee
  • Being editor of LIANZA’s Library Life
  • Blogging

They have all been great experiences, but now I am finding it a bit more difficult coming up with ideas for professional development activities as I feel I have already done a few on my bucket list, and now I am trying to trump the ones I have already done. I’m also trying to keep it simple, as a few folk on Twitter reminded me that my new job will also be a lot of professional development in itself, and I should take time to enjoy and grow in that role.

So I think part of my job (at this stage) is coming up with some ideas, but also reigning in those ideas to allow time & space for growth in my new role. I know my mentor will also give me some helpful feedback, as well as my new manager 🙂

My impression of the Professional Registration scheme so far is that it is a more formal way to plan & document your professional development – I know that I already do some of these things anyway out of interest and a desire to grow as a professional – but this is probably a good way to keep your growth well-rounded.

Other people I have spoken to say it is a good way of keeping you on track, but one of the challenges they have found is documenting their learning & fitting it into the right BOK. They’ve also warned me not to leave it all to the end of the three years as it is harder looking back & filling in the blanks! Some points which hopefully I will take on board 🙂

So a few questions for you…

  • How do you decide which activities are worth pursuing for Professional Registration?
  • Are you involved with a Professional Registration (or the equivalent) scheme?
  • What way do you find is the best way to record or solidify your learning – through blogging, a journal, etc?
  • How do you balance formal professional development plans with informal learning & professional development that just happens (such as serendipitous conversations on Twitter :D)?
  • Any other advice for me and others as they start this journey of formal (or informal) professional development?

Crowdsourcing – more heads, more ideas #elibrarylife

I need your help!

It’s that time again for LIANZA’s Library Life; I need to come up with a special themed issue for August 13th with a copy deadline end of July.

Past themed issues include:

But I’m out of ideas! Or to be more precise, I have a number of ideas, but am not sure which is the best one or the one that the most people would be interested in.

Here is my list of possible ideas:

  • Social libraries – how NZ libraries are using social media to engage with their communities
  • 2nd or 3rd careers – how librarians have moved into the profession from other jobs/industries
  • The changing face of the library – how NZ libraries are using storytelling to challenge the stereotype (could relate to my blog post on “Are libraries just about books? : The danger of a single story

So if you like any (or all of these ideas), just cast your vote here.

I’m opening the floor to suggestions for the next themed issue of Library Life. I’d love to hear what you would be interested in hearing/writing about because I need lots of contributions from librarians all over NZ!

So here’s what you can do:

  • get your thinking cap on
  • vote in the poll if there’s something that pushes your button
  • leave a comment with your ideas.

Remember – more heads, more ideas – and more fun! I’m really looking forward to hearing what you come up with.

Crowdsourcing by adesigna via CC license on Flickr