I feel a bit like a goody-two-shoes because I am ahead with my blogging when so many people are still on Thing 7. It’s still Week 6. But Thing 10 has been in my draft folder from the beginning and I feel it needs to be out there. Now.
I will read the official CPD23 post next week and am happy to be corrected in my opinions and learn.
Thing 10: Graduate traineeships, Masters degrees, Chartership, Accreditation
A lot of stuff in this Thing. I’ll work through it point for point…
I think these can be very useful. But I can imagine that they can also be very disappointing if they don’t lead to a professional post after the Masters degree.
I have never done a graduate traineeship as such but my studies included a six-month work placement in my third year which is a similar thing, I guess. The fourth and last year of my course included my dissertation.
I am convinced that the placement has helped me get into my current post. Things like that help you meet people and make useful connections. I still had to work my way up though, through retail and library assistant roles. I can imagine it could be similar for an “official” graduate traineeship.
Yes. I have considered doing a Masters degree. As my degree is Diplom-Bibliothekarin (FH), it kind of falls between a BA and an MA, apparently. Makes it difficult. After all I have already spent four years studying for it, inclusing six months work experience.
When is a good time to start a Masters degree? My Dipl.-Bibl. is now seven years old. It feels like I should update but it can be very pricey. Hmm.
Maybe I should just review my dissertation, update it and put it online? Make it a little personal project?
When I first started my current job my then-boss seemed to think that chartership was the only option of any CPD but she was not very good at selling it to me. I know some of my colleagues were doing their chartership at the time, so maybe she hoped they’d take me off her hands. Who knows. She has since retired, so I’ll never know. Earlier bosses and mentors had mentioned chartership but as my posts were always temporary or not on a librarian-level then I didn’t pursued it. Now, why am I not chartered, even though I am now in a permanent public library position and have been for a few years?
I used to be a member of CILIP after I finished university and stayed with them for four years. I left because I didn’t get anything out of being a member and the Gazettes/Updates just started stacking up next to my bed, unread. Also, money-wise it became a toss-up between CILIP and joining a union. I know they are very much not the same but there you go. Paying for something you don’t use isn’t much good if you are on a “normal” salary.
In my personal life I have encountered several people who are active in CILIP; some of them involved in the chartership process and evaluation, others in interest groups. I know it’s no good judging the organisation and chartership scheme on these encounters as they were personal and neither of us was there in a professional capacity but it made me judge nonetheless, as I didn’t feel I could build any trust. Sorry.
Since then I have met more CILIP folks on twitter and they are restoring my faith in professionalism, by the way. I just don’t feel I want to encounter certain people as I would not be myself around them. Difficult one.
I really don’t agree with the fact that you lose your chartership status when you stop paying CILIP membership fees. We are librarians, not doctors or architects or surveyors or lawyers! For those professions it is very important that you can prove membership of a professional body. Of course it is important that we keep our skills up to date but it’s not even always recognised by employers. What can be done about that?
What if you can’t afford the fees? What if you feel, like me, that CILIP just doesn’t offer you much (most of the time), because you are too far away from London? There are many things I can get for free (like information, exchange, discussion) without paying CILIP fees.
Anyway, the thing that finally made me decide against chartering was that my degree is a foreign degree. That means it falls under Pathway 2 (yes, I have asked), and therefore it takes two years of professional practice rather than one. How is this fair if my (EU) degree has been accepted for employment purposes and I work in the UK. Sorry, CILIP.
Like I wrote above, I know there are loads of people out there in favour of chartership. Please talk to me. Explain it to me. What’s so great about it? Or should I invest my money into something permanent(er) like a Masters? Or a fridge?
This post (here) about why someone left CILIP left me with the surprise that I am no the only one who feels left out by CILIP. I hear that CILIP is changing and looking to the future. I meet active CILIPers online and they are fab. I know that I should be a member, as some sort of debt to the profession, but I just can’t bring myself to join again. Hmm.
I guess this means everything before chartership, like courses and degrees being recognised by CILIP as “good”. I think that is very useful as it can help choose where to take a course, or through which organisation.