Tina Reynolds is a chartered librarian and knowledge manager, with experience in a variety of roles within professional services firms. She currently works for a law firm. Her interests include vendor management, contract negotiation, value and impact of special libraries, and organisation and workload management.
She has previously written for a number of publications including an article in "Performance Measurement and Metrics" and is a contributor to the "Handbook for Corporate Information Professionals" published by Facet. She can be contacted on Twitter at: @tinamreynolds or by email. She also blogs on an infrequent basis at: tinareynolds.co.uk.
In July I attended my first CILIP conference in a number of years (since it was Umbrella, in fact). Over the two days I found myself torn in many directions as in almost every slot at least two and sometimes more sessions, which I wanted to attend.
The keynote session on the House of Commons library covered how the library supports MPs in some depth and was a brilliant insight into the work that they do. A recording was made of this session and can be found on YouTube. The keynote from Samira Ahmed covering the Windrush scandal was genuinely shocking but also of wide interest to all attendees.
A particular highlight for me was the 'Your Career' stream which covered so many points of value to the entire profession. Starting with networking (a session which I was particularly disappointed to miss) moving through growing within the profession and onto the profession itself, I found the concept interesting and the sessions I attended valuable.
The seminar which was of most interest to me and, I imagine of significant interest to many in government, was on Knowledge and Information Management. Whilst initially pitched at a relatively introductory level, in running through the purpose of the CILIP K&IM group at the beginning, I still found the discussion of AI and the KM ISO insightful and was inspired to return to my workplace and make much more effort in the area of knowledge sharing between K&I staff.
On a personal note, as I am working towards Fellowship, the Professional Registration Café was a wonderful opportunity to share experiences with other candidates and to ask questions about the process. If this session or something like it is run again, I would strongly recommend anyone looking at any level of professional registration to attend.
Another session which gave food for thought was a talk by Katharine Schopflin titled "The Secret Librarian", which covered the challenges of being a librarian within a larger organisation. I felt that it was very cathartic to see that some problems are shared by the profession as a whole.
I found the conference to be a really valuable experience, not just in terms of learning but also in meeting and discussing issues with the whole profession rather than just a cross-section. On a less professional note my favourite freebie was a tin London bus from Sue Hill and TFPL. I also very much enjoyed the iced coffee – definitely something to keep up for next year! I'm very grateful to GIG for giving me the opportunity to attend the CILIP conference. I'm often only able to attend very specialist events and the ability to step back and look at the wider library, information and knowledge profession has been really valuable.