Libraries, the universe and everything

Chartership 1.0
September 11, 2012, 17:05
Filed under: Chartership, CPD

Reading Jo’s post about her experience of the Chartership process prompted some rather self-critical thoughts. Apart from demonstrating the fact that Jo is terrifyingly well-organised, it reminded me that I had planned to use some more techy tools in my own Chartership but completely failed to do so. Did I even get near setting up a wiki? No. Did I use any productivity apps on my smartphone? No. Did I get any further than good old Word docs? No.

But then I got over myself and realised that actually it doesn’t matter in the slightest. The main thing is that I have been getting through the process in a way which suited me. So what if I shared things with my mentor by emailing her a document and receiving it back with track-changes all over it? So what if I kept my CPD log on a printed-out grid in my desk drawer? So what if I tracked my evidence-gathering by means of columns on my PPDP (itself a Word doc)? These were the methods which suited me at the time.

I wasn’t intending to blog about this, as I’m conscious that it’s rather self-indulgent, but then I read another post, this one written by Jo Wood for the CPD23 programme. Her point about not being intimidated by what other people are doing reminded me of my own anxieties when I was considering registering for Chartership myself, and these looped straight back round into the concerns I outlined above.

As Jo Alcock describes, the whole Chartership thing struck me as a dark and mysterious process. I wasn’t doing anything out-of-the-ordinary, I wasn’t one of the Librariati, what earth was I thinking even considering putting myself up for it? Fortunately I was lucky enough to have Jo Wood as my mentor – she told me to stop worrying and get on with it, so I did!

At the risk of sounding like a corny self-help manual, the most important thing in the process has been following my own path. At its best, Chartership is like an enhanced version of a workplace appraisal programme – it encourages you to get out of your comfort zone and develop as a professional. Sure, it can be a good opportunity to try out some new technologies, but they need to be the ones best suited to the task at hand.

I am absolutely not intending to criticise the choices anyone else has made. My particular journey didn’t encompass anything shiny, but it has stretched me in all sorts of other good ways. I’m still a teensy bit envious of those who chose to embrace all the technological wizardry, but that’s the point really – they chose to do so, and I did not.

This may be a little premature, as I haven’t actually submitted the thing yet, and I know for a fact that my evidence is all over the place (it’s meticulously recorded, but not so well-filed!). But the best thing about it all? I did it my way πŸ™‚

3 Comments so far
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Great post Emma, I totally agree to do what works for you (in my case, usually a techy tool). As I have mentioned in recent chartership discussions too, not all the shiny tools work out appropriately anyway so it’s definitely good to stick with what works for you – and if that means no wasted effort, even better!

For example, I set up a Google form to record evidence (see, but after a couple of months of doing that realised that it was overkill and I didn’t need it – I didn’t refer to it at all when I was pulling my portfolio together. As long as I kept a list of my activities and where I have evidence (often in reflective form anyway), that was enough for me.

That’s one of the reasons why going forward I’m just going to stick with blogging for reflection, and regularly updating a list of my activities so I have an up-to-date record.

Good luck pulling it all together, I’m sure you’ll have no problem πŸ™‚


Comment by Jo Alcock

πŸ™‚ thanks to you for getting me thinking about all this stuff – I was formulating a comment on your post but it got too long!


Comment by Emma Davidson

Hi Emma,
Using “techy” tools can be both useful and fun, but it’s often best to learn to use them as and when required, so I’m glad you stuck to your guns and decided that it wasn’t the end of the world in your case. It isn’t that you can’t embrace the techno world, you’ve proved that by running a blog which could be deemed somewhat techy! It’s what we do with the tools that we use that really counts. Good luck with your chartership.
Sarah (also a cycling, knitting, bellringer, but not all at the same time!)


Comment by Sarah Hinton

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