I was in London on Friday for CILIP’s Graduate Day, presenting a paper about rising above the stereotypes, based roughly on the Why are we defined by our Building? one, but with a few changes and attempts to offer a more substantial ‘What can we do about it?’ section, taking on board feedback from the blogosphere and delegates on the day at the New Professionals Conference. It seemed like a really good day, and one which the attendees got a huge amount from. The place seemed to be buzzing with people who now knew an awful lot more relevant info than they did before they walked in the door, which is great. Lots of people there had just finished their Library Qualification, but there were also several people I spoke to who didn’t work in the profession at all at the moment, but were wondering about trying to do so soon. The fact that they’d found out about the Graduate Day and attended it was a brilliant first step, and I hope they found all the presentations useful. I re-watched Jo’s one about Social Networking and Blogging etc, which I’d seen a version of at the New Professionals conference but which made a lot more sense now I know what she’s talking about! A show of hands revealed I was one of only two people in the room not on Facebook, though – the shame, the horror… The defiance! Soon I will be the only person in the world on neither Facebook nor Twitter, good times.
Anyway, it was a great day so congratulations to Kathy Ennis and her team for putting together a really useful programme – it was also great to see Chris Rhodes (who was on fire in the panel discussion at the end!), Emma Illingworth and Jo Alcock again. Emma advocates sending an email to people you’ve made contact with at an event, straight afterwards, to make sure you keep in contact with them and can develop a relationship over time. I have to say I was slightly sceptical of this when I first heard it (it seemed like it could be slightly forced or affected, unless you had a specific reason to email them and follow up on something) but in practice it works really well. It’s just a simple thing, but having kept in contact with Chris, Jo and Emma since the last time I saw them meant we were immediately comfortable catching up and discussing stuff at the Graduate Day and were able to arrange collaborations on a couple of things. If we’d not heard from each other at all since July, we would have had to feel our way back into conversation etc – and on a day where ‘Speed Networking’ is one of the activities, there simply isn’t time for old-fashioned British reserve; not for the 21st Century Info-Pro, in any case!