NPID2010: New Professionals Information Days

Newcastle City Library, via Flickr CC (ricaird) For the last few months I've been working with Chris Rhodes, Maria Cotera and Kathy Ennis to create a new CILIP event. Actually it's a refit of an old one - the CILIP Graduate Day that I presented at last year. We've re-thought it from scratch, introduced some new ideas, got in some fantastic speakers, and rebranded it as New Professionals Information Days - the reason that is 'Days' plural is that we're doing the programme twice, once in London and once in Newcastle, to try and make CILIP more inclusive and a little less London-centric.

Some of the ideas we've incorporated came from the many people (most of them New Professionals Support Officers) who took part in the initial brain-storming session at CILIP HQ. Our little working group then took these ideas on and honed them into what I think will be a truly excellent pair of events.

The London event takes place at CILIP on October 1st, and the Newcastle event takes place at the City Library on November the 23rd. You can find full information, including times, speakers, topics, how to book and so on, via CILIP's website. For now, here's a few points I'd like to highlight:

  • The events are free (and you get refreshments too!). I'd be really surprised if you get to another event this year, with such a good line-up of interesting speakers and topics, without having to hand over a big chunk of change
  • They are aimed at people who've joined the profession in the last few years, and also those who haven't joined it yet at all
  • The days are structured in such a way that many people will be able to attend without having to take a full day off work - so for example, the London event runs from half-nine in the morning till four in the afternoon, but the last session is a repeat of the first session (with the keynote speakers sandwiched in between). So you only actually need to come from 9:30 till 1pm to see everything - OR, if you prefer, from 12 till 4pm. Good eh? I think this is a mint idea (got a feeling it came from Bethan Ruddock in the original brain storming session) and more conferences should make themselves flexible in this way
  • The theme is great - pursue your passion through librarianship. This is something I've written about before - how the information profession allows you to pursue your existing passions and bring them into your job; I'm thrilled we've managed to build the entire conference around this idea. We need to publicise this aspect of librarianship more, it's ace.
  • The speakers are fantastic! First we put together a list of the subjects we'd like to hear about as New Professionals, and divided them into different strands. Then we put together a wish-list of who we'd ideally like to hear speak on the subjects we'd come up with. And basically they all said yes! One person couldn't make it so I'm having to fill in with a talk about technology (and the Prezi I'm going to use for that will be lovely :) ) but otherwise we've got a stellar line up - including Phil Bradley, whose keynote will be entitled "Around the world twice on a library degree"! How cool does that sound? I've never got to see Phil talk in the flesh before, and we're honoured to have him.
  • Newcastle City Library is beautiful... It's a fantastic modern building - if you live Up North, try and come along just to see how a brand new library operates, looks, and feels. You can always nip in from 15:45 - 16:45 and just hear Phil and Maxine Miller's keynotes!
  • If you can't attend, you can follow on twitter using the hashtag #NPID2010, and either way you can get to know the speakers a little bit better: @PhilBradley, @katie_fraser, @LexRigby, me(!), and, coming over all the way from Spain, @nrobinsongarcia. We'll also be doing something with Wallwisher that will allow in-the-flesh attendees and virtual-attendees to interact together. WOOF!

So a free event, organised flexibly to fit your schedule, great networking opportunities, in ace surroundings, with online elements, and brilliant speakers. How can you resist? London is nearly full already by the way, so book soon if you want to go.

Really excitingly for me, the London event is being followed by a LISNPN meet-up that evening, in a pub of Woodsiegirl's choosing. The idea is to come together, set the world to rights, and plan a fool proof future for the profession... There's one in Manchester soon too (tomorrow at the time of writing), and both have been organised spontaneously by the members of the network. This excites me more than anything we've done with LISNPN so far - if it provides a platform for Information Professionals actually coming together and shaping their future collectively, then it's worth its weight in gold.