As the new academic year is dawning, it seems appropriate to consider what’s happened over the past year. I was full of good intentions this time last year and very excited to be starting my first professional post. Despite having a feeling of “Not Accomplished Enough!” I’m not sure how accurate a representation that really is. In the past year I have managed to;

  • Develop increasingly positive relationships with the academic staff – always a challenge! Whilst I know these need to be built upon, it needs to start somewhere and can not materialise in a matter of weeks. I’m happy with the progress that’s been made and I couldn’t identifiably have had a more significant impact in my first year than I have. These things take time!
  • Completed the second year of my Masters with distinction. I am very proud of myself for this as I was juggling an awful amount of stress at the time.
  • Created my dissertation proposal successfully! Whenever I’m dithering about how it’s going with my literature review and development of ideas, I re-read my proposal and it sets me back on the right track. This, I suspect, is a core function of the proposal so I’m very pleased!
  • Become involved in the Academic and Research Libraries Group Committee for the Yorkshire and Humber Region. This is all still quite new, but it’s very exciting. I am putting out tentative feelers for an event that may be arranged which is something I’m particularly excited about. There’s also an event being arranged that looks incredibly interesting that I’m hoping to attend as either part of the organising group or simply as an attendee!
  • I’ve been on a few outings, the Librarians as Researchers event previously mentioned and also a trip to Sheffield Hallam which was very interesting. It was a look at their new build and the process they went through. It made me very jealous we do not have the budget of a university, however it gave us a few ideas which we’re implementing in our little library which I will be blogging about once they’re complete!
  • More involved on Twitter! I have developed my Twitter network so that I am now engaging with a range of Information Professionals on a regular basis that I would not have had contact with otherwise, and it’s proved very enlightening!
  • Gained a promotion in my role as Library Assistant – I am now also a part time ILT support advisor – this brings my job-juggling tally to three separate roles! I’m looking forward to getting started though.

I am pleased with how the year has gone in a general sense. When personal issues are so overwhelming it can be difficult to keep on track with work, however I managed it and I’m very proud of myself for that. I think it’s important to recognise when you’ve overcome difficulties because it can be easy to interpret your experience in a more negative light than the reality of the situation requires. It’s very encouraging to know that even in the worst circumstances I can remain consistent in a professional capacity.

I want to have more concrete achievements for the next year  though. If I’d had specific targets over the past year then I think I would have overcome some of the sense I was failing in my position much quicker – the reality is I wasn’t, it just felt that way as I was feeling overwhelmed!

Some specifics:

  • Attend CILIP New Professional’s Day, blog about it here and in Manchester’s New Professional’s Network blog.
  • Investigate the potential for reinvigorating the Career Development Group in Yorkshire and Humber.
  • Complete my Masters with Distinction.
  • Submit my research to a journal/conference.

And more generally:

  • Become further involved in ARLG.
  • Apply for bursaries to attend relevant conferences (LILAC the big one!)
  • Use this more effectively!

I’m planning to do this yearly so I can review my progress regularly and see what it is I’m actually achieving.

Well today is the first day of the new academic year so I’m getting back to it!