PKSB Initial Assessment -Part 3

The final part of my thoughts towards the PKSB, looking at Generic Skill, parts 9-12, the Wider Library, Information and Knowledge Sector context, and the Wider Organisation and Environmental context. 

I don’t know if I’ve had too many RLC emails this week or something, but my first thoughts on completing the parts 9-12 were ‘oooo, they’ve used the word customer!!!’. But then I thought, this is for ALL the Information World, not just public and academic libraries (hence why I’ve got naff all experience of quite a lot of the sectors!) and for some librarian and information professionals they are literally dealing with people who pay for the service, who are customers rather than users or stakeholders. I think sometimes we go looking for bones to pick on, and that is certainly a bad habit of mine this is forcing me to break!

I found the Generic Skills probably the most useful set of sections for me personally to think about in terms of My Career Plan. I’ve had a couple of interviews in the past where lack of experience in things like strategy and planning let me down so I’m hoping to really get some insight into these areas. I’m also loving the idea of bringing stuff I know from my previous life of working in the hospitality trade over, such a customer service standards and quality management. We work in a people-facing role quite a lot of the time, and the attitude towards our users is something I do think library staff get judged for by the public-the whole shushy stern authoritarian image didn’t come out of nowhere. We are gatekeepers, but we have to make the gates look welcoming and easy to access, I think, and I am glad the PKSB recognizes that.

The WLIKS bit got be thinking as well. Most, if not all of the conferences and events I attend have been focused on academic libraries and education within libraries-primarily because my work tends to contribute to the costs of attending them and they are useful for my job. The exception of these would be the events I have attended on my own back, like my local CILIP group meetups, RLC, and New Professionals Day. I find meeting librarians who work in other sectors really interesting and valuable, and I look forward as part of my plan for conquering this vital section to attending more events like this.

As to the history of libraries, this gives me the perfect excuse to promote National Libraries Day at work, looking at the history of our public library in the town I work in, which is one of the earliest Carnegie Libraries. This is also a perfect excuse to take part in the Leeds Central Library Heritage Tour, which I’m really looking forward to.

I’ve also signed up to my first ever MOOC, which I’ve wanted to do for a while but never had the justification to take ANOTHER project on. The Library Advocacy Unshushed available through the University of Toronto, was advertised on the CILIP weekly bulletin this week, and seems to fit in with a lot of gaps, especially section 9, and WLIKS. It advertises itself as taking three to four hours a week for six weeks, so hopefully won’t be too taxing!

I’d also like to big up the PKSB gap analysis spreadsheet as a lovely colour-coded was of seeing where the gaps are. Most of mine is a lovely orangey-yellow colour at the moment. Using the spreadsheet I’ve identified the areas I need to work most on as 1, 10 and 11, and the areas I’m doing alright with as 7 and 8.

So I’m registered, I’ve paid my fees (my birthday present to myself, joy of joys), and now, onwards and hopefully upwards!


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