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Archive for May, 2011

On 19th May, a few of us attended an informative session on CILIP Qualifications, including chartership and certification, run by Michael Martin from CILIP.

Michael began by explaining the difference between the two levels he would be talking about. Certification is for library assistants who have been in the profession some time, whereas chartership is for qualified librarians. Both are essentially different levels of membership to CILIP.

The first steps to either qualification is membership to CILIP, after which you register as a candidate, which costs £25 for certification or £50 for chartership. You then choose a mentor from a list provided by CILIP, and together you design a personal professional development plan (PPDP).

The basis of the CILIP qualifications is building a portfolio.  A portfolio allows you to demonstrate your learning, and how you have applied valuable knowledge and skills in your workplace. For a chartership application, it would include:

  • Contents page
  • CV (longer than for a job application)
  • PPDP
  • Personal evaluative statement (1000 words)
  • aims & objectives of your organisation
  • structure charts (where you are in your organisation)
  • evidence of participation in the mentor scheme

It is similar for certification, but follows a different template, including a supporting letter.

Michael also listed the criteria that the applications must meet. The criteria for chartership are:

  • to be able to reflect critically on personal performance and evaluate service performance
  • an active commitment to continuing professional development
  • to be able to analyse personal and professional development with reference to experiential and developmental activities
  • a breadth of professional knowledge and understanding of the wider professional context

For certification, the criteria are similar:

  • the ability to evaluate personal and service performance
  • to show how your personal, technical and professional skills have developed through training and development activities
  • an appreciation of the role and contribution of libraries and information services in the wider community

Michael then gave advice to those wanting to pursue a CILIP qualification: keep everything! Using a diary, a blog, or whatever suits you, try to keep a record of your evidence to support the criteria. He also advised completing a skills audit.

It was an interesting session, as I didn’t know what chartership involved, and the other options for library assistants who maybe don’t want to go down the Library School route.

After the session, Emma Sullivan emailed round information about how Staff Development supports staff wishing to gain certification, chartership or fellowship from CILIP. Staff can apply to get funding for their submission fee, though not membership fees. They can also provide your training record which lists the courses you have attended, and the Staff Library has copies of ‘Building Your Portfolio’ by Margaret Watson, a book recommended by Michael during the questions and answers time.

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On Thursday I joined a tour of the imaging studio at Osney. The tour was led by James Allan, Head of Imaging Services at the Bodleian.

The studio was established in the late nineteenth century by Oxford University Press, and was taken over by the University in the 1970s. It has recently moved to Osney, where it will remain until the refurbishment of the New Bodleian is completed in 2014.

The imaging services team produce digital and print copies of resources held by the Bodleian and other Oxford libraries. They provide services for individuals and institutions both inside and outside the University, and have also been involved in larger projects, such as the production of digital images of the Bodleian’s Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts. The team is also responsible for negotiating copyright permissions for the images that they produce.

Imaging Services is currently part of Special Collections at the Bodleian, and much of the material that the team work with is drawn from these collections; during the tour, we saw a fourteenth-century illuminated manuscript being photographed.

A variety of equipment is used in the studio, from a bitonal scanner to a high resolution (39 megapixel) digital camera. Post-production software is used to clean-up images. Most impressive was the cradle designed to hold a book as its pages are photographed. This features a vacuum bar which applies gentle suction to the back of a page, holding it in place whilst a photograph is taken.

The imaging technology used by the team is constantly evolving. However, new copies of items cannot be made every time the technology moves forward: funding is not available to do this, and the materials involved are often too fragile to withstand frequent handling. Difficult decisions must therefore be taken about when it is best to photograph or scan items in order to produce images that will remain useful for some years to come.

The team maintains an archive of images of material held by the Bodleian, which includes an extensive collection of photographic plates dating back to the 1950s; there are also large microfilm and digital collections. Images from the archive are often used to fulfil requests to view items that are too fragile to be handled or copied again. The digital archive is not yet accessible online, but there are plans to make this possible in the future.

My thanks go to James Allan for the very informative tour. More information about the services provided by his team can be found on the Bodleian website.

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