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I was invited to attend this training day by my co-chair on the SLA Europe ECCA committee, Lyndsay Rees-Jones. The day was run by the CILIP Membership Support Unit for the CILIP Career Development Group (CDG) regional New Professionals Support Officers (NPSOs). I’m not an NPSO – yesterday, I wasn’t even a member of CDG – but was invited along to share experiences of working with new professionals.

What I encountered was a group of bright, friendly, and enthusiastic people, brimming with ideas. Some I had heard of through their involvement in various projects, such as the 2009 New Professionals Conference, but this was the first chance I’d had to meet them.

Maria Cotera, president of CDG, introduced the day with a clear explanation of where CDG and the regional NPSOs fit into the CILIP structure. Then Kathy Ennis of MSU, Lyndsay, and Maria spoke about previous CDG events – mainly the new professionals’ conference and the graduate day. They asked for input from people who had attended these events, and Ned Potter and Emma Illingworth gave some interesting insight about their experiences of presenting at the new professionals conference and how it has affected their career.

Kathy also mentioned the “Big Conversation” that will be starting In Jan 2010, about the future of CILIP over the next 10 years. She was very definite that new professionals should be very deeply involved in making the decisions about the future of the profession, and said that she had recommended that the leader of the Big Conversation should be under 35.

We also had a chance to brainstorm ideas for future incarnations of CILIP Graduate Day, to involve opening up the audience, and taking it on the road. This produced some excellent ideas, and showed a lot of consensus in what we, as new professionals, feel is important for new professionals.

Overall, a great day. I’ve now joined CDG (can’t believe I wasn’t a member before!), and am going to have the chance to work with them again in the future, which is very exciting 😀 I also got to meet some great new peers and do some good networking. (During which I found myself vociferously defending ASKPro – I don’t think I realised how strongly I felt about it until I was challenged!)

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