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“A Grand Day Out”


CILIP North West
“A Grand Day Out”

What Happened?

Just before Covid hit in 2020, I began the process of working towards my Chartership. Lockdown gave me lots of opportunity to do all sort of online training and reading. But I struggled with reflective writing; I just couldn’t get my head around how to do it. So, I kept going with development activities and sort of hoped that if I ignored it, reflective writing would just go away.

Needless to say, it didn’t.

Finally, I felt I had done enough to submit my MCLIP but the pesky reflective writing was hanging over me. So when I saw there was a session on reflective writing at a forthcoming CILIP CPD day, I knew I had to attend and slay the demon!

So What?

To be honest, I hadn’t paid much attention to the programme for the day beyond the reflective writing session. So it all came as a bit of a surprise, and a very inspiring one.

We started with a session about ChatGPT and Artificial Intelligence, led by Tim Leonard, of Bolton University Library. I had just begun to learn a bit about ChatGPT for some information literacy sessions that I had taught to our year 8 students the previous week. Tim’s session confirmed to me that I was on the right lines including ChatGPT in my info lit lesson. But I also learned a lot more about the technology behind ChatGPT and other AI models which could be used in education. The session has inspired me to learn even more and to offer a staff CPD session about AI at my school.

We moved on to a very enjoyable session with poet Dom Conlon about the Power of Poetry. Dom had my whole attention – I didn’t take any notes. It was a session that I found personally uplifting, like mindfulness or a yoga class, and a reminder that CPD can be for the whole person.

Then followed a series of lightning talks from a range of speakers from across the library sector. 

As a football fan, I particularly enjoyed Jane Bailey’s presentation on using football tactics as an analogy to teach essay writing technique to MSc Sports Directorship students who may not have any formal qualifications or previous essay writing experience. Jane’s outside-the-box thinking was really inspiring and got me thinking about ways I could be more creative in my own delivery.

Finally, we reached the session on reflective writing, led by Tracey Pratchett. We learned the purpose of reflective writing, which was an eye-opener in itself. We looked at different models and approaches to the practice and finally, we got to have a go. I felt so inspired by this point that I wrote furiously during the few minutes we had to complete the task. I wrote a useful reflection on the info lit lessons I had been teaching the previous week, using one of the models that Tracey had given us.

We completed the day with CILIP NW’s AGM.

“A Grand Day Out” delivered so much more than I was expecting from it. I wanted to learn how to write reflectively, and I have. But it has also helped me develop my information literacy knowledge, expanded my knowledge of the wider library sector and provided an opportunity to network with librarians from other sectors, plus given me an opportunity to develop leadership within school and within the profession by writing this reflective blog post!

What’s Next?

I am writing this nearly three weeks after the event. Since then, I have been reflecting furiously, using a model from the day, and pulling together my MCLIP submission, which is now nearly ready to go. Another delegate and I have agreed to write reflectively together in future. I have signed up to more AI learning opportunities and offered a staff CPD session on AI, which has been well received – this has got me thinking about what else I could offer. I am organising to host one of the student delegates for a visit to my library. I am thinking about my possible future involvement with CILIP NW.

I was off work sick for most of 2022 and this event has been like a shot in the arm to get me re-inspired and back on track. Thank you to the CILIP NW team for such a fantastic day!

Kimberley Lawson 
Assistant Librarian 
Queen Elizabeth Grammar School


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