Apply now for SLA Europe Early Career Conference Awards 2013

Applications are now open for the SLA Europe Early Career Conference Awards (ECCA). Go apply now!

The awards, co-sponsored by four Special Libraries Association divisions (Business & Finance, Leadership & Management, Legal, and Pharmaceutical & Health Technology) offer new professionals an amazing opportunity to attend the SLA annual conference and INFO-EXPO in San Diego, and covers conference fees, flights, expenses and accommodation.

I was extremely fortunate to win an ECCA this year to attend SLA 2012 in Chicago, co-sponsored by the Business & Finance Division. It was an unbelievable experience and an incredible opportunity as a new professional. I met LIS professionals from around the world, experienced a country I always dreamed of visiting, and joined a welcoming and enthusiastic community.

More information about the awards, including how to apply, is at the SLA Europe website. I urge you to apply. You have nothing to lose, and you could end up in San Diego!

On the other side – my own induction

Last week, I attended the Induction Day for new staff across the university. Having delivered so many library inductions over the last couple of months, it felt quite strange to be on the other side.

The day started with a networking activity. We were all given a matrix of descriptions, and spaces to fill in names. We had to find a person to match up with the description – for example, ‘A person with leather sofas in their place of work’, or ‘A person who has worked abroad’. I wasn’t so successful in this game of bingo, and I don’t know if I was networking, but it certainly led to some laughter while we dashed around, growing ever more competitive!

The programme was quite varied, and included introductions from many departments in the university, such as design and print, copyright, HR, and a talk from the Vice-Chancellor. A formal induction day like this was a really nice introduction to the university and the different departments you might not otherwise know exist. We also had a fascinating tour of the campus and it’s buildings (which was a lot more interesting than it sounds!).

It was very useful to be an inductee, on the other side, as I’ve taken away some points for my own teaching. I could feel my concentration levels dip in the afternoon, and this is something I will remember for my own sessions. Many courses have a full induction day like this, where the Library may be a short session in the timetable. It’s hard to get everything important across, but not overwhelm your audience with information.

My own preferred approach is to sign-post to where they can find information, but try to avoid just broadcasting so much that no-one takes anything in. The interactive elements of my induction helped with this, and finishing with a tour outside was a great way to wake everyone up (and the tour itself was great!).