Thursday, 27 October 2016

New job, new city!

Birmingham! Birmingham!! Birmingham!!! I am now a month into a new position as Deputy Library Services Manager, Smallwood Library. I am thoroughly enjoying working for Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust. I'm not sure if eleven years in London has just left a negative impression on me but I find everyone here extremely nice, in and out of the workplace. My kids absolutely love it and I have fantastic neighbours. My colleagues are very helpful and accommodating of my eccentricities. It all more than makes up for uprooting my family from London.

This role involves some line management responsibility which I haven't had in the past and I am learning a lot. I have been able to apply my previous experience to my current role and my line manager has gives me the support I need to run with my ideas. I find the network of Health Libraries in the West Midlands to be a very strong one. The only set back is that I know very few people, a problem I am doing my utmost to rectify. There are still many things I really need to get on top of. The Value and Impact Toolkit, Talent Management Toolkit,  PKSB for Health, the Learning Zone ... the list seems endless.

I attended a Costing course led by Dave Little, Library Services Manager, Shrewsbury & Telford Health Libraries. It opened my eyes to how the cost implications for tasks can fluctuate depending on which member of staff is carrying out the task. It is important to consider how much each hour of a staff member's time costs and whether they are the best person to perform the task for optimal service productivity.

Following on from my group project on Library staff training needs analysis for the K4H Leadership Programme which will be completed in February 2017, I decided to keep the momentum going by joining the CPD Task and Finish Group. I have always been invested in professional development and I find it interesting to see what the current preferences are compared to what is currently available. The action learning sets which are a part of the K4H Leadership Programme have been a life saver. It isn't often that you get to voice your concerns (personal or professional) with a group knowing there will be no judgement. My project team have been so helpful and supportive and I am so glad to have met such a great bunch of people.

I admit to having been skeptical of the new HDAS platform. I have avoided it until I had no choice and I am glad to report that it is starting to grow on me. One of my favourite features which frustrated me no end in the old one is the ability to make changes to search line and the changes are applied to the entire search wherever affected. I felt like I had won the lottery when I came across this. I hope to unveil more attractive features with use in the coming weeks. It is all very exciting.

Image (c) Creative Commons - N Chadwick
My revalidation is due next month and the only thing keeping me calm is the knowledge that I have spent the past year populating my CPD portfolio on the CILIP VLE as I go along. I still have to write my reflective statement though. I better get cracking.

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