Revalidation VIII – woah boy

Remember February 2020? When I last posted to this blog? I think we can safely say plans got a little disrupted after that. Accordingly I am not going to hold my feet to the flames for a lack of progress on the elusive FCLIP. Nor am I going to criticise myself for taking a year off the revalidation loop.

It was good to conduct some CPD archeology on my diary to look at what I got up to inbetween Teams meetings and washing my hands over the past two years. Like many people Covid was the hot date in my diary but this proved particularly the case as I was responsible for reopening the physical libraries after a closed period across the whoe university back at the start of time (March 2020). This was a huge challenge. In hindsite it had the benefit of requiring absolute focus on a single very clear aim which is something that can be hard to find in the regular hurly burly of work.

I did a lot of learning around questions of antiracism and inequality in the workplace with a LibraryJuice course an intense but rewarding option.

The barrage of Teams meetings left me reluctant to go to some of the conferences I might usually have enjoyed due to their revised online formats. I spoke at RLUK 2021 (delayed from March 2020 ahem) – a lightning talk on Working in partnership in Sierra Leone. This was a dispiriting experience with zero visual feedback leaving me feeling I might as well have been muttering to myself. I enjoyed some of the talks but without being there it was ultimately a disappointment – certainly no substitute for a trip to the Wellcome or Edinburgh.

I enjoyed writing an article of sorts for HILJ in memory of Shane Godbolt – “‘Moving Forward’: how health librarians can continue supporting the legacy of Shane Godbolt“. A reminder to us all of the power of networking, professional development and of how we all gain by helping others.

Hilj.club had a tough 2020 grinding to a halt under the pressure of Covid and only resuming a year later. For all that it picked up views and readers in 2020 and saw pleasing growth in 2021. I remain a little unsure if the format works. Perhaps people are just over commenting on blogs? In any case – I think it is a valuable little contribution and worth the URL fee / a bit of time.

Also on my plate has been the design of a new library for one of the hospital campuses – the enjoyment of laying things out and devising what promises to be a compact but desirable space somewhat under mined by the many meetings considering risks.

While I was looking the other way CILIP updated the Revalidation process with a new template to work to. It feels a shame to me that the previously required brief reflective statement has gone – there really is reason for people to not complete this annual review exercise now this slightly tricky element has been excised.

So what did I learn in the (ongoing) covid nightmare? We can achieve things we thought impossible – and quite quickly. That thing about self compassion and not being able to pour from an empty cup really is true. I like being mobile during my day. I love working in central London. People are more irrational than I want to acknowledge. Good bread is an investment worth making. Virtual meetings are less fun than real ones. You can reduce the extent to which Teams bugs you. I should have joined a running club years ago – AKA make time for the things you really want to do. That’ll do for today.

I normally add an MJ Hibbett and the Validators song on the end of these posts but in honour of it dominating my playlist you can have a bit of Nation of Language instead.