Welcome to the blog to Ian Gardner. Ian moved on from libraries into the area of Learning and Development; I think this is especially interesting as many librarians have an interest in developing their users through information literacy teaching. Ian makes the point that content curation of elearning suites is also a skill very connected to the role of an information professional.
Current role: Unemployed. Looking for learning and development related opportunities.
Former role: Learning and Development Manager in corporate learning; eLearning Specialist in higher education; Librarian in further education; Information Services Support in legal sector
What led you to move on from libraries? I see the skills associated with being an information professional as very transferable. The need to be associated with a ‘library’, even a virtual one, has gone. I continue to see myself as making use of ‘library’ related skills but in dealing with a broad range of educational media within a holistic consideration of what it means to ‘learn’ and develop. There are a lot of people I have come across who have moved away from libraries via the eLearning route so I don’t think I am unique in that sense. I guess where I may be more different is in that I have then moved into corporate learning, however, with the rise of ‘content curation’ you can see trends in corporate L&D where ‘librarian’ skills are being talked about (even if they are often talked about as if they are something new when, realistically, they are not).
What was your most recent role? Learning and Development Manager.
What did you do in this role? I supported learning, globally, at a large professional services organisation. This included working on career development frameworks, specific interventions (needs analysis, design, development, implementation, evaluation), content management and more.
What library skills did you use in this current role? In that role there were a number of areas that information and library skills supported. Examples included:
i. The management and classification of digital content on SharePoint and other systems.
ii. My understanding of how people learn was essential; this was born out of my library experiences but has been advanced with experience and study since.
iii. ‘Reference interviewing’ techniques can be seen as comparable and/or transferable to general stakeholder management and associated techniques such as performance consulting.
Do you think that your library skills helped you to get this position?. Yes, my combined background in information/knowledge management and eLearning helped me get the position as the role was focused on combining those elements with a Learning and Development skillset.
What other skills have you had to acquire since leaving the library profession in order to enable you to carry out your work? My librarianship qualification and experience are the bedrock and I have gone on to develop skills such as eLearning authoring, workshop facilitation, community management, stakeholder management, project management, needs analysis, instructional design, coaching, content management, system administration, data analysis, research, change management and software skills.
Do you maintain any professional memberships or are there new ones which are more appropriate? I have continued my MCILIP status and have also achieved certified member status of the Association for Learning Technology. In addition, I interact with a wide array of less formal professional memberships, such as LinkedIn Groups and The Learning and Skills Group.
Do you have any future plans/aspirations? Most likely to continue to work in learning innovation, ideally from a learning and development perspective. I am a firm believer that the careers and job titles that we currently see will be revolutionized via automation and other technology in the next few decades, therefore, I am very keen to continue to be flexible in my future career path.
Anything else that you’d like to tell us? I am happy to connect with people via social media:
i. Twitter: @iangardnergb
ii. LinkedIn: uk.linkedin.com/in/igardner