The story of the New Professionals Special Interest Group (NPSIG) begins at the IFLA Congress 2004 in Buenos Aires. Since back then the NPSIG has presented programmes at every IFLA Congress dealing with the hottest topics and helping new librarians to network and to get started in the international library community. Up to now, the NPSIG already consists of a quite interesting bunch of people within IFLA.
But the story gets even more exciting when we come to know that the new Convenor of the group nominated in 2010, Sebastian Wilke, is a LIS student for the first time. In this context, a question arose: What should the NPSIG really be looking for now?
Based on the outcomes of a workshop held during BOBCATSSS 2010 as well as an IT brainstorming meeting at IFLA Headquarters in February, a new mission statement was framed. The three major goals of the NPSIG are:
- to provide a forum within IFLA for the discussion of relevant issues related to New Professionals,
- to recruit and actively involve New Professionals in the IFLA network, and
- to connect New Professionals worldwide and to whet their appetite for conferences and networking.
If we think about an overall slogan for it we could say: The NPSIG is looking for a new and younger generation of New Professionals to get more involved in the IFLA community. It aims to encourage the New Professionals out there to set new bold agendas and to provoke thinking about how librarians can develop the expertise to ensure that they continue to play an effective and visible role in the social and economic development of our society.
The NPSIG works like a huge open community, so everybody who wants to can actively take part and get involved. The beauty of it is that its structure allows for new professionals to collaborate and grow together in areas such as leadership, and then continue working with IFLA as members of committees and other capacities, obtaining the enrichment and excitement of a multicultural perspective on libraries and new professionals. By participating in a forum under the IFLA umbrella they can share information about resources, experiences and ideas with the benefits of collective intelligence.
We invite you to take part in this beautiful experience! Having an international education or an international career is the best ingredient to make a good cake. Everybody in the group contributes to the benefit of the group and one success is the success of all. An important skill you will be acquiring is team building. The schools of Librarianship seem to be expected to standardise the content of their courses and don’t have enough space to develop practical competencies or students’ critical and analytical skills. This is your opportunity to get into the profession and pull your sleeves up!
Federica Marangio (Advocacy Support Officer, IFLA Headquarters)
Sebastian Wilke (Convenor, New Professionals Special Interest Group)
(This text is going to be published in the July issue of the SET Bulletin.)