CPD23 Thing 7 – Face-2-face networks and professional organisations

I’m currently a member of 4 professional organisations – three  library focused and one health focused. I’ve been a lapsed member of the national professional association (Australian Information and Library Association (ALIA)). When I was unemployed and then working part time, I couldn’t justify the membership cost. Once I got a position with more hours, I decided to rejoin. ALIA offers more to members now than when I first joined. There is a PD tracking option, more training options and electronic access to industry journals. I’ve gone to 2 ALIA conferences (Information Online), one sponsored conference (Digital Information Management Summit) and some training events. I haven’t worked for ALIA yet though. One day, I might join a committee. The other professional association I’m a member of is Health Libraries Inc. (HLInc), a state-based association. It’s a small organisation. It has a journal (which evolved from a newsletter), an annual conference and workshops throughout the year. I’ve written for the journal and I’ve also been on the management committee as regular columnist for the journal Health Inform) and I’ve also helped put together a training day.  The other professional organisation (international this time) is the Association for Clinical Librarians and Informationists (ACLI).  I was asked to be on the board of this new group – I was very chuffed about that! This is a new organisation, just estab this year. I haven’t done anything for this organisation yet – we are to have a Skype teleconference soon. I used to be a member of the Medical Library Association (MLA). I didn’t renew my membership as at the time, I was working very short hours and I couldn’t justify the cost. I might renew because I might be going to one of their conferences in a few years time. The last professional organisation I’m a member of is Health Technology Assessment International (HTAi). I came to be a member in a rather round-about way. In 2006, I was asked to present at the Adelaide pre-conference workshop about HTA in Australia – my first ever presentation! After that, I joined the HTAi Information Resources Group email list (free for non-members). 3 years later, out of the blue, I was asked to consider being the Chair-Elect of the group! I was gob-smacked and sure there had been a mistake. Me? You’re sure? !! My boss at the time supported me in this venture. I had to think carefully though because I would have to self-fund (I would get all the time at the conference as work time). I said yes – and now I am the Chair! Being an active member and Chair of this group has been the best thing ever for my career and learning. I had to join HTAi and there are lots of benefits – such as access to the society’s journal – International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care. I am now a Clinical Librarian at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and my new role sometimes involves indepth searching of medical (and other) databases. I have learnt so much from people in the IRG. It has been marvelous.

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