What next indeed? That’s a question I’ve been asking myself since starting this blog back in May. In my first post, I wrote about the closure of the library I had worked in for over 20 years and my decision to take early retirement rather than move to a job that wasn’t really “me”. I thought that cpd23 would be one way of keeping in touch with the library world, learning new skills and connecting with new people. I’m not saying it hasn’t been those things – but I’ve found it harder to complete than I expected, mainly because I was offered another job out of the blue. I spent 3 months at the Scottish Agricultural College (now SRUC) as temporary Site Librarian in Edinburgh – the job didn’t exhaust me, but the commuting (from Glasgow) did, so there was a period of two months when this blog was almost entirely neglected. Now, my contract is over and I’m finishing – quite late but, hooray, within the deadline to claim my certificate!
I reflected in Thing 19 on what I had got out of the programme. For me, a lot of the parts which would be forward-looking for a younger professional (mentoring, selling yourself at interview etc) have been retrospective, and this has actually been a very useful process for looking back over my career and evaluating, for my own satisfaction, what I have achieved. Thing 23 is also very forward-looking and asks us to identify skills gaps and make a Personal Development Plan to fill them. At the moment, I’m not very sure where I am looking forward to so I think this is beyond me! I have a few small projects in the pipeline but need time to think about where to go next – should I look for a part-time job? Or for voluntary work (of the non-job substitution sort)? I do know that I want to continue writing this blog as a means of reflecting on my library and book related activities. I’ve changed the “About” section and the tagline, which now reads “Adventures of a retired librarian”. So I’m committed to having some! Thing 23 also asks for a 6 word story on our experience of cpd23: mine has to be “Not put out to grass yet”. Will that do?