Ok, ok, so I wrote an introductory post and then everything fell into a yawning abyss. I can invoke extenuating circumstances though. I got engulfed in trying to make the decision about whether to take voluntary severance from my job. I made the decision and, like a wily rat, jumped ship at the end of August. I hope I made the right decision. I actually don’t know yet… I had to decide based on imperfect knowledge and ‘best guess’ evaluation of the degree of threat to my post – and, indeed, to the LIS department I was working in. In the end it seemed like the least risky of two risky options:
(1) Stay and see how things rolled out, with the possibility of ending up on a re-deployment register and then falling off the end of that with statutory redundancy and very little financial buffer
(2) Take an enhanced package along with finalising of my USS pension, giving me roughly two years to find something else to do
Having chosen (2) I’m now looking for another post. I’ve been for a few (unsuccessful) interviews and have failed to be shortlisted for a lot of posts I’ve applied for. It’s a tough and very competitive jobs market out there, with many experienced people trying to find posts. SO many good, skilled and dedicated colleagues ending up as collateral damage in the highly disruptive and turbulent changes that are sweeping across the library and Higher Education sectors.
I don’t want to have to leave the LIS sector to find a job. I really don’t. I’ve given the last ten years of my working life to helping colleagues gain their CILIP accredited LIS qualifications. I believe in the power of libraries and the need for people to be able to access and exploit information. I believe in librarians as skilled information professionals and the value they can bring to helping others in their communities. Librarians are *my people* and I’d like to continue to work with and for them!
I DON’T want to have to work outside the sector, just because I need to get a job again. Whether that is within the LIS education sector in which I have been working, or as a practitioner, I don’t really mind. I hope I’ll have that privilege.
There are other things I want to think through and talk about here, especially following the publication of the Sieghart report, but that will be another time.