Last year was my second time attending Library Camp but my first time pitching. Pitching an idea may seem a bit intimidating so I’m sharing my experience to show that it really isn’t intimidating at all.
I really wanted to get involved last year but as I had recently graduated and had only just started a new job I wasn’t sure what I could contribute. The only thing I knew about was job hunting so that’s what I decided to pitch. I titled my pitch ‘Information Professionals and the jobs market’ and emailed a few short paragraphs about my idea to the CDG committee.
Library Camp is really informal and there are no powerpoint presentation – just you, a marker and a flip chart. I had written down my ideas on some flash cards but really the person standing up with an idea is really just there to facilitate a conversation. I was definitely nervous at the beginning of my pitch, that’s totally normal, but a few familiar faces put me at ease. Librarians are a friendly bunch!!
I started with the job hunt itself, I gave some recommendations of job sites I had used and then we added more suggestions as a group. Naturally we tackled internships and had an open discussion around their pros and cons. We also discussed how to get the most out of your internship if you decide to do one. We then moved on to networking and CPD. Again, I gave a few suggestions and then opened the question to the floor for further ideas. The time flew by and I had to wrap up quickly.
I really enjoyed the experience and saw my role as giving pointers to start a conversation rather than me exclusively talking about my job hunt. So if you have an idea relating to marketing within your organisation, jot a few ideas down and then throw it open to the floor. Library Camp is all about collaboration and communication of ideas.
Although I’m not involved with marketing in my organisation I have decided to pitch again this year. I sometimes struggle to explain to people what I do and why it’s important. So this year I’m tackling the Librarian’s elevator pitch and I’m hoping we’ll have a really great discussion about how to tackle this problem.
So what are you waiting for? Get your thinking cap on and get pitching!
by Jenny O’Neill, DRI Data Curator and CDG Committee member