Accessing resources

Finding resources can be hard when you don’t have access to the many journals and books, online and in print, you had access to when you were at university. However, there are ways that you can continue quench your thirst for knowledge.

Alumni schemes

Find out if your former university allows you to continue accessing resources as an alumni. You may have permission to access online material as well as print at the university library or libraries that are related to that university.

Google Scholar

Although not the greatest of tools, Google Scholar does provide access to some journal articles. It is well worth a look to read around a subject and find out who the key authors are and how the subject has developed through the years.

Magazines/Newspapers

It is worth keeping an eye out for any developments in publicly accessible media. This is especially worthwhile if you are interested in a specific industry. 

For example, I am interested in the use and accessibility of information so any news on technological advancements are useful.

Look all around you

The world is brimming with information and just taking notice of the things around you and the things you use can be really informative. 

For example, like a lot of people, I use apps a lot. However, rather than passively use them, I look at how they structure and organise their information, how easy it is to search for things and what kind of features have been put in place to make things easier.

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Ways to progress in your career

Ever since I started my current job, I had been thinking about ways to progress in my career. Through searching I have found that there are a few ways that I could develop as an information professional.

1. Develop in your role

It’s important to have a grasp of what your role includes in order to find out how you can develop the service you provide.

For example, when I first started, I wrote down what kind of searches I would be performing; making detailed notes of which research tools I would need to find each piece of information.

In addition, I saved all the research tools I would be using in my bookmarks menu and an Excel spreadsheet. I also, did this when I came across useful sites, where I had found interesting reports and articles that related to the interests of my ‘clients’.

By doing doing this, I was able to be more proactive when providing information. Information would either come straight to my inbox or I could scour these sites for useful reports and articles. Thus, I was able to pass this information on to those who would find it useful.

2. Read

Another way to progress in your Information Professional career, is to continue to read. It allows you to find out what new developments are happening in the field or the different ways you can disseminate information.

When I finished my course, I did find it difficult to stay in touch with the field, as I was no longer able to access the articles, journals and books I could when I was completing my course. In addition, I wasn’t really sure where I wanted to go with my career as none of the traditional roles seemed to fit what I wanted to do.

However, my current role has allowed me to explore new possibilities and new avenues. Although, I am still figuring things out, the internet has a wealth of information; and social media sites, such as Twitter, are really useful for keeping up to date.

So, just continuing to read and explore, enables you to figure out what you want to do and where you want to go.

3. Pursue further education

Pursuing further education can allow you to further understand what it is you want to do, by surrounding yourself in the literature, in research and people within the field. In addition, I believe that supplementing your education with skills in other areas can broaden your understanding of a particular subject in a particular are of study.

In order to truly develop as a person, I have decided to  learn a language, develop my coding skills and truly consider whether I want to do a PhD. I like my profession and I like that I feel that there is more to learn, more to find out and more to develop. I have a hunger for something more, so pursuing more study seems to be a good choice for me.