What is it?
23 Things for Professional Development, also known as cpd23, is a self-directed, self-paced, inclusive, practical and free online programme open to librarians and information professionals at all stages of their career, in any type of role, any sector, and from any part of the world. It encourages information professionals to explore and discover social media ‘Things’, including Twitter, RSS feeds and file-sharing, as well as other ‘traditional’ CPD routes, such as gaining qualifications, presenting skills and getting published. Participants will be asked to assess how each Thing can assist them in their professional development, and then to blog about each Thing and share their thoughts, views and expertise. The programme is completely informal and no prior knowledge or experience is expected or assumed.
What will I have to do?
Each week, details about one or more of the Things will be posted on the central cpd23 blog (http://cpd23.blogspot.com). We’ll then invite you to explore the Thing in question – and don’t worry, we’ll provide lots of guidance and support – and then to record your response on your own personal blog. Please don’t worry if you haven’t already got a blog as we’ll cover that in Thing 1, but feel free to use an existing blog if you’ve got one. We’ll ask you to register your blog with us as part of Thing 2, just so we know that you’re taking part and can say hello! And we’ll list all the participants-about 280 so far, from all over the world, and rising all the time-on a Delicious page and in an RSS bundle so you can find other people taking part. We think each Thing will take about an hour to complete, so there’s no major time commitment involved. There are also plenty of ‘catch-up’ weeks built in, and you can complete the course at your own pace.
What will I gain from it?
23 Things for Professional Development is a great way to supercharge your CPD, no matter what stage of your career you’re at, what role you have, or how professionally involved you already are. It aims to assist participants to explore their own professional development and to reflect on it. We hope that it will enable participants to learn about the different ways to enhance their careers and to equip them with the tools, skills, knowledge and confidence to boost, underline or kickstart their CPD. We also hope that it’ll be a lot of fun and a brilliant opportunity to meet and get connected to other information professionals, as well as an incentive and an excuse to think about-and talk to others about-your career advancement.
I’ve done a 23 Things programme before. What’s different about cpd23?
The 23 Things framework is tried, tested and trusted, and there have been lots of other programmes. If you’ve already done one, that’s great! We still think there’s a lot to gain from taking part in cpd23, and you’ll have a headstart because you know what to expect. With cpd23, we’ve used the existing framework, but given it a bit of a twist, and it differs in two ways. First, unlike other programmes, it’s not just about social media, but includes plenty of offline Things too, and some of the social media Things which we’ve included might be different from those used by other programmes. Second, it’s got a different focus: it isn’t about whether or how you could integrate each Thing into your working life, but about how you could use it for your professional development. Cpd23 is a little more personal and more reflective than other programmes.
How do I join in?
23 Things for Professional Development starts officially on 20th June, 2011 and it runs until October. To join in, just visit the central cpd23 blog and get started! The list of Things is already available online, as well as plenty of other information. On 20th June we’ll post some guidance and instructions about how to set up and register your blog. And if, at any time, you’ve got any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to contact the team either by leaving a comment on our blog, or by tweeting us @cpd23. Please use the hashtag #cpd23 so we can see how you’re getting on.
One last thing is that while we will offer you as much support and guidance as we can, nothing at all can beat the face-to-face support of your colleagues, so encourage them to take part too. So spread the cpd23 message!
Our 23 Things for Professional Development programme was inspired by 23 Things Cambridge, and is based on the original 23 Things programme at the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County in the USA in 2006.
Maria Giovanna De Simone, Information Assistant, Careers Service Library, Cambridge, UK, is one of the CPD23 organising team members.