I first became a LIANZA and Te Rōpū Whakahau member in the early 1990s to meet others in similar circumstances and as part of my ongoing career development. I was studying for my post-grad library qualification, was new to the profession, and I was working sole-charge at Awataha Marae library. It was significant for me to feel as if I belonged.
I continued to be a LIANZA and Te Rōpū Whakahau member throughout my library career for the same reasons I’ve just outlined. But in February 2007 I left libraries to develop a training and recognition programme for over 9000 mystery shoppers in Australia and New Zealand. And at this time the practicalities of professional registration were still being fine-tuned (the scheme was introduced in July 2007).
Now that I’ve returned, I’ve re-joined LIANZA and am considering whether to become professionally registered. I wouldn’t have given it a second thought prior to leaving libraries, but I now find myself weighing up the benefits of what professional registration means to me personally.
According to LIANZA, professional registration will provide me with:
- ongoing professional development
A great reason, but I feel I’m able to provide a significant part of my own ongoing professional development through the curation of The Daily News and being involved in other ways.
- a framework for employers to help coach you
As I am currently self-employed, this isn’t of benefit to me.
- an assurance for future employers that you meet the standards… for professional library and information work
This applies regardless of my employment status. As a self-employed individual providing project management to libraries being professionally registered would be a point of distinction from other consultants. How valuable this is would still need to be tested but I believe it is a rare thing to find a consultant meeting recognised standards in both the library and project management professions. And as someone who may consider permanent or fixed-term library employment in the future, professional registration at least gets me a foot in the door.
- international benchmarking and recognition of your qualifications if you wish to work overseas
I can’t think of any additional benefits to those already outlined above.
Unfortunately the benefits aren’t overwhelming, so if you can think of any others, please let me know. 🙂
On the other hand, the benefits are enough for me to take the next step – find out what is required – for all I know I might not qualify (do I need to be employed in a library?) or it might be a cinch.
Find out what I discover about the professional registration process in my next blog post.