This year I graduated from being a participant in the ILN peer mentoring program, to working behind the scenes in helping the program to come together. Having been a part of the ILN since 2014, I was keen to give back to a program that I had so enjoyed being a part of. I have had a partner from New Zealand, from England and from the Philippines, and I have learnt something new and interesting from all of them.
Taking the step to volunteer with the team was a little scary at first – would I be able to fulfil the time commitments? Would I have anything useful to contribute? But after meeting the team and being gently led into the inner workings of the ILN I am so glad to have taken up the role of content officer. Not only have I learnt so much about the Library world from researching and writing posts for the ILN website, I have found a great support network of highly intelligent, ambitious and inspirational Librarians from around the world. As a new librarian this has been a great stepping stone to getting more involved in the industry and for professional networking.
This volunteer role also happily coincided with my new role as a Law Librarian at Monash University in Melbourne. Being able to do both concurrently has been extremely beneficial, as my work in each has helped to inform my work in the other. For example, the discussion topic on leadership and management for this round gave me some great ideas for my future career progression. My employer is very supportive of professional development and so I am able to include this work with the ILN in my professional development plan for the year as well. I also hope to be able to use my experiences in the ILN as a basis to start presenting at conferences in 2017. I think it is an important step in my career and having been an observer up until this point, I am very keen to try being a presenter soon.
So I give a heartfelt thank you to all those involved in the ILN, for the warm welcome I was given, and for all the support they give to me, and to each other, throughout the year. I look forward to the rest of the year (and onwards) working together, and maybe even meeting more of you in person!
– Michelle De Aizpurua, ILN Content Officer.