Monthly Archives: November 2021

Building Expertise in a New Field

From time to time, we are given new tasks to support and enhance library services despite from the routine that we work in daily lives, I was given a new task in my role recently to learn about the research landscape of Institutions, benchmarking analysis and navigate the world of research. Apart from attending user training and reading the guidebook of the new tool, customer engagement and learning program is definitely one of the choices.

The 6 weeks Scival certification program consist of 6 modules namely (1) Getting started with Scival (2) Metrics and Indicators (3) Institutional Insight (4) Working with Researchers and Groups of Researchers (5) Reporting and (6) User Outreach and rollout.  User need to complete one module per week, with a contribution with approximately one hour per module, and in order to obtain a certificate and digital badge, a user must complete the Scival pre-course and post course surveys and scores at least 80% on each of the course modules quizzes/assessments. The beauty of the course is that you can complete the course at the time convenient for you, it is also well instructed so that users can follow the path easily, after you are done with the program, you can keep moving to the advanced level and build your expertise in a new field.

For those who are taking up new missions and tasks in your workplace, don’t forget that there are support both physical and virtual to help with building your profession, just don’t panic, learning in the workplace can be fun!



Philippines-Singapore: My Virtual M&M-CDPWL Coaching Experience by Dr. Mary Ann M. Ingua

Our coaching session with Rajen held via the Microsoft Team Meetings

I registered for the IFLA World Library and Information Congress (WLIC) 2021, and it was the first-ever virtual Congress that organized by IFLA. This experience allowed the congress to be accessible across continents, time zones, and different languages that allowed one to select sessions that had translations in language choices. It was a truly inclusive congress.

Why am I telling you this?

I am telling you this because the IFLA-WLIC 2021 paved the way for me to schedule an online coaching session with my coach, Mr. Rajen Munoo of Singapore Management University Libraries via MS Teams. On 20th July 2021, I received an invitation from the IFLA WLIC 2021 Congress Team regarding an exciting program on how to achieve goals and expand librarianship and professional development.

The IFLA Coaching Initiative, founded by IFLA’s Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning (CPDWL) and Management & Marketing (M&M) Sections. I felt that it was a great opportunity to join and participate. Consequently, at that time I was also contemplating or evaluating whether to accept the nomination plan of my colleagues regarding a University Librarian position in our university, the University of the Philippines, Los Banos. I was thinking whether it would be a good decision to accept the nomination or not. Voila! I received the timely invitation for a coaching experience, and thought of registering for the coaching session, and hoped to receive help in discerning which road or path to take. This was also a good idea since the coach was external to my organization and it would have been an objective approach to the crossroads that I was facing at that time.

I signed in on 27 August 2021 after the IFLA-WLIC Congress ended, and Rajen from SMU Libraries confirmed my coaching session with him.  During the session, I had a productive conversation with him beginning with self-introductions and sharing about our personal and professional backgrounds which helped break the ice and created a cordial tone for the rest of our conversations.  Rajen asked me why I signed up for the coaching program and I replied that I was at a crossroads on whether to accept the nomination for the position or remain in my current role by being involved in the usual work and services that I had in my university both in and outside of the campus. Rajen provided enlightening words that if my colleagues supported my nomination, then they have a strong belief and trust that I would be capable of leading the university library and becoming their University Librarian. He also added that if my colleagues are confident enough in my capabilities, why shouldn’t I? This struck me and it dawned upon me that maybe because of the many things happening now due to COVID-19 pandemic, both in the workplace and in the personal areas of my life, it lowered my self-esteem and self-confidence. Thankfully, by registering for the coaching session, Rajen reminded me and helped me regain my focus and confidence to want to serve, lead and give it a try!

We ended our hour-long session with reassurances by Rajen that whatever my decision would be, he will be there to help and coach me. In addition, he also shared opportunities for professional development opportunities such as scholarship information and attachment and exchange programmes should I decide to also push through a postdoctoral degree in the near future.  Rajen also shared an upcoming webinar, Why Should I Care? Libraries, Advocacy and the UN SDGs by Loida Garcia-Febo which I shared with my colleagues, and I gained new insights and knowledge on how we could implement or create programs in support of UN-SDGs.

Our coaching session would not be the first and the last session that we will have, but we planned to have another two sessions to follow up and assess what we started in our first meeting in the program. We will also discuss action plans and also talk about tips to deal with difficult situations. Now, I am looking forward to that next coaching session before the year-end.

I encourage LIS professionals to benefit from this free coaching session offered by the M&M in partnership with the CPDWL section where you can talk about any issue you may be currently experiencing and just speaking with someone outside your own organization or institution helps one to reframe and refocus to find meaning in what we do! It also helps to build your professional network. It takes only one hour but it was a priceless experience!

Blog written by:

Dr. Mary Ann M. Ingua
College Librarian and Cataloger
University of the Philippines, Los Banos
4031 College, Laguna PH

With inputs by:

Rajen Munoo
Head, Learning and Engagement
Singapore Management University Libraries