CPDWL Standing Committee Member Highlight: Jarkko Rikkilä

“This is How We Do It: One Professional Development Activity in the Lives of Librarians from Around the World” is a new series from the IFLA Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning Section to highlight our standing committee members, who they are and what they do!

In this post, we highlight Jarkko Rikkilä, CPDWL standing committee member!

My 15 minutes of fame! 🙂 I had the priviledge to offer a speech in early October at the opening ceremony of the new Jämsä public library building. In my speech I addressed that competent personnel – with a versatile library space – is the biggest resource a library can have. This situation was also a PD event for me. I learned how to speak about libraries in an understandable way. I had to really think about the ways how to say things because the speech was aimed at all residents of the municipality.


Why are you a standing committee member of CPDWL and what are you working on for CPDWL Section at the moment? 
Jarkko: I work as a coordinator in a regional development task in Finland. My job includes competence development, network work and improving librarians’ skills. I want to be able to tell the world about the work we do in Finnish libraries and it’s possible through the CPDWL section. I believe that the development of competence in the library sector is one of the most important priorities for libraries in the future. The world changes, and so does library work. I think we can learn a lot from how library knowledge and skills are developed elsewhere. So it works both ways – sharing ideas and bringing some ideas back to one’s own work – that is the best thing in working with CPDWL. At the moment my responsibilities include blog contribution, webinars and get to know you -webinars. I was also happy to meet some of the colleagues live on IFLA WLIC Dublin in July this year.
What is one advice you have for new librarians interested in getting involved in IFLA or in their library associations for professional development? 
Jarkko: I became interested in the activities of the CPDWL section at the Zagreb satellite conference in 2019. It was a really great conference and I started looking for a way to get involved. For me, the Finnish Library Association has been the most important link to international work. So I would recommend contacting your own country’s library association or joining somehow to national-level library advocacy. Many professionals may be worried about their own language skills or possible workload, which is naturally related to international work in some way. I can say from my own experience that it is worth setting off calmly. Getting to know the department’s operating culture takes time, and it’s good to be kind. You also get used to using the English language, the most important thing is to find your own style – very few people think about correct pronunciation, for example. Looking outside your own bubble is always important!