Skip to main content

Chaotic convening

A few years ago, I ended up becoming the Convenor of my professional group. Now, this wasn't because of outrageous ambition or a wild desire for power. Nope: it was more along the lines of "somebody has to do it, and you look like you won't break too much expensive or important stuff". My predecessor was wonderful: very organised, professional, and efficient. I think I can say I took that as a challenge not to live up to...I am definitely more of a Chaotic Convenor.

This is how I convene a meeting*:

  • Fumble about with the paperwork, and realise I didn't print out the agenda and previous meetings minutes.
  • Sheepishly ask if anyone has spare copies/steal another Committee members copy while they aren't looking, and protest innocence and surprise when the missing papers are discovered.
  • Select which pretty colour of gel ink pen to use.
  • Ask what I'm meant to do.
  • Start going over the minutes of the previous meeting.
  • Ask if that's what I'm meant to be doing.
  • Meander off point in an epic manner at any random point.
  • Decide it's time for a snack.
  • Sing along to music seeping in from outside.
  • Scribble semi-comprehensible notes everywhere.
  • Descend into gossip occasionally.
  • Ask whereabouts we were in the agenda, because I lost track.
  • Be mildly cheeky to the quieter members of the Committee to provoke them into joining in.
  • Eventually discuss all the things we needed to discuss.
  • Nominate anyone but myself to do the work needing to be done (I am developing this into a fine art).

Now, if anyone wants tips on how to convene in a manner as excellent as mine, I am available for lessons.
But you'll have to arrange the date.
And location.
And can you book the room?
Oh, can you also print out some spare copies of the agenda?
Wait a minute: what day was it again?



* This may, or may not be an entirely accurate account.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Relaunching a library service

What do you do when you decide to do what is verging on library-based insanity, and basically scrap your current library service, and relaunch everything - physical layout, LMS, and classification system? In my case, spend a year, planning, developing, preparing….and then a frantic few weeks hauling stock!
The background to this apparent madness is this: when I took on this role I inherited a library using a layout that didn’t seem to make sense, a classification system I wasn’t familiar with, and an LMS that had been in place for 20 years but didn’t seem suited to our needs. As I was new to the library, a major part of the time I had available while settling in during my initial few months was dedicated to exploring how well these things were working, both for users, and library staff. I had the benefit of my colleague also being new to the library, only a few months after me, so together we looked at these issues with fresh eyes.We came to the following conclusions: The physical layou…

Too close to the problem to see the achievements

Sometimes, you have so much to do, that you can't see what you've actually done. I'm feeling very much that way at the moment, so I thought I'd make a public list for myself of all the work and professional things I've done since taking up my role in mid January. Then maybe I'll feel less like I'm just not very good at anything. It's worth a try. Although for obvious reasons, I can't publicly say much about the baddest/hardest stuff, but...it's in there. Maybe it's not explicit about how hard it's been, but it's there.

So: what have I done?


Service management and development

Replaced someone who ran the library for 21 years, who retired 3 months before I started, and gave me no handover information.Got 6 weeks of company/training on the library from an assistant, who then retired, leaving me as the only person in the organisation who knew anything about how the library actually worked.Done the assistant librarian and librarian job simu…

Impressive shelving technique

I have a new role model: the shelving technique demonstrated between 12 and 18 seconds by the librarian in this Lucozade video is something to aspire to! :D