by Sara Batts, Europe Chapter, Legal, Business & Finance, Leadership & Management Divisions
Career-changing is ﬂexibility in action. It’s being comfortable with the mindset that takes everything you know in one arena, chews it up, spits it out and moves on, adapting your skills and working styles to a new environment. This is my second career and one that, like many, I stumbled across serendipitously. (Saying ‘by accident’ sounds a little harsh, but it’s not far off.) There are a whole host of people’s stories at the Library Routes project and mine’s not unique. What has Future Ready come to mean? For me it’s been about throwing myself in the deep end: connecting with my professional peers via the UK’s BIALL and CLIG and globally via SLA; seeking to learn about new tools, new areas, and new ways of working. We career-changing new entrants bring great attitudes to the Future Ready party. We’re here because we choose to be: this is our profession and of course we’re going to promote our value and our worth. What’s this shy-and-retiring stereotype all about anyway? Whose rules are those to say what is and isn’t an information professional? And we’re not restricted by how things used to be or how we’ve always done things – we want to do what works now, and what will work tomorrow. We have already re-invented ourselves once: in my case from conference organiser to legal specialist; and from non-participant to unit leader – re-evaluating our role is second nature. We’ve been Future Ready since our ﬁrst day at library school.
Sara Batts is SLA Europe’s president and is also involved a member of several divisions including Legal and LMD. She has been involved with SLA since winning one of SLA Europe’s early career conference awards in 2009 and is one of 2011’s Rising Stars. She’s been Senior Research Librarian in the London office of law ﬁrm Reed Smith for three years.