It was last year on 5th December 2007 when I reported that I had been awarded the Information World Review’s Information Professional of the Year. With this year’s winner due to be announced at the Online Information 2008 conference in the next few days I thought it would be timely to summarise what I’ve been up to during my year as holder of the award (and also to update the portrait on the blog).

It’s been a very busy year for engaging with my user communities: I’ve given 32 presentations to date (with one more presentation to come) together with 2 online presentations. As can be seen from the accompanying map, talks have been given in Montreal (a half day blog workshop and a professional forum on openness at the Museums and the Web 2008 conference), Taiwan (an invited presentation on “Library 2.0: Opportunities and Challenges” at the NDAP 2008 conference), Singapore (an invited paper on “Library 2.0: Balancing the Risks and Benefits to Maximise the Dividends” at the Bridging Worlds 2008 conference) and Stockholm (an invited presentation on “Realising The Potential of Web 2.0” at the Nordlib 2.0 conference), as well as many talks throughout the UK.

This year has also seen an increased amount of direct engagement with the cultural heritage sector.  I’ve run a number of day-long workshops for MLA regional agencies, as well as additional events in Scotland and Wales. These have all gone done very well – one of the Sharing Made Simple workshops for example, was rated (on 1 score of 1 to 6) 5.91 for the facilitator’s knowledge of the subject, 5.82 for engagement with the participants and had an overall rating of 5.82.

The workshops have also provided an opportunity to gain a much better insight into the ways in which Web 2.0 can be used within the cultural heritage sector and also the barriers to its effective use. This information has being stored in a wiki (as opposed to the traditional approach of licking such potentially valuable information into the walled garden of flip charts!). A task on the new year will be to synthesise this information and to make the findings more widely available.

Reflections of my work activities have also been included in two books which I contributed to this year: Web Accessibility: Practical Advice for the Library and Information Professional” by Jenny Craven (ed.) and Information Literacy meets Library 2.0” by Peter Godwin and Jo Parker (eds).

This year has also seen me gaining more experiences in the support of Amplified Conferences and use of networked technologies to provide distance support, with a couple of examples of participation in online conferences.

In the past 12 months I have also published 190 blog posts on the UK Web Focus blog, with additional contributions made to the JISC PoWR blog.

It has been an enjoyable 12 months in my role as Information Professional of the Year, made particularly rewarding for seeing how the benefits of Web 2.0 are now becoming more widely accepted.  As one person commented on one of the workshop I facilitated earlier this year “Brian in particular displayed a real knowledge and enthusiasm for the topic, which was infectious“. I’m looking forward to continue to infect others with my expertise and enthusiasm for many year’s to come 🙂