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Thursday, 4 August 2011

CPD23 - Thing 10 - Routes into librarianship


Thing 10 is all about sharing and blogging about our experiences in library and information work to date.
I took quite a traditional route into library and information work by going through the stages of:
  1. Studying for an arts/humanities undergraduate degree
  2. Working as a Graduate Trainee after successfully applying and securing a one-year traineeship at a university library as part of the CILIP Graduate Training Opportunities scheme (or SCONUL programme as it was known in my day - does that show my age?)
  3. Studying for Masters on CILIP accredited course at City University
  4. Starting first professional post in government information service
  5. Achieving Chartered Member status of CILIP
  6. Continuing to progress through my organisation and build up my skills and experience
I was interested in library and information work from quite young - at the very least since working in my school careers library and getting careers advice. I also remember a personality and careers advice test once which recommended a number of possible future careers including becoming a solicitor, arts administrator and a librarian. In fact, I might have had the idea even younger when I loved going to my local library and organised my bookshelves at home in alphabetical order!

I originally applied for the graduate traineeship and to study for the Masters because I was interested in a versatile and flexible career. On the whole, this has been in the case for me. I've had lots of opportunities so far despite mainly working for the same employer within a large central government department. Via my career and jobs I've had the opportunity to deliver training overseas, work with companies, give presentations, organise events, use modern technology, make a difference to the UK economy - which I would never have thought of doing when I first thought originally about librarianship and information work.

I've also moved away from the 'traditional' concept of a librarian (if such a person or concept really exists). Working as an information professional is all about people, customer service and enabling people and organisations to succeed.

I've been mostly happy with my choices so far.

If interested you can read my Case Study on the Info Professional website. The Info Professional website is a site set up the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) and Lifelong Learning UK to provide the inside take on library and information careers - taking you places you've never imagined - so definitely worth a look if you are new or young professional. You might also want to check out the Library Routes Project wiki which provides a forum to share your experiences in the library and information profession. I've just added this posting to the wiki. Why not share your experiences or read those of others as well?!

My challenge now is the big what if....what next? To be honest the answer is, I don't exactly know apart from a desire to progress, move on and learn new things, get paid better and become more professional.

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