Monday, 8 August 2011

Thing 10 - Graduate traineeships, Masters Degree, Chartership, Accreditation

Thing 10 is looking at Librarianship training and blogging about our own journey's, so here goes.

My route into librarianship.

My first experience into library work work through my Year 10 work experience placement.  I had no real desire to work in the library but had to go somewhere!!  Even so I really enjoyed my two weeks at Bridgnorth Library and due to this I started to look into how to become a librarian. 
While I was completing my 'A' Levels I had to complete some more work experience.  I knew someone who worked as a School Librarian at Idsall school in Shropshire.  I completed a weeks work there and again I knew that this was what I wanted to do.

So before I went to university I had had some experience in library work.  I went to university and completed my undergraduate degree in Religious and Theological Studies at Cardiff University.

When my course finished I applied for many library assistant jobs but did not get any of them.  This did not make me give up instead I approached Bridgnorth Library and asked if I could do some voluntary work there to gain experience before going to complete my Masters Degree.  They let me do voluntary work which gave me more insight into the kind of work that you do as a librarian.  While I was at Bridgnorth Library they gave me some casual hours which also helped out.  Doing the voluntary and casual work meant that I gained my experience for my Masters Degree.

I completed my Masters Degree at Aberystwyth University, completing all the usual courses on cataloguing and collection development, but also choosing to study Local History information and Children's librarianship.  I did not get my Masters, only my Postgraduate Diploma. 

Once I had finished the taught part of the course I gained a job as a School Librarian at the Lord Silkin School in Telford.  This was a joint use library so I was based in Stirchley Library and managed by a member of the library service.  In this job I learnt how to do presentations and class visits, also more information on teenage books and reading.  One area of this work I found very useful was the meetings that the School Library Service Shropshire arranged on a termly basis, because this gave us a chance of meeting with other school librarians and discussing the work.

I changed jobs August 2010 so my current post is as Team Librarian in Telford and Wrekin Libraries.  The librarians in Telford are split into three teams, Children and Young People, Adult Reading Development and Learning and Information Services.  I am part of the Learning and Information Services team and we have responsibility for the reference and community history stock throughout the whole of the borough.  Our team runs IT Tasters and Ancestry Taters and look after the online resources.  I have had responsibility for the reference stock, though now I have responsibility for the community history stock. 

I am also completing my Chartership, which is good and is helping me to look critically at my performance and what is happening in the library service.  I hope to hand my Chartership in around Christmas this year.

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