Tuesday, 4 October 2011

cpd23 - thing 20

The Library Routes Project
I found this a really interesting 'thing' to do - I enjoyed having a look at some other blogs, and finding out why other people decided to work in this varied world of information professionals.  I definitely think that I will be having another browse through the blogs listed.

First part: my library 'roots'
I decided at quite a young age that I wanted to work in a library, mainly because I loved books (I'm sure that's the same for many of us!).  I think I was about 10 at the time, so my main experiences of libraries at that point were my school library, and my local public library - which seemed like a treasure trove to me!  Once I found out I could reserve books for free, I would regularly fill out about 6 requests per weekly visit - I think this surprised the librarians at the time, and I'm virtually certain not all of these requests were put through as I definitely didn't get all the books I had asked for!

At that point, all I really knew was the 'working with books' part of the job.  Once I reached secondary school, we were able to go to the 'careers room' - not much bigger than a large cupboard, with some books, a computer, table, and my favourite: a filing cabinet full of job descriptions.  They actually had a 'librarian' job description in there, which gave me a bit more of an idea of what might be involved in the job - however, I'm still not sure of the potential earnings listed, which said I could earn up to £100,000 per year!

Having set my heart on this job, my A-level subjects were chosen accordingly.  When it came to applying for university, I did not know that a degree in librarianship was a possibility: mostly because I really didn't want to leave home.  So the route available to me at the time was an undergrad honours degree, continuing on to a postgrad diploma in information and library studies.  In typical timing, the postgrad was discontinued at my university of choice during my second year of my degree.  This however worked out for the best, as I had decided to move to Scotland for various reasons, so I was able to do my diploma at Robert Gordons University.

Second part: my library 'routes'
My first job out of university was with the public library system - the arena that first inspired me to work in a library.  I was hired as a senior assistant, and ran a part-time library branch.  After a year there, I interviewed for and got a 2 year contract job share position in a management role: based in and running a school library, I was also responsible for 3 branch libraries.  Later on in this contract, I moved sites to help cover a maternity leave, and also worked as an information assistant in our library headquarters.  So over the course of 3 years, I got to work in 3 different environments (public, school and HQ) and at 3 different levels.

Once that contract came to an end, I really wasn't sure if I wanted to work in a library again, and worked retail for the best part of a year.  Then I got a phone call about a job I had interviewed for months back - I hadn't got that particular job, but would I be interested in another position?  I decided to give it one more go, and found myself working full time with a part time member of staff running a college branch site library - in the process rediscovering my love of working in a library.  Sadly, after 6 years this branch closed, and during the summer just past I moved into our main site library, where I find myself working 3 days a week (with 2 at another outlying site) and enjoying it very much  :)

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