A very long version of my routes and roots in to Library and Information Services is here.
The short version is I have always wanted to be a Librarian and work in a Library from the time I stepped foot into the hallowed ground that was a Mobile Library and the day I met a Librarian with wingtip glasses.
Sadly I did not get the A’level grades to follow up my dream of going to Loughborough University to do a Bachelor of Librarianship. It didn’t stop me looking for library jobs though and applying even when they asked for library experience.
Fast forward about a 100 years and a School Librarian post came up, I applied for and scarily got! I was a School Librarian for 5/6 years during which I learnt a lot and built up a damn fine library and reading culture within the school. Changes in the school forced me to look elsewhere to continue my love affair with all things library and I took up the position of Senior Learning Resource Assistant at Yale College in 2008. It’s an FE college which brings its own set of problems (all you FE librarians out there know what I’m talking about!).
I have tried to get on as much training as possible as the libraries I frequented back in the late ’60s and 70s are a far cry from libraries today, and we need to move with the times and the demands of our users. I have completed an NVQ3 in Information and Library Services and a Diploma in the Application of ICT (levels seven & eight) in Libraries. Training courses provided by the North Wales Libraries Partnership (NWLP) are a boost and I love attending when I can. I would love to be able to attend CILIP training courses but the ones I want to go on always seem to be at the “wrong time of year”.
I’m currently getting prepared to start the Chartership process. I originally was going to go for Certification and would probably have got through it quite quickly, but then I discovered you have to wait 2 years after Certification before you can Charter. Good Grief!!!! I could’ve retired by then! So with a lot of discussion with various people and an excellent blog post from a twitter friend I was persuaded to go for Chartership instead. I am preparing my CV and have a list of mentors to get in touch with (could it be you?). I also have to apply to register as my first degree is in Geology and Environmental Science. I am an Extraordinary Candidate (puffs up with pride and orders t-shirt) and have to apply to register under Pathway 2. But then I am used to taking the long journey having been born on a Thursday.
I have a number of projects for the next year (QR codes, Current Awareness, PTLLS, Launch of Staff reading culture etc) and the promise of conferences and hopefully some more mashed library events to sate my appetite and gather evidence, but I also hope to become more involved at the cliff face. I am quite liking the idea of presenting and am looking forward to the opportunities.
My only quibble is that the profession might see me at the wrong end of my working life. I wanted to do all this years ago, but now I’m here I’m making the most of it and will go in all guns blazing to put into Libraries and Librarianship what I got out of them all those years ago.
After Chartership? Who knows. I would like to do a Masters but I really would like to do my Masters in my first love which is Geology and Environmental sciences. I would love to expand a research project I did on Polar Bears and their environment (natural and false). But I’m getting ahead of myself there. As far as Librarianship goes, my ultimate goal would be to specialise, maybe consultancy work. There is a perfect job out there for me, I just haven’t found the key to unlock it yet 🙂