#cpd23 Thing 10 – Routes into Librarianship

I think in many ways my route into librarianship has been fairly ‘textbook’; graduate traineeship, full-time library Masters, but actually the textbook route isn’t the most usual one.

There have already been some excellent posts about this, I particularly enjoyed reading Siobhan B’s and Jen Gallagher’s.

Graduate Traineeships

As an undergraduate, I had a bit of a panic about what to do when I grew up. My friends seemed to have vague ideas of what areas they wanted to go into; NGOs/charities, publishing, postgraduate study… but what about me? No idea!

But it was staring me in the face. I already worked at a library. I had worked for two years previous in a different library. And I loved it. I just didn’t know librarianship was a thing. After some internet research and a friendly chat with my subject librarian, I was ready to go! After many applications, and a few interviews, I was successful in getting a graduate trainee position (the one I really wanted too!), at the Bodleian Social Science Library at Oxford University.

The year was amazing. The SSL was a really lovely place to work, and Oxford was a lovely, if expensive, place to live. The trainee scheme also involved weekly training sessions, and there were about 18 or so of us; a ready-made network of colleagues and friends. I really feel my trainee year set me up fantastically for library school, but if I had decided against PG study, it was a great set of experiences and skills for working in a library or elsewhere.

Working on my Graduate Trainee project

I recommend graduate traineeships as a way into the profession, but I am well aware they are very competitive. It’s important to remember that, yes while they are a great path to becoming a librarian, they are not the only path. I’d say roughly half, or maybe not even that, of people on my course were trainees before starting the Masters.

Which leads me on to…

Masters degrees

I’ve blogged before about my Masters degree at Sheffield, and you can find my reviews of the course here and here.

I went straight into full-time study for my Librarianship degree, but a lot of my fellow trainees decided to do it part-time (or not do it at all). I think it all just depends on your own situation. I was successful in my application for AHRC funding, for which I am incredibly grateful, as it has allowed me to do the course in one year, and to move to Sheffield to do so.

Though, again, funding is very competitive, and I’m fairly sure the number of awards is reduced year on year. This, combined with ever increasing fees, I am sure will result in fewer people embarking on a library degree, or more choosing to combine part time study with employment.


This is definitely something I intend to do in my future. However, right now, my thoughts are turned to finding a job first, preferably a professional post. Once that’s sorted I can think about the rest!

#cpd23 Thing 9 – Evernote

Credit: http://dft.ba/-2_2o

I hadn’t used Evernote before, and have since installed it on my computer. I think this is one of those tools that work best when you integrate it into your routine. Having read some other CPD23 posts for this Thing, it seems it’s a very useful tool, and a lot of people have praised it.

I don’t use other devices to access the Internet, so my need to aggregate web content into one place is small. This limits my need to use Evernote somewhat. However, when I am working after library school, it is highly likely I will be using a computer for a large portion of the day, and Evernote will use useful to store content and notes, and share these between my work and home computers.

As such, I will have a further play around on Evernote, and see if it can solve any of my problems, and become part of my routine!

SLA 2012 preparations

It is only 10 days now until I fly to Chicago for the Special Libraries Association annual conference, courtesy of SLA Europe and the Business & Finance Division.

“If I take one more step, it’ll be the farthest away from home I’ve ever been”.

This is going to be my first:

  • conference
  • time in America
  • solo flight (though the other ECCAs are on the same flight).

So you can probably imagine I’m a teensy bit nervous, but also incredibly excited!

My preparations so far have been scheduling my time at the conference itself, which quite handily can be done online. You set up a sort of ‘profile’, to which I just add the sessions I’m interested it. This doesn’t count as signing up to the sessions, but its a useful way of building up your days, and seeing what your friends are going to!

Currently, I’ve added everything that I’m even vaguely interested in (there’s so much!), and I’ll narrow it down closer to the time. Though, it apparently doesn’t hurt to have back up choices, as it’s ok to walk out of sessions at American conferences if they’re not for you (not sure whether I’ll actually do this, I’d feel too mean!).

Something else I was sure to do was getting business cards. Having not worked as a professional, this had never even crossed my mind. But now I have them, I quite like it! Vistaprint had an offer for 250 cards for just the P&P, so I have loads! I wasn’t really sure what to include on them, but I settled on my email address, blog and Twitter, as well as a short ‘tagline’ under my name.

My business cards, and a little holder for them

I’m sure I’m not the only one to also worry about what to wear. I was actually in need of a wardrobe revamp, as I wanted some smart-casual clothes for when I finish library school. I’ve heard from many sources that American conference centres turn up the air conditioning to combat the high temperatures outside, so I’ve tried to layer!

I just need to get a significant chunk of my dissertation done before I go. I’d rather not be working on it while I’m out there, but I do have a couple of long flights, which might be the perfect opportunity…

So with only 10 days to go, I am definitely counting down now! Expect lots of blog posts when I get back (and a few more before I go, as I try desperately, and futilely, to catch up with CPD23)

#cpd23 Thing 8 – Google Calendar

I had a play around on Google Calendar. I can see why it is popular, as I found it very straight-forward to use. A benefit, too, is that it can be accessed from anywhere so long as you have an Internet connection, and you can share it with others.

We used something very similar at my previous library (I can’t remember which application off the top of my head), which was so, so useful. Being able to see when others were away on annual leave, or out for a meeting, meant less time running around the library trying to find them to answer a phone call, when they’re potentially not even around! It was also used to arrange the desk rota, which was helpful as it was built around your schedule, rather than the other way around.

Two calendars – Over-organised?

A calendar like this is definitely something I would consider introducing if my organisation didn’t already use it.

However, I won’t be using it for myself, as I already have a trusted system; two calendars and a diary!