The brief for thing 10 is to blog about our experiences as a librarian so far, to tell people about how and why we joined the profession, where we are at and where we hope to be headed.
I used to always say that I fell into librarianship by accident. Whilst doing some temping after graduating from a ceramics course I got sent to work in a library and enjoyed it so much that I ended up applying for a permanent position. Actually the truth is I went into the temping agency (who I wasn’t signed up with) specifically because they had a library assistant job advertised in the window, and I was so adamant that I was the perfect person for the role that the (rather bemused) agent sent me up for an interview.
I loved my job there and it helped me to realise that librarianship was the path for me. I started to think seriously about a career plan (I even made a five year plan, they work!) and realised that because of my art background working in a museum or art gallery library was where I really wanted to be. Which led me to my current job.
I was hunting around on the internet trying to research how to move across to that sector (I was working in an academic library at the time) when I stumbled across a vacancy for a library assistant at the museum where I live. You know that feeling of ‘this is fate’, well that’s what I had. Here right on my doorstep was the very job that was the first rung on the career ladder I wanted to pursue. I started to feel ‘this is my job’ and ‘we were meant for each other’. Then of course came the application and interview process, in which the usual doubts and fears set in. Thankfully they hired me and I’ve been here ever since, and much as I loved my old job it has been the best move I could have made careerwise.
Four years ago I decided I wanted to become a qualified librarian. It honestly never occurred to me to do a graduate traineeship programme. By this time I’d been working in libraries at an assistant level for a few years so I felt I had enough experience to apply without doing the traineeship first. Perhaps in hindsight I’ll regret not having done one, they certainly look like a lot of fun. However, my employers offered to support me in my studies so I enrolled on the distance-learning Msc at Aberystwyth, which meant that I could fit my course around my job.
I graduated last year, and it already feels like ages ago. I’m starting to look now at what the future holds for me. One of the things I’m considering is chartership. I’ve only just joined CILIP so it will be a while before I’ll be eligible, but I am interested to hear from anyone who is doing or has done chartership, or considered it at some point, and what their thoughts are. I’ve looked at blogs by Bethan and Shannon (amongst others)who both put forward very interesting viewpoints on chartership.
But at the moment I am just contenting myself with doing the cpd23 course and working on more informal ways to boost my career and professional development.