CPD 23 Thing 20: The Library Routes Project

I have to hold my hands up to being a nosy person, so I have enjoyed dipping into the Library Routes pages and reading about how different people have come to work in libraries.  (When this Thing was announced the link was working, and no I’ve finally got around to writing up my post, the Library Routes page is currently unavailable – another sign that I need to stop procrastinating!)

I completed a degree in English Language and Literature, but didn’t really have any idea what I intended on doing at the end of it.  I attended lots of careers fairs, events and talks trying to find something that jumped out for me.  I even went to one on Librarianship, but despite liking the sound of the work I dismissed it as a career route on the grounds that I did not want to undertake further study anytime soon and the salary prospects didn’t seem to be comparable to other vocations where I would have to hold a post-graduate qualification. 

I applied for all sorts of jobs, some that I didn’t really want but felt like I should apply for because they were the types of jobs that everyone else seemed to be going for, particuarly things like Graduate Trainee Schemes with national supermarkets.  I ended up working in financial services in the member support department, and found that I had a flare for customer service roles.  I had no interest in finance or in the role of the financial advisors I dealt with, and soon became disillusioned with the job.  I moved to work for the local council in the local land charges department, and again found I enjoyed the customer service part of my role, but wanted to be working in an industry that I felt passionate and excited about. 

I saw a post advertised for a one year Graduate Trainee post with a local NHS library and I was successful in my application.  I was happy to be working with books and managing information sources but we had to scan a lot of journal articles and as I’m very squeamish so I often found myself at the photocopier with my eyes closed, trying to avoid looking at the pictures in the articles I was scanning! 

I decided to study for my MA part time and was accepted on the course at Sheffield.  I couldn’t afford to give up working so I started collected part time jobs to fit around my lectures and travelling to Sheffield.  At one point I was juggling the course with 4 part time library jobs, including 2 roles in public libraries, a university library post and an FE library post. 

After completing my course I found full time work as  Subject Librarian at the FE college where I had done some temping.   I stayed there for nearly 2 years before taking on my current role as a Library Supervisor in another FE college.  I enjoy working in FE as it offers a wide range of experiences and challenges.  I get to order books, catalogue and classify stock, work with journals, deliver IL sessions, work on the counter and I am getting to grips with being responsible for the LMS.  Eveyday is different and I enjoy working with the students who use the LRC resources.


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