Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Thing 10: Routes into Librarianship

I didn't set out to be a librarian. I like libraries. I love libraries. I've spent an awful lot of time in them, in the physical buildings, reading the physical items, enjoying the space and the quiet. But to be a Librarian?!

My background is in social anthropology. In my third year, when I was working on my dissertation, I started to wonder about Evidence. What is 'evidence'? How is something proved, proven? When is something 'evidence' and when is it not? So, after a twisted path and some life-experience, I enrolled for the MSc in Evidence-Based Social Work at Oxford Uni, now renamed Evidence-Based Social Interventions. It was a very good course. I did well at statistics, I learned that all the hot men visit the Social Science Library, so I duly followed them in, and I enjoyed the course. When I left, (ahem, graduated), I found that I could get a job as an Information Scientist. In the course of this job, I found that this position was similar to other people, known as Information Specialists, and Knowledge Officers, Librarians etc... Hang on! Librarian!

I didn't like that job very much. So I looked for a Way Out. The Way Out involved enrolling for another Masters degree, this time in Information and Library Management. I did a 2 year distance learning course, fully funded by myself through the rise in pay that I got from Getting Out of crap job and being accepted for Good Job.

I graduated in that masters last year, in October 2010. I waited for a bit, while my Good Job changed and there was much insecurity about my job and eventually I could apply for my Present Job. I also moved house, got a kitten, went through several other stressful experiences, wrote a few conference papers, gave some presentations, wrote a few journal articles etc etc, and now I feel ready to start the process of Chartering.

I have a mentor. We met in June. I've recently received her approval on my CV and annotated job description. My PPDP should have reached CILIP over a month ago. They have my £50. I am in the process of compiling my portfolio, asking our admin staff for a current copy of the Organisation Chart, and generally getting on with both my job and all the CPD it currently involves. I intend to Charter as soon as possible, get comfortable with Managing, and then see what else is out there for me. If there is nothing, then I will make the most of my current position, and do the best I can. If there is something else out there, then I will make sure that I have the skills and the enthusiasm.

I didn't mean to be a librarian. But now that I am one, I rather like it.

Image above from http://www.theliterarygiftcompany.com/gift-boxed-librarian-badge-3188-p.asp

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