I’ve decided to add my story to the wiki- The Library Routes Project.
For as long as I can remember all I ever wanted to do was read English Literature at University. After this the future was incredibly hazy. I achieved this wish and spent an amazing three years reading books!!
By the third year friends were beginning to apply for jobs- in retail, engineering, teaching… but nothing really appealed to me and I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. The summer I left I got a temporary job and saved money to fund a five week trip around Europe. I arrived home after my extended holiday and wondered “what next”!? I had a degree but not much work experience and at that point no real calling.
I saw a job advert for a Library Trainee position in Cantebury- this was a long way from home (Yorkshire) but sounded inspiring and would lead on to further study and a “real” career! I applied and went to an interview but was told I came second. This didn’t matter as I had discovered that I did want to be a Librarian!
It was too late in the year to apply for another Trainee position so I began applying for ALL jobs in ANY library in West Yorkshire and beyond. I also volunteered in my local public library (where my mum has been a library assistant for 20 years!!) to gain valuable work experience.
After billions of applications and some interviews I was offered a job working part time in Wakefield Music and Drama Library. On my first day the full time library assistant handed in her notice (she was recently qualified and had a professional post to begin!). It was fate and I spent the next three years working full time in this public but very specialist library (I had to learn lots about composers, musicals and scores… a steep learning curve for an indie chick!). My very supportive colleagues and line manager encouraged me to begin a professional qualification and let me have one day a week off for two years to go to Leeds Metropolitan University to study an MSc in Information Studies.
I applied for my first professional post within Wakefield Council before I had completed my MSc. They were restructuring and needed someone to fill the role of Cultural Officer: Multimedia. I was successful and after gaining my qualification moved again in the same organisation to Cultural Officer: Local Studies.
I love working in Public Libraries and have been lucky to work in specialist, interesting areas. In January this year I accepted a job as Local Studies Librarian in a Museum on the South Coast. I am enjoying the challenge of still working in the public sector but in a different discipline.