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.