Thing 10 – routes into librarianship

As may be obvious I’ve been slightly slipping with CPD23, I choose to blame this on job hunting, I had been writing blog posts in my lunch break, now I write job applications instead, but I’m going to try really hard to at least come close to catching up. Sadly, this weeks thing feels just a little close to home.

I did a degree in English, came out of university and had no idea what I wanted to do next, only knowing I hadn’t got myself in gear about doing an MA due to a fun mix of personal issues and no money. So, I worked a minimum wage retail job for a while, and quickly worked out that wasn’t what I wanted to do, in fact I ended up having to move home because I could only just afford to pay rent. People have always been saying to me I should be a librarian, I even did my school work experience in a library, but it took a while to click ,and then to work out there was no way I’d get a job without experience, so I emailed all the libraries in Sussex asking to volunteer, and the University of Sussex let me. This totally changed things, I worked there for nearly a year, learning so much, and becoming certain that librarianship was for me. I also stumbled upon information about graduate traineeships and started applying, just when I’d started to give up on getting in that year’s round I got an interview at the National Art Library, and then got the job.

This year has been amazing, I’ve learnt loads, met lots of other lovely trainees, been to both my first conference and my first unconference (unconferences are much, much better), and become perhaps worryingly single-minded in my pursuit of a library career. However, money is still an issue, though I want to do the masters I’ve had to accept I’m not in the position to do so without putting myself into lots of debt, so with just over 5 weeks left at work I have no idea what I’ll be doing once I leave.

I’ve been applying for jobs since May, I have two years good experience in two different types of library, so far I’ve has two unsuccessful interviews and I’m seriously looking at going back to a minimum wage retail job so I’m not made homeless. The chartership and certification sections of this thing are too depressing to even look at, all I can so far tell about my route to librarianship is that it may be traditional but it is also going to be slow, possibly another two years before I even start the MA part-time. I’m sure I’m not the first person to have had issues with the MA’s cost, or to have struggled to get a job despite good experience, in fact I know I’m not, but at the moment I can’t think about wanting to be a librarian,. I have to focus on trying to be a library assistant rather than working in a shop.

Next time – a less depressing post. Have an adorable baby lizard picture:

Image from

4 thoughts on “Thing 10 – routes into librarianship

  1. Good luck with your job hunt I hope something comes up soon for you!

  2. I’m sorry that you’re having such a stressful time trying to find work. If it’s any consolation, I was in exactly the same situation as you when I was nearing the end of my traineeship at the NAL. I got myself in a right state about it, but managed to find a job the week before I finished. I hope it works out for you, keep plugging away!

  3. Rebecca says:

    Good luck with your job hunt. i don’t know if this will help but I found and jobrapido very useful when trying to find something last year as they gather together a number of different job sites.

    • jonnigirl says:

      Indeed is my favourite job site, so much unrelated stuff but totally worth sorting through. Especially useful if you’re happy to check it every 48 hours like I am

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