The title of this post is a little misleading, because I’m not technically a professional yet, as a graduate library trainee I’m a paraprofessional. Still, it’s close enough, and I am a member of the LIS New Professionals Network, something that has already led to one meet-up and has made me feel a lot more like I’m part of a community rather than a there just being all these disparate libraries full of interesting people I’ll never talk to. The meet-up was on monday, and was made up of mostly graduate trainees, it was really nice to just chat about libraries and funding and MA’s. Library conversations can get depressing, I have no money for my MA and there might not be any jobs once I’ve done it anyway, but we managed to keep it lighthearted. The most useful thing was hearing what tasks other graduate trainees do, and how their libraries work, it helped me put what I’ve been learning into a context.
I’ve been at the National Art Library since September, at least a quarter of my year here, and I had been beginning to panic about what I’ll do once leave. Knowing when I finish is security in one way, but I’m the sort of person who likes to plan ahead and I worry about stuff that won’t happen for months or even years, like paying off loans and finding another job. Luckily, I am beginning to realise just how much valuable experience I’ve gained, and how much I can do. I have a list of all the things I’ve been taught, such as checking in periodicals or making information file records, and it just keeps getting longer.
I’m so ambivalent about the library MA at the moment. I want to do it so much, hearing about people getting their interviews makes me kind of jealous, but I can’t see how I will get the money together in time. I suppose it is better to apply and not have the money than not apply and then have the money, but it will be heartbreaking to have to turn down a place because I can’t pay for it. I’m going to start my applications next week, and just see where I go, but it has got to the point where I’m playing the lottery, and considering taking out a loan, something I really don’t want to have to do.
One of the reasons I can’t give up on doing and MA is the fact I don’t want to have to leave libraries, I really don’t want to find myself working in retail for another two years to save the tuition fees because I can’t get a library job, especially when I’m beginning to feel part of a community. On saturday I’m going to Library Camp Brunel, after reading lots of posts about how good the original Library Camp was, I’m really excited about it, and it’s the sort of experience I don’t want to lose out on.