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Thursday, 20 September 2012

Thing 20: The Library Routes project

The homepage of the Library Routes Project states its intention as:

to bring together the thoughts and experiences of Information Professionals on how they got where they are today, and why they chose to work in libraries at all.

 And it is just that; a platform on to which have been uploaded many wacky and wonderful stories posted by librarians and information specialists on how they dipped their toes into our world of books [‘n stuff] and loved it so much they decided to build a career around it.

My story is not like that but okay here goes [in a nutshell]; shamefully disorganised [career wise] from a very early age I never envisaged myself as a librarian at all. When I left school I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do so did what many panicky and confused school leavers did… I started work in a shop. It was Laura Ashley [Cardiff] and I ended up staying for 8 [most enjoyable] years until I started their managerial training course and decided it most definitely was not for me so I left. A month later I started a degree at Cardiff Metropolitan University [Howard Gardens campus] in the History & Theory of Art and Design partly because I was confused and panicky again [still not knowing what I wanted to do]; a really good friend was starting it; but mostly because I had always harboured an interest in art history.

I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the course and came away with a not too shabby 2:1 and a plan to get a job in the Art Department [here] at National Museum Cardiff but had to wait until a vacancy came up so I got another shop job, this time at Next [Newport branch] and ended staying for another 3 [not quite so enjoyable] years. Eventually, I got a job as a Museum Assistant here at the Museum and [I’m sure I’ve mentioned this in a previous post] when a job finally did come up in the Art Department, I applied but didn't get it so I side-stepped over to the Visitor Services Department as an administration assistant  whilst rethinking how I could utilize my Art History knowledge within the Museum [because I was by this time ensared with love for the place and didn't want to leave] and then as if by magic [after about a year] a vacancy was advertised in the library for matenrity cover and the rest [as they say] is history.

I think you can gather from my story that I’m not the kind of person who is focused and driven to making plans and strategies. I tend to drift, bobbing along and seeing where the wind/tide/path takes me and in one respect, I’m doing okay. I love working in the Museum, it’s an amazing, vibrant and exciting environment. I really enjoy my work [primarily managing the journals collections plus many other things] and I’m now qualified with an MSc in Library and Information Studies. However, the downside to being so unambitious is that, qualification notwithstanding, I’m still working as a Library Assistant and at my age [please don’t ask] I should be on a much higher grade.

Hopefully you can see why I have not [yet!] uploaded my story on the Library Routes Project, especially when Laura Woods talks about it being a good resource for careers advice! That said, I do enjoy reading the posts [as any decent nosey parker does over their afternoon cuppa] and some recent gems are  Adventures of a Librarian, Librarians on the loose and particularly Librarians on the loose [Emma's story].

We were also asked to look at Library Day in the Life Project, which I already took part in last year [read it here], I thoroughly enjoyed this and will definitely do it again soon.


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