This post is part of 23 Things for Professional Development.
This week’s cpd23 Thing 10 and Thing 11 are about routes to becoming a qualified librarian and mentoring within the profession.
My career path since school:
1996-1999 B.Sc. (Hons) Physiological Sciences (Newcastle University)
1999-200o PGCE Secondary Science (Biology) (Northumbria University)
2000-2005 Teaching in high school and secondary schools in north-east England
Career crisis! Do I want to carry on marking, report-writing, doing parents’ evenings, chasing homework, preparing lessons most evenings and at least one day every weekend, not being able to choose when I go on holiday…?
Er, no. Much as I loved teaching and enjoyed wrangling teenagers, I longed for a more 9-5 job that would allow me to fit in some living around my work. My mum is a librarian, and my maternal grandmother also worked in libraries, so my genetic profile naturally led me to:
2005-2006 MA Information and Library Management (Northumbria University)
I studied full-time for a year, which I really enjoyed as I could experience being a student again and appreciate the luxury of having so much time to commit to learning. I also worked part-time in a university library throughout that year.
Librarianship proved an irresistible combination of orderliness, record-keeping, technology, data, interaction with people both as customers and within a library team and cardigans. Many of the skills involved are directly transferable from teaching. And I can go home most days without taking any work with me!
Since my library degree, I have had the following jobs:
- Assistant Librarian, St Clare’s, Oxford
- Electronic Resources Senior Assistant, Bodleian Libraries
- Deputy Manager of Staff Development, Bodleian Libraries
- Librarian, St Hugh’s College, University of Oxford (current)
I’m working towards Chartership and hope to submit my portfolio in the next couple of months. I have a mentor who helps me through the Chartership process and we meet by phone every few months. I don’t have a local mentor as such – any offers?