Librarianship as a career

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:

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?



  1. Interesting read. You’re not the first librarian I’ve come across to switch from teaching to librarianship. I guess some aspects of both careers are similar, though coming from a family of teachers, I’ve never been tempted to be one myself.

  2. Pingback: cpd23 final reflection « Laura's Dark Archive

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