Thing 20 is much like Thing 10, so you can see my previous blog entry for more details. Basically, like many librarians I fell into librarianship by accident. I was a postgraduate student doing a PhD on Helen of Troy, I needed a part time job, and managed to get one in my University library. Although I love doing research, I’m not so much into the teaching side of academia, and for a variety of reasons didn’t get given many chances to practice. Without experience of lecturing, its pretty difficult to get an academic job.
Anyway, I took what seemed like the ‘easier’ option, and ended up with a full time library job rather than a full time lecturing job. Easier in the sense that I had more belief in my abilities to do library work, than in my abilities to stand up in front of 200 students and talk. Whilst in my full time library job I undertook the distance learning MSc in librarianship from Aberystwyth, to enable myself to become qualified.
Strangely enough, these days teaching is becoming a larger part of librarianship than it ever was …
I became a cataloguer by accident, much as I became a librarian by accident. My first full time job was an acquisitions assistant, that led on to doing cataloguing work. The experience I gained in that role led me on to getting a full time cataloguing job. I guess I was lucky managing to get experience of something that I turned out to really enjoy (and I know cataloguing is not for everyone). My career pathway has mostly been by accident, or fairly passive, which is probably not the way to go about things. My advice to anyone out there, would probably be to try and get experience of lots of different aspects of librarianship if possible, so that you can make your choices on where to focus.
I mentioned in Thing 10 that I was hoping to move on to do Chartership, that idea is still lurking, I have just been too busy to do anything about it. However, I have recently signed up to do a distance learning, continuing professional developent, short course, on Rare Books Librarianship being run by Aberystwyth. I have the opportunity in my job to contribute to Rare books cataloguing, and thought the course would give me a better understanding of the material I am now looking at once a week. I also feel that I am continuing to expand my knowledge of librarianship, despite being located in ‘the back room’.
To complete Thing 20 I am adding my blog link to the Library Routes Wiki.