Libraries, the universe and everything

Thing 10 – Traineeships, qualifications, etc
August 5, 2011, 13:09
Filed under: cpd23

This ought to be a short post – I didn’t do a graduate traineeship, neither am I chartered, although I do have two Masters degrees, of which one is the coveted MA LIS!

Graduate Traineeships
You can read all about my route into the profession, if you would like to, though in brief I began by getting a job as an assistant in the county acquisitions department in Hampshire libraries without having the faintest idea that librarianship was something one could describe as a ‘proper’ profession, let alone one for which a degree might be required. Now I know more about graduate traineeships I feel a little cheated – they sound really good fun, I want one!

Masters Degree
I did my library MA at UCL, studying part time whilst working. This was quite challenging but realistically the only way I could do it – I did consider distance learning but decided against it as I prefer face-to-face contact and unyielding deadlines. That said, I appreciated the fact that there are a range of ways to get the LIS qualification, and that I was able to choose how best to go about it. Discussions crop up from time to time about what the qualification is actually worth. I think it’s useful up to a point (especially to those of us who haven’t had the benefit of a traineeship) and that it would be unrealistic to expect a university course to deliver 100% of what you need for the workplace. From my own experience, I felt I acquired skills, knowledge and awareness which have stood me in good stead subsequently, and I made some friends along the way.

I make no secret of the fact that I’m a little bit ‘meh’ about Chartership, based to an extent on experience of a number of chartered librarians who have blatantly not even considered CPD since the dim and distant moment when they obtained their postnomials. I also agree with Tina’s and Shannon’s thoughts on the matter. I haven’t ruled it out completely, but am holding off for the time being.

What next?
Hmm, the big question. At present I’m happy where I am, and am fortunate enough to work for an organisation which is very supportive of CPD activities. I’m working on acquiring new skills and developing existing ones as best I can, but for the benefit of my current role not with an eye to the next one! Ned has made the point that you should look to upskill to meet the requirements of the job you want to get, and I completely agree that this is a good idea, but first you need to decide what that coveted job actually is, and that’s a question that I can’t (and don’t feel I need to) answer at the moment!

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