5 really useful resources for finding out about the library and information profession as a career route

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After some serious internet trawling and research for various different interviews for library jobs, I’ve come up with a list of all the resources I’ve found the most useful!

1. The Library Routes Project

http://libraryroutesproject.wikkii.com/wiki/Main_Page

There is an absolute wealth of information on here; this site was created with the intention of acting as an aid to library “newbies”. It is simply a network of professionals telling their story of how they got into the field, which paths they took and how they got to where they are today. In addition to serving as a gentle reminder that everyone started somewhere (which is always a comfort when you are right at the beginning), it offers you the chance to gain an insight into the expanse of different library routes (so I guess it says it on the tin!).

2. CILIP

http://www.CILIP.org.uk

This is the official website of the body of Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals. Useful things include an overview of the profession in general (in the jobs and careers section), profiles of different people doing different jobs and their story (even those working in a prison library) and information on how to get your career started. Here is also the link to the job site which leads me on nicely to point number three…

3. http://www.lisjobnet.com

Here you will find a list of all the graduate traineeships offered at various different libraries across the UK. Though it seems a trainee ship isn’t essential (there are other ways to gain experience such as volunteering, paid library work etc.) it offers the chance to combine first hand experience with a structured training programme consisting of workshops, visits to different types of libraries and mentor guidance.

4. Blogs on librarianship

If you are reading this then you probably understand the concept that blogs are a great way to get real advice from real people who have done things themselves and want to share their experience. There are some absolutely great blogs out there that have documented the entirety of some one’s career path and you can home in on any part that may be the most relevant to you! By far the most useful blog post I’ve read has to be Ned Potter’s

You want to work in libraries? Essential Careers Advice for New Professionals

… below is a link to the post:

http://thewikiman.org/blog/?p=1029

Blogs are also a great way of seeing “a day in the life of”. I’ve also found that writing is a very reflective activity and therefore writing your own blog can be helpful in many ways. More importantly it will serve as a connection to the wider profession and will get you to start networking. Even if you’re not brave enough to be vocal, you can at least stand aside and watch what other shave to say.

5. Branch out online!

Social Networking sites like Twitter, Linkedin, and even Facebook can help you get connected to the wider profession, even just by following groups or individuals you will gain exposure to the issues facing the field. Web content platforms like Scoop it and Pinterest are fun ways to gather bits of information that isnpire you all in one place.

6. The New Professional’s Network 

http://lisnpn.spruz.com/

This is a volunteer run website offering a place for discussion and advice aimed at people who have been in the field for less than a decade. Here you can see events, forums and blogs and it is open to anyone to join.

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Thing 10: Graduate Traineeships

This is extremely encouraging that a graduate library traineeship offered such a great training structure prior to becoming cilip qualified. Im really looking forward to gaining an insight into the different routes you can go on to do after a years training.

I’ll begin by introducing myself

So I guess I’ll begin my blog by introducing myself! My name is Jordan, I’m 22 and I have a passion for libraries and literature! This is the first blog I’ve ever written so I apologise now if I show any tendencies of veering away from normal codes of practice! I intend to use this blog to write about my adventures in trying to make a career in the library and information profession which is my dream. (Gosh I’ve got friends that are working in fashion, music and filming so I guess I sound comparatively boring). If anyone actually reads this I shall be quite astonished, my reasons for blogging are more for myself than for anyone; in addition to the benefit of practising my writing, I shall utilise this space as one in which to collate all my findings on the profession as an alternative to the rapidly expanding collection of post it notes, pieces of paper and illegible lists which seem to be dominating my desk and growing like an uncontrollable plague of gremlins!

I suppose it may be useful to anyone who is in a similar position to me and is wanting to find as much information about the profession as possible as I shall be writing about anything I find useful.  I shall hope to delve into the world of CILIP and unearth as many of the realities of the field as possible. Perhaps my ramblings on whichever book is the current read of choice may be slightly less useful but as I say, this blog is for me more than anyone else!

It’s time to confess that technology has never been a massive strong point for me, so I’ve come to the conclusion that It’s time to take the plunge! Words like blog, tweet and trend are all of the same category – they loiter under a very vast, dim cloud of hazy “not-understandingness”, until they come up in conversation and cause my heart to race quite rapidly as the prospect of my total ignorance threatening to reveal itself looms with a very immediate threat. This needs to be addressed! This is one component of the entity that I intend to build in understanding and creating “an online presence”, which everyone these days seems to be going on about… so this is me trying it for myself.