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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