Professional LIS posts and making the best use of your LIS course post-qualification

Professional LIS posts and making the best use of your LIS course post-qualification

In writing a post on this particular topic I have to admit I might be searching for inspiration as much as providing it!  But given the fact that I am coming to the end of a PG Diploma in Library and Information Services Management, this is a topic which is never far from my mind.  Whilst I have picked up a wide range of theoretical knowledge and explored the LIS sector in a variety of different contexts, the ultimate goal and reason for undertaking the course was career development.  Some of my peers have voiced their concerns over that small but niggling doubt which questions whether skills gained on their respective LIS course will transfer successfully to a professional post.  After all, “you’re already doing the job, why do you need a qualification?”

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Are libraries just for study?

One of the things that I love about working in a library is that there’s always something new and exciting to do. It’s a profession that is about so much more than shelving books.

My most recent project was more fun than most. Our library has recently expanded, and now there are more social and quiet spaces for students. It has been very well received, and the students love having new places to study and relax (and particularly some of our quirkier furniture).

A purple armschair with a high back and big arms.

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Marketing and other unexpected skills: what today’s LIS professional needs to know

Marketing and other unexpected skills: what today’s LIS professional needs to know

Recently I have found myself involved in my library’s “comms team”, in addition to my usual role. The work of the team involves marketing the library service. Marketing is not something I envisioned myself doing when I used to think about what my career in libraries would look like, but it is increasingly important for today’s LIS professionals to be clued up on marketing, as we increasingly need to promote and demonstrate the value of our services. As an increasingly important part of library work, marketing is something new professionals should consider brushing up on, if we are to develop our careers in this field. Continue reading “Marketing and other unexpected skills: what today’s LIS professional needs to know”

“You’re doing another degree?!” How to answer those awkward questions: a LIS Student’s View

“You’re doing another degree?!” How to answer those awkward questions: a LIS Student’s View

This blog post may not have all the answers to assuage those incredulous shocked faces and concerned pleas from partners, family members, friends, in-law/out-laws etc., all urging you to quit your “eternal student” status, but it will hopefully be a timely consideration of the many solid justifications for pursuing a professional library qualification which can sometimes get lost in the ether. Although quite irritating to admit, it would be a lie to say that these nagging doubts haven’t occurred to me at one point or another, but particularly at the very beginning of my LIS studies.  In fact, the decision to begin any further qualifications after completing masters and doctoral level studies was strangely daunting.  The substantial financial cost is a major consideration for most applicants, accompanied by the fact that (as in most professions) funding is incredibly limited.  Also, time constraints, work pressures, family commitments and general life obstacles can all feed into the mix and make a persuasive case for avoiding further study altogether.  You’ve got the permanent post now, so why bother?

Well, as anyone who has been bitten by the library bug will know, there is a certain security and an empowerment in information literacy which encourages individuals to constantly reassess and reconsider the best routes to information discovery. No matter how “expert” we might feel, various different experiences in public, academic and special libraries have taught me that there is always something new to learn.  Perhaps therein lies the intrigue with Library and Information Services courses.

 So is it worth it?

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Do you get to read books all day? Battling with the librarian stereotype.

 

shhh

 

Whenever I tell someone what I do for a living the number one question I get asked is “so… what exactly do you do all day?” As librarians we are all familiar with the common misconceptions surrounding our profession and the stereotypes associated with it. If we are to believe the masses, we all sit at a vast desk all day reading books and periodically shushing anyone who dares to make so much as a squeak. Oh and we all wear cardigans, live alone and have fifteen cats. Admittedly the stereotypical librarian ‘image’ is becoming a thing of the past but the fact remains that the huge variety of roles and responsibilities associated with librarianship are not common knowledge.

Continue reading “Do you get to read books all day? Battling with the librarian stereotype.”