Thursday, 1 October 2009

Library Roots

So, Library Routes, courtesy of Woodsiegirl and her connections.

How did I discover I wanted to be a librarian? Like most people, it seems, by accident. I went to university doing a subject I loved (English), with no particular career in mind. I had used libraries growing up, and at school, but they weren't second homes - I'm used to books coming from charity shops as much as libraries. My childhood ambitions were low - I think I wanted to be a shopkeeper for many years - but not as low as those of the awful career-matching software provided by school. I distinctly remember being told by the software that I should be a lollipop lady. Having said that, a vegetarian friend was told she ought to be a butcher, so I shouldn't complain.

I digress. At university, I briefly flirted with the idea of events management (borne of three years of front of house management for the student theatre society), but realised that it was actually awfully stressful and I only liked the idea of it, not the job itself. So I did another of those career-matching programmes, which was clearly more ambitious than the school one, because it told me I ought to be an archivist. There are varying opinions on how great the leap is from archivist to librarian, and I'm not sure how I made it, but I think it must be due to a friend who wanted to be a museum curator, and so was applying for library graduate traineeships. No, I don't remember the logic, although I'm sure there was some! I spoke to the university careers service, found out all about graduate traineeships, looked in to some of the Masters courses and found myself with an Aim and a Career.

As for my route - well, I'm in my first professional post, and it's at the same place I was a trainee, in a civil service library. I was lucky enough that a post came up a month after I finished my Masters at UCL, I applied and was successful. I liked working there first time around, and I like it again - all of my library experience so far is in the public sector, but there's a whole lot of future ahead, so we shall see!


thewikiman said...

We had similar software at my school - mine told me to be a Waiter! I even tried it during Work Experience fortnight but boy was that not for me...

The Graduate Librarian said...

I remember that software, wish I could remember what it told me to be! I seem to recall it didn't seem too bad at the time.