Tuesday 28 May 2019

Trials, Tribulations and Applying to Library School: Part 3

Trials Tribulations and Applying to Library School - A talk by 3 former library school students

Post contributed by Katherine Burchell, English Faculty Library (@katherinehelen_)

When I was asked to speak about my experience of Library School I jumped at the chance. I saw it as a great opportunity to talk in more detail about why I chose to study at Sheffield and my recommendations for those who are thinking of going to Library School. It was also a chance to gain more experience of public speaking, which I plan to use as evidence in my later my Chartership portfolio. 

Deciding to apply to Library School was a very early decision that I made in my career, after only having worked in libraries for 3 months. I had always known that I wanted to do a Master's, so it made absolute sense for me to pursue a course in the area that I was extremely interested in and in the field that I knew I'd most likely end up working in and enjoying. I chose to study with The University of Sheffield as I knew that I wanted to continue to work full-time whilst studying and a distance learning course was the only way that I'd be able to do this. The course also had been recommended to me by a few people that I already knew in Cambridge were doing it and the way that the course was taught through "live" lectures appealed to me as a good way to learn. 

There was a good selection of optional modules to choose from, such as Academic and Workplace Libraries to Public Libraries, as well as core modules, which were of interest to me. Although there were good modules, there did seem to be a lack of "practical" elements, such as teaching and information literacy on the course. These are things which I am now seeking to learn more about and gain experience of through work and outside of the course. 

After having completed the course in September 2018, it has given me a lot of time to reflect on the course and its usefulness. I overall would definitely recommend doing a Master's in Librarianship, however, I wish I'd known that there were other ways in to the profession, without having the Master's. If I had known about CILIP's Certification or Chartership options, then I may have explored these and then considered a Master's in a slightly more focused area of Librarianship. That having been said I would not change anything about doing the Master's and now doing Chartership, I see this as an opportunity to guide me into the next stage of my career.

Once again, thank you to the CLG committee for their continuing support and for giving me a platform in which to speak and grow in confidence. I would be very happy to answer any questions about the course and library school, so please do contact me via my Twitter, linked above.