Why did I apply for a Masters in Librarianship?

Why did I apply for a Masters in Librarianship? Like most people who pursue library work (I’m guessing) there are quite a few reasons. The short story is after some library experience, and experience in different fields, I realised that the kind of career I want to have is to help people – specifically to help people find information. I didn’t come to this conclusion suddenly. It took a bit of time to figure it all out.

I’ll start at the start:
I was near to finishing my BA in Art History and had been applying for jobs since April after handing in my dissertation . I was applying for all sorts of art jobs – not just library positions. I got invited to interview as a Library Trainee in an art gallery library. I never thought I’d get this job as it was a bit of a dream come true, but I got it and started working in May before my degree had even finished.

It fit so many of my ‘dream job’ criteria. I was using knowledge gained in my degree; I was working in a library IN an art gallery.

Before the interview I had prepared by reading around the institute, the position and libraries and library qualifications. I thought if I enjoyed this position I could potentially go on to study for a Masters in Librarianship!

This position was a two year part time contract. It was where I was first shown how to catalogue, process, and shelve; the first place I really learnt about classifications, the Dewey Decimal system and other library type stuff. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there and the Assistant Librarian trained me in using the audio-visual equipment to record talks and lectures, which was a huge bonus!

Fast forward around three years to now. I finally plucked up the courage to apply for an MA in Librarianship. My main reason was that I could apply now. The UK government have started giving out loans for Postgraduate study. During my traineeship I looked into trying to fund my studies and kept coming up with very little. I didn’t have the money to apply for a Masters and have money to live off too. So I put it off. I gained a full time permanent position at a college library as a Library and Information Assistant and thought I’d wait and see where life took me. After working there, (and in a couple of administrative positions) as well as keeping on some part time work in Museum Education and volunteering at different points in different areas, I found that I wasn’t progressing as fast as I wanted to. I wasn’t gaining the skills I wanted to gain or having the opportunity to take on more responsibilities. In one of my administrative roles at a college I ended up working casually in their library picking up odd shifts. I realised I wanted to go back to library work and now I had the opportunity.

I applied for a Masters in Librarianship and got in with an Unconditional offer.

All the above sounds quite nice, rosy and straight forward so far right? I don’t want to use this blog to paint a perfect picture or to just moan, but it hasn’t been the easiest or smoothest journey so far. Is anyone’s? Income is always a factor with work and I had no idea what I was doing in my life. I felt like I was jumping from job to job with no real plan (hello nearly everyone in their 20s maybe even 30s onwards!) I’ll go into more of the above in some future blog posts.

I’m intending to use this blog to record my journey studying a Librarianship Masters. I am really excited to finally have the opportunity to study in this field and to progress in the library and information sector.

First post down (phew). More to come!

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