Sunday, 4 October 2009

Library Routes Project

After readng about the Library Routes Project, which was begun by Ned Potter, I felt motivated to contribute to the wiki he has set up which documents how Information Professionals got into the profession in the first place and what motivated them to follow their chosen career path for future Information Professionals.

My Library Route began when I went on my first visit with the rest of my Primary School class to our local Public Library. I discovered reading and its enjoyment through the 'turn the page' adventure stories, where you made decisions and turned to the relevant page to continue the story. I also enjoyed Roald Dahl novels and the Tin Tin and Asterix graphic novels. I then moved on from visiting the Library with my school class to a fully fledged Library member happily borrowing my 6 books every 3 weeks.

Just before finishing High School, I along with the rest of my class had the opportunity to do a work experience placement. I requested a placement at another local Public Library and they accepted me. I shadowed the Library Assistants and learnt the basics, including shelving, dealing with reserves, using the Browne Issue trays, etc. I really enjoyed my 4 weeks. Just before I finished High School I discovered that there was a vacancy for a Saturday Library Assistant and decided that it was worth a try and would fit nicely around my A Level studies.

Unfortunately, I didn't do as well I'd hoped with my A Levels, however I was still keen to move forward as an Information Professional. Luckily Manchester Metropolitan University had offered me an Unconditional Place on their BSc (Hons) Information Management degree so although I'd suffered a slight setback, it wasn't detrimental to my future career. After completing the first year of my degree another vacancy arose which enabled me to increase my hours as a Library Assistant. I spoke with my Tutor and decided that I'd transfer to being a part-time student in order to gain more experience in the workplace. In 2003 another opportunity arose for the full-time Librarian post at the Central Library, which is the post I was successful in gaining. I throughly enjoy working in Public Libraries. My job allows to work with a wide variety of different users from a variety of different backgrounds and communities. The opportunity to work across several different service areas means that each day is different to one before.

I was motivated to enter this profession through the positive impact I can make to people's lives, be it helping an individual to gain IT skills for the first time, or working with a Skills for Life Group, who may have never set foot in a Library before.


  1. I saw your name on the Wiki and it's taken me a week to think where I know it from. Just read your other blog posts and of course! You're the editor of CDG Yorkshire + Humber Newsletter... All makes sense now.

    So were you involved with all the amazing autism stuff Leeds public library has been involved in?

  2. I wasn't involved with the autism work, but my colleague was. We were really pleased it won the Libraries Change Lives Award.
    Glad ya recognised me, if you ever feel like contributing an article for the newsletter, or becoming involved with CDG it would be really good!