In response to Thing 10 of cpd23 I thought it might be helpful to potential librarians if I explained my route towards becoming a qualified librarian.
Back when I was 18 (seems like a long time ago!!) and I was deciding what degree I was going to do the thought of doing an undergraduate degree in librarianship or information and library management never even entered my mind (would have been slightly simpler and easier if it did). I didn't even know such courses existed, so I decided on a degree in English, something which I have a passion for and enjoyed a great deal.
After graduating it was time to put my student days behind me and get a real job! A friend of mine told me about a part time library assistant post going in a local university. I immediately thought that would be an amazing job and that's when I first started to pursue a career as a librarian. That first part time job was brilliant and I am so thankful toy boss for taking a chance of me and giving me much needed experience. Whilst working here I looked into what it would take to become a librarian, that's when I realised I would have to do a masters to become qualified.
By this time it was too late to apply for a masters and I felt I needed to learn more about the sector, this is when I applied for a Graduate trainee position at the Met Office library in Exeter. I would recommend a graduate placement to anyone thinking of becoming a librarian. I found it more useful than working as a normal library assistant, here my bosses knew I was applying for University and the whole year was based on giving me all the information possible on the library world. My boss was so supportive and would happily let me apply from university during work hours, she also allowed me to go on a number of visits to other libraries and was great at giving me time off to go on job interviews.
Now I am a year into doing my masters and I am working full time at Guildford College LRC. It is hard juggling a masters with a full time job and having a life too, but it is by no means impossible. I am studying at Northumbria university via their distance learning option, staff are so supportive as are fellow members of my course. It is definitely worth doing and hopefully this time next year I will have survived my dissertation and be a qualified librarian.
Read more library routes at http://goo.gl/cWQSk
Rachel (The Library Gossip Girls)