Tuesday, 5 February 2013

The Story So Far

I  have been a graduate trainee librarian for 5 months now and I felt it would be a good idea to explain how it is going. A lot of other hopeful librarians might be starting to apply for the schemes in schools and it is really good to know what to expect.
Firstly I have and am thoroughly enjoying my job. I am gaining a wealth of experience that will help me in my goal to gain chartership.  I have felt my confidence grow and become more sure of the job and that I know it is what I want.
Daunting as it was to start I am starting to feel much more a part of the school. This is one of the difficulties of being a grad trainee. You are only going to be in the school for one academic year. Therefore you have to establish your authority with students and your place in the school quite fast.  However, the librarian you work with as in my case will help you do this.
I have enjoyed the lessons, displays, recommendations, reading, awards, competitions, prizes, cataloguing, covering, weeding, issuing and many other jobs that form up a graduate trainee role. I have done my best to make the most of my role. I have tried where possible to put my own stamp on work and to push myself to do things I may not feel naturally inclined to do. My first reading lesson for example was a bit nerve wrecking but once you have one out of the way you feel much more capable.
School hours are amazing if you plan to study at the same time as you are able to start work much earlier. So far I have managed to complete 2 modules whilst working just 3 days a work after school for a few hours and the occasional Saturday.  Studying at the same time is hard work and takes a lot of self-motivation. However, if you are sure being a librarian is what you want to do it is worth studying a the same time as within a year I will be able to get chartership and have a year’s experience.
You will gain a lot of practical experience if you choose to undertake a school graduate trainee scheme and push yourself to do lots. You have little time within a school to learn the ropes. It is literally diving in at the deep end but in a good way.  This means you are starting to progress from the get go and no time is wasted.
The only down side of most graduate traineeships is the pay. It’s not great and it can be tough to manage if you live alone.  On the plus side 1 year as a trainee and you should be able to apply for assistant posts and boost your salary.
With 6 months left to go I still have plenty more information to absorb and things to learn but the bonus of the graduate traineeship is that I feel I have learnt so much already about what it means to work in a school library. I have gained some useful skills that should help me progress in my chosen career.  With so few library jobs out there a traineeship is a great way to go to get experience and get paid.

If you are thinking of a school traineeship it is not essential to be an avid children/teenage book reader. However, I have found it unbelievably helpful to have a good up to date knowledge of the books the students are reading and am enjoying making my way through a whole new world of fiction!
There are a few traineeships available in the midlands and quite a lot in the London area. To see a list of the graduate traineeships currently recruiting visit the CILIP site
Currently Reading: The Haunting of Tabitha Grey (BBA)

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