As you may be able to see if you zoomed in on photo on the CPD23 blog, I am currently a trainee at Cambridge (I'm second from the right!).
Once I decided librarianship was what I wanted to do, I started applying for the Graduate Trainee positions that were listed on the CILIP website. This was in December-January time, and most of the posts being advertised were in academic libraries. This suited me just fine as I'd got a bit of experience working in the music department library at university and enjoyed that environment. I had three interviews in very quick succession, of which Newnham was the third, and they offered me the job. Funnily enough, this was the interview that I didn't think went as well as the others, so just goes to show you can never tell!
After I knew I had the trainee job, I turned my attention back to exam revision and looming dissertation deadlines, and didn't go back to the CILIP website much until the start of this year. As I'm more in the "library loop" now, I've found out about all kinds of other trainee jobs that exist as well as the university library ones. Some that went up this year after our post had closed included posts in hospital libraries, school libraries, and the V&A.
My trainee year has been really interesting, a massive learning experience, and good fun too! It's great there are seven trainees in Cambridge, as there's a group of us going through similar learning curves. I'd really recommend trying to get a trainee position if you're thinking of going into librarianship. As well as learning the practical skills involved in a Library Assistant type role, there's the added benefits of extra training, visits to other libraries, and quite probably more chances to go to library conferences and events (A caveat: all trainee jobs are different!).
|Some of us trainees on one of those visits. Photo by Erin|
Next year I'll be off to UCL to start the MA in Librarianship. While I'm a bit sad my trainee year is coming to an end, I think next year will be very exciting. I've been very lucky to be awarded the Stationers' Company postgraduate bursary, which also gives membership of the Stationers' Company and a mentor (which would lead on nicely to the next post, but who knows when I'll get chance to write the next one!). Meanwhile I'll still be popping back to Cambridge regularly as I'll be working part-time at Newnham as Library Assistant.
After UCL I will start thinking about Chartership, but at the moment there's more than enough to think about!