This post is by #citylis alumna Kathryn Drumm, Graduate Librarian Trainee at City University Library.
“I am currently eight months through a year’s graduate traineeship at City University Library. I had embarked on my MSc in Information Science at City after nearly 20 years in the broadcast industry but with no previous experience of the traditional sphere of libraries. Having seen the role advertised via the Jobs, Opportunities and Internships message board on the #citylis Moodle, I was keen to put the theory from the course into practice. I applied thinking that at the very least it would give me some valuable interview experience and was delighted when I was offered the post.
I spent the first six months in the library at Cass Business School. This is a much smaller site than Northampton Square. As such, it was a great introduction to library work as I did a little bit of everything – working on the front desk and helping with student enquiries, adding and withdrawing stock, processing memberships, collecting and collating statistics and helping out with promotions.
Having been a student at City was an advantage, as I was already familiar with using the library catalogue, Moodle and RefWorks. Answering queries from students is definitely easier if you have just been one. But there was a lot of “behind the scenes” processes that I wasn’t aware of as a student to learn about, as well as getting to grips with the range of financial databases available.
Of course there are the kinds of skills you can only pick up on the job, such as unjamming the printer and fixing the stapler!
After my six months at Cass, I have now moved to the main site in Northampton Square and am part of the digitisation and copyright team. At present, we are part of the way through a major project to copyright check PhD theses so that they can be digitised and made available via the British Library EThOS website and City Research Online.
I had started the course thinking that I would aim to find a position within industry, however my time here in the library has persuaded me that academic libraries may be my niche and I hope that at the end of my year here I can move on to a similar permanent position.”
Kathryn is on Twitter @dourgirl and City University Library @CityUniLibrary.