Focus on Alumni is our series of blog posts written by #citylis alumni.
This post is by Chloe Menown, who is currently an Assistant Librarian Trainee at Anglia Ruskin University Library.
I completed my Library Science MSc at City University London between September 2013-2014. In the same year I volunteered at Saffron Walden Town Library and at Christ’s College, Cambridge University as a Cataloguer. I started my new post at Anglia Ruskin University on 1st October 2014, just three days after handing in my dissertation!
It was a hectic year of studying and volunteering but the hard work paid off. I was lucky to get the job at Anglia Ruskin University as there was tough competition for the post. It is perfect for newly qualified professionals as it provides experience within a Higher Education (HE) library which is very hard to gain and is a pre-requisite for almost all HE library roles.
I’ve found a range of things useful from the Library Science programme at City and I couldn’t have got this job without my degree. I’m really glad Lyn Robinson and Ernesto Priego taught us about augmented reality, some people wonder why we would need to know this but it is amazing how quickly these new technologies take off in Higher Education; as teaching librarians we are expected to know about tools for learning. I’m currently involved in an education and technology project on augmented reality, funded by Anglia Ruskin Learning and Teaching and led by Debbie Holley. We are using augmented reality to boost the learning for our students. I am also co-authoring a paper on the augmented reality project and we are presenting at the Learning and Teaching conference at Anglia Ruskin University in July. My prior knowledge from #citylis gave me a head start in the project and in my role in general.
The post is a two year contract designed for those who have just completed their Library qualification. This type of post-masters traineeship is very unusual as many universities only provide Graduate Trainee positions (pre-library qualification). Assistant Librarian Trainee is similar to a Graduate Trainee role in that I receive training and work experience whilst in the post to help me gain experience for my future career. However the work is very different to a Graduate Traineeship!
As part of the Academic Services division I work alongside the Subject Librarians on a day to day basis; I assist them with ordering books, teaching Information Literacy sessions and creating online material. I also attend a range of meetings within the University on behalf of the Library and I am on many working groups for projects within the Library too.
In my second year of my traineeship I will be given responsibility for a course, I will be the contact for the lecturers and provide the resources and training sessions for the students. I really enjoy working with the students and find the one-to-one sessions fruitful as they are always astounded by the amount of information they have access to which they were unaware of previously.
I am encouraged by the Learning and Development Librarian to attend both internal and external training courses and visit other libraries, this is important to my progression as it expands my knowledge and skill set in a way that the day to day role could not in such a short amount of time. Within 6 months of starting at Anglia Ruskin University I am already ready to submit my Chartership portfolio to CILIP as I have a wealth of evidence for my progression. I have also completed a teaching course through Anglia Ruskin University for which I will receive an AFHEA, I am also attending the CILIP Conference 2015 due to my position which will be a fantastic opportunity to interact with the LIS community.
Outside of work I have continued with my career progression by joining ARLG Eastern as the committee Secretary, I have also just received a grant from UKEIG to attend a library conference in Belgium in September. This all due to the support and encouragement I get from Anglia Ruskin University to progress in my career, I hope to move on to Subject Librarian within a University after this post ends in October 2016.
So keep an eye out, you could be the next lucky person to have this once in a lifetime opportunity to boost your library career through Anglia Ruskin University.