Student Perspectives is our series of guest posts written by current #citylis students.
This post is by #citylis student James Atkinson, who also works in Acquisitions and Inter-Library Loans at City University Library.
In September 2011, I started working in a library for the first time, at City University London (not including my primary school library!). Two years later I started the Library Science Master’s course at #citylis having built up the desire to learn more about the Library and Information sector.
With only the dissertation to go, I can say that it is has been a great experience, learning all sorts of things I wouldn’t have on the job, while also complementing what I did already know.
Among the cohorts I studied with most have some library experience – whether that be from a graduate trainee position or in voluntary or paid work. We had school, law, accountancy, prison, hospital and university librarians among us to name but a few; something that added flavour to every classroom discussion as different points of view or experience were put across – a real strength of the course.
Personally, doing the course has helped me see the bigger picture of the library and information world. Although you will learn an awful lot working in the sector, this will often give you a narrow view of it, focusing on one specific area and, although, of course, you might be able to try different roles or shadow your way around a company, taking the course will let you see everything in short concentrated doses.
The course also helps prepare you for the road ahead, introducing me to many concepts that will be important in the future, such as knowledge management, digital information architecture, information organisation and digital libraries. Alongside my role in Acquisitions and Inter-Library Loans at City University London, it has truly helped me in the early stage of my library career.