#citylis Student Perspectives: James Atkinson on Studying Library Science and Working at the Library

Student Perspectives is our series of guest posts written by current #citylis students.

If you are a current #citylis student or alumni and would like to contribute a post, please contact Ernesto Priego at ernesto.priego.1@city.ac.uk

This post is by #citylis student James Atkinson, who also works in Acquisitions and Inter-Library Loans at City University Library.

#citylis student James Atkinson at City University London Library, where he works in Acquisitions and Inter-Library Loans

#citylis student James Atkinson at City University Library, where he works in Acquisitions and Inter-Library Loans

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.

You can follow James on Twitter @JamesAtkinson81. City University Library is on Twitter @CityUniLibrary.

Find out more about postgraduate study in Library and Information Science at #citylis, meet alumni, current students and staff on our next open evening on 10 June. Register here.

About Ernesto Priego

A lecturer at City, University of London. My research interests include digital humanities, library and information science, human computer interaction design, comics scholarship, scholarly communications, open access, open data and open educational resources.
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