Focus on Alumni is our series of blog posts featuring or written by #citylis alumni. In this post, Aquiles Alencar Braynar writes about his career as a curator and then Digital Curator, at the British Library, and his time at #citylis.
When I joined the British Library ten years ago as curator for the Latin American Collections, I knew that an MSc degree in Library Science would be essential for my professional development. After considering various LIS programmes offered by UK universities, I decided to enrol at City University London – the curriculum offered by #citylis was clearly the most interesting for me as it combined traditional librarianship methodologies with new information technologies, delivered through interesting courses and taught by experienced lecturers, always aiming to bring theory and practice together.
Another fact that contributed to my choice was City’s diverse student community: many of us came from different educational backgrounds, cultures, ages and working experience. As a mature student, I felt very much at easy with my fellow colleagues who, like myself, were always eager to participate in debates and classroom presentations, creating a welcoming and relaxed learning environment in which we all were encouraged to share our ideas and to learn from each other.
Immediately after finishing my Masters degree in 2010, I was promoted to the role of Digital Curator, working for the recently created Digital Research team. In my new job I became responsible for promoting the Library’s digital collections to researchers and contributing to the development and implementation of the British Library Digital Scholarship Strategy. In my role I also became involved in innovative digital projects and was responsible for providing training and support for BL staff and users in all aspects of digital research. My study at #citylis was essential to acquire the knowledge and skills needed for my role as Digital Curator – my MSc degree at City University London certainly had a bigger impact in my professional career than I could ever anticipate!
Every time I return to #citylis either as a guest lecturer for the LIS programme or for participation in other exciting events such as the BL Labs Roadshow or the Library Carpentry workshop, I always recall the positive and exciting learning atmosphere I experienced in the past, proving that a mix of knowledgeable lecturers and motivated students is the right measure for success!