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February 24, 2010 / theatregrad

Tips from LibraryLand

This morning a post by Alice in Libraryland caught my attention; 10 Tips from the First Year in Libraryland is a brilliant blog post about the things learnt as a trainee librarian.  So many of the points ring true for me and so deserved to be passed on.  I urge you to read it and learn some important lessons.

Here are some of my thoughts on the libraryland tips;

  • Libraries are not glamorous!

    Make Contacts – People you meet may come in useful again someday.

  • Definately think about postgraduate courses! Alice in Libraryland writes of the stress of leaving it till March.  I started applying in December and it was still stressful but probably not as stressful.  By mid January I had 3 offers which was a huge weight off my shoulders!
  • Shadow others – Something I’ve not really done but must make time for.  I can see how it would be useful especially as my job has limited scope.
  • Embrace routine tasks  and do them with grace – The library isn’t always exciting.  My days are filled with the mundane; the shelving, missing book searches and labelling. All an important part of making the library work though.
  • Be nice to customers – I came to the job from a customer orientated job so its been a piece of cake but I know customer skills were something many of my fellow trainees had worries over.  Alice reminds us to remember what it was like to be a stressed out student, something I could do with remembering when people seem difficult.
  • Network with other trainees – I’ve been lucky because there are lots of us here but I still probably haven’t made the most of the opportunity.
  • Finally the points which amused me the most; Firstly dressing for the job,  I know I’m often overdressed for work but I like looking nice. However the job can be dirty, so smart suits and high heels aren’t really right.   I still wear dresses and skirts though I’ve learnt from my mistakes.  Super skinny jeans are not ideal for shelving and short pencil dresses make life hard in the reading room when a reader wants something from the bottom shelf.    The other point was about cats and baking and embracing library life.  Well I’ve always baked and we even acquired a cat for a while, despite my allergies.
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