Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Thing 20 - From Physics to Libraries

The Library Routes Project

As seems to be the case with everyone (and hence not terribly interesting!), I fell into libraries for no good reason. And who knows if it was I will do for the rest of my working life? I was in my penultimate year at Durham studying Theoretical Physics and pondering what to do after my graduation. A close friend suggested volunteering in the college library where she did, for only an hour a week. I thought there was nothing to lose, so I signed up and whilst there saw a flyer for getting work experience at the university library. After a short chat with the staff there I found myself going in two days a week over the summer (2010), and getting to know what working in a library was all about. And I really enjoyed it! The people there were so friendly, and I really enjoyed what they asked me to do. I experienced all elements, acquisitions, processing, serials, academic support, working on the desk with students and much more.

With still no idea of how to use my degree directly in a job I would enjoy I decided to give it a go getting a job in a library, believing my scientific background would block me straight away. But I was lucky, and got a place as a graduate trainee librarian in Cambridge. The year was so interesting, I learnt so much and gained confidence, and I enjoyed my work so much. Now I have returned to St John's as maternity cover in the position Projects Assistant, and have begun my masters in Information and Library Studies at Aberystwyth by distance learning. At the current time I am just about to submit my first two assignments after my initial study school back in September, and so far I'm finding it really interesting. It is a lot to fit in but I think it is good to challenge yourself from time to time. Going from writing lab reports and equations to essays is quite a step for me but hopefully I'll make it through. I would love to find myself in a job where my science-y background was useful, I do miss maths a bit! But at the moment I'm just plodding along :-)

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