Well, I have just finished my graduate traineeship at St John's College, Cambridge. While at uni I toyed with the idea of doing a law conversion (as many classicists do) but decided that that was not for me. I became interested in librarianship when I started being a student invigilator in college and I realised that there was a lot more to this library lark than just checking books in and out and wearing pearls (as my parents thought). When I discovered the CILIP grad trainee job page I decided to apply for as many as I could...this was something like 30. I was very lucky in that I was offered the job after my first interview and so didn't need to take more time off for the other interviews that had been lined up.
I have found the traineeship at John's invaluable. To be honest I had little idea of the profession before I walked through that magical revolving door and, one year on, I can't believe how much I have learned, how many libraries I have visited and how many information professionals I have worked with. The traineeship at John's allowed me to work with students, fellows, alumni, special collections, archives and the biographical office with the result that I have had a very rounded experience, which will hopefully stand me in good stead for all that the profession will throw at me in the future.
I have been lucky enough to have been awarded one of the two St Andrew's Society of the State of New York scholarships for next year and a place at Syracuse University so I am off to upstate New York in a few weeks. I had already got a place at Glasgow for the Masters in Information Management and Preservation, which really appealed to me since it is accredited both by CILIP and the Society of Archivists and would keep my career path more open. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to study in America though and hopefully this will work in my favour!
The course options look pretty similar to courses in the UK though there seem to be many more elective options and no compulsory dissertation. You are encouraged to get an internship for 5 weeks instead of a dissertation, which will be a great opportunity for me to experience work in an American information institution!
I will keep this blog running when I am over there and keep it updated with what I am up to so that I can keep tabs on what is different from my Masters to those of you in UK Library Schools at the same time.
If I am lucky enough to get a job when I come back from the US (fingers crossed) then I probably would like to go for chartership if I found a good mentor. It sounds like a great way to keep up with professional development without being left on your own - it would still be guided and would be a good step before being cast adrift in the profession.
So, that's a whistlestop tour of where I have come from and where I am going (I'd say that's close enough for a Cotton Eye Jo link). Who knows where I will end up though...Australia does look tempting...