Library School – An Intro

A first post about library school. I like to call it that because the Americanism seems to be coming into more general use over here. I’m studying part time via distance learning at Northumbria University and I have yet to actually visit Newcastle! There was an optional one day study school in September, but I missed it since I started the course late. Contact with tutors is by phone or email. A Facebook group set up by some of our cohort has proven a lively forum for discussion and commiseration. We use an online learning platform/VLE to access teaching material, discussion boards, reading lists and the library’s online resources. They post us the set texts for each module which is very useful and I am now accumulating a nice little information science library. I have also gotten access to my local university library through the SCONUL Access scheme. That’s been really useful come assignment time when I need to do research and track down sources that I cannot access online. Unfortunately they only let me borrow four items at once though…

A bit about the course structure. We take two modules at a time so it is manageable even if you’re working full time, which the majority of students are as far as I can gather. I’m lucky in that I have two week days to devote to study because a lot of the others have to complete coursework at evenings and weekends. After sixteen months, I will (fingers crossed) be awarded a postgraduate diploma, and at that point you can stop or carry on and write a dissertation to receive the masters qualification.

I finished two modules at the end of January: Managing in the Information Environment and Hypermedia for the Information Professional. Thankfully I passed both of them, an encouraging sign at this point. Those were the two that attracted me to the programme in the first place so it was good to start with topics I was interested in. I’m currently working on Collection Management and Organising Knowledge modules. I plan to blog in a bit more detail about each module so watch this space.

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Quick Update – Autumn 2014

A lot of change has been happening in my life this autumn and has resulted in a massive slow down of blog posts! You might have seen on Facebook or Twitter that I have changed jobs recently. I said goodbye to Bruntcliffe School on October 24th and am now in my second week as a library counter assistant at Leeds College of Music. A professional goal of mine is to work in a music library, so I was thrilled to get this role at the College and it’s great to be working with music again. My school library experience was brilliant and definitely prepared me for taking the next step in my career. I’ll be writing a blog post soon about what I learned.

I attended the IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Lyon, France in August. This was an amazing, mind-boggling experience and all you CILIP members can read a feature article I wrote for the October issue of Update (along with some other first timers’ perspectives). I’ll be adapting this for my blog at some point as well.

Along with a lot of early career library folks, I want to do my librarianship qualification. However it was put on the back burner because of my work commitments. However when I got my new job which is part time, I thought it was a good opportunity to study part time as well. So I am now a month in to the Information and Library Management MA/MSc (distance learning) at Northumbria University. I’m nearly caught up with the coursework and really enjoying it so far – lots of blog and Twitter fodder in there as well!

When not turning my life upside down, I try to keep up with email lists and wanted to share a few interesting articles I’ve read recently:

  • Daniel Russell, an employee of Google, on why your library card is a powerful research tool:  http://bit.ly/1xX5tqi
  • Christopher Hogwood, a pioneer of the historical performance movement in Britain, died recently. This post on the Cambridge Music Collections blog gave a brilliant picture of his life: http://bit.ly/1E0e6Tj
  • After attending the IFLA conference, I’m more interested in libraries advocating for the public interest. This short article about US librarians and anti-surveillance was interesting: http://bit.ly/1t82KGo

A few teaser pictures from #WLIC2014 Lyon:

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Beautiful Lyonnais architecture.

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Conference Centre