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Wednesday, 2 March 2011


I have just finished reading The Millennium series by Stieg Larsson. A lot of my friends had read it and enjoyed it yet fellow librarians did not recommend it. I thought I would read it and see for myself. To be honest im not really sure what I thought of it. The first book in my opinion was the best, I felt the other books especially the last one just sort of plodded along. I struggled with the multitude of characters, most of whom were never really developed enough, just sort of thrown in as a bad guy for the 'heroine' to come up against.

Im glad I read the books but I wont be rush to read them again.

Currently I am working my way through the Catalyst book list. The Catalyst Awards are held in North Lanarskhire every year and I have just joined the commitee so I am trying to get through the books I havent read yet. So far the stand out for me are:

  • Unhooking the Moon - Gregory Hughes
  • Out of the Shadows - Jason Wallace
Check out the awards at -


Well since I last wrote I haven't actually made any progress on my Chartership.

I have just had so much going on in the past few months, moving house, planning a wedding and some not so nice things so i am afraid to say Chartership has been the last thing on my mind. I know its not good enough and I am actually a little disappointed in myself for not progressing as much as I would like but there is no point in beating myself up over it. I need to move on and get back into it.

I have arranged a meeting with my mentor and hopefully that will help me get back on track. I have also decided that I need to blog more. Its all very well saying I have a blog but if it is not kept up to date its pretty worthless. So every week I hope to add something to it. Even if no one else reads it, it is a good way to keep on top of the Chartership process and always me to try reflecting on my job and what I am doing.

So wish me luck.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

My route to a library career

When I was younger I never thought about becoming a librarian, a princess or an astronaut, yes, but a librarian, no. Once I had grew out of the astronaut phase (still holding out on the princess dream though) I started thinking about what I would like to do with my life. Looking back, it was obvious I would become a librarian. I was always at my local library, begging to help out, I even enjoyed putting books back on the shelf (something I try my best to avoid now). I was lucky to have a great local library and the librarian was always happy to help me and encouraged me to read as much as I could. At home my books were always in order and I used to make up tickets and have my dolls and bears borrow them. However I never once made the connection with my favourite past time and becoming a librarian. This was until one night when I was looking through university prospectuses with my dad, trying to decide what postgraduate course I wanted to do. I showed him the course for Library and Information Studies at Strathclyde and his exact words were, "I always thought you would become a librarian", Now this information would of been useful to me a lot earlier but better late than never I guess.

So fast forward to 2007 and I have graduated with my PGDip and I was ready to start job hunting. I was lucky enough to find a temporary position but it meant giving up my part time job that I had at the time. Best decision I have ever made, the temporary job ended up lasting 6 months and gave me some great experience of library work which has helped me ever since.

Assistant Librarian/Cataloguer - HarperCollins - Database Project

This was my first full time position and although it was only temporary it was a really enjoyable and valuable start to my library career.

My main role was to catalogue the archive editorial files that we had in storage. I think this was about 200 boxes full of interesting information. There were boxes from Agatha Christie, with letters from the author herself, boxes relating to Boris Pasternak, Lord Mountbatten and lots of other famous authors. I had to catalogue the contents of these boxes and input the information onto the HarperCollins database so that my colleagues would be able to see what information we had in the archive. The other part of the project consisted of creating a database of all the works that HarperCollins had published over the years.

As the post was only temporary I had to move on after 6 months so it was back to the job hunting.

Document Controller - Interlink

My next position was as a document controller on the new M74 Motorway project in Glasgow. There was nothing advertised for jobs in a library so I ad to think outside the box and take a job that although not in the library sector would still let me use the skills I had gained.

I was mainly responsible for using the Electronic Document Management System to create design packages for Glasgow City Council. I had to use EDMS to input data, create packages, handle queries and basic administrative tasks.

It wasn't exactly what I wanted to be doing but after I year I had managed to find an actual job in an actual library.

School Librarian

So after a year and a half I now had a job as a school librarian. I am now in my second year and doing my chartership so everything seems to be going well.

I would never of thought of myself as a school librarian, it was never the career I had envisioned for myself but now that I am here I couldn't be happier.Yes my job can be tough, Yes I often feel undervalued, Yes I could do with a much better budget but for all the low points there are a great number of high points. every day I get to help shape young minds, hopefully help them develop a life long love of reading and help to equip them to handle life after school.

Each day is different and most of the time I love this. I get to organise events, make up displays, promote the library to the whole school, take part in school committees. take library introduction lessons, recommend books to both pupils and staff - the list could go on forever.

So that is my route from a young girl who wanted to be a princess to an adult working in a school library.

Monday, 25 October 2010


In my last post I said that I had finished my CV for my Chartership, this took me a lot longer than I thought it would. Normally a CV hardly takes me anytime as I have kept my CV updated everytime I move jobs so that it is always handy if I apply for anything. However writing one for my Chartership seemed to take me ages.

DO CILIP care that when I was 16 I worked in my local cafe? Or that I have six years experience working in a local supermarket? If I had included all my previous work experience my CV would of went on for about 6 pages. Not that I have had a lot of jobs but when I finished my degree it did take me a while to find my first full time permanent post, I worked a few temporary jobs which I felt I had to include as they gave me experience of working in a library environment. Hopefully I have managed to include all that I needed to without going on for too long.

Although it took me a while I did actually enjoy writing my CV, I sometime struggle to big myself up (for lack of a better phrase) and writing my CV helped me to practice this. It helped me to see that although my position as a school librarian is my first permanent post, I have gained a good deal of experience in my other temporary posts which have certainly helped me get where I am today.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Behind already

So I am already a bit behind in my blogging. tut tut.

Since I last blogged I have:

  • Registered to Charter under pathway 1 (received the official email and everything),
  • Meet with my mentor twice,
  • Completed my CV
  • Completed the first draft of my PPDP.

Next post will look at these in more detail.

First Steps

So what steps have I taken into the world of Chartership?

First Steps

Once I decided to start the Chartership process the first thing I did was attended a 'Building Your Portfolio' workshop. I felt this was a great place to start although it did scare me a bit, there was another school librarian who was talking about her chartership process and once I saw her completed portfolio my first thought was I am never going to be able to produce something like that. Her portfolio was really good, she was really good, you know the type of person you think is great but secretly you are thinking why am I not that good? Well that was me.

Once I got over that and realised the only reason I thought that was because I didn't really know what was expected of me, I read the Chartership handout from the CILIP website. This gave me more of an idea of how to go about my portfoilio and what CILIP expect from me.

I also purchased the book "Building Your Portfolio: The CILIP Guide" by Margaret Watson and actually read it, OK not cover to cover but I plan on reading it more in depth over the course of my chartership and I think it will really help me to look at the examples in the book.

Next Step

My next step was to get a mentor. I knew this would be really important in my whole process and was a bit worried about not getting someone suited to me and my job as a school librarian. I shouldn't of worried (I worry a lot, you will see this as this blog goes on) I have ended up with a great mentor who has a background in school libraries and is very good at encouraging me and reassuring me that I am on the right track.

Once I had my mentor and had read up on the whole process it was time to start the serious work.

Monday, 4 October 2010

A good place to start

So this is my first ever blog and indeed my first ever blog post. For some time now I have been toying with the idea of blogging, everyone seems to do it and I think I would enjoy it and hopefully get something out of it. What that is remains to be seen.

The whole idea behind this blog is to record my Chartership process, help me to evaluate and reflect on what I am doing in the Chartership process. Hopefully in writing this blog it will encourage me to organsie myself, my thoughts and my time a little better than I normally do. I don't know about everyone else but every week I start with good intentions and by Wednesday they have gone out of the window as life takes over and before I know it its Friday I have only achieved half of what I set out to do. Maybe I set myself to many tasks to achieve through the week or maybe I spent to much time on things that are less important or that could be done during the school holidays. Hopefully this blog will help me sort that out.

Let the blogging commence.