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FAO maggie_lib and others- question about a librarian job

Discussion in 'English' started by anon25, Jan 31, 2008.


  1. Hi maggie_lib, I hope it is OK that I've addressed this to you. Others who are able to, please feel free to comment.

    I am a qualified english teacher with 1 1/2 years post qualifying experience. I am currently doing supply; I'm wanting to leave teaching and become a school librarian.

    I have an interview for a job that I really want- it is for a school librarian position. I intend to do a MA in Librarianship P/T by distance over the next couple of years and it is something that I've wanted to do since originally graduating. I also have a lot of experience of stock management from working in a bookshop.

    maggie_lib, you seem very experienced & have a clear knowledge of what the role entails- is there any advice you could possibly give me? I really enjoy daily interaction with young people & am extremely passionate about literature and advising young people on research skills. Do you think my interests/ abilities would be appropriate for this job?

    Is there any advice that you could give me for both the role and interview?

    anonx
     

  2. Hi maggie_lib, I hope it is OK that I've addressed this to you. Others who are able to, please feel free to comment.

    I am a qualified english teacher with 1 1/2 years post qualifying experience. I am currently doing supply; I'm wanting to leave teaching and become a school librarian.

    I have an interview for a job that I really want- it is for a school librarian position. I intend to do a MA in Librarianship P/T by distance over the next couple of years and it is something that I've wanted to do since originally graduating. I also have a lot of experience of stock management from working in a bookshop.

    maggie_lib, you seem very experienced & have a clear knowledge of what the role entails- is there any advice you could possibly give me? I really enjoy daily interaction with young people & am extremely passionate about literature and advising young people on research skills. Do you think my interests/ abilities would be appropriate for this job?

    Is there any advice that you could give me for both the role and interview?

    anonx
     
  3. Please, please qualify! I get very upset at the thought that just anyone can think they will be able to do a proper professional librarian's job without the background and knowledge that comes with qualifications and experience. After all, most of us are middle managers in school - you would not expect to become a Head of Maths without the relevant degrees and years of experience etc.

    Think about the level of pay that they will be offering you, as an unqualified "librarian". Even those of us who are qualified are not paid as well as teachers with the same level of experience, but then again, I would not take a clerical level salary either.

    Anyway, as to advice. Have a look at our main support sites for more information and join our SLN mailing list:

    Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals(professional body for librarians and information specialists)
    http://www.cilip.org.uk/

    School Library Association (SLA)
    http://www.sla.org.uk/
    The organisation for school librarians and teacher librarians in the UK.

    School Librarians' Network (SLN)
    Essential source of support for UK school librarians. An invaluable link to school librarians around the UK and with many overseas members also. Created by Elizabeth Bentley. To subscribe send an email with "Subscribe" in the subject to:
    sln-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

    Strongest Links for UK School Librarians
    http://www.strongest-links.org.uk/index.htm
    Site with loads of sources of support. Particularly this page, which may give you things to think about:
    http://www.strongest-links.org.uk/support_advice.htm

    Bear in mind that a good school librarian has the following remit, skills and knowledge(not an exhaustive list):
    * Reading development - knowledge of children's literature, promotion, displays, reading groups, Carnegie Shadowing, working with English and other department's classes on reading, extra-curricular activities, Book Weeks...
    * Information literacy - teaching research skills across the curriculum, developing SOWs alongside teachers and leading lessons, supporting the school in developing a progression of IL Skills teaching, helping staff to combact plagiarism, working on referencing and bobliographies...
    * ICT - resourcing the curriculum and developing teaching materials through technology: website, VLEs, Intranets, OPACs, wikis, blogs and other Web 2.0. Teaching ICT skills on an ad-hoc basis to staff and students. High level ICT skills and the ability to keep up with new developments, seeking out opportunities to use them to enhance teaching and learning...
    * Resources - developing a balanced collection to support and extend the curriculum - multi-media including books, DVDs, web-based, magazines, posters etc, etc...
    * Managing and organising resources, whatever the medium and exploiting and promoting them to the school community - cataloguing and classification skills...
    * Knowledge of the curriculum, educational developments and professional information management issues - CPD...
    * Knowledge of teaching methods and child development...
    * Financial and administrative skills, management of staff and student volunteers...
    * Report writing and and high-level communication skills. Ability to give INSET/presentations to staff, parents, governors etc...
    * Ability to manage and prioritise own time, work without direct supervision, be pro-active and innovative. Visionary with a clear view and direction...
    And MOST important - ability to work with students of all abilities and backgrounds, ability to manage library at wet lunchtimes!Sense of humour, a thick skin and rapport with staff and students.

    This is not a job for the shy and retiring!

    Hope this helps!

     
  4. Was that at all helpful? It would be nice to know!
     
  5. Maggie, I'm SO sorry that I didn't reply to thank you- I thought I had and have only just looked back and realised that I didn't.



    Thank you for your advice, it was really helpful; I managed to get a Children's Librarian job in London working in a public library (paying me more than I got in teaching outside of London!); I'm really enjoying it.




    It seems that after I have done this job for 2 years, I will be able to apply for chartership (without having done an MA LIS). I'm an associate member of CILIP because mine is a professional role. I agree that a qualification in LIS is important, but my undergraduate degree, PGCE and teaching experience means that I am able to communicate effectively with children & young people (better than many of my colleagues!), I taught English so have the knowledge of the stock and have managed to get a fair amount of training on the job to help with Dewey/RFID/information skills. The requirement on the person spec for my job was for a LIS qualification OR teaching qualification, so my employer seemed to think that either would be suitable. I think that transferable skills are very valuable and should be recognised as such.




    Do you have any thoughts on this- I know that you feel very passionate about all librarians having LIS qualifications. I completely agree that admin staff shouldn't be landed with the job of running the school library as so frequently happens- they probably have very little experience of either children, books or information management! However, I think someone from a teaching background is completely different, especially if they have a literature specialism.




    I would actually go as far as to say that people with LIS qualifications who want to work with children/young people should be required to have a further qualification to demonstrate their aptitude for working with the appropriate age range. Some of my Children's Librarian colleagues are very knowledgeable and competent at managing stock, but are appalling at actually interacting with young people (particularly teenagers!). I don't say this to be antagonistic, but merely to highlight some flaws with the system (IMHO)!



    I can see when I preview this post that there are no paragraphs- no matter how large I make them, they don't show up! Nightmare! Sorry!
     
  6. Excuse me butting in. Yes, you should qualify if that's what you want to do. Then any school that employs you will have the whole package. Your teaching experience and qualifications will be so useful in a school library, where you need to be able to inspire and guide pupils to right book for their individual needs. If you are only 1 1/2 years out of training you are young enough to change career. Your teaching background will be extremely beneficial to the users fo a school library.
     

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