Thing 10 is all about Library Qualifications. That is, reflecting on qualifications that are appropriate for our current role and why we feel specific qualifications are useful (or not) as preparation for or as continuation of our professional development. My experience of library qualifications is somewhat limited so far but I have been lucky enough to undertake a Graduate Traineeship this year, which for me has been an excellent preparation and grounding for future professional development in Librarianship.
One thing that came to mind when I started thinking about this, particularly after reading Jen’s Blog on Certification, is that it’s a shame the Graduate Trainee year doesn’t provide trainees with any kind of qualification, certification or credit toward an accreditation of some kind at its completion. I understand why – issues relating to expense, organisation and time – and of course, the purpose of a traineeship is intended to prepare candidates for Library School, but with many trainees finding it difficult to go on to afford Library School, encouraging them to aim to at least begin something like CILIP’s certification (which can take up to two years for a newbie) is an interesting idea! (Good luck Jen!)
Having said all of that – what the trainee year does aim to provide is experience and this it provides brilliantly! My traineeship in Oxford has provided me with a fantastic and wide-ranging experience of Librarianship. In detail, this is why I think traineeships are great:
As my trainee year has come to a close, I’m now looking forward to embarking on a MSc in Information and Library Management in September! After my MSc, I will hopefully aim for Chartership. This is a pretty standard career progression as far as I can tell but as the vast majority of professional posts require a postgraduate degree in Librarianship, it’s the route that will hopefully get me to where I want to be in my career in a couple of years time. Whatever route you end up taking in your career, I do think it’s important to have a plan and an aim to keep developing your skills – even if you don’t stick to it in the end or end up having to move sideways or backwards to get to your goal!