Hello, my name is Jake and I am one of three graduate trainees employed here at the Albert Sloman Library, University of Essex. I completed both my BA and MA in history here at Essex, and with that in mind, it seemed like the perfect place to also undertake a graduate trainee scheme. Moreover, for someone with no previous library experience, I was really motivated by the prospect of working within all of the different library departments, which the scheme at Essex offers.
Recently, I have been working with the student engagement team, providing support on a number of projects while also delivering a range of information literacy sessions to current university students. This role has been particularly enjoyable for two reasons. Firstly, all of the library staff have been incredibly welcoming and very collegial. Secondly, the nature of work ensures that the day never becomes too mundane or repetitive. On one occasion, for example, I may be delivering an information literacy session to a group of students, while another day might be spent working on the helpdesk or editing audio/visual material.
As a result of my first months employed here at ASL, I am currently considering whether to undertake a CILIP accredited postgraduate course – potentially an MA in Library and Information Studies. As trainees we have had the opportunity to speak with other members of staff who have already completed such qualifications, and we have also been able to attend an event day (Applying to Library School), which provided information on a range of different courses (see Katrina’s blog post for more information). Collectively these experiences have highlighted how many different options there are available, and helped me to decide which courses I might want to apply for in the future.
Overall my initial experience of being a graduate trainee has been overwhelmingly positive. I have enjoyed all of the different tasks which I have been set, and have already learned a great deal more than I originally anticipated. With an eye to the future, I am really looking forward to undertaking new tasks and working within the library’s other departments.