MA LIS Career Day
By Anne Welsh, on 10 June 2011
left to right:
Katharine Schopflin, Mei Yau Kan, Jennie-Claire Perry, Elly O’Brien
Each year the MA LIS programme organises a career day for students due to complete their studies. The morning session consists of formal presentations from Michael Martin (CILIP Qualifications) and one of the recruitment agencies. This year Nicola Franklin of Fabric Recruitment shared her experience and offered advice, which she has summarised on the Fabric blog.
In the afternoon we invite practitioners to talk about various aspects of working in the information sector. This year, Elly O’Brien (Bazian) talked about health libraries, Mei Yau Kan (ICAEW) about the commercial sector, Jenni-Claire Perry (University of the Arts) about academic libraries and cataloguing, and Katharine Schopflin (Houses of Parliament) about library management and working across different sectors.
Everyone highlighted the networking opportunities within the profession and stressed the importance of work-life balance. We had asked Mei Yau, who combines information work with performing in a band, to talk about this specifically, and she did so with characteristic humour, while making the point that it’s important to feel involved in the profession without feeling pressured to do everything at once.
Katharine and Jennie-Claire gave excellent advice on managing and living through change – appropriate in the current climate. Katharine, who is currently studying part-time for her PhD while working full-time as Head of Knowledge Management in a government department, has promised to summarise some of her tips in a future blog post here.
Although Elly opened the afternoon session, I’ll finish this post by reiterating two of her points: although it can seem daunting when you are leaving library school, librarianship is a small, tight-knit profession, full of friendly and helpful colleagues. However specialist a sector might sound, we have transferable skills, and, in these austerity times, our sense of community and our skillset will see us through.