The end of the year is always a good time for reflection – ‘best of’ posts fill social media and news sites – and with the long Christmas break, I’ve been having a ponder on how 2013 was in regards to my career.
Library-land is an interesting place to be at the moment, particularly for us early careerists. Although I’ve not had any significant promotions, I’ve been developing skills and making the most of professional training to ensure that when the ideal role does arise for me, I’ll be well-equipped to leap for it!
This blog has been somewhat neglected this year, but my career has been much busier. So, this year I:
* Finished my secondment in Special Collections and, after a brief return to my original department, successfully applied for a transfer to Research Support! I now work in Collection Development and am really enjoying getting to know a different side of library work; the role also means I support Special Collections in their gorgeous new home when needed.
* Joined CILIP as an Affiliate Member and became a member of the brilliant LIHG and RBSCG special interest groups
* Attended numerous conferences and workshops, including the LIHG conference, ‘Libraries in the Public Sphere: How the past informs the present and the future’ and the GLAM symposium, ‘Cataloguing Creativity’.
* Wrote a review of an excellent historical bookbindings workshop which was published in the Summer RBSCG newsletter
* Learnt a great deal about cataloguing rare books, thanks to fantastic training by Renae Satterley and Lucy Evans
* Spent a Saturday learning about special collections held in public libraries – and tried food made from recipes found in early modern notebooks!
* Engaged with many more librarians and archivists via the magical medium that is Twitter
* Began studying a part time distance learning postgraduate course on Rare Books Librarianship at the University of Aberystwyth, giving me much needed theory behind the practice
* Attended some beautiful manuscript, archival and rare book exhibitions, notably the fantastic ‘Putting Scotland on the Map: The world of John Bartholomew and Son’ at the NLS and the wonderful ‘Magical Books: From the Middle Ages to Middle-Earth’ at the Bodleian Library
In short, it’s been a tremendously fun year – I’ve become even more convinced that Special Collections librarianship is where I want to be, gained a lot of technical skills and theory needed to progress and met some brilliant people along the way.
Outside of work, I managed to move house (books first, of course) and begin the GirlGuiding Leadership Qualification to become a full and proper Brown Owl! I’m really hoping to be able to introduce my Brownies to the wonderful world of archives and rare books next year, too.
Looking forward to the next year, I hope to be as busy and engaged as I have been in 2013. I would really like to update this blog more often as well, so if you see more posts here then consider that my resolution completed! Realistically, though, by the end of next year I hope to have begun my MA in Information and Library Studies at the University of Aberystwyth – a much needed step in any librarian’s career. I can’t wait to get started!
What about you? Have you got any particular goals for your career next year? Any thoughts on how 2013 went? Get in touch!