This week’s ‘Thing’ is all about my experiences as a librarian so far.
Why you joined the career: There wasn’t any planned entry into librarianship for me and like a lot of others in the CPD23 program, I fell into this profession by accident. When I was in highschool, every child had to do a work placement in Yr10. I had no idea what I wanted to do. My Mum wanted it to be local and easy walking distance – which meant the local public library. “You’re quiet and you like books”, was my Mum’s reasoning. After that experience though, I still didn’t know what I wanted to do for a living. When I was in primary school, I definitely wanted to be a plumber! The end of school drew near and I still didn’t know what I wanted to do. The Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC) requires final year highschool students to list a range of higher ed courses to do if they are not going straight into work. So I turned to friends and family and came up with Arts and Librarianship. I don’t recall watching any vocational videos at school. Check out this weird one:
Where you are now and how you got there: Right now, I’m the Clinical Librarian at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and I started here in February 2011. Before that, I was an Information Officer at the Centre for Clinical Effectiveness (CCE) at Southern Health. I was there part time for 8 years. I did a range of things from ILL to evidence distribution and project work.
What you are planning to do next? Since I’ve only been in my new job for a little while, I’m planning to stay put!
So, what about degrees and such? In the 1990s Bachelor degrees in librarianship were available. When I did my undergraduate library degree, lots of young people were doing them and there were plenty of courses to choose from. You could also choose to do TAFE courses in Library Tech. Now though, Bachelors degrees are all but extinct. In 2008, I decided to upgrade my degree to a Masters and did a course via distance ed. Courses in Australia for librarianship are mostly all post-grad at various levels, and there are Library Tech and Teacher/Lib courses. Courses must be accredited by ALIA and there is a list of courses available on the ALIA website.