This week our blog post comes to you from Daniel Froste, a current University of Sheffield MA Librarianship student, and former Graduate Trainee at a healthcare library.
Throughout University I knew I wanted to work in libraries but didn’t really know how to go about it. I started off applying for part-time library assistant posts and after a lack of success, decided to volunteer in a school library. After six months of doing that I did a month in a sixth form college library and then in February 2014 got a job as a part time Information Assistant at Nottingham Trent University covering maternity leave. At this point I had spent some time researching paths into the industry and had decided I was going to do a MA in Librarianship at the University of Sheffield. My manager at Nottingham Trent was really supportive of my career ambitions and often made career suggestions, something which I greatly appreciated. I spent the majority of my time on the library counter and I feel this was a great experience, giving me the opportunity to develop my customer relation skills within libraries.
By July 2014 I had applied for a few Graduate Trainee roles, but had got my place at Sheffield and was looking forward to moving back to the north. Then I got a Graduate Traineeship at Bradford District Care Trust in their library. To be perfectly honest I had never considered health librarianship before, but got a really good sense at the interview of the work which they do. I started in September and immediately started enjoying the role. My role consisted of a wide range of activities from cataloguing, literature searching, producing information literacy resources, as well as traditional counter services. I also was involved in health promotion resources which is a vital aspect of health library work. In the summer I was involved in creating reminiscence resources for dementia patients, which involved going to charity shops and car boot fairs, buying items which we thought would help stimulate discussion. I am incredibly proud of the work I did on this project as I feel it’s going to have a direct impact improving patients’ lives. My managers were really good at ensuring I had a varied experience and I am grateful to them for their encouragement.
I know especially in health libraries graduate traineeships are really hard to get as there only seems to be a few but I highly recommend trying to get one if you are interested in this sector. The work is varied and involves a great deal of research which is enjoyable. I have just started my MA in Librarianship at the University of Sheffield now and feel my experience has greatly influenced my approach to the course in terms of looking at the material in relation to health libraries. While I don’t want to be accused of being too eager, I have already given some thought to my dissertation and hope to do something about health libraries. I am conscious though that in a years time I will be looking for jobs and while I would ideally like to work in health, I would like to keep my options and consider all sectors. Ultimately through my work in libraries and now studies I still feel as passionate about the industry as I did two years ago and hope to have a long and successful career in the industry.