Since graduating with my MA in Library and Information studies in 2012, I’ve worked for nearly two years as an Assistant Librarian in a higher education business and management college. This was a great first job for a new professional and it gave me lots of valuable experience, such as supervising staff and being a line manager, launching and maintaining a social media presence for the library, and developing and teaching information literacy workshops. However, at the end of August this year I succeeded in making the transition into my second professional library post and I am now working in a university as an Academic Liaison Librarian.
In my new post, I am responsible for acquisitions and information literacy teaching for my subject areas of English literature, cultural studies, modern languages, linguistics and visual culture. This is a pretty exciting time for me as this is exactly the kind of post that I aspired to when I decided to become a librarian. It’s also quite a stressful time as I began my new job just before the start of the academic year. It was important for me to be able to deliver inductions and e-resources workshops almost straight away, which has meant that I’ve needed to learn a lot in a very short space of time! This has definitely been a challenge, but my new colleagues have been extremely supportive and I’m pleased to say that I made it through the student orientation week relatively unscathed!
Term has now started and I’ve discovered that I still have a fairly busy teaching schedule ahead of me, which is likely to continue until Christmas. I think it’s great that there are already some strong links between the library and the academic staff, and part of my new job will be to develop these further by continuing to build good relationships with my academic departments. In addition to my teaching commitments, I also already have a small mountain of reading lists to process and for the first time I will be responsible for managing my own budgets when purchasing resources.
As part of my new role, I will also spend one evening a week working on the library help desk, which will be a good opportunity to get to know the students and the daily operations of the library. My other big responsibility will be to take on the role of Disability Support Representative for the library and to provide additional support to disabled students who request this.
I can already see that this is going to be an interesting and varied role with many facets and that there is a great deal of scope for developing my knowledge and skills. As part of my on-going professional development and to help me to provide subject support for the modern languages courses, I am planning to enrol on one of the French language courses taught at the university. In the future I also hope to enrol on one of the university’s teaching courses, as this will help me to continue developing my aptitude for teaching, as well as my knowledge of pedagogy.
I’m expecting the next few months to be pretty challenging as there is still a great deal for me to learn and I definitely feel that I’ve had to hit the ground running with this post; however, I’m looking forward to what the new semester will bring and to getting to know all my new colleagues. I still experience nerves whenever I’m teaching a new class, but my confidence in delivering information literacy workshops improved a great deal during my previous job and I hope that it will continue to grow as I gain more teaching experience in my new role. My previous job also gave me some preliminary experience in academic liaison and I know that this is going to be very useful as I work towards getting to know the lecturers in the academic departments which I am now supporting.