My Pathway To School Librarianship

By Trish Webster, I work as the library manager of the largest school in the country, a challenging and stimulating job that I love.

My pathway was made up of a combination of serendipitous happenings (right time / right place), and lots of hard work and study.  I began by volunteering in my local primary school library one day a week when my children were young.  A few years later I decided that I no longer enjoyed being a Childbirth Educator, and I didn’t wish to return to nursing, so I decided to begin my Level 5 diploma by doing the ‘Information Access’ paper.  I was hooked!  I continued as a volunteer and completed my Level 5 before I even got a paid position in a library.  I eventually moved to the local college as a volunteer when my eldest son started school there. I was fortunate that the Teacher Librarian valued the study I had already done and gave me the opportunity to do some retrospective cataloguing under her guidance. This encouraged me to start my Level 6 diploma.  About then the senior librarian suddenly discovered she was 20 weeks pregnant and a maternity leave position was offered to me. When the maternity leave position finished I was offered part time work due to restructuring and I finally felt that I was a real librarian. I love working with teenagers, and after finishing my degree in Information and Library studies and the Humanities I looked for a more challenging job. I was very lucky to win my current position and I enjoy the daily challenges of dealing with teenagers, encouraging them to extend their reading choices and guiding them in the research process.  As a school librarian I am involved in most aspects of librarianship including acquisitions, cataloguing, budget control, information literacy support and teaching, readers advisory, research assistance, as well as the day to day management of a library with over 2400 students through the doors each day.  A fantastic job!

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