Friday, 20 November 2015

You Want To Be A Librarian?

Welcome to the new bi weekly feature on my blog 'You Want To Be...' every other week I'll be talking about career choices with other bloggers to see what it takes to work in their world. This week I've started with my own career choice!

You want to be a librarian?

You dream of spending your days floating around reading books and helping people out on their quest to read. Well with 4 years experience in the library service, I'm here to tell you what it's really like.

First up i have to burst the bubble of you need to be a qualified librarian to work in a library. Nope! Councils cant afford the wages of an actual qualified librarian costs so there's no need to go running off to university any time soon!
What do you need then? Patience, good customer service skills, a love for the job & great IT skills. You'll spend most of your day dealing with customer issues such as asking to extend time on a computer, shelving and taking money for printing.

I've worked my way up the scales from a Saturday assistant who spent their entire day shelving, doing shelf checks, weeding books, dealing with customers and making displays to my current role where I deal with outside suppliers, ordering stock, budgeting, training staff and volunteers, running Interlibrary loans, requests, purchase suggestions, stock gaps, membership errors, stock errors and social media accounts as well as going to meetings, site visits, covering staff sickness, front line work, stock management and general day to day work.
I spend most of my day in front of a pc filling in spreadsheets, adding new stock and sorting site issues. It's far from the dreams of floating around a quiet library reading books all day.

So what can you expect from your work environment? Long gone (and thank god they are!) are the days of silence. We have children's rhyme times, events, meetings, book groups and so much more! It's a busy, can be noisy and challenging environment to work in. We deal with people from all ethnicities, all walks of life and all sexes and ages in our stride and always aim to give the best service we can for our customers.

Pay? Let's just say you don't work in Libraries because you want a big house and a sports car. The pay is mediocre and the hours are long. Full time staff work 9-7 and every other Saturday.

So why work there? It's a challenging, always changing environment where you are constantly trying to find new ways to get people through the doors. You meet and experience so many different cultures and walks of life that you wouldn't anywhere else. Your surrounded by sources of information and the people that work in Libraries are some of the most incredible people I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. 

All in all, I'd say if you want a challenging, customer based job that is a little bit different go work in a Library. Sadly I'm getting made redundant in March due to budget cuts but I'd loved my four years in libraries and I've learnt more than I ever would have in retail or an office based job. 

Hope you've got an insight into my job & if you want to get involved and featured make sure you email me, all my contact info is on my contact page!

Until next time,



  1. I've always worked in museums and archives and I think there's a lot of cross over between all three jobs. I love working with the public. Hope you find something else soon.

  2. I always wanted to work in a library when I was a kid but now that we live in the digital age I'm glad I never followed that dream. It sounds like such a great job regardless and I hope you manage to get a similar role in March.

    Raise The Waves


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