Light at the end of the tunnel? - Jo Alcock Consulting
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Light at the end of the tunnel?

Light at the end of the tunnel?

Despite starting this blog thinking that I would use it to discuss things I have been studying as part of my MSc in Information and Library Studies, I’ve hardly really mentioned it at all.

This may be due to the fact that although I have enjoyed some of the modules, my main passion is for emerging technologies and how they can help academic libraries, and this is the sort of stuff I choose to do in my spare time so I dedicate more of that to the blog. However, I thought it was about time I shared some views on my studying progress.

My speed of progress throughout the course has varied massively, mainly depending on circumstances at home and work. I’ve had slower periods where I’ve struggled to find time (or motivation!) to study, and other periods where I’ve been really racing through. The flexible nature of the course has definitely suited me in that respect, although it does still seem strange that I can set my own deadlines and move them the day before if I realise I’m not going to meet them! At the moment I seem to be getting a lot more motivated – I’ve settled into a routine of working through the modules on the bus to and from work each day, and concentrating on assignments when I’m at home on the PC. I’m finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel and it’s very exciting.

My previous blog post about what makes a librarian a librarian (and the discussion that continued) made me reflect on where I currently am in my course and what I still need to do before I can become a fully fledged qualified librarian. In terms of course credits (this may sound incredibly complicated but bear with me!), I’ve currently completed and had my grades agreed on 70 credits. I’ve almost completed the assignments for another 20 credits, and am about half way through the reading for the next 10 credit module so I should be able to start that assignment once I’ve finished the ones I’m working on now. I’m hoping that in the next couple of months I should therefore have completed 100 credits, which only leaves me 20 to complete my Diploma. I can exit after the Diploma if I like, and I am classed as a qualified information professional. I’m pretty sure that I’m going to continue as I want to complete the dissertation and gain the full MSc, but it does mean that I can start looking for qualified jobs whilst working on my dissertation.

It may sound like a way off still, but I’m really hopeful now that I can complete the Diploma by Christmas this year, if not before. I’m really starting to look forward to looking for qualified jobs. Don’t get me wrong, I love my current job – but it would be great to get more involved in providing information skills training and working closely with academic schools (if I decide to stay within academic librarianship). I’m now starting to wonder where exactly I would like to work and what sort of job would make best use of my skills. One of the most rewarding parts of my job is helping students, whether on the enquiry desk or in information skills sessions. Although I love the techy side of things, I don’t think I’d like a job where all I do is office based work and I don’t get any contact time with users. There are some great new jobs coming into the field which I think would suit me well – being involved in project work to further advance training and support materials for users. These sort of jobs involve working with new technologies, whilst still keeping contact with users to find out what sort of things they want as part of the research, and showing them what has been developed and how they can use it on completion of the project. Most academic librarians get chance to do this sort of work anyway, but it’s difficult to fit everything in and these sort of things often take a long time to implement due to other commitments such as meetings, enquiry desk duties, student appointments, information skills sessions, etc etc.

I’ll have to see when the time comes what sort of jobs are available, I just hope there’s something out there for me.

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