I have always been surrounded by book and have worked in libraries since the age of 16 - it all started with work experience whilst at school, and then led from there to joining a public library as a Junior Arts and Libraries Assistant when I left school at 16. Whilst working in the public library, I undertook a BTEC National Certificate in Business and Finance - now you may think this is strange, but it did incorporate Librarianship. My role at the public library involved mostly issue desk duties although I did get involved in children's librarianship activities - my other career choice if I hadn't become a librarian was to be a children's TV presenter so I felt that was a compromise!
After working at the public library for 2 years, I left to come to the bright lights of London to do a 3 year course at Thames Valley University - BA (Honours) in Information Management (Librarianship pathway). I enjoyed the course thoroughly and was able to relate the practical things learnt whilst working to the theory. My dissertation was on the provision of library services for deaf and hearing-impaired readers in libraries in Kent and London.
After finishing my undergraduate course, I decided that I wanted a break from studying and wanted to work to earn some money. In total, I applied for 80 jobs and out of those, received 8 interviews. I started work in November 1995 at King's College London Library (Strand campus) and worked there for 4 years as a Senior Library Assistant dealing with Inter-Library Loans and participating in the London and Manchester Document Access project (LAMDA). Most of my work consisted of issue and enquiry desk duties, requesting and receiving ILL items, and scanning journal articles to other libraries. I undertook my Chartership in 1998 whilst working at King's.
I left King's in 1999 seeking promotion and a permanent contract, and found a position at St George's Hospital Medical School Library as an Interloans Librarian. My work there consisted of issue and enquiry desk duties, undertaking information skills training for readers, supervising staff and managing the Inter-Library Loans service. Whilst working at St George's, I undertook a distance learning MSc in Library and Information Management at the University of Central England, Birmingham. The course consisted of attending 1 day a week for 6 weeks and undertaking a research methods module - I was exempt from doing the course full-time due to my undertaking of my undergraduate degree. I found the course refreshing and it helped me in my role at work. My dissertation was on the impact of electronic journals on the acquisitions, interlibrary loans and journal departments of academic libraries.
After working at St George's for 4 years, I felt that I wanted to progress further and unfortunately there were not opportunities there to do this so I seeked new employment. I started work at the School of Pharmacy Library in September 2003 and have been here ever since. I was initially employed as an Reader Services Assistant Librarian, but became joint Deputy Librarian in 2007? My role consists of deputising for the Head of Library and Information Services in their absence, supervising the Issue / Enquiry Desk and dealing with enquiries,selection and acquisition of library stock, keeping up to date with copyright and data protection legislation and supervising and training full-time and part-time members of library staff.
I now feel after working in libraries for 20 years on and off a library veteran, but feel that I have amassed a lot of knowledge and have a lot of job satisfaction.