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Apprenticeship: Advanced Apprenticeship in Libraries, Archives, Records and Information Management Services Level 3

  • Job title: Reader Services Assistant
  • Department: University Library
  • Training provider: EHWLC

Why did you choose an apprenticeship?

I had been considering a library qualification for over a year but felt doing a Master’s degree wasn’t right for me, as it wouldn’t provide me with the library experience that I wanted. So when the Learning and Development Co-ordinator at the time told me all about the Libraries, Archives, Records and Information Management Services Apprenticeship, I knew it was the right path for me. I would be able to provide evidence in a variety of ways such as written and audio clips of interviews and discussions, presentations etc. but also be doing secondments in other libraries/departments.

What was your experience of the apprenticeship and training provider?

In the beginning, I mostly received support from the Learning and Development Co-ordinator who I had regular meetings with so I could update her with my progress. She was then able to help me with any units that I was struggling with, by pointing me in the right direction. Unfortunately, the Learning and Development Co-ordinator left about halfway through my apprenticeship, so I no longer had the same level of support as I did in the beginning. However, my course leader would have regular monthly meetings with me, whether in person or remotely, to see how I was getting on and to give advice on the next unit I was working on. I also had the full support of my department, as I had one day a week to work on my apprenticeship. This consisted of a half day secondment and the rest working on a computer pulling together the evidence for my units.

What went well?

Doing the secondments during my apprenticeship is the thing that helped me progress the most in my career thus far. I gained experience that I would never had received through a Master’s degree and knowledge which has been very useful in my progress. It has helped me gain more confidence working with so many different teams, both large and small, and the managers I had throughout that time (both in my current role and in my secondments), were very supportive of my studies and would always find me work that related to my units, such as teaching me cataloguing and book stock selection exercises.

What did you learn?

The Apprenticeship is a year and a day long and I wanted to utilise that time wisely and choose secondments to places that would benefit the units I chose alongside my mandatory units. I did six months with the English Faculty Library, two months with the Events and Exhibitions department and then the remainder of my time with the Inter-Library Loans department (both based at the University Library).

What next?

I was a Reader Services Assistant at the University Library during my apprenticeship. My responsibilities included fetching and re-shelving books from the closed stacks. Now I have successfully completed my apprenticeship, I have progressed to be a Senior Information and Library Assistant at Judge Business School. My responsibilities now include providing support for research enquiries, Qualtrics support, updating reading lists and more.