LIBRARY AND INFORMATION WORK
Librarian? Information manager? Information scientist? Information officer?
Job titles in the information field can be confusing and not always very informative!
INVOLVES: Matching people to their information requirements. Obtaining, organising & disseminating library resource material. Promoting services to interested groups/meetings.
ALSO KNOWN AS: information specialist, specialist librarian, information manager, knowledge manager. They do not have to be, or to work with, “scientists” in the traditional sense.
Interview with a Scientific Information Officer http://bit.ly/abtraF
Manages the acquiring, supply and dissemination of information in an organisation. This may include paper-based materials, but also database and web-based material. Catalogues and stores information. Responds to enquiries. Writes reports. Publicises the service to potential users.
- ASLIB www.aslib.co.uk The Association for Information Management
- Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) www.cilip.org.uk/jobscareers careers advice and job listings, including training vacancies
- Knowhere http://ials.sas.ac.uk/knowhere/Home.html a site for graduate library trainees in London, with reports on libraries, trainee profiles and information on MA courses
- OWL www.tapirdesigns.co.uk/owl/welcome.html Oxford Website for Library Trainees – information on librarianship and library schools
- British & Irish Association of Law Librarians www.biall.org.uk – advice on the work and training of legal information professionals
- ARLIS www.arlis.org.uk/being.php - information on being an art librarian
- Academic Librarian www.prospects.ac.uk/links/acadlib Prospects profile
- SCONUL www.sconul.ac.uk Society of College, National and University Libraries. Includes list of members
- Public Librarian www.prospects.ac.uk/links/publib Prospects profile
- Information Scientist www.prospects.ac.uk/links/infosci Prospects profile
- Information Officer www.prospects.ac.uk/links/infoofficer Prospects profile
- Careers Information Officer www.prospects.ac.uk/links/carinfoofficer Prospects profile
- Pharmaceutical Information and Pharmacovigilance Association www.pipaonline.org Has produced a guide to Information Management in the Pharmaceutical Industry www.pipaonline.org/careers/careersguide.jsp
- Info Professional www.infoprofessional.co.uk - case studies and advice on all information careers
- Volunteering in Kent Libraries www.kent.gov.uk/leisure_and_culture/libraries/services_for_everyone/volunteering.aspx
- Is a bookless library still a library?
ARCHIVES AND RECORDS MANAGEMENT
Manages and preserves historical materials of all kinds, from medieval parchments to films and business documents. Catalogues and stores information. Assists users in finding and using material. Carries out research. Organises exhibitions and events. Conservation work.
- The Archives and Records Association www.archives.org.uk information on careers, jobs and courses. Formerly the Society of Archivists.
- Business Archives Council www.businessarchivescouncil.org.uk/faq/profession advice on this aspect of the profession
- Some statistics on the archivists’ profession from the Guardian (2009) www.guardian.co.uk/money/2009/nov/21/archivist-career-by-numbers
- Info Professional www.infoprofessional.co.uk - case studies and advice on all information careers
- The National Archives www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/get-involved/jobs.htm offers some unpaid internships in archives and collection care
- Archives Hub www.archiveshub.ac.uk a major national gateway to archives held in UK universities and colleges
Computers will never take the place of books. You can't stand on a Kindle to reach a high shelf.
- Canterbury Cathedral Archives www.canterbury-cathedral.org/history/archives.aspx
- Other archives in Kent and south London www.nwkfhs.org.uk/reposit.htm
- A film archivist profile www.tips4jobs.co.uk/job-bank/media-and-photography/film-archivist.php
Susie ‐ Archivist (History, 2007) Graduate Career Story from HECSU
How did you become an archivist?
‘I spent quite a lot of time in archives doing research for my undergraduate degree, which is how I came to decide that I wanted to pursue a career in that kind of area. The information I needed for my undergraduate dissertation wasn’t available to the public anymore so I had to get in touch with the former Curator in order to access the archive and it was through her that I secured my first graduate job with a private research organisation (she introduced me to the director of the company). I then became a volunteer researcher at a local museum, working with a team of graduates to compile biographies of philanthropists who had given money to the museum in the past. By that point I had decided that I wanted to gain some experience of working in an archive so I also volunteered for the York City Archives. The post at the city archives then turned into a casual paid position as an archives assistant and I got a part‐time job as an archive and library visitor services assistant at another museum. To begin with I worked in a customer‐facing role, but I was soon given an extra day a week to work behind the scenes cataloguing collections. By this point I’d gained plenty of experience, but I really needed a professional qualification to show I was committed to working in the field so I applied to study for an MA in Archives and Record Management. After I completed my MA my old manager offered me some temporary work as a cataloguer which then led to a 6 month contract as an Archivist. That contract was extended after the museum won a bid for another project, but that project is now nearing completion so I’m currently looking for a more permanent role. At the moment I’m considering moving to London because I think there are more opportunities there and I’d like to work in a media archive for a newspaper or an organisation like the BBC because their collections are slightly less technical.’
How have you drawn on the experience you gained at university in your subsequent work?
I have definitely drawn on the experience I gained studying for my MA. The course was quite intensive but really hands‐on, and it taught us a lot about the practical reality of working in an archive. We learnt how to manage budgets and plan projects, and were also given the opportunity to undertake two work‐experience placements. It was also really useful to meet other students on the course as we were all expected to have a year of practical experience before we joined so we were able to learn from each other as well as from our tutors. My first degree has been useful in that it taught me how to manage my workload and how to analyse and present information. The historical knowledge I gained from my first degree has been useful in providing context for my day‐to‐day work but I don’t think it is essential for my job, and in fact a history degree was not essential when I applied for a place on the postgraduate course.’
What prompted you to undertake further study?
Where is the Life we have lost in living?
From The chorus of the Rock by T. S. Eliot,
‘I felt that having a more practical and role‐specific qualification would improve my job prospects. I was interested in archive work and an MA in Archives and Record Management was essential if I wanted to become a professional archivist. I wanted to pursue a career that was related to my first degree, but found that a history degree on its own was not enough.’
Do you have any careers advice for the students who graduated this year?
‘I would advise students to do as much volunteering as possible. It is best to do this whilst you are still at university. Unfortunately I left it until I had finished, which led to a relatively long period of unemployment as I had to work for free in order to gain some experience. Volunteering is great because it provides you with experience and some very useful contacts.’
Graduate Career Story from HECSU
What is Records Management?
“The process by which an organisation manages all the elements of records whether externally or internally generated and in any format or media type, from their inception/receipt, all the way through to their disposal.” (Records Management Society)
What do Records Managers do?
“Records managers support and drive their organisations in the appropriate management of the records they create and use in the course of their business. This involves advising the organisation on how to manage their records throughout the records’ lifecycle, from creation or receipt, through active use and the maintenance and storage phases, to the records’ eventual destruction or archiving.” (Archives and Records Association)
- Prospects profile of a Records Manager www.prospects.ac.uk/links/recmanage Includes case studies
- The Records Management Society www.rms-gb.org.uk
- Archives and Records Association Jobs in the Recordkeeping Sector www.archives.org.uk/training/careersinrecordkeeping/jobsintherecordkeepingsector/recordsmanager.html
- JISC InfoNet www.jiscinfonet.ac.uk/infokits/records-management
- Cimtech www.cimtech.co.uk Based at the University of Hertfordshire, this is the UK's centre of expertise on all aspects of information management and technology”. Site includes an online guide to electronic document, records and content management and a directory of products and services
- Information Handyman http://informationhandyman.com/records-management/getting-a-job-in-the-records-management-industry - advice on getting a job in records management
- Records Manager Job Description from the University of Edinburgh www.recordsmanagement.ed.ac.uk/JobDescriptions/JobDescrRManager.htm
“Information networks straddle the world. Nothing remains concealed.
But the sheer volume of information dissolves the information. We are unable to take it all in”
You can find a wide range of Occupational Profiles for careers in this sector at www.prospects.ac.uk/links/InfoServicesThese include:
Last fully updated 2012