A network for new and aspiring library professionals

BIALL, CLSIG & SLA Europe Graduate Open Day – Part Three

Part 1 of this post can be found here, and part 2 here.

Fiona Fogden, Information Professional at Linex Systems, finalised the day. Similar to Danny, Fiona began her career at the bottom working as a student librarian whilst at school and then onto a part time position as a shelver whilst she completed her studies. After completing her undergraduate degree Fiona received a bursary to complete attend library school. After graduating from library school Fiona began working for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors where she learnt how to deal with awkward enquiries amongst other things. Her next progression was to a law firm, and in addition to this she started freelance work providing training courses on how to negotiate subscription deals and wrote a book on the topic. She then began working at a tax and accounting firm which was followed by a role as an information professional in the research sector.

Tips provided by Fiona are as follows:

  • Take opportunities where available i.e. using a staff member’s absence to gain more experience.
  • Especially in commercial sectors, it is important to sell yourself i.e. reminding employers of how good you are and the difference you make.
  • Talk to the HR department to ask why you are not getting particular roles in order to build upon it.
  • Spend time on your CV.
  • Start of in a larger organisation if possible so you can learn from your colleagues.
  • Get as many formal qualifications as possible e.g. Prince 2, CIPS etc.
  • Write articles for professional journals.
  • Find the new gap in the market and apply for these roles i.e. information architect.
  • Get the most out of professional bodies such as CILIP, SLA, BIALL, CLSIG by volunteering for roles such as secretary, treasury in order to gain skills which can be used in a professional post.

Networking: The event was followed by an opportunity to network in a nearby pub. This gave me the opportunity to talk to Sandra more about legal libraries and to Simon about digital librarianship and to chat to other new professionals. I sadly had to leave after one drink to catch the train back to Manchester.

This event was generously sponsored by Sue Hill Recruitment, TFPL and Ashgate Publishing, and Facet Publishing provided two new titles as prizes for a draw on the day.

The presentations from the day are available here: I would like this opportunity to thank the organisers, sponsors and speakers for such a great day and hopefully this post will provide an insight into the sector for those who were unable to attend. For different perspectives on the day check out the blog posts from a SLA representative and other attendees:



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This entry was posted on May 17, 2013 by in National/International events & conferences and tagged , , .

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