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Work experience

February 9, 2011

During two wet and dark weeks in mid-January, I spent some time wrapped up in a school library where the boilers were broken and pupils were twice my size.

Saying that, they were the only two negative points about the whole two-week placement. And everybody who works in a library knows the best fashion advice you’ll ever get in library’s is to layer up, as they can be freezing one minute and roasting the next. So all in all, the work placement was a breeze.

I spent it here, at Dulwich College, South London. And very nice it was too. An independent day and boarding school for boys aged 7 to 18 years old it was very welcoming. I was glad my placement was in a mid-sized institution as people were aware who I was, everyone took the time to speak to me to see how the placement was going, and both members of staff and pupils were all friendly and polite.

They have three school library’s; the Junior School Library, the Raymond Chandler Middle School Library and the Wodehouse Upper School Library. I was based in the Wodehouse but spent three days out of my placement in the other two. I was able to participate in nearly all areas of the day-to-day running of the library; issues, returns, hold requests, newspaper and periodicals delivery, arranging material for class time held in the library, the new books display, updating the new books list on the website, updating the ‘Prequels and Sequels’ booklet and most enjoyably creating a book display to promote Holocaust Memorial Week.

It was particularly interesting to see how Ann, the Junior School Librarian, handled being a solo librarian. She explained how there was many online forum’s for similar professionals who she kept in contact with, who often helped offer handy tips and advice. She was a real inspiration, and was awarded the SLYA Citation in 2008. Her knowledge, built up over the years, was a real inspiration for anyone wanting to pursue school librarianship and her integration into the rest of the school, the school curriculum and class timetables was admirable. After spending the day with her I decided to write my essay for the Services to Children and Young People module on information literacy and skills training within a school library and how this is achieved. I handed this piece in on Monday, with that lovely feeling of ‘another one down’ for the course.

In addition to Anne, the rest of the Dulwich College Library team were fantastic. Paul Fletcher, the head of all three library’s, is marvelous and was always eager for me to learn anything about school librarianship. After two weeks placement leaving was quite sad as I had really gained a lot from being there. I received a lovely card and box of Green and Black’s chocolates (my favourite!) and I’ll be going back soon to help with their Kindergarten Library for my case study. I’m really grateful UCL include work placements as part of the course as without it I don’t think I’d have been able to organise such a worthwhile substitute for two miserable weeks in January.

For viewing pleasure here are some photo’s of my book display:

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Dawn permalink
    February 9, 2011 6:31 pm

    What a great assignment! I can’t think of anything comparable to that type of library over here in Washington state! Fun!

  2. February 11, 2011 9:47 am

    It was good fun, great use of two weeks!


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