23 Librarians will be relaunching next week – and this time we have a partner! 23 Llyfrgellydd is Welsh for 23 Librarians, and here Kristine Chapman, the new blog’s editor, introduces herself.
Next week, in a classic example of ‘imitation is the sincerest form of flattery’ we will be launching 23 Llyfrgellydd, the Wales based version of 23 Librarians. I had planned on including myself as one of the 23 Librarians featured on our blog, but I’ve had so many entries there’s no room, so I’ll take this opportunity to shoehorn myself in here instead! When reading through some of the entries for 23 Llyfrgellydd, two themes immediately spring up, both of which I can relate to. Firstly, many of us came to librarianship via a winding route, often only considering it as a career path after qualifying in some other subject area. And secondly, a great deal of Welsh librarians studied at Aberystwyth! For me, my journey started after qualifying for an MA Ceramics at UWIC (now Cardiff Metropolitan University) and I was temping in order to supplement my part-time pottery technicians job. I was sent to the library at the University of Glamorgan (now University of South Wales) as a library assistant. I worked at the Treforest campus, and after a few months managed to blag a permanent part-time post with them. I loved it there, but hated the commute (only a 25 minute train ride, looking back I can’t see what I was complaining about!) and when a job came up nearer to home (a 5 minute walk) I went for it.
That job was as a part-time library assistant at Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, where I still work today. What can I say about working in a museum library other than it is of course AMAZING! Best library job ever (I am soo biased!) If you want to know a little about what I did back in those days, then check out some Day in the Life posts I did in 2011 and 2012. Since I started working here, I have qualified for an MSc in Library and Information Studies (at Aberystwyth of course, where else!) and just a few months ago I was appointed as Principal Librarian here at Amgueddfa Cymru. It has been the most amazing six months, the excitement and stress of adjusting to my new role ironically coinciding with a particularly busy period for me hosting Library Camp Wales. Plenty of wondering whether perhaps I had bitten off more than I could chew! But I love my job (well apart from doing the budgets, but who does!) and all the extra work I do as a member of the CLIC Staff Development Group and as regional representative for Wales in MLAG (Museum Librarians and Archivists Group). Although perhaps now it is finally time to consider giving up my part-time pottery technicians job! I can’t wait for you all to read about some of the fantastic work that library folk here in Wales are involved in, it’s all so varied and interesting (and seems to involve a high proportion of fancy dress!)
So check back on Friday, 3rd October for the start of Series 2 of 23 Librarians Scotland and Series 1 of 23 Llyfrgellydd. Blogs for England and Northern Ireland will also be coming along soon. For details of how to contribute to all four blogs, please see About 23 Librarians.