Only three modules on the Librarianship course are optional, and as such it was really tricky deciding which to choose from the extensive list available to us! Here’s a brief description of what I’m doing now, and why. Module choices do not have to be finalised until the third week of the Spring semester, so my first few weeks after Christmas were spent ‘shopping’ around and trying out different classes.
Academic and Research Libraries: most of my experience is based in the HE library sector, but I’m also looking at commercial, health or law libraries as potential areas of interest. I attended the CILIP CLSIG, BIALL and SLA Open Day on careers in these sectors in 2013, and found the enthusiasm of the speakers there for their jobs really exciting. This module is coordinated by Stephen Pinfield, who is an excellent lecturer with lots of experience in the field. He puts a lot of effort into our classes and there have been some really interesting external speakers so far on the module – all highly regarded in their various fields.
Digital Multimedia Libraries: I decided I needed a more ‘techy’ module, which is why I opted for this. The software that we use, Greenstone, is unfortunately not the most up-to-date, but I think many of the skills learnt here will be transferable to other digital libraries such as DSpace or Eprints, which seem to be the most popular platforms at the moment.
Archives and Records Management: I chose this module in part because the assignment was so much fun – writing a short research paper on any topic using an archive, and then evaluating our experience. We’ve also explored some digital preservation issues as a part of this course, which is an area I’m really interested in. I’ve written about the history and development of handheld videogame devices, using the resources at the National Videogame Archive; I definitely hadn’t expected to be working on a project like this when I started the course!
One of the brilliant things about the Information School is how flexible and accommodating staff have been. I have been able to sit in on classes from other modules that I am interested in, including Public Library Services (which is absolutely wonderful; Storybook Dads left me in tears), Information Governance, and Healthcare Information (which are both directly relevant to my dissertation). Overall, I’m really pleased with the topics that have been covered on my course – of course there’s still plenty to learn when I take up my first professional post, but I think I’ve been given a good introduction to many key issues and skills.
I’m just getting started on a detailed dissertation proposal, so I’ll be writing about that soon!