I started my career as a Library Assistant with Milton Keynes Public Library Service. After working in Public Libraries for a couple of years I started my MA at UCL in Library and Information Studies in September 2015. Whilst studying I worked part time as an evening & weekend Information Assistant at City University Library. After I graduated from UCL I applied for jobs in Academic Libraries (without much success!) and continued to work on a casual contract with Milton Keynes Library Service while I was job hunting. During this time I also volunteered with CILIP to help develop the Public Library Skills Strategy 2017-2030 in the position of Student Representative.
In 2017 I was eventually successful in my job search and started as a full time Information Assistant at City University working across the Digitisation and Eresources teams. In 2018 I started my current job as a Senior Library Assistant in the Subscriptions Team at the London School of Economics.
My interests include open access publishing, transformative subscription models, eresource linking and authentication and working to help develop CPD opportunities for early career Librarians.
I never planned to work in libraries, I used to be an archaeologist and I planned to dig holes and write reports about pottery for the rest of my life. But my circumstances changed, and in 2013 I started working as a Library Assistant in the Subscriptions Team at King’s College London. I was promoted to Subscriptions and Access Officer before making a sideways move to become Senior Library Assistant in the Subscriptions team at LSE Library in 2015. I worked predominately with non-journal eresources, administering subscriptions and maintaining access.
In 2016 I started a part-time, distance learning Information Science (Library Management) MSc at Northumbria University. I won the Viki Lagus prize for my dissertation in 2018 and wrote an article about my research and experiences for CILIP North East’s journal NE Links.
In 2019 I was seconded to cover a maternity post as Scholarly Communications Officer at LSE Library until October 2020. I’m now gaining experience in publishing, scholarly communications and research support.
As a latecomer to Libraries, I struggled to gain the breadth of knowledge and identify the skills I needed to branch out and move up in the profession. I co-founded EARLL in the hope that it will give others in a similar position the opportunity to learn about different avenues of academic librarianship, broaden their skillsets and engage with other early career librarians in and around London.
I’m Karen, and I joined the EARLL team in late November 2019. I have worked in libraries for some time, but am still at an early stage in my career and understand many of the challenges this presents. I wanted to get involved in EARLL in order to meet others in a similar position and to do something proactive to support fellow early career library professionals.
Prior to starting work in libraries, I studied Russian and German at the University of Edinburgh. More recently, I have studied Humanities with Music and Literature at the Open University and Librarianship at The University of Sheffield. My first library role was a graduate traineeship at an Oxford college library.
Since then, I have worked in a range of roles in a research institute library, three university libraries and a public library service. I am currently a Library Assistant on the Metadata Team at Senate House Library, University of London. I am also a qualified teaching assistant and teacher of English for speakers of other languages and have taught at an HE academy in Ekaterinburg, Russia. In my spare time, I play the flute in an ensemble and sing in a Russian choir.
I currently work at the London School of Economics Library for the Reader Services team. I am new to academic libraries as I have only been in this role 6 months. Prior to this I worked for public libraries for 8 years. I had a variety of roles from library assistant to manager. I am currently studying for an MA in Library and Information Services Management from the University of Sheffield which I am doing part time and through distance learning. I love books, especially classics and am slowly working my through as many as possible. I live in Essex with my Husband and Chihuahua.
Since 2014 I’ve worked in various Collections based teams in HE libraries. During that time, I’ve spent three years working with a Journals and E-resources team, two years in Acquisitions teams at Kingston University and London South Bank University.
I am currently working in the Metadata team at LSE where I work with metadata for print materials and digital material for the institutional repository.
My library career began in public libraries and sparked an interest in accessibility of library collections to library users that I’ve been lucky enough to pursue in my HE roles.
While working with Journals and E-resources team and Acquisitions teams I developed and promoted awareness of accessible format materials to colleagues and to students requiring this service. This provided an excellent opportunity to work with colleagues in other teams within and outside of the library, for example liaising with Subject teams and Disability Advisors. In addition, it enabled involvement on working groups for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and creating a LibGuide advising on productive use of e-books.
Initially working in libraries was a means to fund my way through BA English and MA Comparative Literature before realising that this was what I wanted to do full time.
In 2017 I completed a PG Dip in Library and Information Studies at UCL, making me a new(ish) library professional.
My career in libraries has been in a variety of roles. A student job as a serials assistant during my undergraduate degree sparked my interest in the profession, and I moved to London to do my MSc in Library Science at City University in 2010. After finishing my degree I spent 3 years working in a different sector and reentered the library world in 2014.
As a new Academic Engagement Librarian at the University of Roehampton, my current role focuses on building relationships with academic staff to enhance the student experience though use of the library services. Previously I have worked in a customer services team and in the information literacy teaching team at London South Bank University, and as an Academic Achievement Librarian at the University of Roehampton.
Though my background is in the humanities through a BA in Comparative Studies (Religious Studies & Folklore) from The Ohio State University, I have been fortunate to support students and staff in a wide variety of subject areas in my early career covering everything from architecture and the built environment to nursing and allied health fields, and even law. I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and have an interest in digital learning and teaching technologies. I am also member of the LibApps UK User Group and will happily talk about using Springshare products all day long. In my personal life, I am obsessed with oolong teas, folklore, and knitting.