I just probably elaborate on this Library of Parliament gig I have this summer.
First, I want to start by saying that I got this incredible position as a direct result of volunteering with student council. NOT from getting good marks in library school. NOT from previous library experience (well, maybe a bit, but not really). NOT from improving my 100 meter free by several seconds this year.
Just from volunteering. The reason I emphasize this is because volunteering is free, it is a great way to network, and even if it cuts into your schoolwork time a bit, it doesn’t really matter. Nobody is asking for your marks at the end of library school. If you are a first-year library student reading this, please take note (And run for the Professional Development Co-Chair position this year!).
I got this position because I organized the FIS Job Fair last year, and was in constant contact with a roster of recruiters and librarians. They knew my name, the work I’d done and figured I might be competent enough to work for them. During my interview with the Library of Parliament, my now-boss told me that my work with the Job Fair gave her a sense that I was organized and capable and could follow through under deadlines (HA, joke’s on her!).
I am working for the Parliamentary Information and Research Service in the economics division. I’m a student librarian and I work with a group of A1, top-notch librarians who have all been incredible in helping me learn the ropes, in keeping me busy with fun stuff, and in giving me a much better sense of what awaits me in Grown-Up Land. We provide a consulting service for parliamentarians, and respond to any questions that require research into economics matters. We do our own stuff, but we also help the economists too; there is a real instant gratification with this work and I enjoy it. I’m also delving into the work of reference guides, and it’s going swimmingly (not 100m under 1:30 swimmingly… a more figurative swimmingly). The aim is to have a huge usable reference resource by the end of the summer, to be used by parliamentary librarians and the general public.
That’s my summer so far, and my plug for participating is extra-curricular activities (if you are a fresh-faced library student at the moment). Do it! Because nobody cares if you got an A in cataloguing… I certainly didn’t. 🙂