does anyone work in a library?

(20 Posts)
Potus Sat 04-Jan-14 11:24:49

Hello just looking for some pointers really. I currently work in a bank in a customer service role. I will bemade redundant soon which i am happy about.

i've seen a job i would love in a local university library, part time which is what i would like.

I have filled out the application form and addressed the essential and desirable things on the job spec. It really emphasises customer service experience which i have a lot of. It does say i need a levels in relevant subjects. I have a levels ( and a degree) but what are relevant subjects? I have english lit at a level if thats what they mean?

Also, is there anything i'm missing? It seems to be basically a job where ii would be helping the public with queries and sorting and ordering books etc. Am i underestimating the job and actually i am fooling myself as i haven't any experience working in a library?

if anyone has any experience they can share that would be most helpful. Thanks grin

Potus Sat 04-Jan-14 11:27:06

Oh also i applied for a job in a local schools library last month but never heard a thing sad

Potus Sat 04-Jan-14 17:24:24

Bump

SeagullsAreLikeThat Sat 04-Jan-14 17:28:23

Hi Potus. Nothing too useful to add except I applied for a university library role and didn't get it. When I asked for feedback as, like you, I had loads of customer service experience plus everything else they asked for, they said they'd had 80 applications! They said the first short list took out anyone who hadn't worked in a library or a university before. Hopefully your case will be completely different, not trying to depress you!

NorthernLebkuchen Sat 04-Jan-14 17:30:44

Library work is a specialist area but unless this is a senior post I can't see that you need particular qualifications in library management etc. What you're putting sounds fine but you need to make sure you're very clear about why this post. You work in a bank now. Why a library? Making it clear that it's that specific job in that specific place that you want - rather than any job, anywhere, may be what lifts your application in to the to be interviewed pile. So you might say that having spent x years in the commercial sector delivering excellent customer service you would now like to put those skills to work in a different sector where you would be able to learn new skills and challenge yourself meeting the needs of a new customer base blah blah.
There will be a lot of people applying. There are a LOT OF PEOPLE applying for everything atm. You need to be clear that you are 100% interested in this job.

RandomMess Sat 04-Jan-14 17:33:01

What was the title of the post?

Library assistant or assitant librarian - they are two completely different things.

NorthernLebkuchen Sat 04-Jan-14 17:38:47

Good point. I was assuming it's the former. If the latter then probably not the job for you atm OP.

DPworksinalibrary Sat 04-Jan-14 18:00:44

NC in case this makes me identifiable (or at least, it would under my normal name!)

DP works in a uni library, and regularly recruits for library assistant roles. They do emphasise the customer service aspect, as the actual library bits can be learnt, but the role itself is very customer service based. Apparently anyone who's worked at John Lewis is pretty much guaranteed interview grin

For them, library experience is a bonus, but by no means essential. Apparently in the last round of recruitment several people with more technical library experience (e.g. Maintenance and behind the scenes type stuff) were passed over for those with more frontline customer service experience, as you have. I do know that he was extremely relieved whenever he found an application where people had very clearly addressed each of the criteria on the job spec.

In terms of A Levels they probably wouldn't question what subjects, just require that level of education.

Finally, these posts are really popular - the last position they advertised (PT) received about 200 applications, most of which were more than qualified for the role. Not to put you off, but don't be too disheartened if you're not successful!

Potus Sat 04-Jan-14 18:33:38

Thanks for your replies! Its a library assistant position.

I know i probably won't even get to interview tbh. But i'll apply anyway for the experience! I have put on thr application that i would lime to apply my customer service skills elsewhere. And also that i love libraries and want to be part of that culture instead of sales

Potus Sat 04-Jan-14 21:14:18

Oh just checked its actually library support advisor. Mainly manning the enquiries desk and dealing with customers. I could do that in my sleep!

Picturesinthefirelight Sat 04-Jan-14 21:18:20

A friend has recently started work in a library after previously working in admin & customer service positions (mostly within the arts)

It's her dream job, she loves books. Her role seems to be helping with enquiries, assisting with activities (toddler, rhyme time, arts & crafts etc, she loves it when she is able to help people look for books/make suggestions. I think there's a lot of filing & tidying involved too.

Potus Sat 04-Jan-14 22:14:23

Thanks picturesinthefirelight it's my dream job too grin

nickEcave Fri 10-Jan-14 18:07:37

Sorry to sound pessimistic but I work part-time as a library assistant in a university library even though I have a masters in Librarianship, because there are currently no jobs at my level and at the university I work in there are lots of similarly qualified people doing much lower grade work because there are so few jobs. I don't know what area you are in but competition for library jobs is really fierce. I'm actually leaving libraries and taking a new job in student support because after nearly 2 years I've got fed up waiting for a library job at the right level for me.

EBearhug Fri 10-Jan-14 22:33:33

I also don't work in libraries because you have to wait for people to retire or die or something if you ever want to progress, and the pay wasn't great either.

But I have been known to reshelve books in the local library if other members of the public have been a bit careless. And I had a serious conversation with another ex-library friend about whether it was a bit OTT to go fully Dewey at home...

Potus Sat 11-Jan-14 08:17:15

Oh well no harm in trying eh?

RandomMess Sat 11-Jan-14 09:00:16

LOL, I used to be a library assistant and I so know what you mean about sorting out the shelves when you are in there, just makes your fingers itch grin

Potus wishing you all the best in finding a role in customer service that you enjoy. I work in admin and I love the part of my job that is helping other people (internally) but do not miss dealing with the general public!

JammyTodger Sat 11-Jan-14 09:23:06

I'm a chartered librarian and have been a school librarian for 16 years. I recently advertised for an assistant on minimum wage. We had 102 applications, of which 12 were from qualified librarians (ie masters in librarianship plus 2 years min experience). It seems that everyone at the moment wants t work in a library but unfortunately, mainly due to the public service cuts, the sector has a massive surplus ofunemployed professionals prepared to work for peanuts. Sorry - I don't rate your chances without experience.

Southeastdweller Sat 11-Jan-14 09:28:29

Here in London some boroughs advertise for volunteers so perhaps this is something you could look into where you live, as a way of getting your foot in the door.

sisterofmercy Tue 14-Jan-14 17:55:08

Sadly lots of public libraries, private sector libraries and government libraries/archives have been closed so there is a glut of highly qualified library people also competing with you. But you never know when you might encounter someone who is looking for customer service experience over librarianship qualifications so keep going.

Also maybe you should look at records management and archives work too. You never know. All jobs need customer service skills now even if your customers aren't the general public so you have got valuable experience.

Crinkle77 Wed 15-Jan-14 18:19:15

Don't know if you have put the aplication in yet but I work in a university library and most of the essential criteria are relevant to a lot of other jobs eg; dealing with difficult situations, team work, using initiative, IT skills, flexibility, attention to detail. Just make sure when you fill the for out that if it asks for a personal statement to make sure you give an example every aspect of the job criteria.

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