Hello, I’m Fran, the Bodleian Graduate Trainee at the Social Science Library.
As one of the newer Bodleian libraries, what the SSL lacks in antiquarian charm is more than made up with functional air conditioning, natural light study spaces, and an onsite cafe as well as a very long issue desk. Despite only working here for just over a month I feel like I have been part of the team for longer as everyone has been so welcoming and generous with their time and knowledge. The size of the team and the library means that my duties as Graduate Trainee are varied but so far have included tour guiding, book processing, invoice issuing, desk manning and reading list checking. The role allows for a lot of independent working, but with an exceptionally strong support system any time I need help or guidance.
I applied for the traineeship after a year working in the Bodleian’s Legal Deposit department, a role that was itself a career pivot from archaeologist via administrator/receptionist. Working in Legal Deposits was my introduction to the world of academic librarianship, and the reason I have chosen to pursue a career in this field. Prior to applying I had been apprehensive that the Bodleian Graduate Trainee programme was focused on the recently graduated but have found that I am not the only trainee to be entering the world of academic librarianship as a second or even third career. The varied backgrounds and experiences of the trainee cohort are a positive, allowing us to approach the traineeship with different perspectives.
The traineeship felt like a natural step towards a career in academic librarianship. The role means that I have been fully immersed in the working culture of the libraries, understanding what an everyday working week entails, but with additional training opportunities and experiences built in alongside.