Jenna Ilett, Sackler Library


Image showing the exterior of the Sackler Library, Oxford
Outside view of the entrance to the Sackler


My name is Jenna, and I’m the new graduate trainee at the Sackler Library, which houses several collections including archaeology, art and architecture, and Egyptology. Opening in 2001, it has a more contemporary design in comparison to many of the other libraries in Oxford, but many of its features are inspired by the Classical origins of some of the collections housed there.

After graduating with a BSc in Psychology in 2021, I worked in Switzerland for 6 months in order to improve my German and consider my next steps career-wise. A visit to the stunning Stiftsbibliothek in St. Gallen inspired me to consider a career in libraries, and I began my application for the graduate scheme not long afterwards.


I did gain some experience working in a school library after I returned from Switzerland, and although a little familiarity with library management systems was helpful when starting my current role, a lot of the skills required can be gained through other experience such as retail or office work. I didn’t have any library experience when I submitted my application, so it is definitely not a requirement when applying to the scheme.

I am really enjoying getting involved in all of the different tasks that go on behind the scenes at the Sackler, from unpacking the daily deliveries from the BSF to tracking down obscure journals in some of our special collections. I’m excited to build on my knowledge of academic libraries and see where this year takes me!

[NB the Sackler Library has now been renamed to the Art, Archaeology and Ancient World Library]

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