Back in November 2022 I recorded a #LSLLTS Twitter Spaces chat which was about professional training for school librarians. We covered apprenticeships, chartership and degrees and it was fascinating to hear about the many different ways that you can now become a qualified librarian even if you have already started working in a school library.
My own journey to becoming a qualified librarian was via the degree, however, I did mine by distance learning with Aberystwyth University while I was a stay-at-home Mum with four young children. My master's was also distance learning again via Aber, however, this time I was working full time and my children were a little older. Finally, I embarked on gaining my Chartership and then Fellowship with CILIP. All were very different experiences helping me to acquire very different skills along the way.
Although I did find value in the degree route it was very much a general library course and offered very little opportunity to look at school librarianship. The master's course was about leadership and management giving me the tools I needed at the time but looking back where was my school library training? Where was the ability to specialise in either of my courses? Looking back, at the time it just wasn't there.
The Chartership however, was probably the most useful for my school library role as it helped me to focus on finding the professional development I needed to move forward. It helped me to be critical and to evaluate in a way I had never done before. It was a very personal journey and although I learnt a lot, and am still learning, I missed the opportunity to talk to others about my learning. This was one of the reasons I set up my Engaging and Empowering Membership program. It is important that we share our learning. As with all students it is important to be able to talk about our understanding and I realised that this is what was missing for me.
I am pleased to say that the Degree and Chartership are still available and there is now another route to professional registration through apprenticeship. Krystal Vittal, Deputy CEO of Suffolk libraries, Briony Birdi, Senior lecturer and dissertation supervisor at Sheffield University, Corin Peacock, Subject Librarian, at AUB, and Rachel Huskisson, school librarian, talk to me about these different options and what they look like today.
To find out more about the 3 ways to professional registration for school librarians you can listen to the recording of this session here. Do start listening at 5min 47sec to miss the set up chat on Twitter Spaces.
We have since moved to a podcast called Engaging and Empowering School Libraries, which now does link to my membership. If you would like to hear our other discussions click here https://www.elizabethahutchinson.com/podcast
Do tell us about the professional development journey you are on. We would love to hear your story...