We were delighted to welcome Megan on placement with us during May this year. Read on to hear her experience of working with us…..
As part of my MSc course (I’m training to be a librarian at Strathclyde University) I was offered a work placement and was really excited when I found out I was to be placed at the Women’s Library. I’ve spent 4 weeks here shadowing Wendy, the librarian, attending workshops and meetings and, best of all, cataloguing! It’s been a great experience to be involved with such a wonderful library and to gain some practical experience of all areas of typical library life, like reading groups and cataloguing books, as well as seeing how a women’s library addresses lifelong learning and adult literacy skills.
Before my placement I had borrowed books from the library a few times but hadn’t been fully aware of the extent of their work. For instance, the library has ran reading groups in women’s prisons and is in the process of setting up a satellite collection of books for a women’s shelter. On the first day of my placement Wendy gave me a quick overview of the values and mission of the library and mentioned championing and celebrating women’s achievements; it has been great to see this in practice! Attending the Story Café every week was a lovely opportunity to hear a story and some poems and to hear women chat about their own experiences which were often very inspiring. Of course there was plenty of tea and biscuits too!
As a library student perhaps the most exciting part of this placement for me was seeing how a women’s library classifies its collection (the library actually has its very own classification scheme). Working with such a varied and interesting collection did mean I was quite slow to catalogue though, I just wanted to read everything!
The library is such a busy, vibrant place; there’s always something going on, and lots of tea and cake too- it’s pretty much the dream library. This is a really brilliant time to be involved as the library goes under a huge renovation in its new permanent home in Bridgeton. I am going to continue volunteering, helping to catalogue over the summer, and I feel really excited to be a part of this. The Women’s Library is such a diverse, inclusive and welcoming place, and I’m so grateful for the experience I’ve had here.