MA Librarianship – 5 weeks in

My trainee year may be over, but I’m back! In September I moved my life up north to start the MA Librarianship course at the University of Sheffield. I haven’t had chance to post up until now (more on that later) so here’s a bit of a catch up on what I’ve been up to…

The course

I’m currently at the end of my 5th week of learning. The course runs from September to September, and I’m studying full time. The year is split into 2 semesters (September to Christmas, then February to Easter) and a summer dissertation season.

This term, I’m taking these modules:

  • Information Literacy – about information searching and analysis skills, as well as how to teach these skills to others.
  • Management in LIS – focus on management skills as well as professional development.
  • Information Organisation – about building and developing collections, not limited to books!
  • Libraries, Information and Society – gives a background to the trends, issues and challenges around the LIS sector.

So far, these are really fascinating modules with lots of new things to consider. The Management module can sometimes be hard work on a Monday afternoon, but I know a lot of the skills and ideas we’re talking about will definitely help set me up for my future career.

The workload

To be honest, I was surprised by how quickly the course got going! I know it’s a full time MA which is going to take up lots of time, but my previous masters definitely gave us a bit more time to settle in. Here, the course started in earnest with lots of reading and pre-session activities even before week 1 started (hence not posting on the blog up until now, sorry)!

It’s definitely increased from there – I keep finding I have more and more to do. A lot of the reading is interesting and gives some really good background to things we’re discussing in classes, so I don’t mind too much. It’s just when work gets set without much notice that it starts to be a problem.

I’ve begun choosing topics for my first set of assignments, so I’m sure I’ll be starting to do even more work as the deadlines start to approach…

The fun stuff

Some of my modules so far have included some really fun things – including a visit to the local museum and playing with Lego!

My lego robot.jpg
My Lego robot librarian. Don’t worry, there was a point to this activity.

We’ve also been on visits to the local Central Library, and the Schools Library Service, to hear from the staff about what they do. As you know, schools are my main interest, so the latter was particularly interesting. Making contact with the staff here was also great, and I’m hoping I’ll be able to put it to use in the future!


Not to be put off by my current workload, I’m also looking at part time job opportunities and the potential for getting involved in some local library services on some level. I’m sure there’ll be some updates on this as it works out, so watch this space.

Our side project

On top of all of that, I’ve somehow become involved in an extra project. In a lecture recently there was a discussion about the issues around marketing libraries, and how a lot of news stories about libraries are negative. Some uni friends and I decided to do something about this…

Here’s our new blog:

And we’re on Twitter: @HL_Moments

Our aim is to spread some joy by sharing stories of positive, heartfelt or otherwise rewarding experiences in libraries. This is aimed at anyone in any sector, so do go to the blog and submit your story to us. We’d love to be able to share more examples of the everyday, otherwise unrecognised good work libraries are doing – however big or small.


So that’s what I’ve been up to. I’ll try to keep up with posting every now and then… but if you have any questions about the course, Heartfelt Library Moments, or anything else, then please get in touch!

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