Careers Service Occupations

Libraries & Information Management

Libraries and Information Management

About

Information comes in different forms, from different sources. Professionals in this sector find, sort and present information for those who need it.

Careers advice

Specific industries

Industry news

CILIP Update magazine provides news, comment and debate on the library and information sector.

Culture 24 has news, events, exhibitions and education resources from cultural facilities.

Information professionals can access jinfo – who provide a newsletter. Information and Records Management (IRMS) has Bulletin, a downloadable bi-monthly magazine.

There is the London Research Libraries Trainee Blog, and CILIP NE Links is a quarterly journal for the North East.

Professional bodies

These represent people working in the sector, providing training and networking opportunities. They often provide careers support for students and graduates. 

They also provide development for people already working in the sector. Follow them on LinkedIn or visit their websites for news, contacts, work experience and vacancies.

The main professional associations for this sector include:

Sector skills councils

Making contacts

Making contacts is useful for success in this sector. You could start with:

  • Graduate Connections – graduates happy to give you advice about the kind of work they do
  • social media, particularly LinkedIn and Twitter, which is useful for making contacts, finding employers and opportunities 
  • Newcastle alumni on LinkedIn – find out what they did after graduation and contact them for advice

Events

Recruitment fairs, open days, talks and events give insight and opportunities to make contacts.

On Culture 24 you can search for events, exhibitions and education resources from cultural facilities.

For more events for this sector see Careers Service events or External Events.

Related sectors

You may also be interested in Museums and Galleries.

Or see our other occupational pages for more options.

Roles

The following job profiles include descriptions of typical duties, entry requirements and case studies.

There are additional career profiles listed on the CILIP website.

Academic librarian

Archivist

Careers information officer

Information officer/manager

Indexer

Information scientist

Public librarian

Records manager

Gaining Experience

Having relevant experience on your CV is a vital way of demonstrating your knowledge to employers. It also helps to develop your essential key skills and highlight your commitment.

Opportunities in this sector can sometimes be advertised as unpaid, or expenses only. For information, advice and potential funding, see our work experience pages.

Newcastle University resources

Use Graduate Connections to contact graduates to see how they found work experience. Search under 'Culture and heritage management' and 'Information services' sectors.

Newcastle Work Experience (NWE) is a paid work experience scheme with local organisations. Search for opportunities at Vacancies Online.

In the North East

Advertised opportunities

Speculative approach 

Speculative applications are when you contact employers directly, not in response to an advertised vacancy. They can be a useful way to approach smaller employers who don’t offer formal internships or to find opportunities in a highly specialised field or specific location. 

How to find companies 

You can look for companies to contact by:

Social media can be useful for finding and connecting with employers, particularly through LinkedIn.

Finding Jobs

Library and information management jobs are advertised widely through websites and the media.

Vacancy sites

Public sector and higher education vacancy sites

Specialist recruitment agencies

Sue Hill Recruitment - specialist employment agency for the UK library and information sector. TFPL also covers this sector.

Finding companies

Not all jobs are advertised. You could approach organisations or find work through networking in the industry.

Find organisations that interest you and get in touch, always with a named contact. Be specific about why you are writing to them and what you’re looking for. 

Show your enthusiasm for the sector and highlight any relevant skills. Don’t give up if you don’t get a reply – follow up with a phone call or email to show that you’re keen.

Use the directory resources below to research and find potential employers:

Study & Training

Postgraduate qualifications are vital for securing librarian positions.

For librarian positions, a postgraduate diploma or an MA/MSc in library and information science/management accredited by CILIP is essential. Courses can be full-time, part-time and in some cases, through distance learning.

To secure a place on a postgraduate course you will need relevant experience.

If you're not sure if postgraduate study is for you, take a look at further study or come and talk to an adviser. No appointment is needed.