Information comes in different forms, from different sources. Professionals in this sector find, sort and present information for those who need it.
- Creative Choices – includes get qualified for library work and how to become an archivist
- Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP): Careers
- Archives and Records Association: Careers
- Beyond books: What it takes to be a 21st century librarian - Guardian Careers article (Jan 2011)
- Research Libraries UK: JobsBase - knowledge base for library job descriptions in higher education
- How do I make a career in Special Collections? - blog post including advice on a career in special collections
- Art Libraries Society (ARLIS): Being an art librarian
- Pharmaceutical Information & Pharmacovigilance Association: Careers Guide – information management careers
CILIP Information Professional magazine provides news, comment and debate on the library and information sector.
Culture 24 has news, events, exhibitions and education resources from cultural facilities.
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:
- Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP)
- Archives and Records Association
- National Archives – includes guidance and standards for information professionals
- Art Libraries Society
- The Society of Indexers
- Information and Records Management Society (IRMS) - details of training and events with information guides
- Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL)
- British and Irish Association of Law Librarians (BIALL)
Sector skills councils
- Creative and Cultural Skills - sector skills council for the creative and cultural sector
- Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS): Excellence Gateway - sector skills council
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, find out more about how to use social media for your career and subscribe to our libraries and information management Twitter list
- Newcastle alumni on LinkedIn – find out what they did after graduation and contact them for advice
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.
You may also be interested in Museums and Galleries.
Or see our other Sector-specific Information pages for more options.
The following job profiles include descriptions of typical duties, entry requirements and case studies.
There are additional career profiles listed on the CILIP website.
Careers information officer
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 Funding for Work Experience.
In the North East
- the Philip Robinson Library occasionally advertises for library aides and assistants on the vacancy site
- Literary and Philosophical Society - contact to enquire about possible voluntary opportunities
- Newcastle City Council: Libraries - list of libraries and special collections
- Lisjob.net – graduate training opportunities through CILIP for those who want to undertake a postgraduate qualification
- Oxford Libraries Graduate Trainee Programme - one-year placement for those considering related postgraduate qualification
- Archives and Records Association: Placement opportunities - find work experience in archives and records management
- National Archives: ARCHON directory - search for record repositories in the UK
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:
- using the directories listed under the Finding Jobs tab above
- searching for local companies who may offer work experience in the North East Graduate Directory
- researching employers via company profiles, business directories and databases
Use Graduate Connections to contact graduates for advice on how they found work experience. Search under 'Culture and heritage management' and 'Information services' sectors.
Library and information management jobs are advertised widely through websites and the media.
- Lisjobnet - library and information recruitment that includes graduate training positions
- International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA): mailing lists - search for 'LIBJOBS' to subscribe
- Archives & Records Association: Jobs - member subscription required
- Information and Records Management Society: Jobs
- Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ): Knowledge and Information Management - advertises vacancies
Public sector and higher education vacancy sites
- Guardian Jobs
- Jobs.ac.uk - search for jobs in librarianship, information science, IP, transfer technology and museum/curatorial work
- Times Higher Education - for vacancies within higher education
- North East Jobs
Specialist recruitment agencies
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.