CILIPS Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland
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Jane Brebner, Young People Services Librarian, Live Life Aberdeenshire

Category: Blog, Meet our Members

This blog is part of the Meet our Members series, focusing on different CILIPS members and their careers.

Jane is Young People Services Librarian at Live Life Aberdeenshire. We love her home working set-up: even a pandemic won’t stop our dedicated librarians from getting the job done!

I have worked in Libraries for almost 32 years, with my first job as a Saturday Assistant at my local library in Devon. It was whilst working at Newton Abbot Library that I realised you could learn more about the profession and even make a career out of it through studying at University, and so off to Liverpool I went to do a BA (Hons) in Information and Library Management. After graduating, I was an Information Assistant working in Local Government at Devon County Council HQ in Exeter and then I decided to move away from home again. I took up a job as Information Assistant at the Royal Military College of Science in Shrivenham, Wiltshire, which then led to working for WHSmith in Swindon as a Market Information Manager.

I have worked in a variety of library sectors from Local Government to Retail and then University when I moved to Scotland and Aberdeenshire. I took up a part-time job working at Robert Gordon University and St. Andrews/Garthdee Libraries in Aberdeen. At this point children had arrived, so I was mainly working part-time for RGU and then relief work for Aberdeenshire Council. I was then offered a job as Library Assistant in Inverurie Library which led to promotion as a Senior Library Assistant and at one point I was working as SLA half and half between two libraries in Aberdeenshire.

Then came the time when I decided to do my Chartership and I eventually completed this in 2019. During the time of writing my Chartership, I was offered the job of Young People Services Librarian for Aberdeenshire working at Headquarters in Oldmeldrum. I have now been Young People Services Librarian for almost six years. This was a big challenge for me but something I had always strived to do, providing a library service for Children and Young People.

Children can start a voyage of discovery at Banff Library thanks to Jane and her colleagues.

So, what is a normal day’s work for a Young People Services Librarian? I manage a small team and we deliver and promote library and information services to support young people within school and community settings. Live Life Aberdeenshire has a School Library Service, which provides Curricular Kits to Primary and Secondary schools to support classroom projects. I also buy and catalogue Junior and Young Adult stock for circulation across Aberdeenshire. I could even be buying Lego for the many clubs we have or doing stock management through our Library system, Spydus.

I have responsibility for marketing and promotion of reader development and literacy initiatives for young people and their parents. One of the big annual projects that I co-ordinate is the Summer Reading Challenge, which in Aberdeenshire has always been done locally. It has always been a very successful challenge, even last year when we had the added complication of COVID and moving it online for all to access, from individuals to families and groups.

From little acorns grow mighty oaks… how sweet is the children’s craft area at Inverurie Library?

I enjoy my job because of the variety of tasks I could be doing on a day-to-day basis. We are all coping with very difficult challenges: currently I am working from home full-time during this current lockdown and juggling home learning, too.

I am a member of CILIP and feel it is a great way to keep up to date with what is going on outside of my current library sector. I finished my Chartership in 2019 and it was a big achievement as well as a big step in my career development.  I’m also a member of my local CILIPS branch, which is a brilliant way to meet people in other sectors, too. I have also recently joined the PMLG Scotland committee as Secretary, so this is another string to my bow and great for my continued professional development.

Over the many years I have worked as a Librarian, I have gained an incredible amount of experience and worked in different sectors of the Information and Library world. For someone starting out in their career, you should find out what Library and Information work can bring, you will be very surprised!

We loved learning more about your varied career, Jane, and the vital contribution libraries like yours make to children and young people. Thanks for sharing!

To find out more about submitting your own Meet Our Members story, please click here.

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