CILIPS Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland
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Laura Cagnazzo, Abertay University

Category: Meet our Members

This blog is part of our Meet our Members series, focusing on different members and their jobs and careers. If you would like to write one, please e mail us at admin@cilips.org.uk

Hello everyone! I am Laura Cagnazzo and I work as a Library Services Assistant at Abertay University, in “sunny” Dundee.

I would like to start this post telling you the story of how I got into the sector. I could say that it all began with a coin – yes, exactly the one you see in the picture – a limited edition 50 pence coin commemorating the 150th anniversary of public libraries, which I found whilst walking the busy streets of London. Well, I had loved and enthusiastically attended libraries long before then; I also did an internship in a university library in Italy. However, the coin became my vow that I would do all I could to become a librarian. I was working as a waitress back then and that coin, stuck on the door of my tiny room (London is expensive, we know!) with some sellotape, was the reminder of my goal. You can guess how the story ended! I obtained my first role as a Library Assistant at the Royal Society of Chemistry (London) and, after a while, I moved to Glasgow to undertake the MSc in Information & Library Studies at Strathclyde. I was determined to pursue my career as a librarian. Whilst writing my dissertation I was lucky to be selected for the Summer Internship at Magdalene College in Cambridge: what an amazing experience! I spent my time in Cambridge cataloguing 18th-19th century books, invigilating the Pepys Library and visiting some of the other stunning College libraries in town.

My current role at Abertay focuses on metadata. To understand how my average day at work looks like I could point you to the post I wrote for “We only stamp books”, the exciting, entertaining and interesting blog that I write together with another two dear fellow librarians. I will give you here a taste of what my key duties and responsibilities are. My time is divided between cataloguing new acquisitions and creating metadata for the research outputs published by staff members working at Abertay. I love working with metadata, since they enable discoverability. Without metadata you cannot find…whatever you are looking for! It is concerning that there is so little awareness of the key role played by metadata and metadata professionals across the sector (and beyond) nowadays.

Over the past two years, I attended some of the conferences organised by CILIP, including CILIP2018, CILIPS2017 and CILIPCIG2018 (Cataloguing & Indexing Group) and they were very positive and educational experiences, that enhanced my awareness of the challenges and trends of the sector and greatly helped me to expand my network and strengthen my self-confidence. I am proud to be a member of the CILIP’s family, by which I feel supported and of which I feel an integral part. I am currently working towards gaining CILIP Chartership, which I strongly believe will be a valuable addition to my Curriculum Vitae, as well as an excellent opportunity to develop, from a professional and personal point of view.

If you like what you read and would like to get in touch, please do! My Twitter name is @LauraFCagnazzo

I look forward to reading all of the posts of the “Meet Our Members” blog. Such a great idea!

Cheerio!

P.S.: despite having changed address several times over the last few years, I still have that coin…