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New Voices Case Study by Elizabeth Carney

Category: New Voices

This New Voices Case Study was written by new professional Elizabeth Carney, CILIP Scotland Graduate Trainee and Students & New Professionals Community Committee Member. If you would like to write for New Voices, please get in touch with

What is your current role and what does this involve?

Hello! My name is Elizabeth and I currently work for CILIP as a Graduate Trainee in Scotland. My role involves supporting the delivery of services for members in Scotland, such as events, and I also get to work on the CILIP Scotland (CILIPS) comms, such as our social media and newsletter, which is an aspect of the role I really enjoy. I am part of a small team of two based in Scotland and this has meant that I have had the opportunity to get involved with a lot of different aspects of CILIPS work which has been great.

Have you worked elsewhere? If so, what have your previous roles been?

I have had one other library position working at the University of Glasgow as a Library Assistant and I still do this job now. I started full-time there in 2017 and moved to work on weekends in 2018 when I began my MSc in Information and Library Studies (ILS). I have kept this weekend role on ever since because I enjoy working there so much.

What drew you to working in this profession?

From a young age, I have wanted to be a librarian and during my undergraduate degree, the University Library became a second home. I enjoyed being in that environment and finding resources and information to help me form arguments and write essays. Becoming a Library Assistant at that very library then gave me the opportunity to help others do the same and this role confirmed that librarianship was the profession for me!

How did you get started in the profession?

My route into the profession has been fairly traditional. Following my undergraduate degree, I managed to secure my Library Assistant post. I was lucky enough to be in a position where undertaking a postgraduate degree was an option for me and, knowing this was a career I wanted to pursue, I went on to undertake an MSc in ILS at the University of Strathclyde. As classes ended and we moved into the dissertation portion of the MSc, I started my role at CILIPS, working part-time initially and moving to full-time on submission of my dissertation. Undertaking a new job whilst also working on a dissertation felt really daunting but with good time-management I was able to get through.

What are your main goals for your career?

At the moment, my focus is on becoming Chartered and continuing to develop my skills and understanding of the different areas of the profession. I hope this will give me a good basis on which to build my career. In the future, I can see myself working in the academic or health library sectors.

What are the skills you have found most useful to have?

I have found that building up my communication, networking, and partnership working skills has been extremely important. This is a profession that really emphasises working collaboratively and sharing knowledge and experiences. Additionally, social media skills and web-editing skills are very useful to have.

What tips do you have for anybody who is just starting out in the information profession?

My main tip for anybody starting out is to grab every opportunity you can with two hands. Sign up for webinars on topics that interest you, make use of funding and sponsorships available to attend Conferences and other events, and connect with colleagues on social media and at networking events. All of this will help you meet new people and this could open up opportunities to collaborate, shadow in a new sector, and learn new skills. Don’t be afraid to reach out to others, this is a very supportive profession and we can all help and learn from each other.

Are you part of any groups related to the profession?

I joined CILIP as a student and my regional branch is CILIPS West. I try to go along to meetings and events whenever I can. I am also on the committee of the Students & New Professionals Community which I have found very rewarding – it has been great to work on this with people who are at the same stage of their career as me and to gain the experience of being on a committee. I would encourage anybody to get involved with groups such as this if they can. Find a group that interests you and go for it – it is a brilliant way to meet new people and develop both professionally and personally.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I’d love to hear from you if you’d like to connect – you can find me on Twitter @emcarney94 or email me at

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