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New Voices Case Study by Robin Dunlop

Category: New Voices

This New Voices Case Study was written by new professional Robin Dunlop, School Librarian at Renfrew High School. If you would like to write for New Voices, please get in touch with the Students & New Professionals Community by emailing

After graduating from the University of Strathclyde’s MSc Information and Library Studies course (2017), I began working as a school librarian with Renfrewshire Libraries – based at Renfrew High School. I will soon be approaching three years working within the school library sector.

During my MSc course, I worked towards entering the school library sector by focusing my study and thesis on young people’s interaction and engagement with library services. Consequently, I was very keen to impart my knowledge gained from study, combined with my passionate interest in engaging young people with using libraries and the resources on offer.

Working in a vibrant and busy school library environment, I really enjoy the sense of enthusiasm young people bring to the school library setting. There are so many cross-curricular projects and pastoral initiatives that the library plays a key collaborative role in – offering a basis to inspire, create, learn, and belong.


The best advice I could give someone starting out in the library and information profession would be to focus their study and/or work experience on the sector you have an ambition of working in. From my own experience, this benefited me during the interview process for my first professional role in the sector. I also value the importance of using transferable skills and experience (gained out-with the library sector) you can bring to the profession.

During my time working as a school librarian, I have found that communication and social skills play a prominent role as a basis to interact and inspire young people to access and enjoy library resources.

Furthermore, working as a school librarian allows you to gain a multitude of valuable skills and experience across the full spectrum of library services – this includes the management of resources and library spaces, book sourcing and purchasing, information literacy, catalogue and records management… to name but a few.

Finally, working as a school librarian and engaging with young people (tomorrow’s library users) is an exciting and creative opportunity, on the frontline of library sector development.

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