CILIPS Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland
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Stephen Macpherson, Hillhead High School and St. Rochs’ Secondary School, Glasgow Life

Category: Meet our Members

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

If one phrase could sum up my everyday working life it would be ‘Young People’! I am surrounded by them.  As a School Librarian, I am never without young people either present in front of me or I am thinking about them.

A typical day consists of classes popping in and out of the school library, checking books in and out.  Additionally, young people will chat to me about their books and what is happening around the school.  I enjoy these confabs as I am based in two secondary school libraries across the working week and these interactions can be my platform in keeping up to date with what is going on around me.  In addition to book borrowing, I answer information enquiries young people and teaching staff present me to either locate or provide them guidance in how to access information they require. I develop the book collections to meet the wider needs of the school community and deliver programmes based on the book collections and electronic resources.  I am also active in school clubs and societies such as Amnesty International and LGBT collaborate in wider programmes such as ‘The First Minister’s Reading Challenge’.

Prior to working as a School Librarian, I worked for ten years in community library services and for the most part, engaging with young people and their families.  I gained experience in working across a broad age range from early years to teenage.  I would develop, co-ordinate, and deliver activities such as bounce and rhyme, storytime sessions, primary school visits, Summer Reading Challenge, and digital-based events. I gained valuable experience of the formation of young people’s lives and desired to broaden my experience of working with teenagers.  This motivated me to pursue School Librarianship.

A person’s teenage years is long period of transition.  A person is no longer a child yet not quite an adult. This is a time when people shape who they are going to be for the rest of their lives.  School Librarians alongside Teachers and other Support Staff in schools have a unique opportunity to guide young people through this period of their lives and I endeavour to do the best I can for them.  If you have a passion, a calling to help young people, I would recommend School Librarianship.

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