This month we are pleased to introduce Tracey Allen, a Library Adviser at the Anglican Church Grammar School (also known as ‘Churchie’) in Brisbane. When discussing her work at Churchie, Tracey describes herself as a “jack-of-all-trades” – she is involved in a range of tasks including creating and updating LibGuides, providing reference and readers advisory services to students, providing help desk services and supporting the reading resilience program.
Tracey graduated with her Graduate Diploma of Information Science (Library and Information Practice) from QUT in 2017 and is currently finishing her Masters at CSU.
What did you wish you knew before entering the library and information industry?
There are so many different positions that we as librarians/ information professionals can perform not only in libraries but also in business organisations. I started my Masters course concerned that positions might be hard to find as I had only considered the traditional library roles. Throughout the course though I discovered that the skills I’ve learnt can be used across a multitude of industries. The skills attained from my past degree (Bachelor of Business) for example, have been useful in completing scheduling and other tasks in my current position.
Being an introvert and being confident are not mutually exclusive. When my cousin told me that she had to on occasion give talks to over 1000 students, I was like ‘there’s no way I could do that’. Though I don’t speak to them all at once, I’m one of the people responsible for ensuring 1200+ students have the research and information literacy skills they need to be successful in the future.
What advice would you give students and new graduates starting out in the industry?
If you’re wanting to work in a school/ public library start reading the books children and young adults are reading. Knowledge of what is popular for this age group is key. Start looking at Goodreads, Library Thing or your local book stores Top 20 lists.
Apply for positions even if you lack experience. When I was initially job hunting half way through my Masters, I would avoid putting in an application if the job ad was asking for someone with 3+ yrs experience. I later discovered that you should apply for these positions anyway as the transferable skills you’ve accumulated in different industries can show the experience they are looking for.
You can connect with Tracey on Twitter via @libraryangeloz.