Andrew Finegan is a Trove Outreach Officer at the National Library of Australia. He has worked across the library sector both domestically and internationally and regularly blogs about his experiences at Bibliotheque Bound.
What does your current role involve?
I work in the Trove Branch of the National Library of Australia, as a Trove Outreach Officer. This is a varied and multifaceted role, which includes core outreach duties, such as creating online content, and delivering presentations and workshops that connect the Library’s community with its digital services, especially digitisation, delivery and discovery via Trove. I also coordinate Trove’s digitisation partnership program, using a customer relationship management system to track and analyse workflows, and monitor the quality and impact of Trove on its community of partners and stakeholders.
Which aspects of the job do you most enjoy?
I’ve always enjoyed making connections with the National Library’s wider community. Working in Trove Outreach, this has meant communicating with organisations and individuals who want to support the sharing of content that has significance to their communities. There’s often a buzz of excitement when a new digitised publication goes online, especially when it’s been made possible by the generosity and passion that comes with community involvement. Being in a position to be able to facilitate those kinds of connections and wide access to connections can be very rewarding.
What professional development opportunities have you found the most valuable?
Anything that involves interacting with other library professionals across the sector. Whether it’s participating in a Twitter chat session like #auslibchat, or attending a conference, it’s always valuable to share perspectives with those who work in different work environments to mine. It can be fascinating how different an approach to library work can be, depending on the context, but also how some issues are often the same across the library world.
What advice would you give new graduates?
Explore. Take opportunities to work in different libraries and roles. The library world is huge, and rarely are two jobs ever the same. Get a feel for what works to your strengths – and what doesn’t – and you’ll start to get a sense of what career path you’ll want to pursue. Also, be wary of more experienced librarians who try to offer you career advice. What worked for them might not be right for you. Trust your instincts.