Trainee Profile: Catherine Gregory

Hi, I'm Catherine and I'm one of two graduates currently undertaking the training scheme at City University London. I'm planning on studying my Master's in Library Science or Information Science next year, but haven't quite made up my mind which would be the most suitable yet!

Having studied History at Cambridge University, I have spent many years of my life in libraries and it's brilliant to glimpse what takes place behind the scenes. My love of books and my passion for learning inspired me to seek a career in this sector.

I previously volunteered at my local library back home in Yorkshire, enjoying the opportunity to work with a small but well-loved collection of books and being part of the community. I also undertook a period of work experience at the Thackray Medical Museum, working in the historic medical library behind the scenes. It was a true insight into the amount of literature and research that goes into each exhibition and it also brought me face-to-face with the realities of librarianship, as well as rather a lot of dust!

Last year, I worked as Caseworker for a Member of Parliament. My role included undertaking research into both local and Parliamentary issues, and communicating findings with constituents. A great deal of my role was customer service-based, with answering the phones to constituents who wished to discuss a wide range of problems, from imminent homelessness to strong feelings on the legalisation of gay marriage. I enjoyed attending surgeries with the MP, meeting constituents face to face, and was determined to continue working in a customer-facing role. However, I wanted to find a long-term career that I was truly interested in. I turned to the library - where I've always felt at home.

During my time at City University London so far, I've been specialising in Digitisation. My work includes requesting digitised extracts from the British Library to add to our Reading Lists Online, and ensuring that all online information complies with our copyright licensing agreement. My background is in the arts rather than technology, so it's been a good introduction to new software and technology as part of my training. I also spend part of my day on the library service desk, serving students, assisting them with their enquiries and keeping an eye on printers and photocopiers. I hope to gain more responsibility as time goes on and to visit many other libraries.

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