Positive Action Traineeships in NW Libraries - Case Study
5. Benefits to Trainees
Both trainees identified the following skills learned during their traineeships:
- Using Library systems & general library duties
- Effective library layout & display of books in libraries
- Working with young people in informal learning environment
- Planning, promotion & evaluation of library events
- Budgeting for stock purchase
- Talking to borrowers to develop reading choices
- Working with reluctant readers
- Health & safety & risk assessment
- Presentation skills
- Community consultation
Both trainees were extremely keen to remain employed by the library services they were working with. Unfortunately no vacancies were available for them to apply for, before their traineeships ended.
Shaaheda was already a qualified English teacher, and because of the uncertainties of future employment within libraries, left in August 08 to take up a full-time teaching job in Blackburn. She has maintained contact with library services and has been able to apply some of her new knowledge in her post, where she has taken an active role in developing the school library. She recently sent this message (April 09)
Since I started teaching at Beardwood Humanities College, I've been lucky enough to be involved in the new school library. The students have named this My Space and I am part of the My Space working party. The school only recently got a school librarian so before this I would work in the library some lunchtimes and in the initial setting up of the space.
I was also involved with organising a script writing workshop with Blackburn Schools and Blackburn library. This was through the Education Improvement Partnership and I'm hoping that I can be involved in future projects too. As the school has now got a full time school librarian I am able to work with her to plan learning opportunities in the library; this includes a new school reading group. I can definitely say that the range of experiences that the PAT provided me with, have allowed me to be much more creative in my current position.
I am still in touch with many of the Haslingden library staff and I know that some of the Asian Women that I worked with are still visiting the library. I know that towards the end of the traineeship one of the contacts had joined the friends of libraries group at Haslingden.
I am still looking out for positions that involve reading development, whether this is with young people or with ethnic minority communities. I have also been looking into voluntary opportunities as I have a summer break coming up.
Mahtab was fortunate to be offered a post with an organisation called South Liverpool Personnel Ltd. This is a training and advice agency which specifically wanted Mahtab to work with them because of her contacts in the local Iranian community. I know that Mahtab has remained in close contact with library staff and will apply for appropriate vacancies as they occur.