Usually, a library degree is required when library staff are being recruited. But there are other non-traditional routes into librarianship, and these should be embraced and encouraged, argued Sarah Pittaway, speaking at the UKSG Forum in London.
Skills developed in other sectors – customer service roles, for example – can translate well into a library setting.
Pittaway is Team Leader of Academic Services Library Services at The Hive (Europe's first joint university and public library, jointly run by the University of Worcester and Worcestershire County Council). She used her own team to illustrate her point. Some of the roles at The Hive which are performed by staff without traditional library qualifications include the Eresources & Licensing Co-ordinator, Library Services Manager, Front of House Team Leaders and Student Engagement Co-ordinators.
With these sort of examples in mind, Pittaway encouraged her audience, when recruiting, to think differently about what "qualified" means, and embrace the important three words: 'or equivalent experience'.