One of the best things about our Cambridge traineeships is that we’re given the opportunity to explore several different areas of librarianship. This is great for career development and knowledge of the field.
Cambridge University libraries and librarians communicate and collaborate with one another to comprise a network that goes beyond individual institutions, and trainees are encouraged to join multiple action groups to stay aware of issues that libraries can face and developments that they can undertake in response. This means that, as trainees, we have access to many different types of academic library, such as individual college libraries, main university libraries, faculty libraries, specialist research libraries and special collections libraries. However, the traineeship scheme also encourages us to be aware of other kinds of libraries, such as public libraries, and, in this case, law libraries.
Cambridge is rich in talented and dedicated librarians and on this occasion, we met the Assistant Librarian from Pembroke College. She now works in academic librarianship, but begun her career at Lincoln’s Inn library and went on to work for the Inner Temple library, and she was kind enough to spend her time sharing a presentation with us about her experiences and the field in general. She started by describing what law librarianship was like on a day-to-day basis, highlighting the difference in pace between a law library and some other kinds of library. She also mentioned the different kinds of law libraries that exist, such as the libraries for Inns of Court and libraries for law firms. She briefly sketched out the shape and order of the legal profession before going into more detail on the importance of information and knowledge services within law, and the immediate impact that a law librarian can have on people’s lives. We looked at some different examples of law library buildings and finished with a Q and A.
The session as a whole was really informative and well-put together and I’m sure encouraged lots of us to think in more depth about the possibility of a career in legal librarianship.