Work experience at the Pendlebury Library

Entrance to Pendlebury Library of Music, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK

Entrance to Pendlebury Library of Music, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK ; photograph by Mustafa Beg.

At this time of year, the Pendlebury Library plays host to work experience students, most of whom have been 15 year old pupils from local schools. This is the third year that the library has taken students, sometimes coming to us via Connexions– the local authority agency for work-related learning – and sometimes by a direct approach from an individual student.

Students normally come for a two week placement, at the end of Year 10 of secondary schools, when they are halfway through their GCSE courses. The placement is used as a general introduction to the adult world of work, and enables students to develop knowledge, skills and understanding useful in work. Whilst with us they learn punctuality, how to organise themselves for the working day, making their own way on public transport, sorting out lunch arrangements etc.

The placement is based in the Pendlebury, and there are always a number of library tasks that students can assist with. They learn to use the online catalogue and the Voyager circulation system, as well as daily library duties such as shelving and mastering the classification system! Sometimes we give them a specific project to assist with, such as helping compile a shelflist of a sizeable donation of Jazz LP records.

Music Faculty staff are also very helpful in giving up some time to talk to students about the work that they do. Students have helped the Outreach Officer with creating displays for the University Open Days, and assisting with guiding prospective students around the facilities. They have also been given tours of the Concert Hall and the Centre for Music and Science, including the recording studio. Depending on what is happening in the Faculty in any given year, some have been invited to participate in various music and science experiments, working with graduate researchers, and others have taken part in Gamelan and percussion workshops.

If you are interested in spending your work experience time with us, please contact us via our contacts page.


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