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The Traineeship

Hover over ‘The Traineeship’ and select from the drop-down menu to find out more about each trainee role.

Thinking about life as a graduate trainee librarian? The information below has been compiled to give a general overview of the scheme but please feel free to contact us should you have any more specific queries. If we can’t answer your questions directly we’ll know someone who can.


Until 2013, the University Library recruited two graduate trainee librarians for a fixed term contract of 12 months. The posts were aimed at graduates who have an interest in librarianship and will hopefully go on to study for a professional qualification at the end of their contract. Practical experience of working in a library environment is a pre-requisite for many postgraduate librarianship courses and the scheme offers the opportunity to make sure that librarianship is the career for you before spending large amounts of time and money on gaining a professional qualification. Regardless of whether you go on to Library School or not, traineeships offer an excellent years worth of experience, with a number of opportunities open to you. The post can open doors into all kinds of related careers such as conservation, archiving and museum and gallery work.


Both of our posts were based within the University Library, the umbrella term which encompasses all four of our library sites (the Brotherton Library, the Edward Boyle Library, the Health Sciences Library and the St James’ Hospital Library). One post was based at the Brotherton Library and was split between Customer Services and Special Collections while the other was based at the Edward Boyle Library and was split between Customer Services and the Science and Engineering Faculty Team. However it was expected that both trainees will spend some time at each of the sites as they offer an excellent example of the amount of variation within academic libraries.


The posts were designed to give as broad an experience of librarianship as possible. In addition to the everyday tasks, we were expected to undertake a project (chosen in collaboration with your line manager and other members of staff as appropriate) which would be of long term benefit to the library. We also had the opportunity to shadow various different teams within the library, to get a feel for how the library works as a whole. We were encouraged to undertake research visits to other libraries (both academic and public) to gain experience of the huge variety of institutions and approaches within the field. The Brotherton and Edward Boyle Trainee pages outline the tasks we carried out and the responsibilities we had. In addition to our project and day to day responsibilities, we had a large number of training opportunities open to us via the Staff and Departmental Development Unit.


Recruitment for the posts originally began in July and successful candidates normally started their posts at the end of August. The last Graduate Trainees were contracted to be in post from October


The graduate trainee positions at the University of Leeds Library are no longer running. You can find more information on job searching on the Useful Links page.

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