Meet some of those who have undertaken placements at Gladstone's Library:
Lorna Goudie (September 2012 - May 2013). Visitor Services Team, Victoria Gallery and Museum, Liverpool
I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Gladstone’s, working closely with the collections, reading by the fire and meeting a variety of wonderful people from far and wide, many of whom I keep in touch with to this day. I initially applied for the internship as I wanted to get some hands on experience in a rare books environment and the historical significance and setting of the Library particularly appealed to me. Whilst there I was able to lead ‘The Gladstone Foundation Project’ which was extremely rewarding despite being overwhelming at times. I constantly miss the hours spent working in the library or curling up in the Gladstone Room, not to mention Al’s lemon meringue pie!
Upon leaving Gladstone’s I undertook a Graduate Traineeship at the Special Collections and Archives Department of the University of Liverpool. Currently I am still working for the University at the Victoria Gallery and Museum. As a member of the Visitor Services Team my role is extremely varied however I particularly enjoy talking to visitors about the history of the building, which with its listed status is not dissimilar to the Library. It even features a bust of Gladstone within its collections! Alongside these various positions I have obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Information and Library Management.
Phillip Clement (September 2013 - June 2014). Assistant Editor at Amberley Publishing
Gladstone's was a great experience for me. The work that I did as the Marketing Intern was varied and interesting - a much more 'hands-on' internship than many that you'll find. I think that the most aspect of the internship at Gladstone's for which I'm most thankful are the people skills that I learned while working there. The Gladstone's internship provides valuable 'adult-talking' experience, which university doesn't necessarily focus on. All of the guests (whether vicar, writer, bishop or layman) were always happy to talk to the other interns and I, and many of them gave us important advice that has since helped.
Ceri Williams (January – June 2014). Senior Library Technician, South Staffordshire and Shropshire NHS Foundation Trust
I was in the midst of post-university obscurity and looking for ways to gain some work experience within a library. I had studied a lot of Victorian Literature through my degree, so was blown away by both the building and the collections that it housed. I was truly gobsmacked when Louisa invited me for an interview and even more so when I was offered the position.
Life at the library was fantastic, it really was. When living and working in the library it is hard not to be enchanted by it, which is why I think the staff there are so unique- because they genuinely adore the library. I loved being involved with the start of the library’s digitisation project and reading Gladstone’s correspondence - even if his hand writing was, quite frankly, appalling! I am proud to have been a part of laying the foundations of such a huge project and am eager to see how it has progressed since I left.
The best part of the internship for me was being involved in the library’s events, especially the Museums at Night, which involved poetry and book readings and ample gin; Hearth, where authors and their readers gathered around the fire to discuss their latest books; and of course meeting all of the Writers-in-Residence, particularly Peter Moore and Lesley McDowell with whom we ate far too much ice cream and created a lot of mischief.
My time in the library was an invaluable experience in which I was able to live and work in an incredible place, immersed in history and gain the skills which began my career.
Olivia Hicks (June – September 2014). Currently studying Comics Studies (MLit) at the University of Dundee
I was the Marketing Intern at Gladstone’s Library for three months, in between the end of my undergraduate course and the beginning of my postgraduate. From the beginning, I was surrounded by people who seemed to know my abilities better than I did – from the interview process where they suggested perhaps I would be better suited in marketing than the library (truer words were never spoken) to a particularly heart-stopping couple of weeks when I was in charge of the Marketing department, I was always pushed to be the best I could be, and to take my skills to the next level. I learned more than a few valuable lessons, not only in Marketing (which includes but is in no way limited to copywriting, designing posters, updating the website, and sending out newsletters) but also in Customer Service. I’m currently doing a Postgraduate in Comics Studies, which doesn’t seem like a fluid transition from Marketing, but the people I met and the friends I made during my time at Gladstone’s Library were always incredibly encouraging, and they always helped me to be the best that I could be, not only during my internship, but in my education and career afterwards.
Kristen Kenney (July – December 2014). Currently studying History (MA) at the University of Warwick
I started the internship programme at Gladstone’s Library less than a week after I graduated from university. I’d worked in libraries previously and was looking forward to a chance to gain more experience in librarianship and archiving. I had the pleasure of working with four other different interns over the course of my five months at the library and I am so grateful for the opportunity.
Gladstone’s Library is a truly unique space; it offers an experience unlike any other. Not only have I made friends for life but I’ve also gained an enormous amount of knowledge in archiving as a result of the two projects I worked on during my time. I started the Church in Wales archive project with Katie and it was one of the most rewarding pieces of work I’ve ever done. I also worked with the journals a lot – and I can’t get a magazine through the post without wanting to process it!
I enjoyed my time at Gladstone’s – working in a Grade I listed building will be something I’ll remember forever and there are many nights when I would love to be curled up in the Gladstone Room chatting to the guests with a book and the roaring fire.
Lauren Holmes (June 2014 – March 2015). LIS Resources Assistant (Distance Learning and e-Resources), Seaborne Library, University of Chester
When I applied for the internship, I had only two months experience in a public library. Gladstone’s doesn’t see that as a hindrance; they see an opportunity to change someone’s life – and they really did. I can never put into words just how much Gladstone’s have given me. They’ve turned a dream into reality.
An internship at Gladstone’s is the experience of a lifetime. You spend your days in a beautiful Victorian building nestled in the bucolic Welsh countryside, meet interesting and wonderful people, forge friendships and wake up to the chime of church bells and the smell of freshly baked croissants. Evenings are spent gathered around the crackling fire with good conversations. Books are the first and last thing you see every day. In the time we are privileged enough to live here, we read, talk, laugh and are happy. Gladstone’s Library gives people experience when no one else will, and I’m so grateful for that. Everyone is so friendly – we have our own little family.
My experience at Gladstone’s resulted in 50% of the jobs I applied for leading to interviews, and out of that I managed to secure a fantastically interesting job in an environment that I know I’ll love. Another plus is that somehow, even if we haven’t met, you become part of the Gladumni (Gladstone’s Alumni) and make such great friends through a shared experience – the friends I’ve made here will really be friends for life!
Kirsten-Rose Brooks (November 2015 - March 2016). Information Librarian at MIDIRS
I spent five months as an intern at Gladstone’s Library and I don’t hesitate to tell people that the unique programme was one of the best times of my life and set me on the road to librarianship. Nowhere else could I have gotten involved in enquiry desk work, circulation, processing acquisitions, working on archives, handling rare books, enrolling new readers from start to finish, helping at events, giving tours and inductions, social media and marketing, sharpening my writing skills on the blog – the list goes on and on! My experience enabled me to secure a year’s traineeship at UWE Bristol and a place on a master’s course by distance learning at Aberystwyth University.
I’m now an Information Librarian at MIDIRS, helping provide up-to-date information to midwives and midwifery students in the UK and across the world.
Elspeth Brodie-Browne (September 2017 - June 2018). Bodleian Libraries Graduate Trainee / Library Assistant at the Radcliffe Camera
Finishing university and being dropped into the real world can be a truly intimidating and frightening experience and I will be forever grateful that I found myself as an intern at Gladstone’s Library.
My time at the Library was invaluable and something of a crash course in archives, libraries and even museums. I was also given the freedom to research aspects of the historical collection that genuinely interested me and from there to curate displays for the Reading Rooms. Most importantly it gave me the chance to begin to truly understand what librarianship really entails (and trust me, it’s much more than you think!) before committing myself financially to further study.
The extensive marketing experience, particularly the training in social media, has proven to be vital. Social media is a tool that nearly all businesses, and particularly libraries/museums are using and being able to talk confidently (and, more importantly, genuinely feel confident!) about managing multiple social media platforms for an organisation has been incredibly useful to me in my ‘post-library’ life.
Gladstone’s Library is infused with a unique kind of magic that only those lucky enough to spend some time there can truly understand. There is a real sense of community, one that I still feel a part of even though my internship has been over for a while now. This is made by the residents, visiting writers and, of course, the other members of fabulous staff that made my experience one I feel genuinely privileged to have had.