National Apprenticeship Week Case Study - Kate Bettis
For National Apprenticeship Week (7-13 February 2022) we chatted with Kate Bettis. Kate is currently completing her Level 3 Apprenticeship in Libraries, Information and Archive Services with WAES, whilst gaining practical on-the-job experience working at the House of Lords Library - and earning a wage.
Please introduce yourself and tell us what apprenticeship you are currently doing, and where.
Hi, I am Kate, I am currently studying the Level 3 Apprenticeship in Library, Archive and Information Services Assistant. I am doing this at the House of Lords Library in the Palace of Westminster.
I started my apprenticeship on the 6th of September 2021 and I am due to finish on the 6th of March 2023
What were you doing before you took on this role?
I graduated from UCL in a Archaeology Batchelor of Science in 2020 with a passion for conservation of heritage and organic materials such as wood and paper. During the pandemic I worked in a secondary school as an administrative assistant, helping with attendance, finance, admissions, and other projects. This was helpful for me to learn office and administration skills for a year while I researched different career routes and waited for the job market to open up again.
What made you consider doing a Library-based apprenticeship?
While researching careers I came across some Library positions and fell in love with some of the job descriptions. For me it is the perfect combination of administration, collection care and information management, while also helping people access the information they need. I then worked backwards from my dream job to what my next steps should be. I need to take a Masters in Librarianship, and to get admission to the Masters I need Library experience and training. I found a few positions online offering this apprenticeship and thought it would be the perfect combination of work and study to ease me into this sector. I was extremely excited by the possibility of working in Parliament because it is such a unique place to work.
I start my day by setting up the Library and replenishing stationery and toner. I then collect Parliamentary papers from the Printed Paper Office and distribute these throughout the Library. I will set out the newspapers for the day in the Library suites and file a copy of each newspaper and journal that comes into the Library. Other tasks I am responsible for include filing, weeding and labelling journals and law reports, as well as other Parliamentary documentation such as Acts and Bills. I spend the afternoons retrieving and reshelving books and other Library resources from around the Palace. I will also go on offsite trips to visit our Archival material to retrieve resources for Peers of the House of Lords. I also help with AdHoc administration tasks around the Library.
What have been your achievements during your apprenticeship?
I have been asked to write a piece for the Library Magazine and the Red Carpet magazine which are circulated within Parliament. I am also very excited to be involved with contributing to the creation of a new display about the Architecture of the Palace.
Now you are getting toward the end of your apprenticeship what are your long-term goals?
I am planning to take the Masters in librarianship at UCL and focus on collection care. I would love to come back to work in Parliament, or work in a museum Library with delicate or fragile collections. I am also interested in cataloguing and indexing and could see myself in one of these roles.
What will you do when your apprenticeship finishes? Has your apprenticeship helped you to achieve these goals?
When this apprentice finishes, I will have the experience I need to apply to librarianship Masters and train to become a librarian. This apprenticeship has taught me so much already about my chosen career, from the different roles I can train in to how to network within my community. It has given me the opportunity to get some practice with cataloguing and indexing, which will prove invaluable for me as I progress into this field.
Click here to find out more about apprenticeships at WAES