My arrival in St. Albans

Recollections of a librarian
By John Cox

During the academic year 1961-62 I attended the one year course in preparation for gaining the Registration Examination of what was then called the Library Association. I had decided on Librarianship as a career when I was 16 years old and was allowed to spend a week during my summer holidays at my local public library in Worthing, Sussex. Twelve months later, having applied for junior positions at all the library authorities in Sussex, in September 1958 I became the only male Junior Library Assistant at Worthing Public Library, where during my first year I received superb practical training from the experienced Librarians then in post.

Two years later, having passed my first Professional Exam, I made plans to attend a full-time course in one of the Library Schools in England. I was accepted by five schools but accepted the place offered by Loughborough's School of Librarianship. At that time Loughborough had four  colleges - Further Education (which included us Library Students), a separate Art College as well as Loughborough Teacher Training College and the Technical College, up Ashby Road. 

When it came to leave in 1962, I obtained the position of Senior Library Assistant at St. Albans College of Further Education which was situated just outside the city centre in purpose built buildings (built in the Hertfordshire education award winning design). Within a month of my arrival I was asked to become involved with the new Hertfordshire College of Building which was also situated on the campus. Two years later I became an Associate of the Library Association and was appointed Tutor Librarian of the College of Buiilding. In December 1968 we moved into our own purpose built building adjacent to the FE College. For career reasons I left the College in 1969.

Nearly 50 years later, the St. Albans campus has largely been sold by Oaklands College which subsumed the FE and Buildig Colleges in the 1980s. The campus is now a housing development with purpose-built apartments. Further Education facilities are mainly based at Oaklands on the eastern  perimeter of the city in what was formerly the Agricultural College and Building Students are trained nearby south of the main road from St. Albans to Hatfield.

We still live in St. Albans where we both are involved in the local community and our two children who grew up in St. Albans cannot afford to buy a property here.

This page was added by John Cox on 24/01/2011.

Add a comment about this page