University courses accredited by CILIP: the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals view these traineeships very favourably. The graduate has not only gained valuable experience but has been given expert training. It also supports your application for a bursary. And what makes participants in this scheme attractive to admissions tutors and funding bodies will impress future employers.
If you prefer, after your trainee year you can use this experience to apply for permanent posts (sometimes with the same employers) and look to study part-time or by distance learning for your qualification.
If you do want to go onto full-time study then get your application in early – before April of the year you want to start - and make sure you’re in with a chance for a bursary (see Financial assistance for study).
Past and current trainees offer their advice and observations on these websites: CATALOG (Cambridge Trainee Librarians' Online Group) is the site created and run by Graduate Trainees at Cambridge University and Oxford Univerisity graduate trainees have their own blog. You can also look at the tempting FreePint site, a resource designed for students in the information field. There's a thread for prospective and current trainees called Chapter One on CILIP's communities and we now have a facebook page too.
If the posts are not suitable for you can try other library assistant roles to build up your experience register with recruitment agencies and you can consider voluntary work.