Ruth Jenkins – Bodleian Social Science Library

Hi I’m Ruth, and I’m one of two trainees at the Bodleian Social Science Library. It’s been really enjoyable so far, though I’m a bit nervous about the start of term! We’re one of the busiest lending libraries, so 0th and 1st week should be quite an experience!

I’ve worked in a couple of libraries before, and really enjoyed it. I worked for two years as a Saturday assistant in a small public library, which was great all round experience of a lending library, as I got to work a lot on the issue desk and (mostly) solve many of the customers’ queries! I also worked part-time for a year in the Devon School Library Service through university. This was very different, as it wasn’t open to the public. Instead we had subscriptions from Devon schools, and each term we would send them boxes of books on a certain topic- Vikings, or Rivers, or just lovely picture books.

In the SSL I get to do a bit of everything, as I work on the front desk but also do a lot ‘behind the scenes’. It’s also nice as I recognise a lot of the books from my Sociology degree. Hopefully that will come in handy when helping lost Sociology freshers find items on their reading list! After this year I’m hoping to apply to library school, and it seems like this year will really help in deciding what sort of area of librarianship I’d like to go into.

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