Welcome to the third installment of trainee life! Wednesdays are training days in Oxford, so most afternoons during term time we get a talk, practical session or visit relating to different areas of librarianship. This week we had a really interesting talk about Archives and Manuscripts, detailing the sorts of work involved and examples of the Bodleian collection, including political papers which made the Politics student in me very excited. However as this is not a typical day for me I have included a random afternoon from last week to give a better reflection of what I do most days.
8.45-9.00 – Arrive in the library and help my colleague who is opening up to shelve books students have returned overnight. This is something we all do every morning in Said Business School library and is a nice way to start the day together.
9.00-9.30 – I am on the enquiry desk this morning so check the library email account, before looking at my own, and file/forward everything appropriately. Luckily everything is fairly straightforward this morning so I can move straight on to preparing books due to go back to the Book Storage Facility in Swindon.
9.30-11.00 – As I spend around half my time on the enquiry desk I try to make sure I have plenty of jobs that I can do in case it is quiet. This morning I had a large pile of new books to process: putting shelfmark labels on, adding bookplates, stamping and changing the status on the system so students can search for them. A few of these also needed covering to protect the sleeves, a simple process complicated by my complete lack of coordination! In this time the library isn’t too busy but there is a particular title in high demand so I spend lots of time returning it and loaning it out, as well as dealing with enquiries via email.
11.00-11.20 – Time for a quick break and catch up with colleagues in the office.
11.20-13.00 – I return to the desk to finish wrestling with book covers and accession new journals, removing previous editions to the stack and putting the new journals on display. The library gets busier towards lunchtime as students finish their lectures so I am kept busy helping them find books, giving people directions to other parts of the school and helping with printing issues. When I first started in the library I was concerned by the amount of time I was going to be spending on the desk as there are other areas of librarianship which I am more interested in; however I really enjoy the relationship I have developed with the students and staff through the time I spend on the enquiry desk interacting with users.
13.00-14.00 – Lunchtime
14.00-15.30 – I spend the first part of my afternoon formatting the Entrepreneurial Rankings, a list of articles relating to entrepreneurship it is my responsibility to collate each month, so that they can be published on our website. This is a good opportunity to revive my rusty HTML skills and after fixing some faulty links I publish the latest edition.
15.30-15.50 – Break time which is mostly taken up by tinkering with the Entrepreneurial Rankings seeing if I can make them more attractive!
15.50-17.00 – After my break I start to upload content onto a platform the School is using for a big project they are running at the moment. It is called “Global Opportunities and Threats: Oxford” (GOTO) and is an online learning community where the MBA students, staff and alumni post papers they have written, comment on each other’s work and read material selected by the school focusing on demography this year. The library is helping out by making sure none of the content breaks copyright law and assisting in getting all the material onto the website. It has been interesting to see more of what goes on in the rest of the school and is a nice end to a busy day. There is a lot more content which needs uploading but that will have to wait until tomorrow.