Erin McNulty – Sackler Library

Hi, I’m Erin, the trainee based at the Sackler Library, although I’ll also be doing shifts at the Oriental Institute Library, as well as the Taylor Institution Library, where I spent several years studying during my French and Linguistics BA here at Oxford. I’ve recently graduated from my MPhil in Celtic Linguistics at Cambridge, and I’m really looking forward to working in an academic environment, learning new skills, and exploring librarianship as a career option over the course of my traineeship.

I’d never visited the Sackler before starting here, so it took some getting used to, but the library has some really diverse and interesting collections! From Art and Architecture to Ancient History via Classics and Egyptology, just to name a few, you’d never get bored of browsing the shelves here.

So far my duties have included assisting readers, lending, returning, and processing books, as well as the other usual duties in an academic library. In addition, I have been involved in preparing for and taking readers on both Open Day and Induction Tours, as well as collating the feedback. Improving signage and documentation around the library is also an ongoing project at the Sackler, to which I have contributed.

Recently, we assembled a book display celebrating Black History Month on behalf of faculty members. It was a lot of fun designing the display, which will be up in the Sackler for the rest of the month. A more in-depth look at the display will also be available on our blog (shameless plug).

The Finished Product

I have also had the chance to work in the Taylor Institution Library to help set up an art event for Ruskin students showcasing the Livres d’Artiste (Artist’s Books) held in the Sackler-Taylor archives that Madeleine has been working with. These books contain works in a variety of forms by some big names, including Picasso and Dali!

One exciting project I have been involved in is the Navigation and Wayfinding project, mentioned by some of the other trainees, which aims to improve the service we offer readers by making it easier for them to find their way around the libraries. This will involve various research techniques, data gathering and analysis, as well as prototyping and securing funding for possible solutions to potential problems we identify. I will be working in a team of staff from the Sackler and Taylor, including Chloe and Madeleine, to hopefully enact positive change in our overcomplicated libraries.

Overall, I’ve really enjoyed my time here at the Bodleian Libraries so far, and I am very excited to see what the rest of the year holds!

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