Simone Gaddes, St John’s College Library

Hello! I’m Simone, and I’m the trainee at St John’s College Library & Study Centre this year.

I’m currently finishing off my MA in English Literature which I’ve been studying with Newcastle University for the past year, having graduated with a BA in English Literature and French at Newcastle in July 2019. I work as an intern with Newcastle University’s Special Collections and completed temp work with the university library throughout my degrees. Before that I worked in retail, tutored French in a local school, and worked as an English Language Assistant in France during my year abroad.

I’ve been working in the College Library since the start of September, and I’m really enjoying it so far. Unlike some of the other trainees, I’ve been working on site since the start of my traineeship so I’ve had some extra time to ease into my role. As is the case in many work environments, due to COVID-19 regulations St John’s Library & Study Centre is functioning slightly different from usual. However, there has still been plenty for me to do and learn (albeit at a 2 metre distance!). What could have been an overwhelming experience has been rendered enjoyable by the lovely library team at St John’s. So far, I have been getting to grips with Aleph and classification, learning about the library’s history, and helping to make the Library & Study Centre as safe as possible for incoming and returning students.

My typical day begins with fetching and circulating any Click & Collect requests we may have received from staff and students, and then moving on to other tasks I have to do. These include collecting post, shelving, reviewing reading lists, managing the library’s social media pages, and classifying and processing new books. I have plenty to keep me busy! Throughout this year I will also create a digital exhibition with my colleagues and be involved with St John’s new Diversity & Equality Collection – both of which I’m very excited to be a part of!

Overall, I’m enjoying working at St John’s (and taking advantage of the free lunch!) and I’m looking forward to seeing what will be in store for the rest of the traineeship.

The Founder’s Chest and Cannonball in the Old Library
The Founder’s Chest is a strongbox that belonged to Sir Thomas White who founded St John’s College in 1555. Next to it rests a cannonball that was supposedly fired at the College during the Siege of Oxford in the Civil War. Both can be found in the Old Library, which is unfortunately closed to visitors due to refurbishments.

 

 

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