Whilst I am the trainee at the History Faculty Library, our team has merged with the Old Bod team, so we all work on a shared rota across both sites. This is a day in the life of the HFL but look out for a day in the life at the Old Bod for a taste of what else I get up to!
8:40am – Opening up
I arrive at the Radcliffe Camera, lock up my bike, pop my mask on and make my way to our staff area in the Lower Camera. Normally we open at 9am so this gives us 20 minutes to open up the Reading Rooms. Today I start up the computers and printers in the Lower Camera and open all the windows before heading down to open the Gladstone Link. I’ll make a start on any reshelving; it gets pretty busy during term!
9am – Lapse list
My first job today is the lapse list, any books on our self-collect shelves that have reached their due date have to be collected and returned to the BSF. I print off the list and find them all before scanning them out on the system and boxing them up ready for the van later. Then I fit in a coffee break sitting in one of the recesses around the outside of the camera.
10:30am – Reception desk
I take the second slot of the day on reception. It’s third week so there’s a constant flow of people coming in and out. I deal with any questions or problems including a student whose reader card is not working, returning some lost property and redirecting tourists to the Bodleian Library ticket office. The desk is quieter during vacation so then I get on with other jobs such as checking reading lists.
12am – Scanning
I hand over at reception and since I’m not scheduled for anything specific, now is the time to get on with background tasks. I decide to spend the hour scanning pages or chapters from books that readers have requested and emailing them out. We have a BookEye for scanning but since someone else is using it I head for the PCAS (Print, Copy and Scan) machine.
1pm – Lunch!
I love exploring Oxford and normally wander somewhere for lunch, my favourite spots on sunny days are University Park or Christchurch Meadows!
2pm – Book delivery and processing
The van from the BSF arrives and the Camera team help unload new boxes full of material requested by readers. One team member scans the books in whilst two head over with the van to the Old Bod. I collect a few new books that need processing and set to work stamping them, inserting tattle tape, covering them and updating their status on the system before popping them out on the new book display. Time for a quick tea break before my next desk shift!
3.30pm – Circulation desk
This time I’m on the circulation desk and am kept busy issuing, renewing and placing hold requests for readers. Returned books need fetching from the drop boxes and I keep an eye out for any books coming back that might need repairing. Readers come with different questions: asking about WiFi, printing, to reset their password, how to locate their self-collect or open shelf books. Time flies by and before I know it the evening staff have appeared, so I hand over the desk then get ready to head home!