I’m Chloe, and I am currently working as one of the two trainees at the Taylor Institution Library, this year. In the past two weeks, I have been mainly working on the enquiries desk, helping readers find their away around the labyrinth that is the Taylor! Other duties include processing books coming from and returning to the Book Storage Facility in Swindon, shelving, and responding to readers over email and telephone. I am also involved in one of the Navigation and Wayfinding projects taking place this year, where as a team I will be helping to improve reader experience of navigating the Taylor and Sackler Libraries. A challenge, I am sure you will agree, if you have ever been to the Taylor or the Sackler! Alongside Evie, I will be helping to manage the trainee blog, so am welcoming any suggestions and volunteers for blog posts from current trainees.
Before the Taylor…
I have had a bit of a career change, as I was working as an archaeologist before. I worked on numerous sites, many rural and a few urban in Oxfordshire and Lincolnshire. I would say my best find was a fully articulated horse skeleton, which had a human skeleton right next to it! I got very excited, believing it to be a horse and rider burial. As I investigated, though, I realised that the burials were actually separate events, with the horse having been buried before. Such is the life of an archaeologist, as coin hoards and treasure troves are very rare finds, not what Time Team would have you believe!
Before that, I was doing an MA in Classics and Ancient History, as well as volunteering for Exeter Cathedral. There, I assisted with rooftop tours and stewarding. I enjoyed doing extensive research on the cathedral, as it was so useful when dealing with public enquiries about the history of the building. My BA was in Archaeology and Ancient History, and at the end of my degree, I worked full time as a laboratory assistant for my local archaeological unit. I cleaned archaeological finds from a huge Roman site and prepared them for museum storage. The best part of that role was cleaning and preserving Roman painted wall plaster, as uncovering the colours and pigments of the plaster was amazing!
I am very happy to be back in Oxford, as it truly is a great city to live in. I do have a lifetime love of libraries, so cannot believe my luck that I get to work in a beautiful, 19th century library for a year! I am excited to learn new skills, improve my employability in more fields, and just to see where this year will take me.