Ivona Coghlan, Bodleian Law Library


[Image taken from the BLL page: http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/law/about/building ]

Hi, I’m Ivona and I am this year’s graduate trainee at the Bodleian Law Library. I have a Degree in English and French from the Open University and later studied a Masters in Children’s Literature at the University of Reading.  I’ve worked in a variety of jobs from bingo halls to banks but have yet to find my nook. So, on the basis that I love books of all shapes and sizes I applied for this scheme and [SPOILER ALERT] I got in.

Now my nook for this coming year is the Bodleian Law Library. As Dom mentioned in his earlier post, we are also in the St. Cross Building. The Law Library was opened back in 1964 and has four floors of interesting material in a wide variety of languages. From our impressive Official Papers collection on the ground floor to The Supreme Court: A Guide for Bears coming soon to our ‘Just In’ corner, we have something for everyone.

One of the things I am most excited about is that as the trainee I’m going to be helping out with all three departments in our library including Information Resources, Academic Services and Official Papers. For someone starting with no real library experience it seems like a golden opportunity.

So what do I do in a typical day? I’ve been here for a whole month and I still don’t think I’ve had two days that were identical.

One of my most regular duties is processing the books. This involves stamping them, adding security devices with my wand (if you want to believe I mean a magic wand, I certainly won’t dispel that notion. Hah hah) and then labelling them. This is especially important when it comes to the books we receive via Legal Deposit. It is my job to help process these as soon as possible and to make sure that any books destined for Law have not wandered off to the Book Storage Facility in Swindon or even worse…another library!

I’m also in charge of the new journal display. This means making sure we have the most up to date law journals readily available for our readers. This seems like an absolute piece of cake until you are trying to alphabetise something in the Greek alphabet!

Other than that I have the pretty standard shelving and desk duty. So far this has been a breeze but as the new term begins I expect I’m going to have to be ready to answer a lot of new questions. Hopefully I’ll be up to the challenge. If not, I am thankfully surrounded by very experienced and helpful colleagues.

I’m so excited about the upcoming year, not only to learn about librarianship but also getting to know Oxford and my fellow trainees better. For now though, I better head off to give my first tour to the undergrads. Hope I don’t get lost!