Hello, I’m Liz and I am the Graduate Trainee at New College library.
I did my BA in Film Studies at King’s College London, and for the last two years, I have worked in public libraries across Somerset.
Working in a college means I have a mixed bag of responsibilities. Like my fellow trainees, my job involves a lot of processing new items, shelving, respacing books, and assisting readers. As the College library is the first point of contact for our students I’ve found I have had to answer a broad spectrum of enquiries, and I’ve had to learn more about all of the Bodleian libraries so that I can point readers in the right direction for their subject-specific needs.
New College holds a large, beautiful collection of rare manuscripts and incunabula (early printed books) and we are very proud of the collection. A significant portion of my workload, therefore, involves traipsing across College and climbing the steps of our 14th Century Bell Tower to fetch requested materials and bring them back to the library. (The interior of the Bell Tower was redesigned as a temperature-controlled storage space in 1996, and is much less pretty on the inside.)
Last week I helped my supervisor put on an exhibition of our musically-themed volumes for a group of music teachers. I have been told to expect many more such exhibitions, and currently, we are working on a New College Women display to showcase the excellent work of our prominent female alumnae.
I’m really enjoying my post so far, as it’s a nice mix of office work and reader interaction. Plus taking part in exhibitions and photography has given me a creative outlet which I wasn’t expecting.