So I’m halfway through week two here at the Sainsbury Library (based in the Saïd Business School) and so far so good. Currently I’m sat at the enquiry desk by myself for the first time, and with only one person using the library just now I think it’s safe to say it’s pretty quiet. So far (touch wood) there have been no enquiries, though I feel it’s only a matter of time…
Other duties of the Graduate Trainee at the Sainsbury Library (according to previous trainee Emily who left a very thorough handover including a list of places to eat and get drunk) include putting together welcome packs for new members of staff in the Business School, processing new books and journals, weeding old journals, sorting out overdue book records, mending books, reclassifying books, making shelfmark posters and sorting out a variety of emails. So far I’ve made three welcome packs and done a little book and journal processing, which was pretty fun. I think I’m looking forward to term starting but at the same time I’m pretty glad it’s a few weeks away yet.
I ended up exploring librarianship as a career somewhat unexpectedly after spending five years at Liverpool John Moores University doing an undergraduate and then postgraduate degree in Creative Writing. Plan A had always been to write for a living in whatever manner possible, which, after a brief stint as a freelance writer for a dodgy Hungarian internet start-up, led me to work which definitely did not involve writing, in a pub kitchen desperately trying to make ends meet and hating every second of it. Then I saw an advert for an internship at Gladstone’s Library, which was pretty much an excuse to escape from the kitchen and live in a humongous residential library for what turned out to be six of the best months of my life. This involved some awesome people, a really wide-ranging experience of typical (and non-typical) library work, free attendance at a load of fantastic lectures and events, an awful lot of gin, and two free two-course meals a day! After that experience applying for the post in Oxford seemed the obvious thing to do, so here I am.
The only thing to do now is enjoy the rest of the year, get to know Oxford a bit, and prepare for the next step (whatever exactly that may be…)