Lucy Davies, Social Science Library

An image of the Manor Road Building where the SSL is located. The sky is blue and there is a tree and some grass outside too.

My name is Lucy and I’m the Graduate Trainee at the Social Science Library this year. I just graduated from the University of Nottingham this summer with a BA in Theology and Religious Studies after completing my dissertation on a sociological study of LGBTQ+ Christian women, and I’m really excited to take on a new challenge working at the Bodleian Libraries. I don’t have any experience in libraries besides two weeks of work experience in a public library in 2016, so if you’re reading this wondering whether you should apply, you should go for it anyway! I was worried I would feel out of my depth, but skills you’ll have picked up in customer service or even as a user of your own university library are very transferable. Additionally, since taking up our posts, we’ve had weekly training sessions to increase our confidence working with readers and in technical services. I’ve always had an interest to work in libraries, archives or the heritage sector, so seeing this opportunity come up seemed to good to miss. I love that I get to combine working in an academic environment with meeting and helping so many different people every day, and making information accessible whilst assisting people in their research is very rewarding.

What I’ve loved most about this job so far is the variety in every day – it’s never the same! I never know quite what to expect when I’m coming in. It could be a busy day at the desk giving pointers to new students, I could be scanning and digitising print copies of our books and resources for readers to access electronically, or I may need to assist a reader navigating an obscure database all in German (has only happened once thankfully!) It’s been interesting arriving just as some of the Covid-19 restrictions begin to lift at the university as I’ve been able to have an insight into how the libraries quickly adapted to continue to provide essential services, but I’m thankful I will now be able to assist our readers in-person here at the library and see it as the busy lending library it usually is!


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