Lyn Jones, History Faculty Library

Hello! I’m Lyn, the new trainee in the History Faculty Library. Having completed an MA in History in 2011, I’ve spent the past eighteen months working in public libraries. I really enjoyed the experience (although it became fairly apparent how much local authority libraries are struggling), subsequently deciding that it would be worth exploring the academic side of things. I now have the very good fortune to be based in the Radcliffe Camera, which is certainly a beautiful place to arrive every morning!

At present, the site is undergoing lots of building projects (including a new entrance to the Lower Camera and an updated staff office), which should make things more accessible for everyone by the start of the new term. Owing to the scale of the building work, I’ve spent a lot of time in the Gladstone Link, which is currently functioning as a temporary service point for the Lower Camera. The contrast between the Link and the Camera is startling – as noted on our tour, there’s a definite Star Wars feel to the reading rooms below ground level! Although readers are presently unable to access the lending collections upstairs, staff can still collect books for them, so I’ve been orienteering my way around plenty of dust sheets.

I’ve also done a few late shifts, which involve ringing an antique bell repeatedly in order to encourage readers to depart. Having come from an environment with far less compliant readers, this is proving an interesting change! I’m gradually finding my way around the systems used here (thanks largely to very helpful staff), so hopefully I’ll be ready for the arrival of the new students. Having said that, I’ve been warned that nothing will prepare me for the sudden increase in reader volume!

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