Niall Sheekey, St. Hilda`s College Library


Hello all! I`m Niall, the Graduate Trainee for St. Hilda`s College Library. I am a History graduate with a BA and MSc from University College Dublin and the University of Edinburgh respectively.

I have arrived in Oxford having recently worked in the University of Birmingham library and am delighted by the upgrade in architecture. Walking through the Bodleian on my way to work each morning is a wonderful bonus indeed.

I am looking forward to working this year as part of a small team in a busy library and getting to grips with the unique features of the Oxford collegiate system. This week past we had quite a number of alumni visiting as part of Gaudy weekend, some of whom regaled me with their memories of descending the back stairs from their lodgings in the dead of night to the permanently accessible library. These days only the Law students have 24 hour access in term time, student dedication is clearly on the wane in Oxford. Mercifully my first three weeks have been relatively quiet, although having spent a day and a half creating reader records for all incoming undergraduates and postgraduates I am preparing myself for the inevitable influx come 1st week.

So far I have mainly been processing new books (including the creation of spine labels with our old forgotten friend, the typewriter), accessioning journals, shelving, withdrawing items and undertaking stock moves to deal with a growing collection and the ever-present bane of libraries, lack of space. I have begun ordering books from suppliers on behalf of the subject tutors and will be responsible for this and handling student requests to purchase books during the year. As one of only three members of staff I am sure I will have a very busy year and gain a good understanding of the many different aspects of running a college library.

The library itself is a situated in the very pleasant college grounds on the banks of the Cherwell, complete with its own punts which I hope to master in the coming months. I am greatly looking forward to this year`s training with you all.

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