Rachel McDonald, St John’s College Library


Hello, fellow trainees!

I’m working at St John’s College library, and can’t quite believe that I’m seven weeks in already!  My first two and a half weeks were pretty much entirely taken up with the stock-check; I think you all have the pleasure of this to look forward to next summer as we approach the end of our traineeships… The good thing about it was that I am now an expert in the location of every subject in the library!

However, any sense of my being well-acquainted with the library was doomed not to last, as the Oxford Open Doors weekend approached.  For the first time, the library was opening its doors to the public as part of the city-wide event, and they weren’t going to care in which area of the library one might find John Guy’s Tudor England.  I had to be prepared for a different kind of enquiry that was undoubtedly going to be thrown at me.  When was the library built?  How many books does it house?  Whose walking stick is that?  So I should be pretty well-practised for when it’s my turn to host a tour!

Just to introduce myself a bit more: in July 2011 I graduated from the University of York, where I studied English.  I am originally from Rutland, the smallest county in England, but have been living in Oxfordshire for a year.  Before beginning my traineeship, I spent a few months volunteering in two secondary school libraries (one independent, one state), Regent’s Park College and the fair-trade shop in the city centre.

I’m really looking forward to getting to know you all over the next year.  Enjoy!

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