Emma Lewsley, Nuffield College Library


My name’s Emma, and I’m the new trainee at Nuffield College Library. As we near the end of my second week here I think I’m just about learning my way around the library, and its ten floor tower. Nuffield College is a graduate college, so it feels at the minute as though the library users know a lot more about it than me! I’m relieved to have a few weeks to get to grips with everything before the new students arrive. It’s been an intense couple of weeks, with a lot of learning, but everyone is being lovely and helpful.

Nuffield tower blog photo 1
Nuffield College Library’s ten floor tower – hopefully I’ll soon get used to climbing all those stairs!

The library staff all take turns to complete the different library duties, from manning the circulation desk to shelving, and I completed my first stint on my own at the circulation desk this week (which I’m pleased to say I survived). As the trainee, I’ll be responsible for inter-library loans, and a lot of my time will be spent dealing with acquisitions, which involves the exciting job of using the label maker!

I graduated from the University of St Andrews this June with a degree in Medieval History. Whilst at university I was able to spend a month as an intern in the library, creating a database of university alumni. I really enjoyed being in that environment, and seeing how a library functions behind the scenes. My internship led me to apply for graduate trainee positions. I’m looking forward to learning more about librarianship , and am hoping that this year will help me decide what I want to do next.


Niamh Delaney, Nuffield College Library

Hi, I’m Niamh, the trainee at Nuffield College Library.  I studied for an M.A. in Philosophy and Theatre at the University of Glasgow, and then an M.Litt in Philosophy at the University of St. Andrews. Shortly after finishing at St. Andrews I decided to take the plunge and find out whether or not I enjoyed working in libraries as much as I suspected I might. I accepted the first job I was offered – which happened to be at the University Library, in Cambridge. Consequently, I found myself on a series of trains, accompanied by as many of my worldly possessions as I could carry, travelling pretty much the length of the country, one snowy weekend back in January.

Thankfully, the move paid off, and I spent a happy six months at the UL. In my short time at Nuffield I have already been able to build substantially on my previous experience. I’ve very much enjoyed getting to grips with the wide variety of the duties required of the trainee at Nuffield (from leading tours of the library to ordering and processing a constant stream of new books). The skills and knowledge I’ve gained at work so far have been complimented excellently by the training provided on the graduate scheme itself – which often offers the opportunity to explore aspects of my day-to-day work in greater detail (and in a risk-free environment!).

The year has only just begun, however, and I for one am greatly look forward to seeing what challenges still await us!

Library Trainee Day in the Life – Day 2

Welcome to Day 2 in the Library Trainees’ Day in the Life series: you find yourself in Nuffield College Library tower, with a somewhat jetlagged trainee who has just returned from a holiday in Tokyo! Much of today will be filled with catching up on tasks from last week, so here goes…

Read more Library Trainee Day in the Life – Day 2

Ciara Murray, Nuffield College Library

Hi everyone! As you can probably guess from the picture (right), I’m Nuffield College’s 2012 Library Trainee. This is the start of my third week here, and I am slowly but surely getting to grips with my many and varied tasks! So far I’ve been doing shifts on the circulation desk; trying to remember which switches do what as I get the library ready for readers coming in each morning, and resisting the temptation to read each newspaper as I check it in. I’ve also been learning how to process new acquisitions – Nuffield gets a lot of journals and government publications – and have just begun the heady task of initiating orders (I’m being trusted with the credit card – argh!)

I’ve spent quite a bit of time going up and down in Nuffield’s old-fashioned cage lift, partly because I keep forgetting my key for the closed access shelves… I have also been acquainting myself with the label maker as I get books ready to go out on the shelves. Shelving is also playing a part in keeping me fit this year (who needs a gym membership?) as I run up and down the tower steps! Everyone here at Nuffield is very friendly and willing to help, even if I ask what seem to be completely random questions. Hopefully at some point everything will, as they promise me, become second nature, but for now I’m just enjoying the novelty of it all (and the free lunches).

Charlotte, Nuffield College Library

Hello I’m Charlotte, and I’m the trainee at Nuffield College, where the library is inside one of Oxford’s gleaming spires(so there are lots of stairs)

I previously studied English literature at Cardiff, and finished my masters this September. Whilst studying I worked in the library as a shelver and during the holidays I was a library assistant in my village library for a few years.  I really enjoyed my time there, and I am enjoying my time at Nuffield so far, though it is very different. It’s been a lot quieter so far.

I’ve spent most of my time so far either on the circulation desk, trying to learn how to use the computer system before term starts, or being taught how to do acquisitions for books and journals.

I’m really excited about coming to work in Oxford, and hopefully what I learn this year will stand me in good stead for pursuing a career in librarianship.