Louise Cowan, St Hugh’s College Library

Hello, I’m Louise – the new Graduate Library Trainee at St Hugh’s College.

I graduated from Newcastle University in 2006 with a degree in Classical Studies and went on to do a PGCE in Primary Education and a MA in Children’s Literature at the University of Sunderland.

After four years as a primary school teacher  I decided the teaching profession wasn’t right for me and began thinking about diversifying into another area.  Librarianship appealed as a match to my interests and skills so  I volunteered at the University of Sunderland library for four months to gain some experience and learn more about the profession.  I really enjoyed my time there and luckily had the opportunity to apply for the traineeship at St Hugh’s College in December!

Although I began my traineeship a little later than everyone else (in January 2012) I’ve already learned a lot and am thoroughly enjoying my time at St Hugh’s.  Everyone is very friendly and welcoming and Oxford is a beautiful city to live in!

If you’d like an insight into what I’ve been up to in my first month as a trainee, I recently took part in round 8 of Library Day in the Life Project and have blogged about my daily jobs and a  graduate trainee session on special collections here:  Daily Jobs  and  Graduate Trainee Session.

Rebecca Hunt, English Faculty Library

Hi I’m Rebecca and I’m the Graduate Trainee for the English Faculty Library. Due to a few technical difficulties I wasn’t able to post before now but better late than never!

I graduated in November from Trinity College, Dublin where I studied English Literature and History and this is my first proper grown-up job. I’m really enjoying working in the EFL, everyone has been very friendly and welcoming. My duties vary quite a bit from answering customer queries to processing new books and journals (for which you need a third hand), creating displays and wrestling with photocopiers. As time goes on I am steadily being entrusted with new tasks and responsibilities so I’m now helping with the reclassification project and will soon be lending a hand with acquiring new ebooks for the library.

So far it’s been a great year, Oxford still looks magical and I’ve made some really good friends in the other trainees. I know everyone has moved on from the introductory blog posts by now so I’m going to wrap it up with a snippet of useless yet interesting information. Its not even really information it’s just a link to the 35 most amazing libraries in the world as decided by someone. Some are pretty, some are space-like and some are just distracting. If nothing else it will teach you what a rhombicuboctahedron is. And the Bodleian makes it to number two! Take that Cambridge!

Anyway that’s it. Hope you all had a lovely Christmas.  Happy New Year!

Matthew Pocock, Bodleian Old Library

Hi there

I’m Matt as you all know by now.

I am the graduate trainee at the Bodleian Library, and I am getting well into the thick of things in week 4 of term. I graduated last summer from the University of Birmingham with a BA, in Ancient History. Just before, and throughout the duration of my degree I have worked for the NHS in areas including: Patient Administration Systems (PAS), Clinical Coding, and most recently in the Outpatients department.

I enjoy sports in general, including water sports but I am particularly enthusiastic about racket sports, mainly Badminton and Squash. I also enjoyed managing and playing in a six-aside football team at university.

I have undertaken a number of roles since I began working at the Bodleian, including shelving and unloading deliveries; however the majority of my time is spent assisting and interacting with the public on both the reserve and main enquiry desks.

To sum up my time so far, I’m loving Oxford, living the dream and my hope is to benefit from the experience I will gain from the traineeship and the chances I will have to get to know new people.

Rebecca Nielsen, futureArch, Digital Archives

Hello! I’m Rebecca, and I’m the futureArch graduate trainee, based within BEAM (Bodleian Electronic Archives and Manuscripts).

I graduated last year from the University of Leicester, where I studied History. Since then I have worked at a GP surgery and volunteered at Shropshire Archives, where I was involved in a project on some Parish collections. This meant I got to work with a lot of old documents, including the relics of a key member of the early Methodist movement.

My role in futureArch is quite different, as I am dealing with born-digital material: things like websites, emails, Word documents, audio files, and digital photos. This means working with sites on the live web, as well as capturing files off CDs and floppy disks. I am also doing some more traditional archive work, assisting in the Special Collections Reading Room once a week and cataloguing paper collections using EAD. I’m looking forward to learning more about archives over the next year, especially the challenges which digital material presents to archivists.

Natalie O’Keefe, History Faculty Library

My name is Natalie O’Keefe and I am working at the History
Faculty Library. In the summer I graduated from the University of Manchester
with a degree in History and Sociology.

I have previously worked as an Optical Advisor at a local
independent opticians and a Visitor Assistant at the Museum
of Science and Industry in Manchester. Also, while
at University I volunteered in a museum and local council archives.

I have already been given a variety jobs so far ranging from
working on the issue desk to processing new books. I have never worked in a
library before so I’m looking forward to what the year will bring and the start
of my career in the library profession.

Emily Sargeant – Law Library

Image taken from http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/law/

Hi, I’m Emily and I’m one of the two trainees (and one of the two Emilys!) at the Bodleian Law Library. I graduated from York in July, having studied English Literature with a little Spanish. I first looked into librarianship as a career last year, and applied for as many traineeships as possible before I was lucky enough to be accepted to the Bodleian. In the meantime I tried to gain as much library work experience as I could, and ended up working as a Digitisation Assistant at the York University Library for a month or so after my final essay hand in. Before that I had been on a few work shadowing days with the English Literature Subject Librarian at York.

I’m working in Academic Services, so on any given day I could be doing anything from shelving books to dealing with document delivery requests from law firms. As I get to grips with the ins and outs of librarianship, I’m learning a lot about the law and am finding it fascinating. My time in Oxford has been wonderful so far, and I’m really looking forward to what promises to be a challenging and fulfilling year ahead!

Lizzie Atkinson, Radcliffe Science Library

Hello!  I’m Lizzie and I’m the trainee at the Radcliffe Science Library, although I’ll also be spending one day a week at the Alexander Library of Ornithology and one day a week at the Sherardian Library of Plant Taxonomy.  I graduated this summer from Cambridge University where I studied Natural Sciences, specialising in Geological Sciences.

Last summer, having decided librarianship might be the career for me, I volunteered at the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library of the English Folk Dance and Song Society where I worked with both the librarian and archivist.  Then this summer I spent three weeks doing work experience at the Earth Sciences Library of Cambridge University.  These placements gave me an insight into the world of librarianship and were both experiences which I thoroughly enjoyed.

So far I have spent a lot of my time here on the enquiry desk and now feel just about ready for all the new students and their questions!  I have also been given a wide variety of other tasks and am very much looking forward to an interesting, varied and rewarding year as a trainee here in Oxford.

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.

Siobhán O’Brien – Jesus College

Hello, I’m Siobhán and am the first trainee at the Jesus College library.

In September 2008 I graduated from Edinburgh University with a masters degree in ecological economics and worked as an environmental consultant in Bristol until recently.

I decided to embark on an information science / librarianship career last year and have been volunteering at two libraries to gain a bit of experience. My favourite of the two was at the David MacGregor Library, part of the Brunel Institute, based at the ss Great Britain. The library was built to house a large donation of David MacGregor’s books along with several cases of material from Isombard Kingdom Brunel that had not previously been seen by the public. One of the most entertaining parts of the job was seeing ‘Brunel’ walking around outside the library window, scaring small children and posing for photos! Both positions helped give me a feel for what library work entails and put me on the path to this graduate traineeship.

Jesus College is based in the centre of Oxford and is an average sized college, with around 350 undergraduates and 190 graduates. The main library at Jesus College, the Meyricke Library, serves a range of undergraduate subjects. The college also has the Celtic Library, which supports the study of Celtic languages and culture, and the Fellows’ Library which is a beautifully restored room that houses the special collections.

So far I have had a wonderful introduction, both to the college and to the training programme. I look forward to availing of the professional development opportunities available and learning a lot about librarianship over the next year. And the biscuits. I also look forward to the biscuits.

Liz Kennedy, St Hilda’s College Library

Hello everyone,

I’m Liz and I’m the trainee at St Hilda’s College Library. I’m originally from Norfolk, and I graduated this summer from Warwick University with a degree in Comparative American Studies. I worked in a public library as a Saturday assistant during my A levels, so am familiar with some elements of working in a library, but working at St Hilda’s is, as you might expect, a rather different experience.

Fortunately, it is an experience I am very much enjoying. Although the library has been relatively quiet, I‘ve had plenty to do – ordering books, accessioning periodicals, helping readers and of course shelving – and I have been assured that next week, when the undergraduate students arrive, I will be even busier. I’m hoping that as the year goes on I will be able to get involved in all aspects of running the library, learn a great deal, and that my year as a trainee will prove to be an excellent beginning to a career in librarianship.