Hello! I’m Will and I’m the second of the two trainees at the Taylorian this year. Before coming to Oxford, I studied German and Spanish at Durham and therefore working at the Taylorian – Europe’s biggest Modern Languages Library – is a really great experience! It means I can use my language skills on a day to day basis and (attempt at least) to learn the basics of new ones, especially as the Slavonic Library has now moved into the Taylorian as well.
As my fellow trainee Jessica mentioned in her post a few weeks ago, the two trainees at the Taylorian are split between the Issue Desk and the Enquiry Desk. For the first half of the year, I will be working on the Enquiry Desk and so I thought I should write a short post about my duties and the first few weeks at work here!
As I am on the Enquiry Desk, my work is completely different every day as we never know what a reader may want! Most days I have to help readers (especially freshers!) find books in our labyrinthine Research Collection, but I also have to answer queries from academics, process new books, and handle some donations.
Additionally, I am in charge of the daily delivery from the BSF in Swindon. As the Taylorian has around 500,000 books but only enough space for around 150,000, this means that a lot of readers order items from the Book Storage Facility! We get two deliveries every day (one at 9 and one at 2), and I collect these books, process them, and then put them ready for collection in the Main Reading Room – a beautiful room and easily my favourite in the library!
My first two months at the Taylorian have gone so quickly but I’ve really enjoyed them – I feel very lucky to be here. We’ve have had a lot of training, and then library inductions to give to the new cohort of freshers so I’ve always had a lot to do! I look forward to spending the rest of my year as a trainee here, and hope to post on the blog sometime in the future – especially as I might be helping to organise an exhibition next year!