I’ve now finished my first week as a Graduate Trainee at MMU and I’ve loved it so far. I intended to write a blog post each evening after work to document what I’ve been getting up to but things didn’t quite work out, so I’m writing them now instead. There’ll be a separate post for each day as otherwise this will get unreadably long! So here’s Day One…
It was my first day today and I think it went quite well. I arrived to find that I’m the only GT starting at my site, instead of one of a pair as I’d previously thought – the library is hiring a Senior Library Assistant instead so the other GT has moved to a different campus. Being the only new person was a bit nerve-racking at first but I was quickly made to feel welcome. I was given a timetable for the week which was jam-packed with different activities in order to let me see as much as possible of what goes on in the library. The first thing was a tour of the campus, which revealed how much of a maze the building is, but luckily the actual library area is quite straightforward and I’ve been able to get to grips with it quite easily. I was promised a ghost story about the third floor of the building, but have yet to actually hear it. I’ll let you know when I do…! I also was given a map of the library, which instantly intrigued me as I spotted “morgue” and “graveyard” on the top floor. Perhaps it tied in with the ghost story! (The actual explanation is a little more mundane and will be revealed in the post for Day Five.)
Next up was an introduction to print journals, which was also my first introduction to TALIS, the library management software. I was shown how to log in to the system and how to add new journals to the catalogue – my first taste of librarian work! I had a go at stamping the journals and adding stickers to them, which all passed without a hitch, reassuringly. All through the first few days I’ve had a terrible fear of doing something horrendously wrong, but it’s been unfounded so far (touch wood).
After lunch I had a chat with the deputy manager and learned about such things as annual leave, sickness and TOIL – fairly straightforward stuff, but it was good to have everything explained to me.
I was then introduced to the library catalogue and saw the different search options that can be used, as well as the reservation and renewals systems. Again, it was all quite simple and also quite familiar (most library catalogues being vaguely along the same lines), but it was a good opportunity to get familiar with the library resources and see what is available for customers.
The final task of the day was to print some helpsheets on coloured paper, which was my first experience of using the multi-function printers. They take a bit of getting used to! You can swipe your student/staff card and use them to print, copy and scan to email (which is quite impressive). I don’t have my ID card yet so had to borrow another librarian’s to do the job, and had to keep swiping it because the MFPs log you out if you’re too slow. I think it will take me a little while to become friends with the printers, but I’m gradually becoming accustomed to their quirks.
Hometime came a lot quicker than I was expecting, and I finished my first day with a good feeling about the rest of the week and indeed the rest of the year. The rest of the staff are really lovely to me and will put up with a lot of questions! I’m really looking forward to settling in and becoming more of a part of the team.