Busy, busy

So, we’re now into Week Ten (!) of my graduate traineeship. It’s flying by! I’m almost exactly a fifth of the way through now. I can tell that I’ve learned a lot,  not only because I’m a lot more confident answering queries and working on the issue desk, but also because I wrote the world’s longest personal statement for my MA application to Sheffield (which is all done and dusted now, hooray!). I had tons of examples of attention to detail and good research skills, not to mention communication skills. Hopefully everything I’ve put down (plus the fact that I’m doing a GT-ship) will persuade them to let me study there next year.

Last week was reading week, which meant that all the students went on holiday or slept or whatever else students do on reading week (I wouldn’t know, I never had a proper one) and so the library was very quiet all week. I also finished (finally) the digitisation renewals, which meant that I had nothing on my to-do list all week either. All in all, it was quite a dull week, but I got a lot of straightening and shelving done. Things picked up towards the end of the week, as my colleague Mark has enlisted me to help demonstrate the digitisation process to the Senior Library Assistants, and we spent a good few hours showing them how to use the website to enter all the information and upload the PDFs. Although I am looking forward to being able to share the workload when it gets heavy, it did feel a bit silly telling three other people how to do it when I’d just run out of things to do myself. Luckily, on Friday afternoon a lecturer sent through some emails requesting some changes to her reading lists, which means I now have 15 new digitisations to process. Lucky me! I’ve also been tasked with writing a manual giving step-by-step instructions for the whole digitisation process, and next week I’ll be sorting out the paper copies of the digitised articles. I’ve also identified some other areas of our digitisation records that could do with a tidy-up, so I’ll be nicely busy for the next few weeks, hopefully.

Last week, after a month of working on it (on and off), I managed to record a version of my Anatomy.tv podcast that I was happy with, and which was almost under 3 minutes. I would have got it done a lot sooner if I hadn’t lost my voice! It’ll be uploaded to the library website soon, so I can share it with you and you can all hear my voice telling you how to use a database. I’ve got a new podcast to work on soon, but I haven’t been told much about it yet. Hopefully it’ll be about a database that’s a bit more conventional than Anatomy.tv, and it won’t take me ages to do all the screenshots.

A couple of weeks ago we went to an induction meeting for new university staff, which was quite good, especially the talk about the history of the university. We found out that the logo is made up of six spades representing “hard toil and entrenchment” which is… nice? Here’s a link to it so you can see for yourself. It was interesting to hear about the university’s admissions process and how student numbers have been affected by recent government changes, just for a bit of “inside information” about how it all works and the challenges faced by the administration. I still feel like a student sometimes, so to hear about what goes on behind the scenes is fascinating.

Next week I’ve got a training session entitled “Dealing with Difficult Customers” which sounds like it’s going to be really helpful, as we’ll be looking at case studies from the library and learning about policies and procedures. I sort of wish this had been our first training session, though, as we’ve had a few people in the last two months that have been difficult to deal with! It’ll be good to get some reassurance that I know what I’m doing (vaguely) when I’m on the issue desk. We’ll also be meeting some librarians from other organisations to hear about their work, which will be interesting as I don’t really know a whole lot about opportunities for librarians other than academic or public libraries.
I’m also attending a few infoskills sessions this week, which I’m looking forward to, as you get an insight into what’s going on in people’s minds as they ask all sorts of questions! It’s also good to see the different types of sessions that the library offers, be it a library induction or an in-depth look at a particular database. Plus, it’s always good to get a bit more experience!
I’m off to Chorlton tonight to hopefully catch some fireworks (not literally) which will be nice. So far this week I’ve only seen fireworks out of the corner of my eye, or from very far away, so I’m hoping I can actually get a good view tonight for once. It’s going to be absolutely freezing though!

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