It’s Christmas! Or near enough, anyway. I’m writing this from my parents’ house in Croydon, where I’m spending my short break from work. Sadly the Mancunian weather has followed me south and it’s rainy and grim out there. Oh well – we’ve got Christmas music, twinkly lights and more food than you can shake a (tinsel-covered) stick at, so I’m staying inside!
The last couple of weeks at work have been appropriately festive – our staff room was crammed full of tinsel and paper snowflakes, we had roughly 1,000,000 mince pies, and we had a two-hour eating session accompanied by a Kirsty MacColl CD. You can’t get much more Christmassy. Some of our students gave us chocolates and mince pies as well, which was lovely. I basically didn’t need to bring lunch to work for two weeks, there was so much food about.
Sadly I didn’t get to go to our office Christmas do as I came down with a particularly nasty flu and had to spend about three days in bed, but I am told that I missed out on yet more excellent food, which is a shame. One day I’ll experience the joys of an office Christmas party!
The students disappeared a week ago, apart from the nursing students whose term times are different, and so the library was dead quiet last week. Even the last day was fairly relaxed, despite there being a hand-in at 4pm. There were only two students who had computer issues, and apart from them everyone seemed to be organised and problem-free. Hooray! Now if only all hand-in days could be like that…
I went to another training last week on presentation skills, and I will be writing about that during the holidays, but it needs a post of its own to do it justice. In the meantime, have a lovely Christmas, whatever you’re doing, and enjoy the festivities.
Hypothesis: people eat more when it rains. No, seriously. The queue in Tesco yesterday when I came out of work filled up half the shop. I impulse-bought a box of Magnum lollies, probably to make it feel a bit less wintry and miserable. The rain has been crazy these past couple of days – it hasn’t stopped raining for almost 48 hours now. That’s a bit ridiculous. There are dead umbrellas littering the pavements outside work – it’s as if nobody was quite prepared for this much bad weather. It’s not been good news at work either – because the library is in such an old building, it is prone to leaks, and we’ve had to get some buckets out recently to catch the worst of it. Thankfully the books are unscathed!
Since the students came back the library has completely changed in atmosphere. The enquiry desk has been practically mobbed every day, and the issue desk is often too much for one or even two of us to handle. We’re hoping it’ll all calm down when the students learn to use the self-service machines, and when they learn that the books are all upstairs and no, I can’t tell you whether the dementia books are next to the nursing books because that’s not really how the system works. My favourite is probably the ones who ask whether we sell the books or just loan them out – if we sold them we wouldn’t have any on the shelves!
I’ve been fairly busy in the last week – new books are coming in at a rate of knots and it’s my responsibility to get them onto the system. This went a bit wrong today when it transpired that I’m a bit faster at doing this than perhaps Library Support Services would like – after I check the books in, I have to send off the invoices to LSS for them to confirm them and let them be seen as available on the catalogue. However, people have been trying to take books out today that haven’t been processed by LSS yet – oops. At least that was a learning exercise – don’t put books on the shelves until they’re on the catalogue!
I’ve also been keeping track of digitisations and putting them on reading lists for units. This is quite a mammoth task, it turns out; one lecturer has supplied a list of about 30 digitisations that she wants for one unit, and each of them takes at least an hour to process (providing we don’t have to get an inter-library loan of the document in question). I’ve also got to make sure all the details are up to date on the spreadsheet where we record what’s going on to show the Copyright Licensing Agency. Suffice it to say I’ve done a lot of going back and forth checking emails and request forms, hoping everything matches up. Bit of a nightmare!
Last Wednesday I did my first late shift, which was quite nice. It was definitely good to have a lie in in the morning! I managed to put some laundry on and go to the Post Office, and it was really useful to have some free daytime hours to get stuff done. This week I’m planning to go to the gym during my morning off, as long as the weather’s not too terrible. The actual late shift itself was quite uneventful – we had about two people in after 5pm, both of whom left around 7.30, leaving us with not much to do apart from crosswords and sudoku for another hour and a half. It made quite a change from the daytime shift!
There’s not much else to report – it’s been business as usual mostly. I am absolutely starving though as the biscuit supply seems to have dried up at work, so I’m off to sort out some dinner.