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What’s been happening?

It’s been a little while since I last wrote anything, and that’s partly because I forgot, and partly because not much has happened. Recently I’ve been doing a lot more of the same stuff at work – withdrawals list, podcasts, rinse, repeat. I got some feedback on my last set of podcasts which was basically “too small, too blurry, too quiet”, so I’ll need to redo them this week. I finally finished the large chunk of the withdrawals list that I was given, but it’s not the end – I’ve got roughly another 150 pages to go, but I’m taking a break from that at the moment as we have a new toy to play with at the library. It’s called a Digital Library Assistant and looks like an alien ray gun. It reads RFID tags inside books on the shelf and generates a list of exactly what we’ve got, which is really useful for when the stock gets moved to its new home in 2014. However, we’re having some teething problems with it, in that it seems to not have recognised everything on the shelf, so I’m going round the stock finding books that it missed so we can work out what happened there. It’s almost identical to my withdrawals task, but it feels different, so I’m enjoying the “change”.

Other things I did this week and last:

– Fill in a book order card for the first time in months, completely mess it up and have to start again. Argh!

– Receipt and process 3 parcels-full of new books, which weighed a ton. One of the books was tiny – about 5cm by 10cm, spiral-bound, 30 pages long. Very cute, but very fiddly when it comes to getting a stamping sheet inside.

– Create new shelf-end signs for the book rooms, to make it a bit easier to navigate the shelves. They look great, but I had some trouble getting the old ones off – I had to take a ruler and scissors to a few of them to lever them off as they’d been stuck down with miles of sticky stuff, and in the small book room I had to use a screwdriver as they were screwed on. This caused a bit of a panic when I thought that I had accidentally dismantled a shelving system, but turns out the shelves are just wobbly anyway. Phew.

– laminate a LOT of things. As well as the shelf-end signs, I made new “New Books” signs and one explaining how to locate books. That all adds up to a lot of plastic pockets to fight with.

– digitise a book chapter for someone, get to page 26/30 and very nearly press the “cancel” button on the scanner. Almost had a heart attack.

– not much else! It’s slow at the moment, but we’ve got new students in, so there’s a lot of teaching and a lot of people needing help at the enquiry desk. Every so often we get floods of students coming to the counter after their induction session, all wanting their PINs for their library accounts. We’re heading towards dissertation season, so things will pick up soon.

– on Friday and Monday I took annual leave, and went off to a tiny village in the middle of the Yorkshire Dales for some much-needed fresh air. Here is a picture of said air (and some scenery):

Here is where I was at the weekend. Bliss.

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Just brilliant. We watched the Super Bowl on Sunday night, and I was really glad to have Monday off to recover! Tuesday was hard going at work, but as I have Wednesday mornings off, I am feeling very refreshed and relaxed now.

It’s been mentioned that I might do a blog post for some friends of mine about my job and future plans, which will be nothing new to regular readers of this blog, but I’ll post a link to that for you if it happens.

That’s about it for now – hopefully something interesting will happen soon, and then these posts will be a bit more interesting!

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And… Breathe.

It’s the end of week two and I’m feeling quite drained. I’m curled up in bed watching Masterchef and feeling a bit sorry for myself because I think I’ve got a cold coming on. I’m hoping a quiet weekend full of relaxing will help sort me out!

This week hasn’t quite lived up to the promise of last week. Most of the senior librarians (i.e. the ones who teach me stuff) have been away or in meetings, so I’ve been sort of hovering around at a loose end. Later in the year I’ll be able to keep busy with stuff like digitisation and book ordering, but I don’t know nearly enough yet to be able to just do it without guidance. I was alright at the start of the week, as I still had some stuff to sort out, but once I’d finished it… that was it. Nothing else to do.

It’s been quite a frustrating week as I have been feeling like the work experience kid, getting under everyone’s feet and constantly needing to be given little tasks to do. I don’t really like having to keep asking if there’s anything I can do, either, as it feels like I’m making a nuisance of myself and distracting people from what they’re supposed to be doing.

Anyway. I don’t want to be too whiny about the whole thing – it’s the start of term and it’s difficult for the librarians to balance all the stuff they’ve got to do to get ready for next week with looking after me. It’s just really tough feeling like I’m not being helpful in any way (even though everyone’s apologised for not being able to find anything for me to help with).

On the bright side, I went to a social at the Deaf Institute (“cafe bar and music hall”) with some of the other librarians on Wednesday night and had a great time chatting with the other GTs about how they’re getting on, as well as getting to know some of the more senior staff from the various sites. It was nice to actually go out in Manchester too – I haven’t had the chance to explore much and having other people show me interesting places makes a bit of a change from getting hopelessly lost on my own! Hopefully there’ll be more opportunities like this in the future.

For now I’m going to stay curled up and conserve my energy, in order to be fighting fit for meeting all the students on Monday. Wish me luck! I’ll let you know how it goes… 🙂

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