Reflective Log: Monday 19th November 2012

I can’t believe another week has passed – time here seems to go so quickly! The last week has been pretty packed, and it’s a good job I’ve got Meeting Maker to tell me what I did last week or my mind would just be left blank at this time on a Monday morning!

I’ve pretty much finished all my induction chats now – I’ve got two more this week and then I think I’m done for the moment, of course I’m fairly sure the entire year’s going to feel like one long induction. Last week I met with Rebecca, who chatted to me about interlibrary loans. Her job is pretty vital because there are lots of requests from students for material that we don’t have, and I don’t think she’d mind me saying that she’s pretty swamped right now! The job looks pretty interesting though, kind of like playing hide and seek. But for books. Around the world. She also explained to me about the staff files (normally articles relating to modules that academics ask us to keep for their students to use), and how expensive they are to maintain. It seems like the academic staff may need more information on how much these files cost the library to produce.

I also met with Kirsty who spoke to me about the International group, which I imagine I’ll be getting involved with quite a bit over the year. The group consists of about 4 members of library staff who do what they can to ensure that the library is welcoming and useful to international students. I think this would be quite a fitting group for me to join given I was an international student myself for a year in Italy during my undergraduate degree, and given my experience with learning languages.

Another group that exists within the library is the Plagiarism group. I attended their meeting on Wednesday morning, and if I’m honest, didn’t really understand what was going on because of the use of lots of acronyms I’m not familiar with! The University is very big on plagiarism, and I get the impression it’s drilled into students far more than it was at Warwick. One of the issues we were discussing in the meeting was ways to put the plagiarism training into effect in the University’s sites overseas.

I was also able to have with a teaching session on Thursday morning with Donna, the Health Studies librarian. There was a group coming in from a college, and the session was to teach the students how to use the library catalogue properly. It was a hands-on workshop, and I was actually able to help students with problems they had! I really enjoyed helping with this session, as most of the students seemed really keen to learn, and it was pretty rewarding.

Other things I’ve done in the week include some more mundane tasks (unavoidable, really!) –collating feedback sheets, photocopying and re-labelling journals (the library is undergoing reclassifying all of the journals, but in most cases it’s just a case of scribbling out the front letter on each individual resource!). I’ve also been on customer service every afternoon. They’ve given me some more training on their computer programs and other back-of-house tasks, and I’ve spent more time on the enquiry desk – I’m pretty much there with answering the basic, regular questions, and I can feel myself learning new things about the desk each day, which has got to be a good sign! Floor 1 has re-opened, so there are fewer irate students as all of the books are now accessible and study space has doubled, but one of the big problems now is abuse of the rules regarding how to behave in these spaces, and the library is working on ways to combat this. I look forward to seeing if the quiet floor ever actually reaches a state of quietness that I would count as quiet, but such a state seems to be far more subjective than I had first thought.

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