Reflective Log: Friday 21st December 2012

Two blogs in one week?? Woah! I’ve decided to do my write-up for this week now, as it’ll be left until the New Year and I’ll remember even less of it than I did last time, and this has been quite a cool week. (Also, the apocalypse is supposed to be happening today, so I guess it’s a case of now or never…) Monday I was invited down to the basement to talk with Alison in Special Collections. We got marginally off-topic a few times, but it was a very interesting chat. We talked a lot about the building, and how whoever designed it didn’t really have special collections in mind, as there are pipes lurking from the ceiling above a lot of the collections – if something were to go wrong with these it’d be a frightful experience all round! We also talked about the type of people who come to use the collection, and space management – we’re just about full up at the moment, and Alison was explaining that she gets a lot of offers of material that she has to turn down. We chatted a bit about social media too, and how the library really needs to get on top of things like Twitter.

After our meeting, I took the opportunity to get to know the mind-mapping software that is available on cluster computers (unfortunately, not mine…) as I am more of a visual thinker and it helps me to put ideas down in front of me and expand outwards from them. I had a play about with the program, MindGenius, whilst also thinking about things the library could do to improve its social media usage – things we need to do with the Twitter and Facebook accounts, and other ideas such as a library blog and Pinterest. I’m really hoping I’ll get the chance to be able to work on these throughout the year.

Tuesday was my second international group meeting. I took the minutes for this meeting again and found it far easier now that I understood all of the discussion – yes, that’s right, the whole shebang! I do think that my favourite part of this meeting was the Christmas cake and chocolates, so I fear I may have gotten my priorities wrong this time… Following on from the international group, I attended a meeting between a few staff members from across departments on the management of floor 1 noise. I think the reason that I have such a massive chip in my shoulder about this issue is that my job whilst being a student at Warwick was to patrol the library for noise several hours a day, so when I came to Bradford I nearly died of a heart attack. I do find it quite amusing that in most situations with people I don’t know I’d be reluctant to go up and talk to someone, but when it comes to noise management in a library I have absolutely no qualms about walking straight up to a group of people and telling them to be quiet! Anyway, in this meeting we discussed feedback we’ve had from staff and students, ways we can manage the noise, and the possibility of rebranding the floor. I think we resolved to have the security guard starting a couple of hours earlier and having a constant presence on floor 1 (although this then begs the question of how floor 2 (the silent floor) will be managed, given every time I’m up there I tell people to be quiet every 30 seconds…). I’m still extremely sceptical about this, but hopefully I’ll be proved wrong in the New Year.

Wednesday morning was another ASG meeting. Here’s a handy fact for you: before the refurbishment of the building and mass move of the journals, there were 6700m of printed journals. After the move, there are now 3300m of printed journals, but the allocated space only permits 2400m, so there’s still another 900m needing to be got rid of somehow. So that’s what this week’s meeting was about, and I actually understood most of it. And again, this was another meeting made better through the presence of snacks. Following this meeting, I went to a Library on Location meeting. LoL (lol!) is the name of our pop-up library stall that sometimes appears in the SU or elsewhere on campus for people to ask questions and give feedback. From what I gather the response to this has been very positive, as it reaches out to non-library users and helps to thump common misconceptions in the face. I’ve been roped into collating the feedback received from the stall so far – a job for after Christmas, I think! – and I’m going to be helping out with manning the stall next semester, which should be fun.

This finally brings me on to yesterday, which was a great day (mostly because I didn’t really have to do much work…). Ellie (subject librarian) very kindly ran a session for ASG on playing games in the library to teach information literacy. It was just like playing games on the last day of school, and was a lot of fun whilst also being really useful. We played a game called Seek (details of this can be found here: http://www.indiegogo.com/infolit-games) which was a lot of fun, and we had a discussion afterwards about how we could adapt it to fit the students here at Bradford – the kinds of questions we could use, which sessions we could use it in etc., and I think the group response to this was overwhelmingly positive. We also played Top Trumps and had a discussion about how we could make a version of the game for Databases. I doubt this will be the last you hear from me on this topic!

Straight after the games session we went for our Christmas lunch at a local curry place. I had no idea what to order, but my colleagues were quick to help me and a nommy time was had (such a nommy time, that I was an hour late for customer services in the afternoon… oops!). So that’s me for now folks, I hear it’s time for the end of the world (it’s in my diary and everything…). Merry festivities!

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