Last week was a bit of a no-goer, really. I was off sick on Monday and Tuesday, made it in and just about survived Wednesday and Thursday, and then was off again on Friday. On Saturday I was briefly recovered from whatever lurgy I had, only to be virtually incapacitated by another one by the evening. I’ve forced myself into work this morning but I’m feeling pretty grim. Basically what I’m trying to say is that I don’t have much to write today.
I went into work on Wednesday morning and did some more time in acquisitions. I was briefly shown the book ordering process but I think this is due to be elaborated upon tomorrow. In the afternoon I went over to visit the graduate trainees at Leeds University. We started with a tour of the Brotherton library, which was pretty cool – it certainly had the wow factor with its traditional decor and circular layout, although the building itself seemed a little confusing for finding books and looked like it had a few accessibility problems (although I did like the lift that looked like something out of Titanic). I was impressed by the size of Special Collections, it made our one here at Bradford look tiny – our reading room has 1 desk whilst theirs was a large room with lots of space. It was also really interesting to see all of their shiny, expensive digitisation equipment!
We then went on to see the Edward Boyle library, which is the one more commonly used by students, with a large amount of the resources in and lots of study space. A lot of the space on the upper floors was allocated as silent study space, but they didn’t have anything in place to actually enforce this, and it appeared that the staff were entirely apathetic about it, which I thought was pretty poor. Granted, the floors were far quieter than Bradford’s would ever be if we left our students completely unattended, but I don’t really think that’s an excuse for not keeping tabs on what’s going on and making sure that silent areas are actually silent. I don’t know, maybe I’m too much of a ‘shhhhhh!’ librarian.
It was also interesting to see their self-service laptop cabinet, as ours *still* hasn’t arrived and I had no idea what it would actually look like or how it would function. Apparently it breaks down a lot though, so I’m fairly sure our students will be able to break ours quite quickly if it ever arrives. The other thing it was useful to see was the floor of group study space – students were able to gather around tables and use big touch monitors, and segregate themselves off with movable screens so that they can work productively together. A space like this is what’s missing from Bradford and is something that we really need.
Thanks to Sean and Carla for the afternoon!