Reflective Log: Wednesday 24th April 2013

I was going to start this post by saying that last week was quite an unusual one, but when I think about it really, every week is rather unusual because I do such different things from day to day. So perhaps it was a normal one after all??

A lot of my week consisted of time on the counter in customer services. Despite having finished my official block of time with them before Easter, I am their go-to girl when they’re short staffed, which seems to be most of the time! Somehow there were 5 staff members all on leave at the same time last Monday, plus 2 off sick, which left a measly 4 of us to run everything in the morning (and 5 in the afternoon (my mind is a little fuzzy, there may have been 1 more of us, but you get the jist of the problem (woohoo, look at all these brackets!))). So not only were we incredibly understaffed, but the library was also heaving because it’s ‘that time of year’ – deadlines, exams, and stressed students all over the place! Navigating the counter was challenging, but I don’t think I did too bad a job. When I used to work in retail, I would begin to get very stressed if I saw a queue building at my till, but here I’m learning not to stress out quite so much – being able to help students quickly but also efficiently is a skill that I think I am getting better at. I am also learning not to let the sight of a queue scare me too much, and just get on with the job in hand instead of worrying too much about the people waiting – they’ll get seen too!

When I arrived at work on Tuesday I was asked straight away to help out on the counter again for a couple of hours (turned out to be the entire morning!). We had another staff member or two with us, but were still thin on the ground. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t glad when my time on the counter was over – I was getting rather flustered by the end! I finished early on Tuesday to get on a train down to The South, ready for an event in London I attended on Wednesday.

On Wednesday I was lucky enough to be able to go to a Graduate Trainee Open Day held at the CILIP headquarters. I’m halfway through writing up my notes from this on another post which I’m hoping to get up by the end of today (although this will be the third time in a week that I’ve hoped to get it finished!), so I won’t go into details about the day on this post.

Thursday I was back in sunny Bradford and ready to rock and roll. I’m spending my Thursday mornings in acquisitions again (for the rest of time, I think). It’s a bit weird being back in their office, as they’d been extremely understaffed when I was with them before, and suddenly they’ve doubled in numbers! My task for the morning was to begin checking the addresses of vendors that we have stored on Millennium – I have a list of 445 names to get through, ranging from big suppliers to a charity shop in Derby! If memory serves me correctly, I think I made it to around the 100 mark? Pretty good going, I think. My afternoon was filled with time on the Floor 1 enquiry desk – I had my own slot, and was also covering for someone else, as the subject librarians were in demo session for a discovery tool. The floor was super full and super noisy, but I managed to write up some of my notes about the open day whilst also helping students with their enquiries.

Lastly, there was Friday. I was supposed to be spending the morning with a member of staff that I haven’t worked with yet, but she was off sick so that will have to be rescheduled. Instead, I did a couple of slots on the counter with customer services because they were still understaffed, and I also had my slot on the enquiry desk on Floor 1 again. I also found time to catalogue a few more books for the Commonweal collection that had been handed to me, and I was particularly amused by the ‘copyright’ blurb that I found in the front of an anarchist book (available online: ) that I shall finish this post with 🙂

“English language (and all applications thereof) used without permission from its inventors, writers, or copywriters. No rights reserved. All parts of this book may be reproduced and transmitted in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, especially photocopying if it is done at the expense of some unsuspecting corporation. Other recommended methods include broadcasting readings over pirate radio, reprinting tracts in unwary newspapers, and just signing your own name to this and publishing it as your own work. Any claim relating to copyright infringement, advocation of illegal activities, defamation of character, incitement to riot, treason, etc. should be addressed directly to your Congressperson as a military rather than civil issue.”

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