Last week was extremely short due to a Bank Holiday at the beginning and illness at the end, so I was only in work for two days. On Tuesday we had an International Group meeting – the first one in a long time for various reasons. I enjoy the international group because it’s small and friendly (not that other meetings aren’t friendly), and I don’t find it anywhere near as intimidating as the big meetings like ASG. I guess I also enjoy it because it’s a familiar topic to me, having been an ERASMUS student in Italy for a year during my course (I was actually so terrified on my year abroad that I never once made it into the library through fear of standing out or not understanding). In this meeting we discussed a number of things, such as praying in the library and where the Qur’an should be kept. One of my colleagues also reported back from the recent LILAC conference where she and another colleague gave a presentation on engaging with international students in the library and the use of specific language (we have a booklet available to our students which acts as a glossary of library terms and has proved invaluable for many students). The slides from their presentation are available here.
I set aside Wednesday for carrying out a task that I was strangely looking forward to. A while back I had noticed that our QSC (quick service collection – 24 hour loans) books didn’t match the catalogue – they were kept in author order instead of classmark order as was listed on the catalogue, back from when they used to be kept behind the counter. This made little sense and no doubt confused students, so I had pointed it out and finally been given the go-ahead to fix it. Being the slow book-sorter that I am, it took me all morning to put all ten shelves of the books in a completely different order – a job made more difficult by the lack of any free trolleys. But it was fun and mildly therapeutic, even when I forgot how to count mid-way through. I also had to cover over the green labels they each had on their spines that had author names written on them, but I was told to do this in white tape even though this meant the books no longer stood out as being QSC. It therefore wasn’t a surprise when I was later asked to write QSC on each spine too. Reading back, that task sounds far duller than it actually was.
Thursday I was off sick, and Friday I came in in the morning but was ‘gently encouraged’ to go back home by lunch. I’m glad I did make it in on Friday morning though, because it meant I was able to see the new water feature on the second floor extension! By water feature, I mean massive leak that caused the floor to be closed off for a few days and could have been disastrous to the books had it happened in slightly different places. One of the people I share an office with had his entire desk rained upon and so was forced to sort through all of the papers he had been hoarding. My desk, however, remained unscathed 🙂