Reflective Log: Friday 24th May 2013

I’m going to be away on leave next week (the first leave I’ve booked in the 7 months I’ve been here… oops!), so I’m writing this log on a Friday afternoon again while everything is still fresh.

On Monday and Tuesday I spent a lot of time continuing my work from the week before, measuring the shelf space of the journals with classmarks in the 300s. I managed to get this done in two large chunks of time on each day. Not a lot else to add to that, really! I also spent some time on both days beginning to think about and look into my graduate trainee project as opposed to just having an idea stapled to a big fluffy cloud up in my head somewhere.

So, my project. I am going to be doing this on improving library access for disabled users. Obviously this is a massive task that covers a lot of different things, because there are a huge number of types of disability, including physical, mental and learning disabilities. When I sat down and thought about things I wanted to change/do/improve/implement, I thought that perhaps I’d bitten off more than I could chew, but I shall start with my research and see where to go from there. Any improvement is better than no improvement (and our library really needs improvements!). On Tuesday I had a meeting with my line manager and our member of staff who is responsible for helping disabled users, and on Wednesday I had a meeting with my line manager, the Special Collections librarian, head of library services and head of disability service. I didn’t say too much in that meeting because I’m terribly anxious in such situations and never manage to spit out what I want to say, but everyone else seemed happy enough to talk while I nodded and agreed! The plan at the moment is for me to talk to as many disabled students as possible about their experience of the library, any barriers, anything they’d like to see change. I’ll also be talking with academic staff members as well as the subject librarians, and basically anyone that can contribute to gauging where the library is currently at with access, to establish where we need to be. I’m aiming to do a fairly thorough review of the library, and hopefully come up with a service level agreement and some improvements that we can start to put in place. If I’m feeling particularly optimistic, I’d also like to work towards changes in staff training and the marketing of our services for disabled users. So that’s pretty much where I’m at at the moment. Obviously you’ll be hearing a lot more about this later on.

On Wednesday morning I attending an ‘introduction to acquisitions’ session for ASG. This involved a lady from acquisitions giving a short presentation about what it is that they do (most of this I was already aware of). It was amusing, as always, when she showed a graph produced by Millennium and a link out of it to somewhere else, and the subject librarians got angry about not having access to the program 🙂 I am in full agreement that it is ridiculous that the librarians do not have access to the library management system (especially when they give random n00bs like me an account!), but it never ceases to tickle me when librarians get a little heated.

On Thursday morning I attended a staff workshop on a project called ‘Changing the Learning Landscape‘ that the University is taking part in. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t entirely switched on this early in the morning and I didn’t really have a clue what the presenter was talking about, although after having talked to some of my colleagues down in customer services afterwards, it appears I’m not the only one. I think basically the idea is to improve learning and teaching through an increased use in technology based on the concept that young people are getting more and more techy, but I wouldn’t quote me on that!

I spent the rest of the morning in acquisitions. This week my task was to create authority records on the catalogue for around a hundred theses that had recently been added to the system. I finished this early, and as most of the acquisitions staff were elsewhere in the building doing some training, I headed back to my office to finish sorting through my last box of peace pamphlets for Special Collections. In the afternoon I put together a flyer/leaflet about library access for graduates, as we had nothing on this and it is a question that has been coming up fairly regularly. The librarian in charge of our pop-up library had asked me to create it and I had fun. I have to eat my own words from last week though, as I had to use the template that had been the subject of intense debate in last week’s ASG meeting!

On Friday morning (today!), I attended a meeting re:print journals, where the subject librarians responsible for the 500s discussed which titles they were going to keep, and which they were going to discard (or a mixture of the two). I had been promised I’d get to witness blood on the carpet at this, but alas, there was none. Thoroughly disappointing. Jokes aside, I did find it very interesting to see the thought process behind each decision, and I even started to understand my line manager’s giant spreadsheet (she really, really loves spreadsheets).

After the journals meeting, I teamed up with a colleague to do the last Library on Location (pop-up library) of term. There is a big end-of-year party going on in the student union, so we set up camp there with a lady from careers from an hour and bombarded finalists with the flyer I made yesterday. When I say bombarded, what I actually mean is handed a limited number out, as most of the students weren’t in their final year yet, and people hadn’t come to the party to talk about the library! I took off my badge and lanyard for a few minutes to pretend to be a student and claim free sweets and ice cream. Well worth it!

And that’s it for this week. I will be spending the rest of the day at the enquiry desk, inputting my measurements from the 300s journals into a spreadsheet. Have a nice week.


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