Reflective Log: Monday 10th June 2013

I don’t have very much at all to say about last week. All of Monday, Tuesday and Friday were spent down in the basement measuring journals. I’m hoping to have that all finished by the end of this week. Maybe. I think that the plan is to start getting rid of the journals we’ve decided to get rid of next week, and two weeks later it should be finished and all will be skipped and shifted and tidy. That’s the plan, anyway.

Wednesday morning was our fortnightly ASG meeting. I think the most surprising thing that happened in this meeting was that it finished on time! Afterwards, I headed back down to the basement (it’s almost as if some kind of gravitational force pulls me down there at any spare moment…), but this time accompanied by Sarah, to do some measuring of a different kind – the widths and lengths of each aisle. We’re going to have to cut the space down even further to fit an OPAC and printer down there, but the most hideously obvious thing about this floor is how incredibly inaccessible it is even to able-bodied people – so people in wheelchairs don’t stand a chance. The absolute minimum aisle width we’re supposed to be allowed is 1.2m. Most of the aisles down there average somewhere around 0.8m, and we have some as small as 0.46m, which Sarah can’t even stand straight in, and she’s a small lady! In an ideal world we would take out every other aisle, but that would mean halving what is left of our already weeded and weeded and weeded print journals, which just isn’t doable. Instead, we’re hoping that maybe we can take out a bay from the middle of each aisle to double the size of the aisle that goes across the middle of them. I’m still working out the figures for all of this (you’d be surprised how many different answers I’ve been able to come up with just from adding up the same set of figures over and over again…), but it’s gonna be tight. Real tight. Literally.

Thursday morning I attended a workshop on finding community statistics online, which was open to people doing work in the Bradford community, and also to library staff. The biggest thing I took away from this session was how to access census statistics online – totally didn’t know you could do that! The man leading the workshop showed us how to do various different searches to find different things, but I think the best way of getting to grips with it is just to have a play around and see what you come up with. I found it extremely interesting to compare figures from my local neighbourhood in Bradford with others (turns out my area is about the most deprived – I’m not remotely surprised), and also comparing my neighbourhood with my home ground back in Essex (a primarily white, Christian and ‘comfortable’ neighbourhood in terms of work and education).

Thursday afternoon I attended the last meeting about deciding which journals to keep and which to discard – the second half of the 600s, that hadn’t been reached in the previous meeting. Again, I found it very interesting to follow and agree with the librarians’ lines of thought. There were a couple of awkward moments and minor disagreements, but still no blood on the carpet as I had been promised. Which is a shame, cause we could really do with a new carpet on this floor.

My week was rounded off with more measuring – Friday was my biggest marathon so far, and I would’ve got the whole spreadsheet I was working on done in the one day if it hadn’t been for those pesky kids! Translation: I was going really well until I reached our rolling stack, which students had somehow managed to break shelves in, and someone had put all of the stock from these shelves randomly around the whole rolling stack – lying over the top or slotted into random places – so it took me over an hour to sort the whole mess out before I could actually do any measuring there. It was the end of the day and I was very disappointed!

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