Reflective Log: Friday 21st June 2013

Hello, there!

It is the end of a bit of a hectic week here at JB Priestley Library. The ongoing task has been journal discards – of which we have 1.5km of them to put in a skip (out of around 3km, so basically we’re halving our print journal collection). It’s been nice because everyone’s been chipping in on and off during the week, so I’ve seen a bit more of some people I don’t bump into very often. The system we’ve got going on leaves a lot to be desired, mainly due to the awkward positioning of the skip and an inconvenient loading bay. We have had one person on the journals floor pulling the doomed journals off of the shelves and putting them in big cages. Full cages get pushed to the loading bay at the back of the building. Unfortunately, there is no easy way of getting the journals down from the loading bay, which is a large platform with no lift or ramp for lowering things, as usually vans would just back onto it. This means that we need to have one person up with the cages unloading them, passing journals down to people on the ground who then put them in big boxes on a trolley, which is then wheeled *up a hill* to the skip, which is in the car park. From here, the boxes need to be unloaded from the trolley and into the skip (it is a walk-in skip), and people then unload the journals from the boxes and stack them as high up and compacted as possible. I think this is one of those things that would be classed as a ‘logistical nightmare’. It is now the end of the week and we’re halfway through, having filled two entire skips. It’s hot, sweaty and backbreaking work (yeah, um, I hurt my back whilst in the skip yesterday afternoon and haven’t been able to help today… oops!), but I think it’s quite satisfying to watch the progress as the skip fills up. And only once have we thrown away the wrong half of a very large run of journals… (!) but we managed to dig most of them back out.

On Tuesday morning I helped the Health Studies librarian with another of her sessions, I’m definitely confident using Cinahl now after having seen it demonstrated a few times. In the second half of the morning the group then went to a computer cluster and a lot of the students needed quite a lot of individual help with searching for their topics. The trickiest part wasn’t navigating the database so much as using medical terms – coming up with synonyms and related words to terms I wasn’t overly familiar with was challenging, but we got there eventually.

Also on Tuesday I attended a session on copyright and licensing run by two library staff members, aimed at academics. Whilst it wasn’t the most enthralling topic in the world, I had pretty much zero knowledge on this area other than the usual journal/book photocopying rules, so I did learn about the different types of license that the University has, how different rules apply to different items, and about Creative Commons, so I definitely got something out of it.

The other tasks I’ve been doing between bursts of journal moving have involved various spreadsheets and catalogue searches. One of my tasks was to go through the list of journals held at our Management library and list if/where we have access to them online and the dates. I found a lot of broken links or incorrect dates given, so I’ve got a nice long list of items to send to the folks responsible for ejournals at some point. The next task was to search the library catalogue for books listed on the reading lists of a new academic coming to teach archaeology at the University – certainly the longest reading lists I’ve ever seen, and this took longer than I had been expecting! The final task was to search Ebscohost Business Source Complete for a big range of ‘Country profiles’ and ‘Country reports’ that we think may be listed incorrectly on our catalogue (I think we’re hoping to get rid of the print holdings!). So after this week, I’ve got Ebscohost coming out of my ears!

All in all a fun week, actually.

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