Reflective Log: Monday 15th July 2013

Another fairly interesting week again last week. Monday. In the morning, I did some work that the Special Collections librarian had sent me the week before – some lists from a small collection elsewhere that I believe is shutting down, asking if we want their stuff. It was a long list of Quaker-related resources, and I had to search our library catalogue for each item, to see if we already had it or not. As we have a lot of peacey resources in our Commonweal collection, and we also have a Quaker collection down in SC, we had probably around 50% of these resources already.

In the afternoon, I helped to shift books – I think I mentioned before that the 306s were reclassified last month, now 360s. What I hadn’t stopped to think about previously was that in order for these books to be put back on the shelves in the right place, everything between 307-360 needs to be shuffled forwards about 40 bays. It’s a rather monotonous, laborious task, but it has to be done. I think the most annoying thing about it is that you can be shuffling these books for hours, and it looks like you haven’t done that much, because filling a trolley and then unloading it again only shifts around 5 shelves-worth at a time. But I’ve been appreciating doing some physical movement during the day, as I’m making a big effort to be more active at the moment. And this is definitely active.

On Tuesday morning I made some new shelf ends for the 300s that have been shifted to their rightful place so far. I also had a play around with my project questionnaire, because one of the questions isn’t totally accessible to people with screen readers for example, which is ironic given it’s a questionnaire on accessibility. None of the alternative options myself and Sarah had thought about will work, due to the rigidity of the website I’m using, so instead I’m having to put a note at the top of each page saying to contact me if there are any problems and I can provide the questionnaire in a different format. Not ideal, but the best we’ve got. In the afternoon, I was due to attend a School Academic Programmes Committee (SAPC), which is a big departmental meeting which tracks the admin of teaching within the school – or at least so I’m told – once we arrived it was cancelled due to not reaching quorum, and has been rescheduled for this week. I spent some more time shifting books instead.

Wednesday was the University’s annual Learning and Teaching conference. There were lots of different sessions throughout the day – I went to sessions on engaging the anxious student, improving English acquisition through social engagement, and a workshop on student engagement. All of them covered some interesting things, and I picked up random facts and figures throughout the day (did you know that 15% of 19-24 year olds suffer significant anxiety?). There was a keynote speech given by Aaron Porter, former NUS President who I hold quite a large grudge against for failing the student movement in the face of trebling tuition fees and who now charges over one hundred pounds an hour as an ‘education consultant’ (whut?! I don’t even…). Despite my personal opinion on him, I still managed to learn some things from his speech, although it was less of a talk containing any of his ideas and inspiration, and more of a relaying of 35 graphs that he’d pulled from somewhere. The part of the day that stuck out the most for me was a series of PechaKucha presentations – this is when you have a set number of slides, each lasting 20 seconds and then automatically moving on to the next one. Topics covered included a student physiotherapy clinic, team-based learning, and encouraging collaboration across schools.

On Thursday morning I was back with Acquisitions, where I spent the morning bib-record checking new books. It took a lot of self-restraint for me to not just sit and read one of them, as it was written by a woman known for being a TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminist). They say you should know your enemy.

In the afternoon, and for the whole of Friday, I was shifting books in the 300s. I’ll be doing a lot more of that again this week!

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