Reflective Log: Monday 29th July 2013

On Monday this week I had the task of creating the new shelf end signs for all of the moved stock, both the books upstairs, and all the journals downstairs. Sorting out the 360s signs was very straightforward and easy to get on with. Sorting out the journals signs was more difficult, as I had to decipher what subject areas we now had and where (and if we had them anymore at all!). Some of the aisles now cover so much material that there were too many subject headings to fit on each sign, so a lot of jiggling around with words and format had to be done. Once the document was ready, it was a matter of printing them out and laminating each one – a very time-consuming process! And then sticking them up on the ends of each aisle. I have absolutely no idea how this task took me most of the day, but it did!

Tuesday morning was one of those mornings when nothing went to plan. I had intended to finish off the shelf ends that I’d not had time to laminate yesterday, but we were out of laminating pouches so that had to wait. I then took up the opportunity to help the engineering librarian and the health librarian run a session for medical engineers, however they didn’t show up. After waiting for a while just in case they were late because of the bad weather, we trekked around campus trying to find them, but no members of either the engineering nor the health departments knew where they were. Miscommunication at its worst! So, with half the morning gone on starting things but not being able to follow through with them, I decided to get on with working through the box of peace pamphlets I still had sitting on my desk. Unfortunately, another member of staff was already working on the document in the shared network, so I couldn’t do that either (although had I stopped to actually think about it I could’ve just done the work elsewhere and transferred the information when I could access the actual document). Eventually I got on with doing some research around disability for my project instead.

In the afternoon, the health librarian gave me a big list of books that needed discarding – about 400 titles that needed pulling off the shelves, suppressing on the catalogue, and packing into boxes to be sent away. I found this relatively fun, and spent all of Tuesday afternoon, a lot of Wednesday, Thursday afternoon and Friday morning doing this – it was a good space-filling task. My favourite find was a book called “Keeping Healthy ‘Down There'”, and it was a picture book. Much hilarity ensued.

On Wednesday afternoon I met with Sarah again to discuss where my project is going next. I’ve made a questionnaire for library staff to gauge where we are at generally with regards to knowledge, training, and also get some staff input on the current level of accessibility in the library. Hopefully I’ll be rolling that out this week. It’s all very exciting (and scary).

On Thursday morning I had the opportunity to visit the Learner Development Unit (LDU) and speak with a couple of the academic skills advisors there. The LDU offers advice and help to students in the form of workshops, drop-in sessions and intensive one-on-one sessions, as well as through e-mail and phone. However, the first thing you notice about it is it’s obscure location – it is tucked away in the engineering building, and they have seen a drop in footfall since moving there a couple of years ago. Ideally they would like to be part of Learner Support Services (which is made up of the library, disability service, counselling, careers, IT) – we had quite a long discussion about how this would benefit both staff and students, and I know that a lot of the library staff agree that this would make sense, as there is quite a large crossover between study skills and the library. The advisor took me through their report from the last year, which was full of statistics about user demographics and user satisfaction – the percentage of people who felt considerably more confident after having been to the LDU was somewhere around the 90-95% mark. We talked about the type of sessions offered – the different formats and the different subjects, and all in all I was very impressed with them – their work seems really worthwhile, and because it is a self-referral system, the students mainly tend to want to be there and to want to learn.

Once I had finished the discards on Friday morning, I spent the afternoon continuing with the peace pamphlets I’d had on my desk for a few weeks to sort through. I managed to get the box finished by the end of the day, which was a nice conclusive end to the work week.

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