1.5 Years into my job

Hello, blog readers. It’s been a long time.

This blog started as a weekly diary during my graduate traineeship at Bradford University library. It progressed to a sporadic blog about my time as a Library School student at Loughborough. My last post detailed my successful job interview for my first professional post… and then I left you in the lurch.

Well, here I am. I have been in my new post as Information Specialist for Languages and Social Sciences for over a year and a half now – and I’m still here!

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My desk… very professional! 😉

I’m hoping to blog about specific aspects of my job as time goes by (although who knows if this will ever materialise!) but to begin with, here is a list of things I’ve achieved during my time so far as a newly-qualified information specialist:

  • Taught lots of students. My first teaching session in post was a lecture in front of 200 first year undergraduates. As is typical for me, I was definitely thrown in at the deep end. Most of my teaching is actually workshops with much smaller groups of students, but it’s good to know that I can do Big Scary Things too. I’m now comfortable enough in my job that I’m creating my own teaching instead of recycling that of my predecessor, and I’ve also played around with splitting my big lectures into small classes. Success!
  • Managed a nice big books budget. Okay, so my budget is smaller than that of my colleagues, but it’s MINE. I’m a big fan of managing a budget much larger than my annual earnings. Since I manage the social sciences, I also find opportunities to expand the collection in areas that I feel are super important for people to include in their education (e.g. gender, sexuality, race, class). I haven’t had any complaints yet!
  • Weeded lots of books. Definitely my favourite part of the job. I wholeheartedly blame my time at Bradford for this.
  • Won a bursary to the CILIP Conference 2015. Thanks to the Community, Diversity and Equality group within CILIP who funded my trip, I was able to attend this *fantastic* conference up in Liverpool. It was fab. I would definitely recommend attending in the future if you can, no matter what sector you work in.
  • Kept things running smoothly. Okay, so I do a lot of little jobs that aren’t worth their own bulletpoint but group together to make up a lot of my job. Whether that be answering student enquiries, liaising with academics, widening online info and resources, or attending lots of meetings. I’ve had nothing but compliments about my work. And I’m starting to find new projects for myself – e.g. developing our social media presence.
  • Started a Midlands Languages Librarians Group and am the library’s representative at the newly-founded Mercian Disability Forum. Yay new things with lots of scope.
  • Studied for a PGCert in Learning & Teaching – passed with a distinction and attained Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy. I was “encouraged” to do this course by my manager, and at times it was a hard slog. Particularly during a module based around module design, where I felt totally out of my depth. But I got consistently [stupidly] high marks for the whole course and it turned out to be incredibly satisfying. And I get even more letters after my name. Obviously.

All in all, it’s been very interesting. Things are slowing down for me this year now that I’ve finished my teaching for this academic year, so I’m starting to work on some new projects and taking on more responsibilities within the library.

I’ll see you all soon.

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