Hi, my name is Jo and I'm a newly qualified librarian working in several academic libraries in Cambridge.

I originally created this blog as an electronic learning journal whilst participating in an extended shadowing programme prior to starting the MA in Information Services Management at London Metropolitan University.

The views expressed here are entirely my own.

Friday, 25 January 2008

Job Swap with Graduate Trainee

For the last three days I have been working in the University Library at our other main site as part of a job swap with the Graduate Trainee based there. Although we are essentially one library, I thought it would be a good opportunity to work in a slightly different library environment and to compare the different ways of working. I was also curious to find out more about the work of the Acquistions and Electronic Services & Systems (ESS) Teams which are also based there.

Although the work of the two libraries is fundamentally the same, the ways in which routine tasks are allocated and the Library Assistants are managed are quite different. It was really interesting to compare the different ways of working and to weigh up the benefits of each. I came to the conclusion that neither way of working is perfect but each reflects the different staffing levels and culture of each site. I will be including some of my thoughts in a Job Swap Report which will be posted under the Learning and Development section of this blog in due course.

I will also include my personal thoughts and observations about the new entrance area which had been officially unveiled the day before my arrival. As you'll see from the photos, it has a very striking, bright and contemporary look. I do, however, wonder whether such a bold and "trendy" design is in danger of dating very quickly. Although I suspect that it will appeal to the taste of younger students, I question whether it will appeal so greatly to the large proportion of mature students. I'm also concerned that certain aspects of the design and layout have been at the cost of functionality and practicality. The yellow easy clean floor, for example, has replaced carpet which previously helped to absorb noise from the ground floor which now resonates up the central atrium to the other floors. The omission of the word "Library" in the sign hanging over the desk has also lead visitors to confuse it with the main University Reception. However, I'm sure that teething troubles such as these will be addressed in the coming weeks and months as library staff and readers become accustomed to the new design.

Overall, I throughly enjoyed the experience and was made to feel really welcome. Although it felt strange doing familiar work in an unfamiliar environment, this gave me a fresh perspective on my role and really made me appreciate the contribution that I and my fellow Library and Circulation Assistants make to our service.

No comments:

Post a Comment