I’m Ellie and I’ve been the library graduate trainee since August 2015. My position is exciting and unique: none of my days are the same, so it’s been difficult deciding what day is best to tell you about. I’ve tried to think of some of the things I do that contribute to our students’ experience using their library at Leeds Beckett…
I arrive on campus at 08:00 and have breakfast or just tea while I go over my emails. At 08:20 I begin clearing each floor of Headingley Campus Library of books that have been left overnight. At this time it’s still pretty quiet, but there are a few familiar student faces working in the study area on the ground floor. Today I pick up a trolley and a half of books as I go round, but at peak times this can be two full trolleys (thank goodness for the lifts)!
Just after 09:00 I’m joined by colleagues to help shelve the books I’ve cleared and the books that have been returned overnight – it’s a fantastic collaborative effort, and though it’s early there is a hum of energy. Maintaining order among the shelves is therapeutic – it’s soothing to start the day with the feeling that things are in order. Moreover, the morning shelving ritual is a chance for us to ensure that the available resources can be easily found and borrowed.
Staff change over shifts on the Help and Information Point at 11:00 and when it’s my turn, I sit in the Account and Borrower seat. I love this shift because there’s always a steady flow of students and queries vary from wanting to use our stapler to issuing and returning items, paying fines or finding resources to support students’ studies. Interacting with our student body is probably the best part of my role, our students at Leeds Beckett are a pleasure to talk to, I’m excited about encouraging people to get the best out of their library and I learn more and more every day from the varying queries.
After lunch in the staffroom (or outside on the benches if it’s sunny!) I work on building reading lists online. By providing instant access to resources, where students might find them, they offer a great platform from which we can help our students start with their studying and further research. It’s always an efficient way of reviewing the stock we have (does it need updating, do we have the latest editions, are we providing access to the teaching materials our academics recommend?). I like it because I get to see so many varying resources for different subjects – it really highlights the range of thought provoking, scholarly and diverting material (such as the Vogue archives since the first issue in 1982 to Sophie Coe’s America’s first cuisines) that we have access to.
The best part of my graduate traineeship is that I’m constantly learning, which probably is due to the traineeship being such diverse, fast paced and exciting programme. As result I end the day pretty excited for the next – it’s going to be completely different from today!