GT Project: An investigation into the use of social media at the University of Bradford Library

Flickr mkhmarketing.wordpress.com

Flickr mkhmarketing.wordpress.com

For my graduate trainee project, I investigated how the University of Bradford (UoB) Library could improve its use of social media (SM) to promote library services and connect with users. I completed a literature review which helped me to understand the existing research, I assessed the library’s social media and made suggestions on how to improve it. I looked at the way similar institutions conduct themselves online and made comparisons. I also surveyed the University of Bradford Library staff to see how they felt about using social media to connect with users. It was a very useful thing to do as it really helped inform my suggestions and it also helped me to feel more confident knowing that most people were in agreement. This is a brief excerpt from my project 🙂

With the ever increasing popularity of social networking sites (SNS) and their widespread popularity, it is important that the library exploits this method of communication. Libraries are expected to have many streams of communication open with users and social media provides an excellent opportunity to connect with staff, existing and prospective students and colleagues in a novel way.

There are many ways in which social media can be used in a meaningful and beneficial way, especially within an academic library. Social media can be used to promote the library, have real-time customer service conversations with users and receive feedback. Most librarians understand that social media is an important tool that can help them to deliver their services. Here is a list of some of the ways in which social media could be used in the academic library:

  • To build a sense of community
  • To reach users in their homes and ‘virtual spaces’ as many people can now access lots of library resources outside of the library
  • To seek user’s opinions on library services, respond to user feedback and use it as an opportunity for self-assessment
  • Publicise events such One World Week and the recent special collections Mitrinovic Symposium
  • Promote new acquisitions
  • Promote and increase usage of library collections
  • Promoting workshops and inductions
  • Keep up to date with other librarians and academic institutions
  • Financial costs are believed to be low
  • As a broadcast tool for library updates and news
  • Opening hours and contact details
  • To connect with new and current students, as well as alumni and especially distance learners
  • To connect with the academic community and university staff
  • Potentially a customer services tool – dealing with enquiries, feedback and complaints
  • To update users on system maintenance and problems with library systems
  • Explore the use of interesting applications such as Pinterest and Instagram for inductions and workshop

My favourite article fittingly titled “#selfiesinthestacks” looked at how Instagram can be used by libraries to alleviate library anxiety in first year students, increase user engagement and offer active learning experiences. Wallis questions how much information students realistically retain whilst attending traditional library inductions, especially when so much is going on at the start of term. Wallis developed a fantastic library programme using Instagram which introduced new students to the library in a fun, social and modern way.

  • She downloaded the Instagram app on the library’s iPads and created a library account (https://instagram.com/umlibrary/). She then logged into the account on each of the iPads (6 of them).
  • She then presented a short PowerPoint which was a brief introduction to the library, directing students to the library catalogues, describing the layout of the library and explaining the task.
  • Students were asked to get into groups of three to five people and choose a team name.
  • Each group received an iPad and a sheet of paper with the following prompts listed. All apart from the specific book title are open to interpretation.
  • The weirdest book
  • Something confusing
  • The best study spot
  • This book (each group was given a different book to find)
  • Your group and a member of library staff
  • A DVD you want to watch
  • Students would then use the iPads to take photos based on the prompts and upload them to the library’s Instagram account.
  • The groups were given 30 minutes to explore the library
  • When they returned they looked through all of the images on a projector together and had a discussion about their experience.

There is little doubt that social media is becoming an integral part of 21st century communication and this is increasingly the case in how we conduct our personal lives, our education and our careers. In order to appreciate social media, to some extent you need to immerse yourself in it; you must understand why you are spending time on it, be acceptant of the positives and negatives and be aware of the opportunities that it presents. Using social media yourself is good practice for when you use in on behalf of the library.

There are many obstacles and challenges associated with using social media in a consistent and meaningful way. If the library does not keep an eye open on social media, it is possible that we will miss important discussions and feedback that are related to the library. The conversation will happen, whether the library wants to listen or not and not everyone is going to have positive things to say. People do use social media to share both negative and positive experiences they have had with institutions, organisations and businesses.

It is easy to be worried about using social media in a professional setting because of unprofessional, negative comments. People will say negative things on social media and there are advantages to facing this negativity head on. We can try to resolve any problems the user might be having, we can apologise and we can try to make it right. People will also say positive things and when they do, it is good for us to know that we are doing things right. Social media could be used as another means of gathering student feedback in addition to the traditional methods already in place. It is a lot easier for a student to send an email or write a comment online than it is to fill in a form and post it in the library. For many service providers, customer service has gone way beyond simply speaking to someone in person, by email or on the telephone.

Staff and students alike need to be aware of the impact social media can have on people’s lives. People should conduct themselves as they would in any normal social situation and that involves being polite, respectful and appreciative of the fact that by law everyone has the right to freedom of expression. The catch being that when you voice your opinion on social media, you are inviting people to do the same. So it is important that all posts are carefully considered as they can come back to bite you, as they did with Paris Brown in 2013. Comments she had posted in the past on Twitter were investigated for possible criminal offences. Paris posted tweets when she was between the ages of 14-16 which were considered to be racist and homophobic. At the age of 17 she had just been appointed Britain’s first youth crime commissioner but was forced to resign due to her previous ill-thought-out tweets.

With prospective employers having free access to social media just as everyone else does, it is important that people, especially students, know how to conduct themselves online. They need to take responsibility for their own actions, learn about their online privacy and be aware that when they post things online, it can be there for the whole world to see. Librarians are in a fantastic postion to demonstrate how best to use social media, but first they need to be on social media.

Here are some of the Padlets I made to go alongside my project:

Using the existing literature, making comparisons with other academic institutions and surveying UoB library staff, I explored the negative and positive aspects of social media. Social media does not have to be difficult and it does not have to take up huge amounts of time. But a tailored social media strategy needs to be in place and social media needs to be monitored regularly if it is to be successful. If our efforts can help students find useful information they would otherwise not have found or to seek help in the library because he/she saw us pop up on their social media feed, then that is a job well done.

See this link for my presentation http://prezi.com/vpzaqq4g4mpe/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share

Advertisements

August Update

I am trying to get the most out of the time I have left as a graduate trainee because it is ever so quickly coming to an end. I only have 4 full weeks left! This is both exciting and distressing at the same time. Exciting because I am starting a new course and I have a new job (more on that later) but also distressing because I know the next few years are going to be hard work and I have to leave behind all of the lovely people I’ve met at the JBP library.


I’ve had the opportunity to do some really interesting things over the last few weeks which have allowed me to continue to learn new skills and gain some valuable insights and experiences. What follows is a whistle-stop tour of August.

  • We spend an entire day sorting out around 10 large boxes full of journals and pamphlets for the Commonweal collection. We sorted each box into alphabetical order across the floor and when we could no longer see the floor, we put the papers into alphabetical piles. We did this around 5 or 6 times, interfiling the papers into their correct piles. We then packed them into boxes to be catalogued at a later date. We did an amazing job! So proud of ourselves for getting it all done in the time we had, it flexed my brain muscles and we had fun. All in a day’s work ey.
When I first entered the room and saw this sight I cried a little inside… crying with excitement of course!

When I first entered the room and saw this sight I cried a little inside… crying with excitement of course!

Goodies like this... Librarians for Peace!

Boxes full of goodies.

Goodies like this. Librarians for Social Change!

Goodies like this. Librarians for Social Change!

  • The library is recruiting their next batch of Student Learning Champions. They are University of Bradford students who work in the library shelving and assisting users with basic IT and reader enquiries. Part of the interview process is to complete a task and a colleague and I have been managing this task. It’s been a really good experience because I’ve been in their positions just recently and interviews can be a nerve-wracking experience. It’s very strange to be on the flipside of the interview process. Jawad and I have tried to make them feel as comfortable as possible and make sure they understood what they needed to do. We then figured out a way to assess their work and reset the task as quickly as possible. I think we make a cracking team.
  • The library has an hour set aside each week for staff training and this week we learnt how to deal with a wet books disaster. This was great for me as it was reiterating what I learnt a few months ago at the RRN Kit Training Day and I was happy that I had remembered a lot of what said. You need to move quickly, be aware of your surroundings, put health and safety first, assess the damage and contain the leak. Triage the damaged books and if there is not a professional librarian on site, you need to make a decision on what should be kept as drying out wet books is a very time intensive activity. Purchasing new copies might be the better option. In a recent emergency at JBP it took an entire week to dry out just 50 books.
Trying to heal the books (discards)

Trying to heal the books (discards)

20150820_095140

Sorry sight but it can happen. Be prepared!


  • I was able to help out with some library inductions for the first time! I wasn’t able to help out with these at the start of the academic year because I started in December. With a special interest in the experiences of international students and being a temporary member of the international library group, it was really good to be able to help out with the inductions for international students. We gave them a brief introduction on how to use the library catalogue to search for books and journals then we gave them a tour of the library. This was also my first library tour! I will be assisting with some more for general library induction tours before I leave I think which I am looking forward to. I like being a tour guide.
  • The VC came to visit the library for his annual departmental visit and this was really interesting. The Library and IT Services demonstrated some of the projects they have been working on this year. These included short presentations on the library’s new reading list software, creating better WIFI connectivity across campus, how the library supports researchers and streamlining the referencing styles used in the university. He couldn’t believe how many referencing styles are actually out there! The VC seemed impressed and did not hold back with his questions. It is clear that there is some excellent work going on in this department and it is great to be able to showcase that the senior members of staff in the university.

Finally, I have a new job! I am so relieved because I was really worrying about what was going to happen in September. I had to find a job to fund my studies but I had to find a job that would work around my studies as well. It was important to find a position in a library because I want to be able to put the theory into practice and gain more work experience. I have been very lucky as I have got a job at a 6th Form College in Manchester as a part-time learning facilitator in the library. For the interview I had to do a presentation and I used Prezi for the first time and it went really well! The role will be varied and will involve supporting users in the retrieval and use of resources, planning and delivering inductions and study skills sessions, liaising with departments to develop collections and much more. I am really happy to be working with young people and supporting them in the college education.

This graduate traineeship role has developed my skills and confidence in more ways than I initially thought and I am so grateful. I didn’t have enough time in the interview to talk about all of the things I’ve done! It has opened up so many opportunities and has laid the foundations of my career. I’ve had so much support and encouragement from everyone and I am really not sure where I’d be today had I not applied.

I can tell it's going to be an emotional goodbye... 

I can tell it’s going to be an emotional goodbye… https://www.flickr.com/photos/jenosaur/

Adventures

My line manger and I went on a little adventure today.

Image: Flickr – Hrund Thorsdottir http://bit.ly/1E8XLwg

Not that kind of adventure. More like…

minus the pretty rainbow... Image: Dave Brotherton, Flick http://bit.ly/1P75YHJ

minus the pretty rainbow…
Image: Dave Brotherton, Flick http://bit.ly/1P75YHJ

It was really fun and it got us out of the library for the afternoon. We did two trips to Leeds and back to rehome some duplicate books and journals from the Yorkshire Archaeological Society. Google Maps managed to get us there and back without incident… OK we did get a little lost but only for about 2 minutes while the bossy Google lady had a moment of confusion.

We packed probably about 40 boxes worth of stuff and it was a great workout for all involved. It was a joy to behold the archaeology librarian’s excitment. I also felt very happy myself about adopting all these lovely new things for the library. It’s safe to say, the archaeology librarian’s books are the prettiest in all of the J.B. Priestley library land (excluding Special Collections of course).

It was really good to be involved in the rehoming of books and journals and it made me think about all of the books and the written material that throughout history didn’t manage to get rehomed, was thrown away or destroyed and it made me a little bit sad.

Flickr: Kristina Alexanderson http://bit.ly/1nV98U7

Flickr: Kristina Alexanderson http://bit.ly/1nV98U7

But then I remembered how awesome libraries and archives are and especially The British Library; you rock!

RRN Emergency Kit Training Day 9th June

Yesterday I attended the Rapid Response Network familiarisation and training day in Saltaire with two colleagues from the library and I had a great day. It was lovely to get out of Bradford and visit sunny Saltaire and we were a little bit too impressed with the fancy trains running out of Bradford Forster Square station. We’re used to travelling on trains that have come straight out of the 1980s. However we weren’t on a trainspotting day out so we quickly curbed our excitement.

The purpose of the day was to familiarise ourselves with the emergency kit provided by the Rapid Response Network in the event of an emergency. (http://www.rapidresponsenetwork.org.uk/index.htm )

The RRN is a network of heritage organisations with collections in the region providing information and resources which aim to improve preparedness and emergency planning in the archives/ libraries/ museums sector. For a modest subscription fee they provide training opportunities and access to emergency disaster equipment which would be absolutely invaluable if a disaster occurred in your organisation. They also have a network of people who can be called upon to assist if the worst did happen.

The range of equipment you would probably need should you be hit by a fire or a flood is massive. In order to be safe and to make sure the collections can be salvaged and removed safely, you need boxes and boxes of equipment ranging from standard health and safety equipment such as gloves, waterproofs, dust masks, hi-vis vests, wellies, helmets etc to salvage equipment; polythene sheets, plastic crates, bubblewrap, blotting paper, paper towels, freezer bags, trolleys, heavy duty plastic, tools, all of which would cost a fortune should you not have access to them. There are other things in the equipment boxes which you might not immediately think about during an emergency such as clipboards, pens, headlamps and batteries! They can also offer free access to expensive but really useful in an emergency pieces of equipment such as a generator, a gazebo, water pumps and vacuums.

We were able to see a makeshift disaster site for ourselves and have a go at salvaging materials (no museum items were harmed during the making of this).

20150609_111144

Please excuse the terrible photography: Here we have our mini disaster which is a flooded area where a wide range of materials have been affected (magazines, books, photographs, costumes, rocks etc…)

We were split into 2 teams. One team were tasked with recovering the materials from the flood and dealing with the flood zone and the other team were attempting to treat and salvage the materials. The biggest problem I found was that it was so easy just to dive in (pun not intended) and start unpacking the materials. You feel a dire sense of urgency when what could possibly be an invalubale item has been damaged. Without the correct knowledge on how to deal with different types of materials such as textiles, books, photographs and paintings you could end up doing more harm than good. I would like to learn more on how to deal with individual materials because I had no prior experience in handling damaged photographs and costumes. You definitely need a plan in place before you do anything and take lots and lots of photographs! You need to triage the damaged stock and prioritise what you are going to save first and this requires excellent communication between all parties involved in the disaster response team. We noticed early on that the teams were working in isolation, we weren’t communicating with each other and we didn’t have a plan and this would not be helpful in an emergency. We thought this was possibly because these items were not part of our own collections and we didn’t fully understand what we were working with therefore we were unable to fully prioritise our workload.

20150609_122253

Here are our attempts at salvaging a costume and spats. The costume would have definitelty required extensive restoration as black dye had bled all over it 😦 Horrible!

20150609_123935

Drying out our sodden photographs and grouping like with like. Never touch the front surface and don’t allow the surface to come into contact with another surface!

20150609_123946

Here is our wind tunnel for drying out wet books – thanks Martin and Katherine!

The crucial bits of information I took away with me were;

  1. Do not panic and don’t rush into it – if your collection has been flooded it’s already happened and damage will have already occurred and you do not want to make it worse by rushing into it without a plan.
  2. Have a plan and communicate – you need a proper emergency plan in place and you need someone who can communicate with all of the disaster team to make sure everyone is working together and knows what they are doing.

Finally, I hope that all of the disaster equipment stays firmly in the stores and that no one should need it because a disaster of any magnitude would be horrendous for all involved. However, it’s good practice to be prepared and knowing this network exists means that all of our collections can be a little bit safer.

GO TEAM ROYAL BLUE!

This will be a brief overview of the VC’s End of Year Celebration Tournament which myself and various other staff members from the university took part in. The tournament last year was a great success so once again staff and students were invited to participate in an afternoon of sports and games. Staff and students from across the university put teams together and prepared to represent their colour.

t-shirts

T-shirt for all of the various teams.

I jumped at the chance to be involved in the library and IT services team because it’s been years since I’ve played team sports of any kind and I loved sports days when I was at school (wasn’t a star sportswoman or anything but I always gave it a go). Plus I heard a rumour that there was a free BBQ which meant I was so in! There were loads of people involved and the build up to the day had hashtags flying all over campus supporting the various teams and creating some friendly competition. We were Team Royal Blue and we had some have some fantastic support from the library and IT services cheerleaders. Members of staff who weren’t competing donned their royal blue finery and braved the cold to cheer us on.

It was great to get the whole team and our supporters together before the events started and here we are in all our glory.

Team RB

british_lib_royal_blue

We had support from far and wide! 

SC_royal_blue_

We also had the support of UoB Special Collections! 

Amy

Myself and other team members prepared ourselves with war paint and pretty blue ribbons and that was all we needed because our physical prowess would speak for itself out in the field/ on the court… We participated in different games with a mish mash of students/ staff in each event. Games included rounders, swimming, rowing, football, wheelchair rugby, sitting volleyball, squash (we had a master squash player, it was epic), darts, climbing and tug of war. We did exceptionally well in squash, climbing and rounders, secured a couple of draws here and there and suffered one or two defeats but we didn’t care, we celebrated when we lost – now that’s team spirit right there!

It was lovely to have some down time and silliness with staff and to interact with students outside of the professional setting after what has been a busy year for everyone. This has definitely been one of the highlights of my traineeship. Obviously not in terms of gaining valuable library experience but in terms of working in a university setting, with a huge staff and student body, getting involved and feeling like a valued member of #TeamBradford. And that is really what the day is all about. Getting staff and students to interact outside of the normal frameworks, creating interactions which will hopefully add to the student experience. If you feel that the staff and the support networks in place are made up of “normal” people that that are willing to publicly humiliate themselves attempting to play sports, it is so much easier to ask them for help. The best thing was celebrating the fact that the students have made it to the end of the academic year. Because that is ultimately why we are all here, to help and support students through their academic careers and to share in their celebrations is a great way for all to end the year.

Below you can see our team captains flexing before their epic climbing attemps.

20150519_125124

 Here is the team playing wheelchair rugby which is so much fun!

DSC_0088

And here we are trying our best to win tug of war – I loved it even though I wasn’t very good at it 😀
DSC_0093

We came a triumphant fifth which we were all super impressed with! It was a great day, we all had fun and I am very thankful that I could be involved. GO TEAM BRADFORD and good luck to all of our students!

teambradford

Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘let’s party!’

As I sit here typing I am blessed with the beauty of spring right outside my window. Spring is here which means summer is on its way which in turns means my graduate traineeship is a few months away from ending. Term has officially ended and we have entered into the library summer vacation period. Bye bye bustling, noisy library, hello silent, tranquil library! Oh wait, isn’t that how a library is supposed to be..? The quiet was nice for about 2 days but now I am kind of missing the students… Or maybe I am just all too aware that the arrival of summer means that I too will soon be departing. Heading off to University and to the wonderful land of jobhuntingsville (it’s a real place, honest).

Summer signifies a big change in my traineeship and working routine. My rotations in the library have finished having spent time with the subject librarians, systems, acquisitions, special collections and customer services. I will no longer be working regularly with the customer services team on the front/ welcome desk and my enquiry desk duties will be limited. I have really enjoyed working with our users on the front line and my confidence in my ability to help library users has increased massively. But the best thing is that I really like doing it. It is stressful and demanding in all the right ways. You are busy and challenged into learning new things everyday with every different enquiry you come across (apart from laptop loans). I really feel like I am part of the team and it makes me sad to think that I am only a temporary member. It will be good to go back to certain departments in the library where my time was quite limited such as special collections, classification and academic support. I am especially looking forward to helping out with the pre-sessional international students. We will be presenting them with our new edition of the Library Language booklet which I’ve had the pleasure of working on.

My big job over the summer is my GT project which is what I am working on at the moment. I am just researching the literature on my prospective topic to see if it is a viable idea. Once I have a plan in place, I will blog about it. I am very slowly getting back into the swing of academic work and reading but it is harder than I thought it would be. It has been 2 years since I completed my dissertation and I still don’t think I am over that experience… Just kidding, I actually found the process quite enjoyable and was a little bit sad when it was over. This project is difference because I want to make a valuable contribution to the J.B. Priestley Library (not that I didn’t want to make a valuable contribution to WWII British History). My predecessors all did some fantastic projects for the library; one GT’s project provided the idea for a paper which was then published in a scholarly journal. If my project and suggestions could be used to improve the services we offer at JB that would be the best possible end to my traineeship.

Teachin’

I am pretty sure that I mentioned this briefly several blog posts ago but I am going to give an overview of the experience I’ve had helping Kirsty with her foundation engineering students. It has been by far the best thing I have been involved during my time as the grad trainee (so far anyway).

The foundation engineering course recently reshuffled the course content and the multidisciplinary project was scrapped and had to be replaced. This was replaced with a mini presentation project which was set by the librarian for engineering and the tutor. Kirsty and I ran a session with all of the students where we set them their assignment and gave them advice on how to use the library. We also had a session with the whole group where we advised them about using different types of sources in their work. Together we created the Padlet which I posted on here. It included descriptions of source types e.g. what is an academic journal and why it is important to assess the sources you are using for credibility and usefulness.

It was really good to be involved with setting the project and to see it through to the end. The best part was actually being able to sit in whilst the students delivered their presentations and assess their work. It was only a few years ago that I was in the same position as them; stood in a lecture theatre presenting my work, absolutely terrified. Presentations used to really bother me! It is a daunting task to stand in front of a room full of people and speak to them all, knowing you are being assessed and judged. The majority of the students did it very well but overall they are certain key skills which on the whole need could be improved. 

Quite a few students read from the presentation slides and their notes. This always seems like the best thing to do when you are nervous about presenting. The slides should be there to back up what you are saying and give the audience something interesting to look at/ read. It is very difficult to remain engaged when someone is reading at you. If you do need to remind yourself of the information prompt cards and notes are fine but try to use them as prompts and avoid reading straight off the page. It is the little things that count, say good morning, introduce yourself and look at the audience and talk to us. We really do appreciate it and this will be reflected in the marks!

General feedback regarding the content was that they over complicated it a little. A great thing to do when presenting is to simplify the information and assume the audience doesn’t know what you are talking about (because we didn’t). This shows that you have fully understood your topic and have learnt the information rather than simply repeating what you have read.

Some of the students had a go at referencing and this made Kirsty and me unbelievably happy! We had to control our excitement when we saw a citation because most of them hadn’t fully grasped what we asked them to do. We asked them to find 3 different sources, explain why they had used them and reference them. Most of them simply answered their questions with information more or less copied from a textbook, one of the textbooks being a very out of date 1980 publication. It is easy to forget that this kind of work is new to them and it is easy for them to think that because it is in the library, it must be good. And this is why they need our help!

When I was a student it was assumed that we were skilled in finding and analysing information. Having studied history at A Level I was relatively aware of the importance of source analysis as this was one of the exams on the course. However, once you are at University it seemed that we were expected to understand this and luckily for me I did understand it. It should be a core part of the degree course because it is a skill that is easily overlooked. This is demonstrated by the 3rd year students who come to the counter unable to use the library catalogue. I only used journal articles because I was told to do so and because referencing them meant better marks. No one ever really explained to us why we should have been using them.  

Kirsty and I have both learnt a lot from this project and we have used our experience to revise the Project Outline and the marking criteria (ENG0304L Mini Project Presentations (2)) to focus in equal parts on information literacy, content knowledge and presentation skills. We need to see evidence of source analysis and an appreciation for different source materials. Using 3 different websites neglects all of the other information that is out there. This is a core skill that should be learnt in the foundation/ first year at university and I think librarians are the best people for the job. Compared to the module leader we were assessing the presentations from a completely different angle. He was focusing on the content and subject knowledge whereas we were looking at their ability to find and cite relevant information.

We have put together a project pack which has been given to the tutor and the department. He is retiring soon but was very impressed with the work we did with the students and appreciates the importance of the assignment in teaching them how to use the best sources in their work. He definitely wants this assessment to be on the module next year and so do we. Now we have have revised the project and made it a lot clearer what they need to, they can really learn a lot from it and I believe it will teach them lifelong skills that will put them in good standing should they enroll on the full degree course. 

Updates and stuff…

I have just finished my training within the acquisitions department and it went by very quickly and somewhat over my head. They have a very complicated job in there and crunching numbers all day is actually very hard. I have realised I have a very limited attention span and I commend them for what they do in there. I get really tired looking at the computer screen and it makes my eyes and head hurt even when taking regular screen breaks. I have decided for my own benefit and if this is okay with the acquisitions manager, to create a book journey/ book flow chart in the summer. I am going to accompany one lucky title on its journey through acquisitions and onto our shelves. By doing this I will hopefully develop a clear understanding of the book ordering and acquisitioning process.

I have recently undertaken some training in Minute Taking and I am trying my hand at it. Safe to say I am not that great at it yet but I think it is something you can only become good at if you actually do it. I have taken two sets of minutes now, some from the International Group and some from the ASG meeting (Rebecca took proper minutes, I just took pretend ones and we are going to compare). I need to learn to write real words rather than indecipherable scrawl. That would be a good start I think.

A little bit off topic but I moved house! I have finally moved out of my bedroom with my boyfriend and we are pretending to be real adults in the real world. We have two bedrooms so one of them will be my little study zone when I can afford to buy a chair for the desk.

Look how cool our living room set up is!

IMG_20150307_202156

That’s all for now as I am off to try some classification.

I am starting my training in Special Collections next week which I am super looking forward to so I will write a post about that.x

11/02/15

I have had some really good experiences over the past few weeks which I unfortunately haven’t had the time to blog about. So this blog post will probably just be another list compromising of all the great things I get to do at work on a daily basis.

This is a point that I have probably made already and will probably keep on making (I hope I keep making it anyway), I really enjoy this job and I enjoy coming into work. Not everybody is lucky enough to feel that way and I definitely didn’t feel that way in my last job. This was nothing to do with the company as they were great, just the repetitiveness of the work really did get to me. I will admit, I don’t particularly enjoy getting up the morning, but once I get over the initial shock of the alarm, I am happy to get up and tootle on into work because I do love my job. I think this is the charm of a GT position as my role is so varied and interesting and everyone wants a piece of me… Sorry, I had to say it. I am in high demand and it is great as everybody’s roles vary greatly and I get to help out and experience a little slice of many different jobs. I still feel so lucky to have been given the opportunity of working within the library here at Bradford because I get learn something new from fantastic librarians every day. I will stop being super gushy now.

I think I have finally got to grips with my calendar (I can keep on telling myself this)… I still get really panicky and scared when I get a clash but I needn’t worry as people generally don’t mind as long as I am not double booking myself left, right and centre. Look how busy it is, it’s great. I would be lost without it.

Calendar

Amy's_Padlet

I am currently not savvy enough to figure out how to install the plugins to connect WordPress with Padlet so a picture will have to do. This is the padlet I made during a teaching session I was helping with yesterday. It was for foundation engineering students who were all lovely and mostly very engaged with what we were doing. Kirsty did a fantastic lecture on the library resources they should be using and she did a demo on how to access them. She had them ‘saying what they saw’ in order to get them to familiarise themselves with individual databases and libraries and gave prizes to whoever could guess the answer first. I have been helping out a lot with teaching sessions over the past few weeks and it has been great. I’ve entered the sessions terrified feeling like I am going to be of little help to anyone but I’ve left the sessions feeling a lot more confident about the knowledge I have. I know more that I think and even if I don’t know the answer I can sit down with the person and we can figure it out together (or I can ask the experts). It is so strange being summoned by a hand in the air and a ‘Miss’. I don’t think I will ever get used to that.

The engineering students have been set a project where they must find 3 different sources and investigate the implications of spark ignition engines and present their findings. I am really excited as I will hopefully be going along with Kirsty to watch them present. It was a good session and it really highlights how important Kirsty’s job is because one student did not know the different between a newspaper article and a journal. When I was a student I felt that the lecturers did not have the time to teach us how to use the library and how to find information and the teaching sessions I am sitting in on prove that people really do need the support.

I have also been helping out with Anne’s teaching sessions and Donna’s Health Studies sessions where she has been giving inductions on the library services. I missed the start of the academic year therefore I missed the library inductions so her sessions are very helpful to me. Donna is fantastic at giving a clear demonstration on what is on offer and how to access it and I can learn a lot from her. I feel I am getting better with the databases in that area as I have been helping people to search for information and getting some decent enough results. I still have a lot of learning to do though and I can only do that through practising.

I am off to Manchester today to have a nosy at what their Library and Information Management MA course has to offer. MMU will be a back up option for me as I am hoping to attend the University of Sheffield. I am in the midst of applying at the moment and I will be attending their open day in a few weeks. Sheffield are actually having a full open/ taster day for the course, whereas MMU are hosting a postgraduate fair with course stands and a 30 minute talk on the course. So this in itself says a lot about the course to me. I will check it out today and report back.

Amy