Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Library Day in the Life Day 2

Day 2
Opened the Library - always do this on a Tuesday as normal staff member who has this task starts late today. Then spend time resolving how to move forward with mounting two special paintings in the Library this summer. Sprint from my office to the issue desk downstairs and report that sick member of staff is returning today. Yay! That means time at my desk today. Thinks to self - will catalogue DVDs and ASNC books today- maybe.

A little bit of chasing for an amazing new book coming out in July this year. Yep - it's the one and only 'Personalised services' book that every single man, woman and child will be out of their seats to buy. Co-editor Andy Priestner has had the easy bit - writing rather good prose - whilst yours truly runs (metaphorically) around the countryside dealing with figures that don't quite work, and tracking down contributor forms that she has put in a 'safe place'.

Sit on enquiry desk in main library space today, love being asked questions there but fear the frowns at the cataloguing module whilst there may put people off. Practises smiling at the bib record for a new DVD. Deal with an elusive reference for academic plus trialling the teaching session with resources to make sure it all works. Not happy that MLA International Bibliography results won't download speedily into Zotero so work-around for that section of the session required.

10.15 - all the regular staff now in so do the rounds to see how the absent staff from yesterday are and get some updates. Volunteer also in today for some cataloguing. All quiet on the Western front.

Long meeting with IT specialist and Computer Officer - now back to the lists of most borrowed to highlight some texts for ebook purchases. Partial success at this.

Finish a long list of book orders for the Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic Library. This is a small library within our larger library, and I deal with all their orders, and subsequent cat and class etc. A few tricky ones that only an email to the Norwegian publisher will resolve.

In-between all this receive more emails than I can sensibly deal with, though I reply to quite a few. Save all the REF impact ones into a folder to look at later.

Ok - enough for today.

Library Day in the Life Day 1

Day 1

Don't ever tell me that our Library could do with fewer staff. One member off on a jolly stealing ideas from other libraries, one off sick, leaving the Librarian and two other members of staff for most of the day to keep things ticking along. Nice and easy? Oh no. Gamely volunteered to man the issue desk over lunch time, although had already spent an unusual several hours there earlier there in the morning. Fortunately savvy Assistant Librarian said would I like some help for the 1.00 rush. When he finally left for his lunch break at 1.15 (when to all intents and purposes the 'rush' was over) he remarked positively - 'I hope I don't find you submerged in books when I get back'. Charming, I thought. Well - the 1.00-2.00 deluge in Libraryland here at the English Faculty is something to behold. To say nothing of the 11-12.00 one. All those wonderful thoughts that I have about how every student will never leave the issue desk without a postive experience doesn't exactly work when you're the only one there. Interesting, I mused to myself later on when clearing the email inbox debris. Personalised service?? Shelving today as well as the trolleys fill up on a regular basis. Checked the stats to see what was happening on returns. Only 600 books to put back on the shelves. Felt like 1,000. BUT thank heavens that at least we have self-issue.

Inbox also suffering from deluge today as academic sends on approx 70 emails from faithful followers of their regular slot on a radio programme. Emails describe how much impact the programme has on them. REF impact case study work in case you haven't guessed. Impressive content in the emails, just now need to store and summarise and push the case study along a little further.

Hmm- anything else? Oh yes - exchange with furniture designer on new library display gallery, developed the online literature timelime line a little (quite excited with tiki-toki), put together a teaching programme for a college fresher group for bibliographical research - to populate said timeline. And the weekly chore of sorting out the payroll for the weekly paid staff (approx. 8 wonderful invigilator staff who keep the library manned evenings, Saturdays and Sundays).

No time for pics today.
Early evening check of email at home reveals student having problems with access to CamTools. Check and sort problem before rushing out for a sewing class.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

The Librarian's New Year Goodie Bag

Happy New Year!

I'm impressed at all the good stuff around at the moment! Loads of nice new resources out there for you all.
Below - just a taster of some things to explore:

If you have had one particular shiny new Xmas present and are looking for apps to download for either iPhone or iPad, can I recommend for starters:

1. First Folio of Shakespeare available as an ebook

2. The Waste Land app available for iPad

3. Dickens Dark London by the Museum of London - for iPhone or iPad

4. British Library - constantly providing more e-treasures all the time e.g. for a full list:

(BTW the Faculty Library is considering purchasing several iPad 3s later this year for lending to students - watch this space. Feel free to comment below...)

Some other nice resources to explore:

1. Connected Histories website - cross search 1500-1900 up to 15 historic collections (not all free just to warn you, but some good stuff all the same) http://www.connectedhistories.org/

2. Library of Congress National Jukebox - try the recordings for 'New Year's Day' - and so much more. But try the UK's National Sound archive as well

3. Literature Compass - an online only journal from Wiley, very recently purchased. The website claims ''Literature Compass has much broader horizons: a state-of-the-art site with the section editors providing expert coverage of every period,'' or look in the UL's A-Z list of journals for the link.

4. The British Newspaper Archive - search for free

5. The TLS Archive is now available in Cambridge up to 2006! Much improved access!

6. Oh - and go on - have a look at the Faculty Library's subject guides - you can add comments there, make suggestions etc etc.

7. An interesting site I've just heard of - AWE - a guide to academic writing in English from Hull, might be useful. It's not prescriptive.

8. Don't forget that we now have ARTstor in Cambridge - excellent set of images for educational use.

Not forgetting that this year is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens. There is a celebration website. Famous manuscripts can be seen online on the V& A website along with other research resources. The Museum of London is hosting an exhibition. On a much smaller scale watch for the opening of the new display gallery in the Faculty Library which will feature a Dickens exhibition.

A good youtube video for the procrastinators amongst you......The Joy of Books

FINALLY - want to get your fines under control?

Did you know that you can set up RSS feeds for books you have out and when they are due back at most of the libraries in Cambridge? Have a look at this webpage for instruction on setting up a feed. I have it set up to go to my Google calendar (which is the best thing ever invented for keeping my life together) and it works really well.