Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Library Day in the Life: day three

My day begins much the same as yesterday; arrive at about 8.20am and check my emails, before heading upstairs to check that everything is switched on and working before we open. I then have a look at the session plan for the class that a colleague and I are teaching on Friday – my first teaching session in this job – and work out how we might divide it between us, before reading the inclusive teaching checklist which has recently been circulated, which sets out how we should ensure that students with access requirements are able to attend and participate in classes.

I then have another look at the agenda for the subject programme meeting this afternoon, and ensure that I am prepared to both demonstrate Box of Broadcasts, or to talk about it if for any reason I don’t get to do a demo. Next, I flick through the two most recent issues of Viewfinder, the journal of the British Universities Film and Video Council, which are always passed to me before going on the shelves, so that I can look to see if it contains anything useful relating to the AV aspects of my role. In one of the issues, there is an article about copyright which directs me to a website which might be useful in the near future when we look at creating an AV copyright guide, one of the things on my AV to-do list. 

I have a quick coffee break, then look at the list of journals tasks that I and my journals colleague identified in a meeting last week as needing to be done soon. I’ve already completed a couple of them, and I start on the others. They’re mainly concerning access for titles for which we have a new electronic subscription this year (calendar year, not academic year – most of our subscriptions start in January), and queries about missing issues and cancellations. Sorting out electronic access to journals can involve several different things; I won’t list them all, but today I supply our IP address range to one publisher, and check the licence agreement for another to ensure that we can allow students on all of our campuses to access the title. I also solve some of the renewal/cancellation mysteries, by checking our catalogue records, our orders, our renewals spreadsheet and invoices. 

I’m on the enquiry desk from 11am until 1pm. It’s unusually quiet for this time of day, and I only deal with a few enquiries; renewing books over the phone, lending headphones for the computers, and trying to help a student find a book that they want for personal interest (we don’t have it, but I suggest the public library!). In between these queries, I continue some of the journals work I started before I came on the desk, and then do some book classifying; a load of books needed urgently for a new module in my subject this semester have just arrived. 

After lunch, most of my afternoon is spent at the subject programme meeting I’ve been preparing for. Most of the meeting is spent on agenda items relating to module design and teaching etc., which are not directly relevant to me, but which provide good context for my subject liaison work. I’m glad that I prepared to speak about Box of Broadcasts without having it up on a screen, as due to various pieces of malfunctioning AV equipment, I’m not able to demo it. It’s actually really difficult to talk about it without being able to show it! I’m not sure I do a great job, but the members of staff who came to a demo in the library a couple of weeks ago enthuse about it to their colleagues, and, even though I struggle to explain some aspects without being able to demonstrate, everyone seems really interested; they ask lots of questions, and I’m asked to email them all with a link when it launches next week. I encourage them to have a look at it when it’s available, and urge them to email me with any questions. I think my first attendance at a programme meeting is successful!
By the time I get back to my desk, there’s not much of the day left. There are quite a few emails sitting in my inbox, so I catch up with those. One of them is asking me to devise a journals-related contribution to a forthcoming display; I do some preliminary work on this, before it’s 5pm, and time to go home.

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