A Day in the life of … a Subject Support Librarian

Up next in our ‘Day in the Life of’ series is Dawn Grundy, the CILIP NW ARLG Secretary and Support Librarian for Health & Human Sciences at the University of Bolton.

Dawn’s Day:

I usually start around 8am but am in a little earlier today, as I have packed out teaching schedule this morning and want to do some last minute preparation. A priority is to check my emails in case there are any last minute room changes, as we deliver all our user education in the classrooms rather than the library. Then I collate my leaflets and note which group I am seeing and when and where.

Dawn blog 1

Before I set off to my classes, I send an email to a colleague who works at the Public Library. The University of Bolton Library is part of BHIP (Bolton Health Information Partnership) and the group had a meeting on Monday and one of my actions was to share a link to a Mindfulness section in LEAP Online which the may promote as part of Health Information Week.

From 9am until lunch, I spend the morning conducting Library Inductions and Tours for our new cohorts of Trainee Nursing Associates. As they are taught in three separate groups, this takes up the whole morning.

Dawn blog 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At lunchtime, I grab a quick sandwich and catch up with my emails. I am currently undertaking the CILIP HEE Leadership course, and as part of that am working within a project group. There are emails pinging about between us, as we are looking at the results of a nationwide survey we have just done. The group is based all over the country so 95% of our conversations are done via email or web chat. I feedback and then go outside for a bit of fresh air!

Dawn Grundy blog

Dawn standing next to a lovely ‘Royal Wedding’ themed display in the University of Bolton Library

Post lunch, something a little unusual as there is a book launch and talk happening here at the University. The talk is by Martin Guha, Formerly Librarian at the Institute of Psychiatry London. “What are Librarians for? Some personal reminiscences”.

Martin has contributed a chapter to “The Changing Nature of Happiness: An in-depth study of a town in North West England 1938-2016.” The book has been edited by Sandie Mc Hugh, an Honorary Research Fellow here at the University.

During the preface to the talk Professor Jerome Carson mentions that we have recently won a Digital Literacy National Award for LEAP Online, so I am thrilled to have caught a mention of our success!

Martin also mentions they are looking for new contributors to the journal Reference Reviews, I make a note to mention this to colleagues in the sector as appropriate.  Then it’s back to the office to check my email again and also prepare for a meeting in the morning. I am mentoring a colleague for HEA Fellowship and he is submitting this week and I read over the paperwork in advance.

A slightly more unusual day with the book launch but a typical working day in the sense of the majority of my day being involved in teaching and liaison.

Liked Dawn’s day and want to contribute your own?  Contact the ARLG NW committee by commenting on this post or tweet us @ARLGNW

 

 

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ARLGNW Peoples History Museum Trip

We’ve still got some places available for next month’s trip to the Peoples History Museum on Monday 25th between 3-5pm, if you’d like to come along to this FREE event contact Jacqueline Ponka via email: jpo@holycross.ac.uk   by June 11th 2018 to avoid disappointment.

 

 

 

We need your help!

CILIP ARLG North West is currently looking for feedback from its members to inform future planning of events. We would be really grateful if you would spend 5 minutes completing our survey.

As a thank you, you will be entered into a prize draw for the chance to win a free place at our next paid-for event! The survey will run until Tuesday 8th May.

Upcoming Event: CILIP ARLG NW Visit to the People’s History Museum

CILIP ARLG NW Visit to the Peoples History Museum.

Monday 25th June 2018, 3-5pm.

2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the Representation of the People Act and CILIP ARLG NW have arranged a visit to the Peoples History Museum [http://www.phm.org.uk/] to celebrate this.

The visit will encompass opportunities for a tour of the main galleries and the Represent! Voices 100 Years On Exhibition which starts in June 2018.

Represent! Voices 100 Years On reflects on those who campaigned for better representation; most famously the suffragists and the militant suffragettes.  The recently acquired Manchester suffragette banner will be displayed for the first time alongside sashes, brooches, photographs and cartoons, helping to paint a picture of what representation meant in 1918.

For more information see here: http://www.phm.org.uk/whatson/represent-voices-100-years-on/

The visit also includes an introduction to the Peoples History Museum archives by one of the team.

The event is free but places are strictly limited, if you would like to book a place please contact Jacqueline Ponka by email: jpo@holycross.ac.uk

Deadline for bookings is Monday 11th June.

A day in the life of… a Teaching and Learning Assistant

Anna Theis

Anna posing on the atrium at the University of Manchester

 

It has been a while since our last ‘’ day in the life’’ post, where we invited members of the ARLG NW Committee to reflect upon their different roles. To get back on track, we have drafted in brand new member, Anna Theis, to give us a quick peak into her day-to-day routine.

A day in the life of… Anna Theis

Teaching and Learning Assistant, University of Manchester Library.

 Thurs 15 March 2018

Today was a busy day!

09:00 – Start work

I’m facilitating two workshops today so I start my day by checking how many students have signed up and going over the workshop plans again so I’m fully prepared. The first workshop of the day is ‘Using websites and identifying bias.’ The workshop goes well, in this session students work together to come up with their own strategy for critically evaluating whether websites are suitable to use in their academic work – looking at themes such as reliability, credibility and objectivity.

11:30 – Back to the office

After the workshop I spend some time preparing for a tailored session on referencing for a group of first year Japanese Studies undergraduates which I’m due to deliver next week. As well the workshops on the My Learning Essentials Open Programme we also have an Embedded Programme which delivers focused support within the curriculum at the University of Manchester.

13:00 – Lunch

I meet my sister for lunch, she also works at the University of Manchester, I love our regular catch ups.

14:00 – Workshop number two

After lunch I facilitate my second workshop of the day, this one is my favourite one ever ‘Presentation skills: delivering your presentation with confidence.’ This is always a really fun session where I aim to create a relaxed and informal atmosphere where students can start to overcome their fears when it comes to presenting and it ends with presentation karaoke.

16:00 – Business Research Consultation

I finish the day shadowing a Business Research Consultation; I’m being trained up to support the Business Data Service at the University of Manchester Library. I meet a student who is looking for help finding lots of different financial and company data such as share price, supply chains, competitors. I ask him what he’s studying and he’s studying for a PhD in Computer Science, his research is on creating an artificial intelligence programme which could replace a stock broker!

If you, as an ARLG NW member, enjoyed Anna’s post and fancy contributing your own day, please get in touch with the committee by commenting on this post or tweeting us @ARLGNW

CILIP ARLG North West visit to Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. Thu, 27th Apr 2017 – 2:30pm

Details of our event and how to book are available here:

http://www.cilip.org.uk/academic-research-libraries-group/events/arlg-north-west-visit-liverpool-school-tropical-medicine

Look forward to seeing you there!

 

Event report: ARLG Conference 2016

Laura Williams was the winner of our bursary to attend the ARLG Conference 2016. She is currently Reading List and Collection Development Librarian at the University of Huddersfield. 

The conference theme was “Are you being served? Serving our learners in a changing climate” and was held at Aston University, Birmingham from 27-29 June. Here Laura reports on her experiences at the conference.

I was able to attend the ARLG16 Conference thanks to a bursary from ARLG North West, my first ARLG Conference and first ever ARLG event too.  The three day event was packed with excellent sessions. It would be a long read if I wrote about everything, so this conference report will pick out some of the key themes and main highlights.  I have created a Storify of tweets, featuring mainly my own tweets but also some from others, which provides an overview of the whole conference.

Overall Impressions

The conference was structured with morning and afternoon keynotes and then a variety of workshop sessions. There was a wide range of sessions to choose from in each time slot, meaning everyone had lots of choice about what to attend. I went to 9 different workshops, covering a range of topics from UX research, library spaces, customer engagement, and accessibility. Plus let’s not forget to mention the brilliant introduction to book folding from Cara Clarke and Fran Heap. Most of the sessions had a practical element to them which definitely enriched the learning experience. Practical workshops are not always easy in short 45 minute conference sessions however each group task or discussion was well planned and suitable for the timeframe. Getting to try a new technique or engage in a discussion in most sessions rather than watch a lengthy presentation was one of the best aspects of ARLG16.

ARLG Conference 2016 pic 1

Librarians attempt to journey map the process for doing the washing up during Susan Renshaw’s Customer Journey Mapping workshop (left); and a book folding display from Cara Clarke and Fran Heap (right).

 

Seven Deadly Sins of Librarianship: Jo Webb – Presentation Slides

Jo delivered a plenary talk focused our worst traits as a profession, the things that possibly hold us back from delivering the best services and achieving our full potential. Jo used the seven deadly sins as a framework for this talk, and explored the ways we are guilty of lust, gluttony, avarice, sloth, wrath and envy. Jo balanced her talk by looking at the seven heavenly virtues and we use these to underpin our professional practice.  This was an excellent talk because it held no qualms about admitting that we aren’t always the best we can be (demonstrating a virtue rather than a sin there!). At library conferences we often focus on celebrating positive achievements, talks are often an example of a ‘let’s all pat ourselves on the back’ attitude, rather than look an honest look at the problems we face. Jo presented a balanced view of what we do well and where we need to remember to not fall down, offering a refreshing look at the profession.

Customer Service Excellence: Neil Potentier – Presentation Slides

This keynote is one of my conference highlights; it was a fantastic insight into customer service excellence from a real life CSE assessor! I’ve not been involved in a CSE assessment myself so it was interesting to hear about working towards excellence from the other point of view.  Neil works with many different organisations, not just libraries, so brought an excellent external perspective to the conference. Every point Neil made was backed up by a story, illustrating the good and the bad when it comes to delivering customer service.  The talk emphasised how much we can learn from the customer service examples of other organisations.

ARLG Conference 2016 pic 2

A conference of hundreds of post-it notes; book hedgehogs, and sociable evenings in the conference hotel bar (where we all tried not to be too disappointed by the performance of the England football team). 

UX: Engaging and Involving Students through User Experience to inform library space design:  Sandra Reid and Tania Olsson – Presentation Slides

Quite a lot of the sessions I attended focused on using UX research methods to inform the design of library space.  Sandra Reid and Tania Olsson gave us an introduction to UX techniques, explaining some of the main methods and how these have been used at University of the Arts London. Methods shared included mapping, touchstone tours, love letters and reflective logs.  The practical element involved us working in groups to redesign the silent study area of the library, using data collected from focus groups and mapping to inform choices in space design.

“New Look?” Ensuring Leaner Needs are Met in Library Spaces: David Clover – Presentation Slides

Another enjoyable session about designing library spaces. First task was sharing ideas about methods for gathering user feedback before starting a library refurbishment project. Then we worked in groups to turn the feedback data into decisions.  Ideas for addressing the concerns of library users identified in feedback, and categorise as “how, now or wow”; How ideas are the big ideas which could be difficult to implement, now ideas are easy to implement, and the wow ideas are original but easy to implement small fixes.  Categorising our ideas in this way was a great method for organising initial ideas and thinking about how feasible a solution was.

A Personal Reflection

I wanted to attend ARLG16 to broaden my perspective on academic libraries, and learn more about what happens in other organisations. I’ve been working in HE for less than a year, after over 5 years working in the very niche world of media archives, as a result my knowledge and experience of the sector has many gaps. I’m also currently working on a very specific project so it was great to step away from all things reading list related and find out about other aspects of academic library work. I felt that for me personally at the moment, a conference like ARLG would offer a good solid academic library focus but still offer a wide range of insights. As funds and time for staff development are limited (and bursaries are scarce) I’m very grateful for the opportunity to attend a conference. If you can only attend one conference, it needs to be the right one for your professional development. I learnt a lot at ARLG16 and came away with lots of ideas to follow up on. Smaller focused conferences can deliver excellent value in the content of their programme, and that is exactly what ARLG16 delivered.  I came back raving about how brilliant the conference was to everyone in the office, and I definitely feel like I learnt lots of genuinely useful and practical things.

We’re really pleased that Laura enjoyed the conference and took away so much from her time there. She’s already disseminated her new skills by showing our committee member Michelle how to fold a book hedgehog! Watch this space for more bursary offers and announcements about the next ARLG Conference. 

 

Slides from Social media: Can you tell if it’s working yet?

On Friday 1st July we held our summer event, “Social media: Can you tell if it’s working yet?”. We really enjoyed the afternoon – thanks to everyone who attended.

As promised, please find below the slides from the afternoon. If you have any questions, please contact us by leaving a comment or tweeting us @ARLGNW.

Sarah Mallen and Michelle Bond – ARLG NW event slides July 2016 (PPT)

Tom Mason – ARLGNW Presentation 1.07 (PDF)

 

ARLG NW presents Social media: Can you tell if it’s working yet?

Date: Friday 1st July 2016, 1.30 (for a 1.45pm start) to 4.30pm

Location: Manchester Central Library

Event description:
ARLG NW are pleased to announce our summer event, “Social media: Can you tell if it’s working yet?”

So your service has started dabbling in social media, or you’ve been working on it for a while. But do you know if it’s working? Is it worth the time and effort you’re putting in? And do you know what your goals are? What’s the point of your social media presence? This afternoon event will address all these questions and more. This event is suitable for people at all stages of planning for their social media presence.

Outline of afternoon

1.30pm-1.45pm Arrival for 1.45pm start

1.45pm – 2.30pm  Experiences of social media, policy and practice

Sarah Mallen, Information & guidance coordinator at University of Manchester Careers Service & Michelle Bond, Faculty Librarian at Liverpool Hope University 

Sarah and Michelle will talk about their experiences of running social media accounts for their services, with a focus on process and why it’s important to get organised and set goals. They’ll consider important questions such as “what do you hope to achieve?” and “what messages do you want to get across?”

2.15pm – 3.00pm Tom Mason, Social Media Coordinator, Communications & Marketing, The University of Manchester

Tom will be talking about social media from a wider university perspective, covering areas such as which social media to use, analytics, and tips and tricks to encourage engagement.

3-3.15pm Refreshments

3.15pm-4.00pm Creating your social media framework / policy – activity

Working in small groups, attendees will have the opportunity to start work on their own social media framework or policy, specific to their institution. This is also an opportunity to exchange experiences with other attendees, and get support from Sarah, Michelle and Tom in creating your own policy.

4pm-4.30pm   Your experiences – Advice & questions from the floor

The final session is for attendees to share experiences with the wider group and ask any final questions of the presenters or other attendees. We’ll bring together the strands of the afternoon and try to create a master list of tips.

Booking information:

Cost?  £20 + VAT for non-members

£15 + VAT for CILIP members

£5 for students

To book your place, please email Annette Ramsden ARamsden@uclan.ac.uk with the following details:

Name:

Institution (if applicable)

CILIP membership number (if applicable)

Name and address for invoicing

Access or support requirement

Booking deadline: Friday 17th June 2016

CILIP’s Professional Knowledge and Skills Base (PKSB) – this event is linked to the following criteria:

  1. Customer focus, service design and marketing: 11.2 Communicating with stakeholders
  2. IT and communication: 12.4 Social Media and Collaborative Tools
  3. IT and communication: 12.5 Communication Skills

Day in the life …. Careers Information & Guidance Coordinator

Introducing a semi-regular series on our blog… “Day in the life”. We’ve invited ARLG NW committee members to tell you about their days to reflect the range of roles we represent, and hope you enjoy the results. If you, as an ARLG NW member, would like to contribute your own day, please get in touch with the committee by commenting on this post or tweeting us @ARLGNW

First up is Sarah Mallen, one of our Twitter managers and a Careers Information & Guidance Co-ordinator at the University of Manchester.

Sarah - info team.jpg

Sarah (on the left) and her team at Christmas.

Background

I work at a University in the Careers Service. My job title used to be Information Manager & when I started many years ago it was all about managing paper resources; thousands of employer brochures and application forms plus a large Careers Library.

As you can guess the internet changed all that, now all the employer information is online and my role is more about making online information accessible to students.  I manage the student facing website and a team of staff including information and advisory staff.

A typical day

There is no typical day, and that’s what I like about this job and why I have stayed in it for more than 15 years now.

The year is basically split into times when most of my day is spent talking to students and times when it’s quiet and I work on the website, publications and random other stuff. It’s February so it’s busy at times particularly in the afternoons and in-between lectures. Typical enquiries at this time of year range from helping students with getting started thinking about career options, help with interviews and assessment centres and students who have multiple job offers and need help deciding between them (lucky them).

Enquiries come by phone, email and in person, usually the best thing is for us to have a chat to determine what level of help is needed and then we can either help the student ourselves or book them an appointment. Most of our phone calls today seem to be student cancelling appointments at short notice – like the NHS, nonattendance is a big problem for us. Fairly typically one of our advising staff had a home emergency which could have meant cancelling all their appointments with no notice. Fortunately that was averted as it’s never a happy task as we don’t have spare staff to see students so they have to wait longer.

Today is our first live day trialling some live chat software, it’s a very soft launch while we get used to it, but it will be publicised for an event next week.  We are all on alert waiting for the ping that means someone is talking to us. We all got very excited when our first student asked a question!

It’s the start of our second semester and we only have a short window when students will be interested in Careers before its Easter and assignment deadlines then exams. We have lots of events and programmes that launch over the next week so there has been a lot of last minute web editing getting it all ready. Unfortunately changes to the website often mean changes to our publications, as I updated them all over the summer to make them disability compliant I have delegated the job this time.

In other news, I have also taken on responsibility for our staff website and am currently working on a short questionnaire to go out to staff to find out what they want from us and what format they want it in. I’m currently looking into costings for a kiosk so that students can check themselves in for appointments. Currently we use a PC near our desk but it would be much better near the entrance.  The biggest sticking point seems to be getting estates to come out and give me a quote for power and data!

Some days seem to consist of nothing but HR paperwork, timesheets and rotas, but generally I can decide what I want to do when around the enquiry work. It’s an interesting place to work if you like hearing people’s stories and helping them make sense of the world.

What would I save if there was a fire? (humans excepted)

The biscuit tin, I’m not sure the team could survive a fire without biscuits!

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