Jaqueline Ponka, our ARLG NW Committee Treasurer and the Head of Libraries at Holy Cross College and University Centre in Bury, has agreed to share her experience of a day in the first week back of the new academic year.
This is the first week of teaching time in a new year so we welcome returning students and lots of new, nervous level 2 and level 3 students. Today I am updating the induction presentation that each new student will see in tutorial next week. Photos from the induction day, with our theme of journeying, are included and the script updated from last year. We have made a few changes to numbers of loans and the content of our on-line provision so all these slides need the narration re-recorded.
Then I am working on the library desk for the rest of the morning and most of my time is spent out in the library talking to students. Coming from a school environment most students are not entirely sure what they are allowed to do in our library and so they need a lot of guidance in when and how they can use the study facilities. We are really busy and it is enjoyable to be talking to the new students and getting reacquainted with upper sixth. Queries can range from how to print a timetable, where am I allowed to sit, to in depth queries about resources to use for an EPQ topic. I also proofread a statement that a student is putting together for her application to a university outreach programme.
In the afternoon I have an hour in the office which gives me time to put together a timetable for the Teaching and Learning Meetings during the year, where I and the librarian meet formally with the staff of each subject area. These are really important for ensuring that we are fully aware of the curriculum needs of staff and students and for us to demonstrate our resources, particularly to new staff. This gets sent out with an explanation for new staff about the importance of them attending these meetings. The EPQ tutor arrives to discuss the talk I am going to give to the teachers supervising the projects as well as the research skills sessions for the students. Meanwhile one of our university partners has sent a number of scans that need to be uploaded to our VLE for the undergraduates to access and another has sent the updated slides for their students’ inductions later this month.
Back on the desk for the last part of the day I also manage to order some books to support Libraries Week which has a theme of well-being and libraries supporting good mental health.
At the end of my day I attend a pastoral meeting for the new progress tutors where I am able to talk about the library, the induction, and invite them to bring their tutor groups up to the library for a visit.
It’s been a busy day and I’m ready for home.
Like Jacqueline’s day and would like to share your own? Get in touch with the ARLG NW committee by commenting on this post or tweet us @ARLGNW
As we’ve recently had a few role switches in the committee, we thought we’d take this opportunity to let you know of the changes (shown below). Due to these role switches, we are also welcoming new members and in particular we’re looking for a student rep. If you’d like to get involved please contact the ARLG NW committee by commenting on this post or tweet us @ARLGNW
Dawn Grundy – Acting Chair Annette Ramsden – Acting Secretary
Jacqueline Ponka – Treasurer John Hilton – Publicity
Anna Theis – Media Gemma Jones – Blog
Louise Minta – Web Editor
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
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: firstname.lastname@example.org by June 11th 2018 to avoid disappointment.
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.
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: email@example.com
Deadline for bookings is Monday 11th June.
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
Details of our event and how to book are available here:
Look forward to seeing you there!
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.
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.
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.
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.