Blog Archives

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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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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