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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




Visit to Manchester Central Library 1st July 2014

The CILIP ARLG NW group enjoyed a fascinating and informative tour of the newly refurbished Manchester Central Library following the Group’s AGM on Tuesday 1 July.

Chief Librarian Neil McInnes not only showed a fascinated group of FE/HE librarians around the building but also gave a detailed account of why the Library was refurbished including some alarming details about a fire and the resulting risk assessment! Plus the features, content and atmosphere they have tried to create been based on staff and customer feedback, observations of how people use their public library and taking into account new technologies on offer.  This included: Meeting room

  • A range of seating and working areas throughout the Library, for both individual and collaborative work/discussion.
  • Re-use and opening up of previously out of bounds rooms and areas for multi use e.g. the Chief Librarian’s Office.
  • Innovative use of the Manchester theme in areas of the library e.g. the rolling shelves in the Reference section, bearing images of well known Mancunions.
  • Opening up a wealth of archive materials, making them interactive and to stimulate interest in Manchester, linking with other local institutions too.
  • Linking with the BFI to provide pods for accessing its archive here in Manchester.
  • Creating a lighter, brighter and more open building for public access everywhere.
  • Creating spaces which reference areas of the city, such as the Northern Quarter.
  • Introducing non-traditional technologies into the Library such as the mixing desks and instruments in the Henry Watson Music Library.
  • An interactive children’s library area.

He was also careful to point out how the Library still has some of its distinctive original feature still intact and how they complement the modern additions:shakespear window

  • The beautiful Shakespeare stained glass window is now the centre piece of the entrance area.
  • The circular reading room is restored to its original glory and remains an enduring (and still quiet) feature of this famous building.
  • Archival materials are now safely stored and preserved in fit for purpose storage and can be accessed more readily.
  • Local information is in a more prominent setting on the ground floor, opening this area up.
  • The cafe is located in the middle of the ground floor so that users can explore resources with a coffee and cake! Another new cafe will open in the Town hall extension area once the building and tram works outside are completed.

There were some interesting approaches to the use of the library and staffing.

  • The reading room is unstaffed, if users need assistance they need to leave the reading room and find a staffed desk.  This maintains the quiet in the reading room and they find that it polices itself very well.
  • Not all enquiry desks are staffed all the time, staff are identifiable by lanyards and may staff different areas depending on demand.
  • Security staff do patrol the library, but it’s subtle –  until they are needed!

The Library has had 300,000 visitors through the doors since it reopened this year,  staff are still keeping an eye on how things are working and how people are using the spaces , with an eye on the future.

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