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Insider article – Celebrating libraries in a digital world!

Students and staff alike quite regularly ask if I enjoy sitting around and reading all day because that’s what they think my job mostly entails. I guess that’s the stereotypical version of a Library assistant; bespectacled, shushing everyone in sight and glaring at patrons over the top of the latest fiction book.

My love of books did draw me to the role, but being a Library assistant is so much more than just books, in the same way, that our Library is so much more than simply books despite our 39,000+ strong collection.

I have to be the knowledge-keeper of all things: where an item is located; how to login to the computers; how to remove this column from an excel worksheet or add that transition to a PowerPoint presentation. I need to know why this document won’t download from someone’s personal Gmail account, or where the items have disappeared to on their memory stick.

Want to know how the printer works? Come and see a Library assistant. I can show you how to set up your printing pin, how to scan documents in and send them to your computer, how to copy double-sided documents and scale up your A4 original to an A3 copy.

When you visit the Library, you might notice a Remembrance Day display, or a display about the Witches and Wizards of Fiction, or a Halloween display on the junior board incorporating EYFS (early years foundation studies) activities. We create those, too. All that information is researched, collated and put up in creative, colourful and eye-catching ways to bring memorable occasions to your attention.

Unsure of what books to use for your course? Check out one of our curriculum displays, or I can show you how to search our catalogue and find the resources you need on our shelves. I can point you in the direction of something more useful or give advice on which items are borrowed the most.

The first few weeks of term mostly revolve around inductions of various types, one of those being e-Library sessions. I basically come into your classroom with all of my e-Library knowledge and become your teacher for 45 minutes, while I show you how to access e-resources on Moodle. Did you know that you can read e-books on your personal device? You can add notes to them and highlight passages, something you can’t do in a normal book without paying us a lot of money for a replacement. Find anatomy books a bit hard-going? We subscribe to online, interactive databases that show you the human body and all its gory details.

So even though being on the front line of placing orders and processing resources does mean that I usually get to be the first person to borrow our newest books, it’s very rare that I ever get to read them at work, not unless it’s my lunch break.

For more information about our libraries click here!

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