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Archive for October, 2009

JessHello! I’m Jess, and I am the trainee at the English Faculty Library. I have just graduated from Liverpool John Moores University, where I studied English.

I chose the Oxford trainee scheme as, as well as providing valuable work experience, I felt it would be particularly helpful to meet and engage with others who were about to enter the field of librarianship. Through the weekly training sessions, we have been able to compare experiences and ultimately gain a more widespread knowledge of the many different aspects of work in the library field. Alongside this, it seems that the trainees roles can differ quite greatly from library to library – and so it is interesting to be introduced not just to the varied work of my colleagues within the English Faculty Library but also to learn about the other libraries through my fellow trainees.

This year, I am particularly looking forward to being involved in the library’s ongoing reclassification project, which is taking place in preparation for the English Faculty’s planned move to a combined humanities building. I am very excited about being part of the English Faculty Library team, and hope that I will both fulfil my duties well and learn a lot along the way!

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Annabel

Hi, I’m Annabel and I’m the trainee in the University Archives.  My previous job was at Bristol University where I worked in the Alumni Relations Office.  Before that, I graduated with a degree in History from Durham University, and went on to do an MA in Medieval and Early Modern History at Bristol University.

Although I had used archives whilst studying, this is my first experience of working within such an environment.  I’m really enjoying it so far.  The work is quite varied – I answer enquiries that come in from professional researchers and members of the public, manage material from the archives that is taken to Duke Humfrey’s Library for readers to consult, as well as sorting new acquisitions and cataloguing.

Although I’m not strictly a library trainee, having the opportunity to attend some of the library training sessions and meet all the library trainees has been great.  It’s interesting to find out how everyone else is getting on and hearing about the different experiences they have had.

I am really enjoying living in Oxford and am looking forward to learning lots this year.

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Me

Hello, I’m Susan and I’m one of the two trainee’s at the Social Science Library this year.

I graduated last year, after studying Creative Writing at Glamorgan University. Since then, I’ve realised librarianship is a career I should investigate as it combines lots of my interests.

This is my first time working in a library so I’m learning everything from scratch. Luckily Alice and I aren’t the only new people here: this summer the Refugee Studies Library moved into the SSL so we’re learning alongside their three members of staff.

So far I’m enjoying both the reader and technical services work I am doing and am pleased that 0th week hasn’t been quite as scary as I thought it would be.

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LucyKHello, I’m Lucy, and I’m one of three trainees at the Bodleian Library this year. I’m spending my first three months in the Radcliffe Science Library, and so far I’ve really been enjoying my placement. The library is currently in a period of change, reorganising its holdings and preparing to become the temporary home of Special Collections, so there’s a lot to do and a lot of variety.

Previously I studied English Literature and Philosophy at Durham University, and since then I’ve spent time working with seedlings and finance and, more recently, studying in Japan. This is my first experience of working in a library and I’m trying to take in as much as I can – this week I’ve been giving tours, and am finally less lost than the students!

I’m really enjoying living in Oxford and am looking forward to this year and the traineeship, especially the chance to explore and work in such a variety of areas within the Bodleian.

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EmilyHi, my name is Emily and I’m the Library and Archives Graduate Trainee at Magdalen College for 2009/10.  Before coming to Oxford I studied Classical Studies at the University of Reading.  I graduated in 2006 and have since been working for Durham University Library.

What attracted me to the position at Magdalen was undoubtedly the fascinating history of the college and its libraries, and the huge variety of work experience available here.  As the trainee I oversee the Denning Law Library, learn about modern collections management and reader services in  the New Library, and invigilate readers using early printed books and manuscripts in the Old Library. 

I also spend half of my week working in the archives.  I was very keen to gain this work experience in addition to learning more about library work before deciding which qualification and career to pursue.  Both careers have interested me in the past and I believe that this year at Magdalen will be highly valuable to whichever path I choose.  It’s certainly going to be a really interesting year!

I am looking forward to learning more about library and archives work and completing my project in the Old Library.   I am really enjoying the training sessions so far and have met a lot of lovely like minded people.  It’s fantastic to socialise and swap stories with the other trainees as we all learn together and in our individual libraries.

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LaurelHi, I’m Laurel and I’m the trainee at Corpus Christi College Library. I came to Corpus straight after completing my degree in English Literature at Cardiff University. Before working at Corpus, I had done a little work experience in the main public library in Cardiff and before my degree I worked voluntarily for a year in a museum library in Dorset.

I am enjoying shelving, particularly with an organ, piano or singing in the background (the library is adjacent to the college chapel). I spend every afternoon on the issue desk helping readers. I also process new books and journals. Corpus is quite a small library which means I have a sense of the whole library and not just one part. There are only three of us in the team (the Librarian, the Assistant Librarian and the trainee) so I feel I have a real role to play in the running of the Library.

I am looking forward to undertaking a project after Christmas, as well as the chance to visit other libraries in Oxford and elsewhere.

I am currently deciding whether to study for an masters in Librarianship next year, and I think the Oxford traineeship is a really good way of gaining the experience with which to make such a decision.

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Library Routes Project

There is a meme going around the biblioblogosphere at the moment in which librarians are writing about their route in to librarianship.

The meme was borne out of a discussion that started on Twitter. Woodsiegirl followed this up with a post on her blog, Organising Chaos, and this got others posting their stories. Seeing that the meme was escalating Ned Potter has set up the Library Routes Project wiki where all the blog posts (including mine!) are being collated.

I thought this might be something a bunch of future librarians, who are considering their options, might be interested in.

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Adrienne Hello!  My name is Adrienne, and I am the current graduate trainee at the Oxford Union Society Library.  Previously, I was a digitisation assistant in the University of Warwick Library.  As part of a pilot programme, I scanned book and journal extracts under the Copyright Licencing Agency’s Higher Education Licence, and answered emailed and faced enquiries from students, academics, and library staff.  Warwick University is my alma mater where I read Philosophy and Literature.  I first became interested in librarianship as a career whilst researching an essay about the concept of the library in literary epistemology.

Working in the Oxford Union Library is all I could have wished for in a traineeship. I am honing my professional skills in an august institution that has dedicated itself historically to the personal and intellectual development of its readers – often controversially so.  It is a beautiful library that holds a diverse and dynamic collection; from antiquarian books to the latest DVD releases.  Being part of a small team means that I get to take part in a variety of frontline and ‘behind-the-scenes’ duties everyday: helping readers, classifying and cataloguing new stock, preservation work, and acting as the secretary for the Library Committees.  It is that level of direct involvement in the running of the library which drew me to the position initially, and is already proving to be very rewarding.

Taking part in the Oxford Libraries Graduate Trainee Programme is a wonderful opportunity to meet other library and information paraprofessionals, and to learn about the various projects they are involved in across the university.

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JamesHello all, I am James and I am completing my graduate traineeship at the Bodleian Library. Unlike many of the college and faculty libraries, the Bodleian gives the trainee the opportunity to experience many different departments, both on the frontline and behind the scenes. Currently I am working in the Rare Books room and helping out with the John Johnson Project. I also edit the OULS newsletter Outline.

I graduated from the University of Birmingham in 2008 having read Medieval and Modern History. In the academic year 2008/09, I completed an MA in Russian and East European Studies, focussing principally on 19th century Russian history. I worked for three years in the Main Library of my university: it was during this period when I became interested in working in academic libraries and began to consider the profession of librarian as a potential career path. I currently intend to go to library school once this programme has concluded.

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Hello trainees!

You will probably have heard about the trainee projects – each of you will choose something to work on over the course of the year, and you’ll be asked to give a presentation about it at the end. This should hopefully be in an area that you’re interested in and that will benefit both you and your library.

As I was already interested in the digital side of libraries, and the Law Library was keen to expand on its collection of Web 2.0 resources, I decided to create a library podcast. The library web team discussed the idea in a meeting, and it was decided that I would create a podcast guide to SOLO, the library resource discovery tool.

I began by putting together a script and recording it using free audio recording/editing software called Audacity. I then put this together with screen shots and drawn images in Windows Movie Maker to create a slide-show style podcast. It’s important to make sure that none of your images breach copyright law, and you must get permission from the University press office (email: press.office@admin.ox.ac.uk) before using photos of some buildings. I showed the podcast to my supervisor and members of the web team, who made suggestions as to what I could add or change. The podcast is now ready and should hopefully be online soon, watch this space! I’m now also working on the next in the series, about OLIS OPAC and ASR.

Back in March, we had the annual Staff Conference, which this year was based on the theme of all things digital and web 2.0. Since this was right up my street, I gave a presentation with fellow trainee and podcaster, Alice Primmer (SSL) on how to put together a basic audio podcast. Here is a list of useful links we gave to the people who attended:

OUCS information on podcasting at Oxford:
http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/podcasts/

Oxford University podcasts:
http://podcasts.ox.ac.uk/

Access your free webspace using your SSO:
http://weblearn.ox.ac.uk/site/

OXITEMS main page, where you can upload files onto the Oxford University RSS feed so that they will appear on UTunes:
http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/oxitems/

Download free audio recording software Audacity and the LAME encoder, which will allow you to save files as MP3s:
http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

Download free screencasting software CamStudio:
http://camstudio.org/

These are the highest rated directories of podcasts to subscribe to and download:
http://itunes.com
http://www.odeo.com/
http://www.podcastalley.com/
http://www.podcastalley.com/
http://www.podfeed.net/
http://www.podcast.com

Some library podcasts to look at for inspiration:
http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/whatson/downloads/
http://www.brookes.ac.uk/library/podcast/wheatley/home.html
http://www.leeds.ac.uk/library/podcasts/

http://www.soton.ac.uk/library/users/introduction/podcast/index.html

Podcasting for business training schemes:
http://www.podcastyourbusiness.co.uk/podcast_services/podcast_your_training.html
http://www.salesengine.co.uk/sales_training/news.html

Best of luck this year and for anyone else who decides to attempt it, happy podcasting!

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