As a graduate trainee at the library I interact with students (and occasionally applicants) in a range of different ways. Helpdesk shifts come alongside tasks such as leading information literacy sessions and providing library tours. Furthermore, it was not so very long ago that I was a student myself, and I remember only too clearly the worries and challenges I faced when beginning my university journey.
Christmas is less than a week away, the students have all headed home, and I am officially one third of the way through my year as a Graduate Trainee. What to say!
Last Thursday (15 November) saw the launch of the first event in the AHRC Being Human Festival series, ‘Seeing Red: Periods and Protest in Post-war Britain’. For those who braved the night-time chill and fog to attend the event, hosted in the Business School, the evening was as educational as it was invaluable.
Halloween. A time for scary movies, ghosts, sugary sweets, and CV workshops.
Hello! My name is Izzy and I’m this year’s new Graduate Trainee working at the University of Essex’s Albert Sloman Library. I’ve just come to the end of my first week, and I’ve already had plenty to be getting on with. As well as expected tasks such as shelving and working on the help-desk, I’ve had the chance to set up a book display based around a topic of my choice (languages and linguistics, if you were curious) and assisted in the organisation of a treasure hunt for some visiting school groups. I’ve also had at least 3 tours of the campus, and my lovely new colleagues have been very diligent in making sure that I know where the kitchen and snack drawer is. Colchester campus is absolutely beautiful; I particularly love being able to sit and eat lunch overlooking a lake once painted by John Constable. Right by it, there’s also an old bus that has been turned into a pie shop, which is as endearing as it is unusual. All in all, everything is going well!
Another good thing about being a trainee here at the University of Essex is the enthusiasm shared by staff and students alike for learning and development. As part of our traineeship we have been provided with ample opportunities to visit various institutions and get a sense of what it is like to work within some of the widely different organisations that require the services of information professionals. As anyone who has read any of our previous posts will know we have visited a range of different libraries this year: the British Library, Colchester VI Form and the public library at Southend all spring to mind. This year marks the 70th birthday of the NHS, a much loved British institution that has played an important part in many lives. I can’t think of a more important service or an area where the ability to keep up-to-date with cutting edge trends in research and knowledge is more vital so I was very curious about what librarians get up to behind the scenes in a hospital environment.
“Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose.” – Zora Neale Hurston
Last week saw the 2nd annual Newcomers Week held at Essex for early career researchers and final year PhD students. Over 200 participants turned up over the course of the week to learn some of the skills required to navigate the constantly evolving world of academic research. As well as sessions exploring more traditional areas such as knowledge of the publication process and how to write research proposals, we also held resilience workshops and talks on using google and social media. Helping out with this has shown me how technology, the publishing industry and the higher education sector are continuously adapting in response to new discoveries and ways of thinking, and how supporting library users requires an ongoing familiarity with growing fields and new developments.