First month as a trainee liaison librarian

It’s been just over a month since I started my first professional role, and so much has happened!

We’ve just come to the end of Freshers’ Week. Some of my colleagues had warned me beforehand about how intense it can be, but I don’t think I was quite prepared for the onslaught, when it came! I have been involved with a whole host of different Library induction events, and have enjoyed promoting our services to our enthusiastic new students.

Natalie and I on a promotional banner!

Natalie and I on a promotional banner!

The most nerve-wracking experience of the past week has been my solo induction sessions, delivered specifically to new students at the Institute of Education. I prepared for these by watching some sessions run by my colleague Rachel, and practicing repeatedly at home. The group sizes for these have been quite manageable so far – up to 25 students. I’ve found it really interesting how each cohort within the Institute of Education has quite a unique student body, with different interests and needs. First thing tomorrow I’ll be delivering a session for mostly international postgraduate students, so that will be a new experience. I’m trying something a little more interactive as well, so we’ll see how that goes! One of my sessions was observed by my line manager, Gordon, so I’m looking forward to getting some feedback from him next week. I’ve also been asking all the students to complete feedback sheets, so hopefully there’ll be some useful points there for me to work on in future.

I feel, at this point, that I largely know what I’m doing now! There are of course lots of things that are still new and I’m still always asking my colleagues about something or other, but by and large I feel that I can just get on with things, which is good. There were times in the first few weeks, before I’d been properly trained in everything, where I felt like a bit of a burden, or a bit rudderless, but now I feel like I can already make positive contributions to the team, and have specific goals to work towards.

Over the next few weeks I’m going to concentrate on building good relationships with academics, and getting a good grasp on my basic duties. I’ve already managed to get some new sessions booked in for ‘Enhancement Week’ in November, and I think this will be a really good opportunity to showcase to the (previously minimally engaged) department what the Library can do for its staff and students!

I’m really enjoying my job so far – it’s challenging, fun, and I get to work with some inspiring and lovely people 🙂