Second month as a trainee liaison librarian

This month has been really busy! Since my last blog post, I have delivered additional induction sessions, as well as running three advanced searching workshops. The feedback for the workshops has been largely positive, which is such a relief! My colleague Rachel kindly sat through my first two sessions and gave me some tips on presentation style and worksheet layout, which has been really helpful.

Most of my teaching thus far has been with Education students. I will have my first sessions with the Modern Languages and European Studies department next week; this is a bit of a challenge for me, as I’m hoping to use this opportunity to strengthen the relationship between the Library and the department. I don’t get many enquiries from staff or students from MLES, which is something I’m hoping to change. I also don’t have much of a background in modern languages, so I’ve had to do some homework to ensure that I’m up to speed and confident with all the relevant databases and information resources. At this stage, preparing for these new sessions is taking up a substantial amount of my time, as I’m creating new materials and learning as I go along! Hopefully as I get more confident and begin running sessions repeatedly, this process will become more efficient.

A swan at the University of Reading Whiteknights campus - we have a lake!

A swan at the University of Reading Whiteknights campus – we have a lake!

I’ve also had quite a few one-to-one sessions with students over the past week – about seven hours in total! Because it’s half term, many of the Education students have been able to book one-to-one appointments, usually on reference management and databases. Teaching has definitely been a major theme this month; it’s something that I’ve discovered I really, really enjoy, and I’m hoping to develop my skills in this area, probably through reading around the subject and attending CPD courses. We had one or two sessions on this at Sheffield, as part of the Academic and Research Libraries module, but really nowhere near enough, considering how important teaching is to the job roles of so many information professionals today.

Besides teaching and teaching preparation, I’ve also been busy with book ordering and ensuring that course materials are made available to students via the VLE. Another new development over the past month has been my role as shelving team manager for the 4th floor in our library. I chaired a meeting for the first time this month, and am trying to figure out these new managerial responsibilities.

I’m looking forward to seeing where the next month takes me!