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Katie Fraser's blog and website

I'm an academic librarian, working in the UK Higher Educational sector, supporting academics and students. Prior to this, I was a researcher, working with social and learning technologies.

My interests include the application of emerging and traditional technologies, research support in libraries, learning spaces, evidence-based practice and the professional development of library and information workers.

You can find out more about more about me from the links to the left. Note that the views expressed on this website/blog are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of any other individual or organisation.

Library Day in the Life — Day 1 — 25/01/10

January 25th, 2010

I am participating for the first time in the Library Day in the Life project in which library workers all around the world blog or otherwise record their working days for a week. Check out the Library Day in the Life wiki for further details. For those new to the blog I am currently working as an academic librarian, supporting Business and Accounting, in the UK.

I’ve been away from the library for six working days with my MA Librarianship graduation and a week’s annual leave. I’m approaching the end of my contract as academic liaison librarian for business at De Montfort University so was using up the annual leave I had left. I came back from holiday to have a familiar panic that I was supposed to be on the help desk first thing (I always have Friday afternoons off, and often miss the rota coming round) but didn’t have any shifts today. I seem to be getting better at avoiding a last minute dash!

On the train in the morning I was occupied with reading my notes for the presentation I was giving at lunchtime. This was on my MA dissertation project, and consisted of talks I’d given to a visiting group from UCR Wales in the Information Commons at the University of Sheffield (on which my dissertation focused) and at the Society for Research in Higher Education (SRHE) Annual Conference. I’d presented both parts (the findings and theory) separately before, so once at work I just produced my handouts and then started wading through my accrued email from the previous week.

I’d reduced my emails to one page by the time I had to head to the Academic and Professional Development Unit, where I was presenting. The two talks seemed to gel together quite well, and I was pleased to get some practice presenting. I’m going to be giving regular lectures in my new job starting in February (as part-time academic liaison librarian for science at Leicester University). The questions after the talk were really interesting, and we had a great discussion about how students can be encouraged to use learning spaces in new ways. Plus, free sandwiches.

After a quick break for a walk I went to see Nathan (the normal business librarian, who is seconded into another post) deliver a lecture I’d written for him on library resources as part of a module on Professional Skills for Accountants. The talk seemed to go well – I liked the way he fleshed out my slides with lots of live searches as examples – but some students at the back talked all the way through, which was a shame. Last week I went to a staff-student committee in which students complained about other students talking in lectures (I heard some students shh-ing in this lecture too), and it’s making me consider whether to address this kind of behaviour more actively: it’s nerve-wracking, but I can see the benefits.

In the afternoon I caught up with a few more tasks. There are some which never seem to end, and two of my old faithful eternal projects (setting up a complex database, and a book I’m ordering through non-standard channels) came back to haunt me. I’m pleased to say that I made a bit of progress with both before hometime… maybe they’ll be finished before my contract ends!

Picture taken in Lincoln in October 2009, on the way to a comedy festival. Moving into librarianship seems to have given me an uncontrollable desire to photograph things with the word ‘library’ on them.

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