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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.

And breathe….

November 13th, 2011

Victoria Park, Leicester

Victoria Park, Leicester, of which I have been seeing twice as much.

It’s November already? How did that happen? Well, the answer is that I have been working non-stop since the start of October, doing literally twice as much as usual. At the end of the last academic year one of my colleagues at Leicester left us for pastures new, and I have taken on some extra work, covering her post. I’m working full-time on a temporary contract until the end of this calendar year, (we’re currently¬†in the process of recruiting her replacement).

The start of the academic year is notoriously the busiest time for academic librarians, so it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster. As well as the usual departments I support (Chemistry, Geography, Geology and Physics and Astronomy) I’ve added on Criminology, Education and Lifelong Learning to give a total of 7 departments. It’s been good to try my hand at social science support again (I used to support Business, and have kept my eye in with Human Geography) but I doubt anyone could to sustain the combination of posts long-term: it’s just too wide a spread of disciplines!

Because the majority of teaching we do is loaded into the first semester, October was packed with sessions. Including one-to-one appointments with students and staff, I taught (or at least talked) for 39 hours 45 minutes. That’s over one week of working hours! Repeated exposure has been a good way of reducing the nerves I have about standing in front of a class, and also has allowed me to experiment a little with how I approach concepts by slightly varying what I cover over several similar repeated sessions. However, I’ve missed the luxury of ‘properly’ planning a session and reflecting back on it!

Things are just starting to calm down in terms of numbers of hours of teaching per week, and I no longer fear losing my voice. But what do I do with myself now? Well, catch up with everything else, of course!

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