Photo of Katie Fraser

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 – Days 2&3 – 31/01 & 01/02/12

February 1st, 2012

Only at my normal part-time job for Tuesday and Wednesday this week, where I’ve been a science subject librarian for 2 years. On Thursday I start a new job, supporting social science at a different university, part-time while I work out my notice and then full-time towards the end of the month. It’s a week of big changes for me!

My pigeon hole

My pigeon hole on Tuesday morning: just a few Chemistry books to check

As part of preparing to leave, I’ve been updating the books in some of the subjects I support, and the new copies have just started arriving. Although I select and order a lot of the books, I rarely see them when they arrive, with one exception: when new editions of textbooks turn up, and I need to decide how many copies of the old editions to keep on the shelves. A constant stream of arriving Chemistry textbooks made editions checking a bit of a theme for these two days.

Tuesday had a couple of packed meetings. First up was a meeting between myself, my line manger, and the other Science and Engineering librarian. Lots to catch up on: notes from the College Academic committee meeting, handover documents for my post, online resources for a new course and potential licence issues, and book provision for the University’s only problem-based learning course. The second meeting was with staff from that problem-based learning course, really thrashing out the issues, and planning a pilot of a new book provision plan for the rest of this academic year.

End of Tuesday was spent finishing my preparations for a teaching session which took up Wednesday morning. This was my annual session with second year Geology students, giving them guidance in searching for literature to support their report on a type of ore (which they study at first hand) and the mine it came from. It’s a nice size of group to run a hands-on PC session with, and there’s lots of specific tricks they can use in the search, so it was quite a fun session to teach.

I finished early, as using up a part-day of annual leave, so just had time to catch up with email queries, chase a few ongoing issues, and meet and greet a new member of academic staff before I left. There’s a lot still to do before I go, and the clock’s ticking!

Library day in the life – Day 1 – 30/1/12

January 30th, 2012

Devices on the train

My portable device workstation set up on the train to London

Today I was down at the British Library in London for the second Library and Information Science Developing Research Excellence and Methods workshop (see The workshops are funded by the UK;s Arts and Humanities Research Council and aim to create a network of researchers (in both academia and practice) to spread knowledge of research methods throughout the library and information community.

It makes quite a nice activity to record for Library Day in the Life: it’s quite different from what people seem to think I do, but using evidence to develop practice and developing services is pretty everyday in my role. However, elements were also quite different to what I normally do: the workshop crosses different library sectors (public, academic, health libraries etc.) and there’s some blue skies thinking that’s beyond my usual ‘how can we do this better?’ remit.

However, the question I get asked most by non-librarians is how (and even if!) library services are responding to changes in society and technology, and this workshop a good way to illustrate that development is something that gets a lot of attention.

You can find out more about the LIS DREaM Workshop contents on my dedicated post at

Library Day in the Life – Round 7

July 28th, 2011

Station platform

Station platform, where my morning commute begins.

For this round of Library Day in the Life, a project which aims to capture the day-to-day lives of librarians and other information professionals around the globe, I decided to put together a photo diary. You can see the results here:

Photo Diary Day 1

Photo Diary Day 2

It was really interesting to see how using a photo diary changed the day for me. It made my participation in the event far more visible: both to my colleagues, who saw me photographing everything, and to my non-library friends, as I shared the photos through Google Plus. I got far more comments and engagement from non-librarians than I’ve ever had before with this exercise!

You’ll notice that there are few people in my photos: I was somewhat wary about the complexities of getting permission. I hope it hasn’t made it look like I don’t interact with people during my day, as I do very little else!