A day in the life of the library: part 11

This is the final part in a series of posts offering a behind-the-scenes look at library work. A day in the life of the library team!

Name: Ihar Ivanou
Job title: College Librarian

Ihar IvanouThe last term-time Monday before Easter starts with an uplifting experience – seeing a tutor swapping several Easter eggs for the upcycled book flowers that my team colleagues, Cara, Fran and Zaheda, made for the charitable event in the Library. In few days’ time, these eggs will be taken to Glebe House and Nuneaton Food Bank for disadvantaged young people from the local community. Just as public libraries do, the college Library aims to engage in supporting the community we live and work in – libraries are rightly perceived as important community anchors.

Curiosity about all I do is probably the main driving force for me. It really helps being creative and not complacent. The first thing I do on Monday morning is to check our ebook usage stats from the past weekend. I cannot not smile seeing the Guide to Sport and Exercise Nutrition trending high this month. It confirms our recent observation that linking ebooks to the relevant course pages on Moodle makes all the difference: most of our students prefer using the resources recommended by tutors. This will inform the Library’s future activities in relation to curriculum areas, e.g. offering support with Moodle content development. Continue reading


A day in the life of the library: part 10

This is part of a series of posts offering a behind-the-scenes look at library work. A day in the life of the library team!

Name: Paul Sawyer
Job Title: Learning Resources Assistant


Proudly holding my Sport Relief medal!

Hi! I’m Paul, I’ve been working at the college for 3 months now and I work on the Nuneaton campus Monday-Thursday on the evening shift. I work term-time which means I get the benefit of the same holidays as all you lucky students out there!

Before I get into the nitty-gritty of my daily (sorry, evening) routine, a quick mention that I completed the Sport Relief 3 miler recently (Sunday 23 March). I’m seriously proud of myself as I managed to finish a monumental 3rd place which is my best place finish ever in an event! Never mind the fact that the two lads that beat me were half my age, we’ll brush that one under the carpet…

Continue reading

A day in the life of the library: part 9

This is part of a series of posts offering a behind-the-scenes look at library work. A day in the life of the library team!

Tidying the magazines

Tidying the magazines

Name: Giovanna Goodridge
Job Title: Learning Resources Assistant

Hello, I am Giovanna (or G for short). I am one of the Library assistants and work full-time but term-time only (students are not the only ones who have those lovely long summer holidays you know!).

Well it is Monday morning again (don’t the weekends just fly by) and I am in early at 8.00 am (unfortunately I have to drop the hubby off at the train station before work – no lie in for me). I have been texted by a colleague to say she may be a few minutes late so I get started by switching on computers, unlocking cupboards and changing the date stamps which we use to stamp the books with, no excuse folks for not knowing what date your books are due back! We like to be open and ready to serve our customers (i.e. learners and staff of course!). Not quite a stampede of customers this morning, but enough to keep me busy before a colleague replaces me on the Helpdesk. I then go and pop down the shelves for half an hour tidying the shelves.  It is a crucial part of our daily routine, the shelves can get pretty untidy sometimes but at least it proves that students still read and use books – we are not just about modern technology you know! Continue reading

A day in the life of the library: part 8

This is part of a series of posts offering a behind-the-scenes look at library work. A day in the life of the library team!

Name: Lesley Lindsey
Job Title: Senior Learning Resources Assistant (Team & Services)

Doing a spot of shelf tidying

Doing a spot of shelf tidying

Hi I’m Lesley; I work across three sites; mainly Nuneaton, once a week at Atherstone & occasionally at Hinckley. My main duty is to make sure that all of the libraries are staffed and running smoothly, I also manage annual leave so as you can imagine I spend a lot of time tweaking timetables.

I’m usually the first to arrive, as my day starts a little earlier that the rest of the team; arriving each morning at 8.15am to set the Library up for the day ahead (good job I’m a morning person); this consists of switching things on, opening things up, logging systems on, changing date stamps, sorting out the float for the till and crossing my fingers that no-one is off sick – so watch out ‘cos I’m usually whizzing around on automatic pilot and I take no prisoners! Continue reading

A day in the life of the library: part 7

This is part of a series of posts offering a behind-the-scenes look at library work. A day in the life of the library team!



At the helpdesk

Name: Cara Clarke
Job Title: Systems Librarian


The day started with attendance at a training session entitled ‘working with tablets’.  Although I am already comfortable with using iPads, I made some handy notes about new ways to utilise the library’s tablets; an app which allows the creation of documents and a nifty piece of kit which allows you to plug a USB stick into an iPad. Both of these would benefit the library so they were quite exciting discoveries!

Continue reading

A day in the life of the library: part 6

This is part of a series of posts offering a behind-the-scenes look at library work. A day in the life of the library team!

Name: Debs Cairns
Job Title: Senior Learning Resources Assistant (information literacy)


Debs with resources used during referencing sessions

Hello, my name’s Debs and my main job in the Library is user education; I deliver most of the Library inductions at the beginning of term. My time recently has been taken up with referencing sessions which is a difficult subject and not too exciting so the challenge is to develop activities to break up the sessions and make them more interesting (or at least not quite so boring!)

This morning I did a referencing session for a group of Level 3 Health and Social Care students – the session went really well I think – mostly because the students were very nice and kind to me, plus they showed a high level of intelligence and soon grasped the concepts I was trying to explain.

After that I was on counter duty which is something I enjoy; the almost constant enquiries and contact with staff and students make the time fly by and before I knew it, it was lunchtime!

The afternoon started with another referencing session then after a quick cup of tea I was back on the counter. This time in the afternoon is slightly quieter in the Library so I was able to work on a help sheet for creating charts in Excel.

At 5pm it’s time to go home – my lovely daughter surprised me by making dinner – then it was back to work on my degree assignment (ugh!).

The seventh post in this series will be published next week and will be written by Cara Clarke, the library’s Systems Librarian.

A day in the life of the library: part 5

This is part of a series of posts offering a behind-the-scenes look at library work. A day in the life of the library team!

Name: Helen Ambrose

Job Title: Senior Learning Resources Assistant

I’ve been SLRA here at the College for eight years. My job mainly involves acquisitions (purchasing new resources), so if you need a book, DVD, e-book or magazine, I’m your woman! I also generally supervise (mainly at the Hinckley site), as well as doing many other interesting tasks, including creating subject guides.

First thing in the morning I did a training session for a member of staff on Coutts Oasis, the online portal for our main library book supplier. I set up the member of staff with an account linked to ours, so they received the same generous discount on books that we get. The staff member was at Atherstone campus, it was nice to visit as I don’t get out to Atherstone often. The training session went very well, I enjoyed shedding a little more light on the book buying process. It was also a great opportunity to say that there was still some money left in their departmental budget, and ask what they needed. Continue reading

A day in the life of the library: part 4

This is part of a series of posts offering a behind-the-scenes look at library work. A day in the life of the library team!

Name: Fran Heap

Job Title: Learning Resources Assistant

Well it’s just half a day for me! I’m Fran and I work part time across three sites; Nuneaton, Hinckley and Atherstone.

It’s Tuesday, so I’m at Hinckley today. I’m on the Help Desk for quite a bit of the afternoon. I get the chance to help some students with locating books on specific artists and other general enquiries.

It’s busy in the Library today but not too noisy so I get to do some other tasks in between queries. One of my ongoing roles is to look after the equipment we loan out to staff and students at Hinckley and Nuneaton, for example, laptops, headphones and iPads. I check if new labels are required and if anything is missing, broken etc. If we acquire new equipment I also label it up and record it on the library system ready for loaning out.


Updating iPads in Hinckley library

Today I notice that we have some iPad minis that are not out on loan – I grab them quick! This is a rare chance to look at what needs updating on them and see if I need to make any changes. I update some of the Apps that have been previously installed and add some new ones. Looking after the iPads has given me a chance to interact a bit more with members of staff by finding out how they are using them and which Apps would be useful for them to use with students.

In my break I check out the magazines to see which I haven’t yet browsed through. My favourites are Selvedge and Elle Decoration. I think we have some amazing art resources here in the Library at Hinckley and try to make use of them whenever I can – arts and crafts are a big hobby of mine along with gardening and cooking. If any new copies of fashion or photography magazines have appeared since last week then I photocopy the covers and put them on the noticeboard to highlight them.

Whilst I am working in the back office I start working on a new task. When members of staff leave the College I currently update our library systems but from now on I am also going to be sending emails out to new staff members. This will let them know that they will be welcome in the Library and make them aware of what we have to offer them.

Well that’s about it for today. I hope to see you at one of the sites soon to give some help or just for a chat!

The fifth post in this series will be published in two weeks, and will be written by Helen Ambrose (Senior Learning Resources Assistant).

A day in the life of the library: part 3

This is part of a series of posts offering a behind-the-scenes look at library work. A day in the life of the library team!

Name: Zaheda Dadabhai

Job Title: Learning Resources Assistant (10 years +)

What a week, so far! It’s the third day into the week, but feels as if I’ve already done five (say no more!). Although some people think all we do is check books in and out, think again –  without us the Library wouldn’t stand – there’s more to it than meets the eye…

Our main job is the helpdesk, making sure we do our duties on the counter and provide a good service when issuing resources and helping with enquiries.

I manage the overdue system in the library. Each morning I run the overdues on the computer system and print out the overdue letters. I check the shelves making sure the missing books haven’t somehow slipped back onto the shelves, then send the letters out to the students.  After a few weeks I revisit them by checking the overdues again, and at this stage if they still haven’t been returned I send an invoice. This is when I post out a sterner letter asking for the books to be returned or for the cost of the books instead.

photo 17

A charity cake sale I organised in the library.

I also update posters and arrange the library display boards (there’s almost 20 of them!) to make sure new e-books are being publicised. I often organise evenings out for the library staff (team bonding is important!) and like to arrange charity coffee mornings to help raise money for good causes.

Working here can be fun at times, you never know what might crop up.  Today I had a student who came to borrow a DVD but she needed to talk to someone informally (I felt like a counsellor). We chatted and she told me about losing her husband.  Whenever something like this happens we always take the time to talk to tutors and students on a one-to-one basis.

While I was on the helpdesk this afternoon a member of staff came into the library to enquire about a book; I looked it up on the computer system to see if it was available and then – with a serious face – he asked if I could also find a book for this week’s winning Euro Lottery numbers. Like a fool I started to research it on the computer system before realising he was joking! I like to be friendly and pleasant with everyone, although one of my colleagues say I’m a ‘man magnet’ (I think she’s just jealous  🙂 ).

Once a week I get to escape to Atherstone campus library and work an afternoon there. Atherstone library is a small branch library and we have books for courses that are run there.  It’s a smaller library than Nuneaton and Hinckley so you have more individual contact with the staff and students.  It’s very quiet there so I also get chance to catch up on paperwork.  I am also doing an NVQ in Business & Admin Level 3, and Atherstone is a good place to have my one-to-one with Jo Winfield O’Hare, my NVQ tutor.

So you see, the Library is not just for books. You can come in to borrow equipment such as iPads, use the computers, we can give you a hand scanning items from a book, help with printing or you could even just come to see us for a chat.

The fourth post in this series will be published next week, and will be written by part-time Learning Resources Assistant Fran Heap.

A day in the life of the Library: part 2



By the Book Exchange, which I oversee.

This is part of a series of posts offering a behind-the-scenes look at library work. A day in the life of the library team!

Name: Madeleine “Maddy” Langham.

Job Title: Learning Resources Assistant (Library Apprentice from Feb 2012-Feb 2014)

Age: Now that would be telling 😉

Interests and little known facts: Reading (well, that’s a given really!), can be heard broadcasting to a long-suffering public on Hinckley Hospital Radio station Castle Mead Radio. I once drove a Duck Boat in America (passengers and water wildlife were all left unscathed!).

Favourite Authors:  Daphne DuMaurier, Ian Rankin, Danielle Steel, Laurie R. King, Charlotte Bronte, Emily Bronte, Ellis Peters, J.K Rowling, Philip Pullman, Lee Child, Richard Yates, Karen Rose, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Stephen King.

I joined the team in February 2012 as the department’s first ever Apprentice. I’m mostly based at the Nuneaton campus but also work at the Hinckley site once a week. My regular duties include: assisting learners, shelving and tidying stock, preparing new stock to go on the shelves, promoting Library stock and events via our blog page, creating slideshows for our plasma display screen and running the Library book exchange.

Tuesday 14th January 2014

I began the day by working on the helpdesk between 8.30-10.30am. Helping our learners is one of my favourite parts of the job. You often get some really interesting enquiries and I always get a feeling of satisfaction knowing I’ve helped (or at least tried to help) someone. As usual alot of iPads and laptops were borrowed by staff and students, and a few people renewed their loans over the phone. There were also lots of people coming in to borrow, renew and return loans at the helpdesk.

I asked a technician to come down and see us when we discovered one of the computer login screens was flipped upside down. (don’t ask!) He managed to fix it for us. I helped a group of students change their computer passwords. Due to high PC use in the Library at that time, we had to use the touchscreen PCs which are quite slow, but we got there in the end and after apologising for the wait, I showed them how they could book PCs in advance or on the same day.

After a break,  I headed down to the shelves with other team members to check that the books/DVDs etc were tidy and in the correct spine number order. This can be quite a time consuming process as many items are just discarded on shelves and are nowhere near where they should be.

I then spent some time working on a project I’ve recently been given, going through our e-book catalogue records and updating information about accessing e-books off campus. I’ve got 300 pages of records to work through so that’ll keep me out of mischief for a while!

After lunch I worked through more of the e-book records and then repaired some books and a DVD. I was then back out on the helpdesk between 3.15-5.00pm. I issued, returned and renewed more loans for learners and booked laptops for a member of staff.  Our newest team member Paul started in the afternoon so I made sure I said hello and welcomed him to the team. I added some new slides to our plasma screen display about our latest e-books before finishing for the day at 5.00pm, handing over to Zaheda and Paul for the evening shift.

The Nuneaton campus Library is open Mon-Thurs 8.30am-8.00pm & Friday 8.30am-4.30pm so next time you’re in come and say hello, I’m always happy to help. Look forward to seeing you soon 🙂

The third post in this series will be published next week, and will be written by Learning Resources Assistant Zaheda Dadabhai.