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.


Food hampers and cheque for Glebe House

photo 1It’s been a very happy start to the New Year indeed for the learners and staff of Glebe House; all thanks to your generosity. Last Christmas Learning Resources Assistant Zaheda Dadabhai, set up a Christmas gift tree at Nuneaton Campus Library. People could take handmade baubles from the tree and in return donate the item printed on it (pasta, hot chocolate etc).

Staff and learners were very generous and we collected four hampers of groceries which were given to the Glebe House team at the beginning of January. We also presented them with a cheque for £110.60p which was raised during the charity coffee/cake morning we held before Christmas. Thank you so much everyone, for your generosity and support, and may we wish you all a Happy New Year 🙂

Library charity coffee morning raises £110.60p

photo 1For one day only students and staff have been allowed to eat in the Library and it’s all for a good cause! Organised by Zaheda Dadabhai, the Library team has held a charity coffee/cake sale today to raise funds for Glebe House.

Donations of cakes and other goodies were made by Farmfoods, Lidl and Stu’s Pic and Mix (a stall on Nuneaton market.) The majority of other cakes were baked by the Library team, Library cleaners and a few staff from other departments.

Thanks to your generosity we have raised a total of £110.60p. This will be donated to the Glebe House team in the New Year. A big thank you to everyone who came along and thanks to all Library staff who helped out.

photo 9G cakes

Staff Conference

Some of the team tuck into samosas and pakoras from a local delicatessan

The Library team spent the college’s Staff Conference days doing various activities:

There were several peer-led sessions for the team including chapatti making by Zaheda Dadabhai, origami cards by Katie Hayes, Turning Point by Fran Heap and Hama beading by Cara Clarke. The team also had a guided tour of the library at De Montfort University which generated lots of new ideas.

The highlight of the library team’s Staff Conference activities was an equality and diversity themed tour of Leicester’s Golden Mile. Members of the library team had the opportunity to immerse themselves in the local culture by browsing fabric and jewellery shops, eating locally produced cuisine and also trying on Asian style outfits.

Librarians Ihar and Cara model Asian outfits

Staff Development Week

Origami card

The library team has recently taken part in various activities to enjoy a successful Staff Development Week:

Two members of the library team contributed to the recent Staff Development Week by sharing skills and facilitating sessions. Zaheda Dadabhai led four sessions entitled ‘making and baking chapattis’, which saw approximately 45 members of college staff learn to cook basic Asian cuisine. Katie Kayes ran two sessions entitled ‘origami cards’ and taught approximately 22 members of staff to make Christmas themed cards using a series of folding paper techniques.

All sessions were fully booked and very popular. Staff who attended the sessions learnt new skills in a fun/relaxed environment and lots of positive feedback was received.

Chapatti demonstration