I have moved jobs again! I am now a Subject Librarian at the University of Huddersfield (UoH). I started at the very end of April so I have been in post almost 3 months now; so I thought it was about time for a bit of reflection (which I actually like to do). The subjects I am responsible for are: Law, Computing & Accounting – I have no previous experience with any of these subjects as a student but I did work with Computing & Accounting at FE level.
My view of my subjects – I do realize there are complexities to these areas that I will probably never understand.
Law is a completely new area to me, despite a few references to various Acts during my Sociology BSc, so I am still quite bewildered by the legal language and process (to be honest it terrifies me). But I love the challenge and in the short time I have been here I have already picked up so much. It also helps that one of my best friends is a trainee solicitor so can help me out with all her legal knowledge and insider info about life as a law student. UoH are really supportive too and they funded my attendance at the BIALL (British and Irish Association of Law Librarians) Annual Conference in Harrogate (and I am heading to Oxford in August for the BIALL Legal Research course). It was great to meet new people who also work in the legal world. I got to meet key publishers and content providers and as the “newbie” it was easier (but still daunting) to walk up to them and ask what they could do for our law staff and students. I haven’t had chance to do a write up of the conference but please check out #BIALL2014 for all the thoughts/ideas that came from the talks and presentations.
All the academics I have met from all 3 of my departments have been friendly and welcoming and are keen to use the library services and I have a lot of sessions booked in for the new academic year. They are all happy to listen to my ideas and proposals of the different ways I can deliver skills sessions for them and their students; it is quite empowering.
As I started towards the end of the academic year I have had some time to be fully introduced to the systems we use at UoH and also have had chance to meet a lot of staff within the library and my departments. In previous roles I have started in September which, in the education world is like jumping onto a moving train; so it is nice to start at a less stressful time. However, I do realize I have been lulled into a false sense of security and the mad rush of September/October inductions is going to hit me like a brick. Largely my role is that same as my last job – I connect staff and students to the resources they require and I also train them to access and use that information in an academic context. Well that’s the bread and butter stuff, there’s all the other facets to subject librarian work too: budget management, project work, department liaison etc.
As I have had such a good start, my confidence has grown and I have become more passionate about the profession as a whole. I have mentioned previously that I am not currently a member of CILIP and this is largely to do with the fact that I disagree with their subscription and pricing structure – for me at the moment £20 a month is too much – when I have other important things going on in my life i.e. attempting to get a mortgage! But I do want to become more involved with the wider profession; I am looking into SLA membership in the first instance as I think it is more reasonable and the SLA community seems really vibrant, exciting and vibrant. CILIP at the moment seems slightly lack-lustre but that it probably because I am SO out of the loop on what they’re doing etc. I do want to rejoin because I think CILIP has the potential to be more than it is, also with current issues and turmoil on the council I want to see how CILIP reacts to the situation before I invest my money and time in membership.
I am going to try to keep this blog reflective, as I tend to benefit from the process, so here are my goals:
- Go to all available training opportunities (“new” doesn’t have to mean scary)
- Get more involved in the UoH community
- Get more involved with the professional community
- Look into project management courses/qualifications (I mentioned this in my last post, it is still something I find intriguing).
As this has been quite text heavy here’s some pictures of the pets (don’t worry my tortoise isn’t a giant! He is only 7cm long!)
Jerry Sheldon and Freyja
OpenClips http://pixabay.com/en/law-liberty-scale-weight-balance-158356/ gsagri04 http://openclipart.org/detail/170263/cloud-computing-by-gsagri04 Ainali http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Analyzing_Financial_Data_%285099605109%29.jpg