Thursday, 2 February 2012

Library Day in the Life #8, part 1

I took part in Library Day in the Life round 7 last July, which I used as an opportunity to provide an insight in to my job in the library at the National Museum Wales.  I decided to take part again this year because I think that working in a museum library can be varied enough that there shouldn't be too much repetition. 

I only work at the museum three days a week, so I don't start the project till the Wednesday.  I’m running a little late this morning, and it’s 8.50 before I get in.  There's just time for me to say a quick hello to the Head Librarian before he heads off to one of our other sites for the morning. 

My workspace in the library

I start by going through my emails, checking what needs doing.  The most urgent to require my attention include;
-Updating the subscription details for the auction catalogues we receive from Bonhams.  We take sale catalogues for a number of auction houses, but only for certain sales.  We need to regularly check that we are receiving all the catalogues as if we miss one it can be tricky getting a replacement, they only print so many at a time.
-Going through the final edit of our new library leaflet which has come back from the translation and publications team.  As part of National Libraries Day we are contributing to a display celebrating libraries in the foyer of one of the Welsh Assembly Government buildings.  We haven't produced much in the way of promotional material for the library in the past, so we feel very proud of our new leaflet.
-Attempting to reinstall a printer to my computer (with partial success, primarily my own fault). 
-Answering a query that came through via our website from a man trying to research a member of his family.  We were not able to help, but I passed him the details of someone I thought might.  We often get queries from people researching local or family history, but in those instances we find that the records office and local history section of the public library are better sources of information.

By the time break-time comes around I'm very much ready for my caffeine fix down in the museum restaurant.

When I head back up to the main library I do some shelving in the stacks which are freezing.  They are right up in the roof of the building and tend to reflect whatever the weather is like outside, very hot in summer, very cold in winter, today it feels like stepping into an icebox.  I hurry back to my spot next to my heater as soon as I can. 

After lunch we had an email from one of our curators trying to trace the reports of Scott’s National Antarctic Expedition of 1901-04, that we had received back in 1913.  Had a dig about on our folio shelves and finally found them, the shelves were triple stacked with big hefty folio volumes, and the reports I wanted would be the ones right at the back, typical!

Because we are relatively quiet today I decide to get on with some cataloguing. I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t really had time to do any, and the next two days will be busy, so I doubt I’ll have time to get any done then either. I'm focusing on books for the Industry library at the moment, and am currently working my way through a pile of Mines and Quarries reports from the early 20th century.

I finish up my day by looking through some of the posts other people have been writing for Library Day in the Life project.

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