Last week I started my new job at St Hugh’s – a full-time post, which makes it my first ‘proper’ job since being made redundant in 2012. I am sorry to leave Reading Libraries, especially as they undergo a massive funding cut this year, but I owe it to myself and my family to continue to work towards my goal of Chartered Librarian-status, with a job to match. The St Hugh’s position will go a along way towards helping me to achieve that. St Hugh’s library – the Howard Piper – is one of the larger College libraries with some 80,000 volumes – all run by the librarian, and me.
I have only been there for three days, and things will likely change as students return next week, but it’s already clear that it’s a very different institution from Reading Central, with less need to directly help readers, meaning more opportunity to run and develop the library. For example, a lot of time at Reading was spent scanning books in and out and joining members. St Hugh’s ‘pre-joined’ readers and the stock’s RFID tags means that these activities are far less time-consuming.
One of the things I’ll be handling is social media, so keep an eye on St Hugh’s Library Twitter or Facebook, and Instagram. I’ll also be prepping new books, attending to the reading rooms, shelving, and developing new branded promotional materials.
I really cannot express how delighted I am to be given the opportunity to work in an academic library at such a prestigious institution. I intend to blog about what I’m doing and, when I’m settled in, starting Chartership. I also hope to write about other libraries in Oxford that I’m entitled to visit – there are 97 in all across the University.
What an amazing start to 2016 and a vindication of my decision to retrain for information work by going to City University and volunteering at Reading. Thanks to everyone who’s helped me, including my parents, but particularly my wife Enza. She has kept everything going while I’ve been finding my feet and I will be forever grateful.