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Eloise’s Work Experience

eloise shelving

The Education Faculty Library Team have been delighted to host Eloise, a Year 12 student at Sharnbrook Upper School.  Eloise already volunteers at her local public library but she wanted to gain further experience by spending a week in an academic library, with a view to pursuing librarianship as a future career.

Here’s Eloise blog post about her time with us.

Over the past week, I have had a fabulous time doing my work experience with the wonderful team in the Faculty of Education Library. It has been fascinating to discover the vast variety of different tasks the staff perform and to give it a go myself! Throughout the week, I have had the opportunity to experience the whole lifecycle of a library book – from acquisition to processing, from shelving to charging, and from discharging to withdrawal. It has been so interesting to take part in all of the library’s different processes and I have learned a lot about what it is to be an academic librarian.

As part of my work experience I have been able to interact with staff and students, learn how to use databases to help people find the information they need, and discover the library’s use of social media to inform and engage with their users. I have gained a huge variety of new skills, from covering books to cataloguing new material, and am now confident in my understanding of the library system and all of the amazing services the library can offer.

eloise and the label machine

I also had the opportunity to visit the wonderful Homerton College Library and University Library, which was a fantastic opportunity to experience two other types of libraries available to Cambridge University students. This helped me to understand the different roles these types of libraries play in supporting students and how they work together to ensure students have the best chance of finding the information they need.

I also got to go ‘behind the scenes’ at both of these libraries.  I particularly enjoyed seeing the processing and cataloguing rooms at the University Library. I liked the fact that despite the differences between the libraries, many of the fundamental processes were the same. I also found Homerton College Library’s collection of rare books fascinating and was impressed by their selection of children’s literature.

Overall, my work experience has been a wonderful opportunity to engage with the workings of an academic library and it has undoubtedly furthered my passion for library work. I hope to use all of my new skills and knowledge in my volunteering at my local public library and will hopefully be able to follow up this experience with a career in library services. I thoroughly recommend this as an opportunity to anyone who is looking to go into librarianship, and I am truly grateful to the team at the Faculty of Education Library for accommodating me!

It has been a pleasure to show Eloise all the different services we provide for Education students and staff, and we wish her all the best in her A levels and for the future!

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