January 6th

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Happy New Year everybody!

I have returned after a lovely Christmas break with a particularly ill-timed cold (no pun intended). It was actually the first proper Christmas holiday I’ve had for five years due to doing bar work for what seems like an age, so I made sure to relax, eat a lot of cake and read plenty of books. It was also nice to be on the other side of the bar when I did venture out to the local watering-hole. My only resolution for this year, I think, is to blog more regularly! And perhaps to get a place at library school of some form.

Speaking of library school, and school in general, I graduated last month! So I am officially a Master of Arts, which is a bit scary as it seems like only three months ago since I started, and I suffer from constant ‘imposter syndrome’. Still, it was worth all the hard graft and lack of sleep! My degree was definitely the best Christmas present I received.

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Look, it’s me posing in my gown! No mortarboards at Leeds, sadly.

I managed to get my application to UCL in too, after much transcript and application portal stress. I was only informed of my final MA grade on November 27th, and graduation wasn’t until December 18th, so I was cutting it a little fine. It’s in now, though, so fingers crossed. (And on to the next ones!)

I’m actually excited to be back at work, although the 6am start this morning was a bit of a shock! I’ve finished my time with Acquisitions for now, and I almost got the hang of RDA cataloguing and processing orders. I’ll be back with them for a while this semester for more practise, as I kept being stolen for teaching sessions before Christmas, so that’ll be good – I can flex my cataloguing muscles once more! I have lots to be getting on with for a couple of weeks, and will be starting my time in Special Collections soon, which I’m very much looking forward to.

I will also be learning how to teach this semester! After the reflections at Library Camp about the lack of teaching preparation for LIS students, this is fortuitous indeed. Kirsty, the Engineering Librarian here at Bradford, is doing her Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy portfolio, and asked if I’d like to help her with teaching some of her MSc students. She’s set up an intensive six-week course for them to learn the necessary library skills for their independent research and assignments, and I shall be embarking on that quest with her. I’m not sure if I recall talk of me leading a session in the meeting, but the nagging feeling of abject terror tells me I may be correct! We’ll be having a prep meeting once a week until their course starts, so we have plenty of time to prepare and sort out materials and session content (more on these soon – I’ve left my notebook somewhere!), and we’ll also be making notes during our meetings so we have a record of me being mentored. I’ve not been mentored before, so I have no demands as such, but it’s going to be great experience for both of us and I’m sure once I get over the fear it’ll be fun!

I’m also trying to organise some visits to other libraries at the moment, to get more of a feel of the professional landscape. If anyone in the Yorkshire area would like to exchange visits, do let me know! So far I’ve been in touch with six libraries around Leeds, academic and otherwise, and everyone seems very friendly and helpful. I’m looking forward to getting out into the field, as it were!

I shall update very soon with more detailed news, but as I said, my notebook appears to still be on holiday, so intricate details and spur-of-the-moment thoughts I had are not by my side at the moment. Plus, as it’s the first day back, it’s definitely time for a cup of tea…

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