Hello! My name is Rebecca and I work as a Senior Adviser in the Library & Student Services department at the University for the Creative Arts. I have recently completed a Level 4 Award in Leadership and Management with ILM and am currently studying for an MA in Information and Library Management with Northumbria University. I enjoy going to galleries, museums, music events (rock and heavy metal) and travelling.
How did you first get into the information and library profession?
I spent two weeks at the local public library on a work experience placement whilst at High School and really enjoyed the work. As a result of the placement I was offered a Saturday Library assistant post then upon completion of my A-Level I went full-time.
What qualifications are you taking?
PGDip / MA Information and Library Management with Northumbria University (distance learning)
What else are you doing alongside your qualification?
I volunteer as a Communications Officer for CILIP’s Kent members’ network committee; this role involves managing the groups social media pages and assisting with the organisation and promotion of training events/ visits. We recently went on a tour of the Natural History Museum’s Spirit Collection where they hold a pickled giant squid!
I have started to attend life drawing classes once a week and have also signed up to a number of free online Futurelearn courses. At present I am enrolled on the University of Auckland’s 4-week Academic Integrity course as it complements the MA module on research ethics.
In 2014 I participated in the International Librarians Network (ILN) and was partnered with a Librarian working in Poland. This is an excellent scheme, more info can be found at http://interlibnet.org/
What does your job involve?
The Library & Student Services team supports staff and students in using collections, the facilities and offers advice and guidance on a range of issues including finance, health, welfare, housing and travel. In addition, the team facilitates access to counselling and refers students to other specialist services including learning support and development. As the Senior Advisor, I hold responsibility for the day to day management of the Library & Student Services ‘Gateway’ desk and the supervision of 5 Advisors and 2 student shelvers.
Can you describe a “typical week”?
One of the things I enjoy most about my job is the variety, each day is different. That said, there is of course continuity and I carry out the following tasks on a regular basis:
· Compile rotas for front-facing services and events, covering for any absences
· Respond to staff and student queries face-to-face, via email and over the phone. Referring to specialist advisors when required.
· Recording library usage statistics electronically and on paper
· Update social media pages
· Carry out performance development reviews, inductions and training.
· Participate in team and working group meetings often taking minutes.
What advice would you give to anyone starting their studies?
Embrace lifelong learning, the profession is continuously developing and roles are always changing.
What skills do you think are most important for today’s information and library professionals?
IT skills are essential as the Information Professional utilises a range of electronic databases including the Library Management System, online resources and footfall data software. These change all the time so the ability to adapt is vital. Many roles offer advice and guidance to stakeholders using PCs, Macs and multi-functional devices (print/copy). Communication skills are just as important as the Informational Professional communicates with a range of stakeholders regularly using a variety of channels and often has people management responsibility.
You can follow Rebecca on Twitter @RebeccaLDaniels