My first job

26 Jun

Whoops. 6 mins to write a daily #blogjune piece.

Let’s copy @flexnib, who was copying ?? Who was responding to a call based on ALIA’s 80th

My very first library work (unpaid) was as some sort of school library helper. I don’t remember why, but I do remember using the library so much I was excited to be able to stamp my own due dates and waltz past any queues. And getting first pick of new books.
My first paid library job was as a student at University of Melbourne, needing cash, and landing a 20 hour/week library job in the Engineering branch.

This led to some funny culture sharing as I shelved in my student Arts uniform of protest tshirts, bright leggings, and on some occasions a tutu – amongst the older male dominated flanny wearing Engineering boys. 

One of their favourite tricks was to build bridges of books across two aisles in the “silent study area”  counterlevered in the air – so no matter how many I tried to hold when I took them down some had to crash to the ground.

5 years later when I graduated mid year without my own batch of Arts students, I was lucky enough to be sharing a queue with some of those same Engineering students, so I guess I gained a community. 

26 years later I’m still working in the University of Melbourne library system, having held a number of different positions. My current Manager role is in the area of Collection Access and Delivery: and through absolutely no planning whatsoever, my resume does trace this role back to that first one in terms of space management.
As the shelver over one summer I decided to take on a project to create  more space for our growing journal collection, by working out how much space we could gain with some new bays, working out what space needed to be left for each title’s growth and then backshelving (for months) with casuals to make it fit. I got it wrong by a couple of shelves in the middle and was helped out by my colleagues at the time, however overall did quite well, and had a Manger who formally recognized me for the work. A few years later this was known as a Space Audit, and became all the rage as libraries started losing collection space for seating, and I got a chance at another project which led to a promotion, which led to more skills learning, which led to another promotion and so on and so on.
But that’s enough for tonight if I am to get this up in time. Perhaps more another day. 
Would love to hear about other people’s work in libraries too … 

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2 Responses to “My first job”

  1. RachB June 28, 2017 at 2:23 pm #

    A space audit? That’s a new word for me! We just restocked our whole library after the earthquake, we could have used with someone with space auditing experience.

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