These theses trees

by Clare Playforth

Those of you who enjoyed my last post on sandwiches but felt like you wanted it to be longer and even more niche (lol) then read on, this one is for you! It’s an article originally titled Subject Indexing in an Institutional Repository that I had accepted for publication by Catalogue and Index – periodical of the Cataloguing and Indexing Group, a Special Interest Group of CILIP.

I’ve been a cataloguer for some years but have only just started training to become an indexer with the Society of Indexers. I can now see that there are many parallels between cataloguing and indexing and I am often expanding my knowledge of one activity through the other. The clearest example of a task in which the two areas are intertwined is when I classify theses in our institutional repository. Our current repository platform is EPrints using the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set. This allows us to assign subjects to research outputs so that they are indexed and available to users through access points in our discovery layer (Primo). I’m going to avoid discussion about the systems involved here and their interaction with each other and am going to focus on the details of this task and try to understand some of the benefits and flaws of the current workflow.

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Work Experience in the Library

By Anonymous

My school, Dorothy Stringer, gives a chance for every student in year 10 to get some work experience. It can be a very nervous thing to do, but where I went I felt extremely welcome. I chose to work at the University of Sussex Library initially because my Mum worked there, but as the days went by, I really came to enjoy working there.

The reason why I am sharing my experience at the Library is because I felt so welcome when I entered the building. I also want to express how kind and caring all the members of staff really are. From sorting out and planning my day, to taking me to tea breaks, buying me lunch and all round being very positive. It seems to me that it could be quite a stressful job, especially for the Frontline team, however it doesn’t seem to stop them from having a good time and saying the odd joke here and there.

I enjoyed every single day I was there. I was taught about reading lists, fines, shelving, the process of overdue books and really how everything operates in the Library. It may sound like your typical boring library where you have to be silent and you feel like you can’t do anything. The Sussex Library is the complete opposite of that. Obviously there are some areas of the building where you have to be silent and of course there are rules. However this library is a lot more complex and advanced.

I am pretty sure there are around 800,000 books in the Library, plus another 50,000 online books and journals. That is a lot of books when you think about it and it requires loads of time and effort to keep them all organised. It seemed like they had that area covered.

Obviously there is a definite age gap since I am only 14, but personally I believe that I got on very well with the members of staff there and I really did feel welcome.

I am going to be completely honest and say that I thought it was going to be very boring at the Library, just compared to all the interesting things my friends were doing. But I really showed an interest in what some of the things people were working on. One thing I particularly enjoyed was inputting reading lists. It is where you check if you have a certain book that a tutor has asked for, and you create a list online for students to see what books are essential for their class. It may not sound like the most interesting thing in the world, but I found it very satisfying and enjoyed doing it.

If anybody is looking for some work experience I recommend the University of Sussex Library because without a doubt I promise you, you will have an excellent time and meet lovely people along your way. I don’t really like reading or writing but for once I think I came to enjoy it and so will you.