Monday, April 30, 2018

Work placement


Today was my first day of work placement - 8 weeks of (part time) unpaid work in a library. I get work experience and also see a variety of incidents I need for my client service, IT, and team management parts of my course. I’m in a TAFE library for adult students of subjects including childcare, massage therapy and cookery. The cooking school is just opposite the library doors - it smelled great!

I really enjoyed my first day. It was interesting to meet some new people. There were two librarians, Lyn and Sue, both very nice middle-aged-ish ladies; and because other staff were on holidays or working elsewhere for unexplained reasons, there were two other people starting today. New to this library but not to libraries in general. Annie, very quiet girl, has been working in a public library for eight years and is helping out here for three weeks. Matthew, 27, the only one of the group much above 5 ft tall, usually works at a different TAFE library so knows the computer system and general practices.

I have my own desk (actually someone called Maya’s, but she’s away) but I didn’t really spend any time there today. Lyn showed the three newbies around the library, then Matthew showed Annie and I the computer system (how to check out and and return books, create new records etc) which he was very very thorough with. It was similar to the one we used in class, and the other one they have at Aiden’s school. They all have much the same functions, of course. Finally Librarian Sue showed me how to send out overdue notices, and the categories for children’s books (the adult childcare students use them) which lead to a discussion about where to shelve a jigsaw puzzle based on the book “The very hungry caterpillar” but that didn’t picture the metamorphosis which had led the original book to be shelved in”science”. For the record, I thought the puzzle should stay with the book even though it was actually teaching children to count.

None of this learning went on uninterrupted. The campus was very quiet first day back after the holidays with many classes not resumed yet, but there were still some students and a few teachers coming in for various things, often needing assistance. And the printer was broken. And the big screen that was supposed to display a loop of information pages just had an error message. And Sue got a call that her elderly mother had collapsed and she didn’t know whether to rush to hospital or not and she’d just missed a train. Always something going on.

I was excited to learn that they do a bit of basic cataloguing there, but also that most cataloguing for all the TAFE libraries is done centrally only about half an hour from my house. I had been despairing that the only cataloguing jobs I knew of were all the way over the other side of the city, nearly two hours travel away and therefore impossible. Learning that was the high point of my day. The worst bit was sitting so long perched on the high stool at the front desk, learning the computer system, with my legs dangling. Feet and bottom going numb. So uncomfortable to have legs hanging unsupported for so long. But otherwise it was a good day.

My weight this morning was 71.1 kg, same as last week. 

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