8 April 2014

Tuesday: Typical day as a Library Graduate Trainee

Every alternative Tuesday, I work with the Illustrations team and today was another one of those days. After checking through some the work I did the day before, I was tasked with the challenge of finding a number of listed illustrations and taking photographs of them. On a normal day this would be the simple case of searching on the catalogue for the location of the rare books in which the illustrations are in. However, the whole entire library catalogue down. So I have been left with searching through rows and rows of rolling stacks with different call numbers.

I have to say at the end of the day, I was more appreciative of the opportunity to get to know the rare books titles and locations little bit better, so it wasn’t complete a waste of a few hours. I think a number of things I learnt with this task were patience and the importance of natural light. Discolouration of paper from the reaction of light means that in fluorescent light, all the illustrations had this mustard yellow background. Finding a natural light source in a building that is designed to keep light away from books was difficult but thank god for our nice display tables facing some narrow vertical planes in the wall and a bit of spring sunshine.

After work, it was time for me to go to my Japanese language evening course. Once again, I am thrown into a topic that I don't really know much about. However, learning more kanji is always helpful in my job when cataloguing.