#LibDay8 – Thursday

An excellent start to the day when I managed to trip over nothing on my way onto campus and fall to my knees in front of a bunch of students; ouch!

After I dusted myself off*, I went shelf tidying for half an hour with everyone else. Then back to my desk to crack on with, you guessed it, invoicing! Yesterday I divvied up a large task between a bunch of Library Assistants, but I also assigned part of it to myself. I firmly believe that where possible, managers should always attempt to familiarise themselves with the work done by those they manage; not only so that you can manage the task properly and cover the work yourself in case of absence, but also because it’s an excellent way of showing your team that you are a member of the team as well. The majority of this task will be done by Assistants but by doing part of it myself I was able to refine the instructions in the manual and also spot a common mistake and email everyone to warn them how to avoid it. I also spotted that certain members of the team are not particularly good at checking their arithmetic**, so I made a note to emphasise the importance of double checking everything in the training I’ll be delivering to them next week. I also came up with a potential solution to a problem that the systems team had raised, so I emailed them to find out if it was workable.

That took me up to midday so I stopped for lunch (during which I taught a colleague how to use the microwave!)
Self service
Supervising again from 1 – 5:30pm and this shift was much busier than yesterday’s. Today’s highlights were:

    • Helped a student who showed up at the Helpdesk with injuries to his side that he couldn’t remember receiving. The whole situation was decidedly dodgy, but he was given first aid and we persuaded him to go to A&E in a taxi that the University paid for.
    • Struck a deal with a student who had too many fines to borrow any books but couldn’t afford to pay them off; I offered to loan him books if he made a partial payment and agreed to pay off a certain sum every week, to which he agreed
    • Helped a student who was very upset because she’d lost the 4 books that were on loan to her; I said I’d email her the replacement cost of the books tomorrow then we could come to an arrangement where she paid them off over a period of time, which she was very happy about.
    • Fixed the returns unit (again) and dealt with the engineer who showed up to replace a part on it.
    • Fixed the ID card printer (again) thankfully without cleaning it this time
    • Assisted roving library staff with persuading a student who had trailed her laptop cable 20 yards across the floor to move to a more suitable area
    • Helped students in the Assistive Technology Room with assorted problems using Word


  • Mopped up coffee that a student had spilled at Reception just when there were no cleaners around***
  • Helped two students explain to their Faculties that we couldn’t do what they needed doing as only faculty admins have editing rights to the student administration system. This involved phone calls and print outs with key areas circled to help get the point across.
  • Helped a distance learner get a SCONUL card
  • Emailed the systems team about a suspected bug on Aleph, where a student had been able to borrow more items then they should be allowed at a self issue machine. The student was not pleased that I was going to look into it!
  • Answered many questions from new Student Assistants
  • Moar impromptu Aleph training
  • Numerous IT issues; unjammed a printer, logged a PC that I couldn’t fix, recredited someone’s print account, deleted a mehussive job from the print queue and replaced a faulty photocopying card

Obviously I got very little done other than that, but I did get a reply from the systems team saying my solution would work, so I wrote up a very quick proposal and emailed it to the relevant Customer Services staff to get feedback. Fingers crossed we can implement it next week.

So au revoir Thursday, you went by so quickly!

*and after I had answered an Aleph question before I even had chance to take my coat off!
**this is hilarious coming from me, by the way; I have no mathematical ability to speak of, but at least that has taught me to check every single sum that I do!
***my job; it are glamorous!

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