Ruth's profile

Hi my name is Ruth and I am the trainee at the London School of Economics Library, also known as the British Library of Political and Economic Science. It is the largest social science library in the world and a great place to work! Ok, so here are some mind blowing facts that I have taken from our website.

'The library responds to around 5000 visits from students and staff each day. In addition, it provides a specialist national and international research collection, serving over 12,000 registered external users each year. The Library collects material on a worldwide basis, in all major European languages. The extensive collections range from a European Documentation Centre to 90,000 historical pamphlets, with over 95% of Library stock available on open access. 50 km of shelving - enough to stretch the length of the Channel Tunnel! - house over four million items including 32,000 past and present journal titles. The Library subscribes to approximately 20,000 e-journals, just part of its electronic information provision. All collections held at LSE in the Library have been recognised for their outstanding national and international importance and awarded 'Designation' status by the Museums Libraries and Archives Council (MLA).'

My roles within the library are many and varied. I am based primarily within the Special Acquisitions Unit, within Bibliogrpahic Services which is part of the Technical Services Department. My duties here include, researching, sourcing and acquiring rare, out of print and grey literature for our collection. For those of you unfamiliar with 'grey lit' as I was before i started, these are one of publications by charities, unions, corporations and similar organisations. This is usually done by bibliographic searching over the Internet and direct contact with publishers and organisations and occasionally authors themselves. I also accession incoming books and do some basic cataloging amendments. In addition, I have responsibility for maintaining our law standing orders, government publications and UN deposits. I also have a combination of service counter, admissions and information/help desk duties throughout the week. I enjoy most being on the information desk and having direct contact with the students and staff, learning about their research, helping them with queries and promoting our resources.
I spend one day a week in User Services, last term I was working with the Inter-Library loans team and this term I am working with circulation. I have also spent an afternoon a week moving about all the other teams, so far I have spent time with serials, print collections, teaching support services, and within the Information Services department with collection management, user information and eprints. I could go on but I think I'd better stop there.

I'm hoping to go to library school either in London or Dublin next academic year, and i really think we have chosen a great profession to be in!

I have also partaken in several internal and external training courses and library visits. I have really enjoyed meeting all you other trainees and I think the network is a great idea. Thank you very much to Sheena and to Katie for organising all these events and to Sonja for setting up the blog!

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