Sonja's profile

Hi, I'm Sonja and I am working at the Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies Library, short Germanic Studies Library. It is a very small library with an even smaller team (currently only three, including me). The library is focused on German Language and Literature, holding about 75,000 volumes, 25,000 periodical issues and some archives.

As I have studied German I find it inspiring to get in touch with the whole variety of German Studies . I keep noting down the titles of books that I want to have a look at one day - and this list grows steadily ;-) I am mainly dealing with acquisitions, invoices, periodicals and standing orders, claiming and of course shelving and reader inquiries (of which we unfortunately don't get too many). What I really like about working in a small library is that you get to know the readers and their work, which makes it very personal. The downside of being such a specialized library is that we usually don't have many readers in and I would personally prefer a bit livelier surroundings. Most of our readers are researchers or phD students, most of them with some sort of a German background. And as we get a lot of books directly from Germany, Austria or Switzerland, I am corresponding quite a lot in German. I like this bilingual work, even if it sometimes results in a little language mix-up ;-) And working in Bloomsbury is great too, I love cycling here every morning and seeing Russell Square in the morning light...

Later this year this library is supposed to move into Senate House to become part of Senate House Library. I will be sorry to leave the beautiful building we are in at the moment but on the other hand I am sure it is going to be an interesting experience.

I try to make it to as many library visits as possible because I think this is a great opportunity to see all different kinds of libraries and also to meet up with the other trainees. These visits have actually made me realise how diverse this job can be. And London is certainly a great place to visit libraries. I also have been improving my computer skills thanks to the many IT courses at the University.
My future plans are still a bit uncertain at the moment. I haven't applied for a library course as I am planning to gain some more work expierence first. I then want to move back to Zurich to study part-time there.

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