Trainee profiles 2012-2013

Institute of Classical Studies
Kate Symonds

Hi, I’m Kate the Winnington-Ingram trainee at the Joint Library of the Hellenic and Roman Societies and the Institute of Classical Studies. Until I started this job I knew very little about the strange and mysterious ways of Librarians but I’m learning. Slowly. I stumbled upon my traineeship entirely by accident whilst procrastinating during my Masters degree at Glasgow and was shocked that I’d never considered librarianship as a career before given my obsessive organising of every bookshelf I’ve ever owned.
 What I think makes this library such an amazing place to work is its size and speciality; there are only six members of staff (including myself) and the readers tend to be researchers and postgraduate students so there is quite a close-knit environment. The collection itself is vast; it takes a great deal of strength not to disappear between the shelves and spend half the day reading.
             My main duties include working on the circulation desk assisting customers with check outs and queries and also sending out postal loans and photocopies. I am also responsible for the processing of new books and book repairs. Repair and conservation I find particularly engaging and am continually researching and experimenting with better ways to preserve the collection. In addition to this I also update the library’s various social networking sites, operate the mailing list and am currently implementing a scanning service for readers as a temporary measure until the library has more advanced machines.
 I have really enjoyed the visits so far and am looking forward to the busy schedule we have for this term. It is excellent seeing such a variety of libraries and comparing how they operate in order to build a more complete picture of the profession as a whole. I am eager to learn more about digitisation and open access and to see how different libraries are adapting to a changing environment of readership. Having completed my traineeship I hope to continue working in libraries whilst saving for my library Masters. So far this year has been incredible and I hate the thought of not working with books every day.

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