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Library Day in the Life: Thursday

Am taking part in the Library Day in the Life this week. I am currently working as an information assistant at a London law firm, and also studying towards my MSc in Library and Information Studies at City University.

Thursday 30th July

Left home about half an hour earlier than usual – one of the train lines was striking, so I had to negotiate the even-more-chaotic-then-usual London Underground. Got into work about 10 minutes early, and was the first one there – that never happens!

Had an email from a fellow BIALL member regarding the website – I’ve agreed to liaise with the PR committee regarding revamping their pages, and they were having their quarterly meeting today. The committee chair wanted to know if there was anything specific she should raise regarding the web pages – I’m fairly new to the web board so I emailed the web committee chair to run my ideas by her before I replied to the PR chair.

Went through my usual morning tasks, and was 20p poorer by 10.30: we have a “no worries” box in the office – it’s a phrase we all really overuse – so every time you say it you have to put 20p in the box. Actually the first time I’d been caught out – I’ve been really careful so far!

Went through the current awareness stuff – there’s a big case at the moment which is of interest to our personal injury team, and it was reported in all of the papers yesterday. When that happens I have to read through them all to decide which carries the most detail which is relevant to us – I went with the FT. Other than that, the current awareness bulletin was a bit sparse – everything is winding down for the summer now.

Finished the bulletin at about 11.30, and spent the next hour doing the book round – basically going to the lawyers’ offices, asking politely if they have anything that needs taking back to the library and chasing down anything which has gone missing (our lawyers have a bit of a habit of stealing books from each others’ offices, so the person the book is checked out to usually doesn’t actually have it). I do this once a week – it’s a good chance to get out and about and put some faces to names.

Raining again at lunch time so I stayed at my desk and blogged my day in the life for Tuesday. After lunch I was on enquiries again – I expected a dull afternoon but was actually surprisingly busy. Had a good mix of enquiries to deal with, including tracking down a British Standard (the lawyer in question had assumed she’d be able to find it online, was very disappointed when I explained that we’d need to order it in!), doing a few Companies House searches, finishing off the background research on conference delegates from yesterday, and finding a couple of cases. Had the inevitable request for a case “involving these parties, probably published in this journal, from about this date…” where the party names were misspelled, the journal was wrong and the date was about a decade out. Found it anyway, thanks to my super librarian skillz – lawyer was much impressed!

Went quiet for an hour after that, so I blogged my Wednesday day in the life. Got to about 5pm and I was desperately searching for something I could do while staying at my desk, when a truly evil enquiry about treaties came in. Why would you save that for half an hour before finish?? Treaties are a bugger to find at the best of times, even if the UK is a signatory – we weren’t for this one, it was a treaty between Germany and the Czech Republic. Oh yes, and the lawyer needed it in English. Marvellous. I did manage to find an organisation in the US that may have been able to supply a copy – emailed them to find out what language it was in, if they could supply it and how much it would cost. They didn’t get back to me before the end of the day so that one will have to wait.

We were due to go for drinks with the marketing team after work, but they unanimously cancelled on us at the last minute, so it ended up being a library night out. Was good fun – nice to get a chance to chat with my new colleagues away from the office. The woman who used to do my job came along too, first time I’d met her. We had a really good chat about social networking, and swapped a bit of gossip – she did her MSc at City too, and did her graduate trainee at the same place I did (in fact, we’ve got virtually identical CVs…), so we know a few of the same people.

Well, that’s the end of my week in the life – Friday is my study leave day, so I will be working hard on my dissertation at home. This has been an interesting exercise for me, I’ve never really thought that carefully about what I actually do all day! Has been good to follow other posts too, have discovered a few new blogs to subscribe to. I hope this has been reasonably interesting to anyone reading!

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