Saturday, 4 February 2012

Library Day in the Life #8, part 2

Main Library door is top right
Managed to get in by 7.30 this morning [needed to boost flexi time] – and since I was first in I “did the rounds” which includes lights on; cabinets unlocked; heaters on; copier on and change date on all stamps. Then I got to work: checked emails for enquiries, stamped and displayed newspapers [we take the Western Mail, South Wales Echo, Times and Independent], sent circulation journals down to Geology Dept [they get last week's Country Life and New Scientist to keep in their tea room for a week], processed journals for the Cardiff Naturalists' Society [we house and manage their library and do the same for the Cambrian Archaeological Association] and then I popped down to check on some accession numbers in the Botany Library. Then I did a bit of a tidying up and clearing away as we are taking part in the CLIC Cardiff Library Tours event tomorrow to celebrate National Libraries Day on Saturday. CLIC requested that members open their doors to other Librarians as a kind of “show and tell” so we are having two group tours at 10.30 and 2 o’clock. My part will be to show half of the morning group a selection of our departmental libraries along the east wing of the building and my colleague Kristine will be taking the other half on a tour of our west wing libraries; more about that tomorrow!

Vintage botany library

Didn’t get to the post until after lunch and today’s journal offerings included BSBI [Botanical Society of the British Isles] News, Current Archaeology [March issue containing extensive article on our very own Origins exhibition], Quarry Management, Museum Management and Curatorship and Vormen uit Vuur [Netherlands journal on the history of ceramics and glass]. Later on my colleague and I took some of our newly printed leaflets [and an Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales poster and stand] over to the Welsh Government building so they can display them for us tomorrow when they too take part in the CLIC library tours. It was only a five minute walk but it was freezing outside! The rest of the afternoon was spent getting everything ready for tomorrow; we needed to print off our visitors' list for the Main Hall reception desk; send emails to museum staff warning them we'd be out and about tomorrow polluting the peace and quiet of their precious libraries [if only for 10/15 minutes!]; letting security know what's happening and [finally] deciding what treasures to lay out for our guests to see. We've decided on a few special bindings, some of our old cuttings albums, a selection of vintage photographs showing the library in the "olden days" and an album with photos of some royal museum visits.

Today was such fun but by the end of it I was exhausted! I got in early around 8 o'clock and spent the next hour going through emails, tidying up around my desk and reading through the notes I'd written up for my part of the tour later. However, at 9 o'clock we all trouped down to the Main Hall for coffee, sweet pastries and an informative talk from our Director General on our exciting new exhibition The Queen: Art and Image and then went for a walk through it and oh boy it's fantastic! Organised by the National Portrait Gallery it contains 60 portaits of the Queen to celebrate her 60 year reign and whereas it does have some brilliant contemporary portaits [Chris Levine's light box is quite incredible] my favourites by far are the stylishly beautiful photographs by Cecil Beaton and Dorothy Wilding.

Some of our treasures

We were back up in the library by 9.45 laying everything out and before we knew it, it was 10.20 and we were in the Main Hall meeting our 12 guests! Among others there were quite a number from the various Cardiff University libraries, the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama Library, Welsh Government Library and Rhiwbina Library. We took them up to the Main Library where Kristine gave them a brief talk on the history and general running of the Library and then they were free to wander about and ask questions. After they'd had a good look around we split the group into two and I took one lot on a tour of our east wing libraries [Art, Geology and Botany] and Kristine took the others on a tour of our west wing [Zoology, Archaeology and Lodge Store]. I'm not used to talking to visitors en masse and was quite nervous to begin with but they were such an appreciative group I was soon enjoying myself and before I knew it, it was all over! After we said our goodbuys I went on a quick lunch and then popped along to the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama Library for a great tour of their facility which I throroughly enjoyed; and at this point the Librarian was looking after our second afternoon group. 

I've only written the briefest synopsis of today for this Library day in the life entry but I'm planning to write a fuller post later.

Thank you and goodnight :-)

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