Library Placement Student

Stefanie has been working with us for a few weeks on a placement as part of her PG course in Library and Information Studies at Robert Gordon University.  Here she tells us about her experience of working with the Scholarly Communications Team.

I arrived for my placement with the Scholarly Communications Team filled with elements of isolated theoretical knowledge and the notion that the library profession was undergoing drastic changes. In the course of the placement learned much about the applicability of my course modules, the profession and my future professional goals.

The opportunity to work with PURE from the very first day gave me the impression that I could positively contribute to the team’s daily work rather than being a distraction. The correction and updating of metadata may not be the most exciting duty but I enjoy detail-oriented work and it is a very vital part of information management and library work. It was a task that allowed me to work largely independently following the initial introduction. Additionally, the digitization project provided a nice counterpoint to the PURE task. Much library work seems to be centred on comparable projects with staff often working on several such projects at any given time.

At the start of the project, its purpose and goal were clearly explained, I was introduced to the relevant staff members and given an introduction to the equipment. This was quite useful as it provided the necessary information for a successful start but left me free to test my project management skills. Guidance and support in my PURE tasks and the digitization project were also just one question away giving me the confidence to apply the theoretical skills acquired throughout the course modules in a practical manner.

Dominic did a fantastic job arranging personal interviews with numerous staff from Research & Learning Services as well as Library & University Collections. I learned so much through these interviews that I could feel an entire report with it. The information and knowledge that everyone so willingly shared with me (Thank you!) has contributed immensely to my newly constructed view of the expanding rather than changing role of the library profession. Every interview echoed different bits and pieces of the theoretical knowledge from my course modules. This truly stressed the fact that no one is just a cataloguer or a metadata specialist. For a large information/library department such as the University of Edinburgh’s IS to work effectively, everyone must make use of numerous different skills and be willing to work across departments on various projects whilst still accomplishing the routine day-to-day tasks of the official job title.

I want to thank everyone for their time and generosity throughout my placement. The placement has made it possible for me to realize that I do not have to choose one particular aspect of the information management and library profession. The knowledge acquired on the course joins well with my previous education and experience opening the doors to wide variety of possible positions in the profession with many more opportunities awaiting in the form of small and large projects.

I can only hope that I was able to return the favour in small part and contribute positively to the work of the Scholarly Communications team.

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