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Monday 23 February 2015

At a glance: life as an info librarian

The start of the day is often the quietest time in my office (ML108) when emails and mailing lists are checked – I use this time to add any interesting snippets of information to Twitter or to my Solent Online Learning subject guides. 

Through the day I get lots of varied emails from students and staff, from questions about legal referencing to “I can’t find anything on my topic”. I never know what I’ll be asked. I also operate an open door office policy so feel free to drop-in throughout the day with your interesting queries.

For longer enquiries, it’s usually best to email me and arrange a specific time, especially for dissertations. I enjoy helping you to find information on your topics and I always learn things from the discussions too. Often students are surprised by what we’ve found by using search tools and the library e-resources, but generally you have done the essential work of thinking about the topic, and I’ve just translated that into searches with you.

Make sure you take a look at all our e-resources on the library portal pages and contact us for more help using these to find relevant literature.

And remember, for all other enquiries, we also have our library enquiry desk.

I love working at the desk as you never know what you are going to be asked. I enjoy the interaction. We answer online chat enquiries too which are really informal and a great way to get a quick response – why not send us your query?

Often I’ll have teaching sessions for groups of students about using our e-resources or referencing, and once a week we offer a drop-in RefWorks session (a resource which helps with referencing by exporting information from library e-resources and then creating bibliographies in Word). Have a look at our RefWorks videos to find out more.

I also work on a range of projects supporting research, copyright, reading lists and digital literacy. I’m really proud of our reading list system here at Solent – lecturers can email their lists through to and then these are loaded and digitised for students. This makes it so easy to access core materials. 

I feel my role is first and foremost about supporting students and lecturers in their use of the library. It’s great to help in a small way towards degree achievements, so please do ask me and other library staff to support you in your studies now you know where I am and what I do!