Libraries · University

Placement Day 11.

Today has been the most tiring day and the one that has been the hardest physically but it’s been so worth it. This morning I got to visit The Hive, Europe’s first joint University and Public Library. It’s based in Worcester and looks like this:

The Hive, picture from http://www.wlhc.org.uk

It is spread over five floors, and in addition to the public and university libraries brings together the Worcestershire Hub (dealing with county council issues), county archaeology service and county archives. There are meeting rooms and a small performance space – this currently hosts a fascinating display of the things that were discovered when they dug the foundations ready to build the library.

I was there this morning both to be shown around and to join the vast team of library staff who are all working every possible hour to get all of the stock onto the shelves ready for the opening on Monday. The tour around was brilliant, there are so many exciting features to see in this library – I’ve already planned a visit with my parents so I can show it all off to them, and also get to see the library with users in it. I felt that The Hive had a lovely feel to it, there’s lots of wood everywhere which helps to make it feel warm and inviting. There’s loads more I could say, but instead I shall point you to the website for The Hive here.

For the shelving part of my visit I joined in with the adult fiction shelving, they’ve combined the public and university library fiction collections, most of the books that can fit on the shelves are out now so we were filling in any gaps from the stock they have stored. Based on previous openings they expect anything between 25 and 50 percent of the stock to be loaned on the first day of opening so they have plenty ready and waiting to fill the shelves back up.

Once we were back at the base this afternoon I spent some time helping to assemble and move shelving units – I didn’t expect this placement to require the use of screwdrivers and pliers though I was more than willing to get stuck in to a bit of handywork. We managed to get the new arrangement of shelving half filled, finishing that will probably be tomorrow afternoon’s task.

I ended the day by spending time with the Service Development Coordinator for Children and Families. She explained her role and talked through the various initiatives that she and her job share partner are involved with. It was really interesting both in terms of hearing what they do and also in why the role was created – these service development posts came as a result of a service wide review a few years ago that changed the structure of staffing across public libraries.

One thing I did decide today was that I’m going to volunteer for the Summer Reading Challenge this year, it’s a way I can see through one of things I’ve been hearing all about on my placement and something that I think will be great fun.

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