First week Experience with UEL and the Library
I am fortunate to be one of the prestigious “Commonwealth Professional Fellow (CPF)” working in a University of East London (UEL): Library and Learning Services for the period of three months. My fellowship has started on June 2, 2014 and It is altogether a different experience for me to coming here from India and adjust to London living. It is very thrilling experience for me to see how London life style with the technology is moving. Bus and train transports are amazing here.
On June 2, as soon as we arrived at UEL Library, our mentor Gurdish Sandhu along with program coordinator Kulvinder Kalsey welcomed us and briefed us about the fellowship program followed by a tea at Sports dock. Our mentor took us for lunch to Pizza Hut, it is outside the UEL campus and we had enjoyed the real western Pizza buffet. On first day it self we felt homely feeling here.
We are group of four and our second half day started with a induction program with the Library visit. Cath and Kulvinder took us to different sections of the Library and introduced us to staff. We had nice interaction with the Library staff during visit and I noticed that staff are very encouraging and cooperative. During the visit I found that UEL Library is using world best technologies and practices in their entire operations of the Library. Later Kulvinder took us around the campus as well.
Second day (June 2), started with the ECDL registration. European Computer Driving License (ECDL) by British Computer Society (BCS) is a very structured computer program with seven modules. The self learning modules and mock test platform of ECDL are really exciting. Kulvinder has given introduction to the ECDL program. We have also completed some of the formalities of fellowship.
First half of the third day, Gudish introduced us to Andy Cook, CIO of UEL. It was a really nice experience to talk to Andy Cook. We introduced ourselves and interacted with him on how our respective home institutions are progressing. We had a group photograph with Andy.
Later we had ECDL practice and i have passed the IT Security Level 1 with 83%. We are really studying ECDL like a school student. In the afternoon our mentor, Gurdish took us to Stratford Library (another branch), Stratford campus and Library is having excellent infrastructure. The Library building is very appealing. We have been introduced to staff over there. Stratford Library is having book sorter to sort out books which have returned. Its sort out the books based on the classification and books will be automatically transferred to different baskets kept in and it is saving huge manpower. The whole Library is having excellent learning atmosphere with the required self learning gadgets and study guides.
June 5, 2014 is our fourth day, in the first one hour we had ECDL practice with help of Ugoctti Ogodo. At 10:00 AM Mr. John took us for a presentation on Library Management Systems. He has introduced us to Alma, a product of ExLibris. We found from Jonn presentation that Alma has got latest functionalists. We had a interactive session with John and clarified so many issues with him especially, automatic placing of orders, 3M functionality, Alma support, different browsing experiences. It is really a very fruitful session. Thanks Mr. John.
On June 6, 2014 we spent our morning session on updating our blogs. In the afternoon we had ECDL practice.
As a whole our first five days at UEL was exciting, we all adjusted to working environment of UEL with the great support from the Library staff. In between we have explored the staff room which is located in the third floor of Library building, where we can prepare tea/coffee, warm-up our food items, can watch television and browse newsletters and other publications of UEL.
Our first week end was equally exciting, on Saturday (June 7), we have visited the one part of central London and seen the beauty of Tower Bridge, London Bridge, Tower of London. Walking on the sides of Thames in between Tower Bridge and London bridge is really a amazing experience.
On Sunday June 8, we have visited Kensington Palace which is one of the Historic Royal Palaces. This palace houses a stunning display of fashionalble and formal dresses of the Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection of HM The Queen and Diana, Princess of Wales. We saw people of London were taking Sun bath in the Kensington park. We walked up to Oxford Circus by looking at the serene architectural beauty of buildings on the street of “City of Westminister”. In the evening we had a walk on the streets of Oxford Circus which is the youth centric and one of the fascinating places of London.