Tenth Week Report of Commonwealth Professional Fellowship Programme

In this week we had a presentation on the role of Subject Librarians, Visit to Oxford Libraries, couple of discussions and review meeting.

August 4, 2014 (Monday)

In the first half of the day Mr. Robin Stinson, Subject Librarian (for Social Work, Psycho-social Studies, Sociology, Anthropology, ICT Studies, and International Development) had engaged us on detailed presentation and discussions on the role of subject Librarians in the UK and particularly in the UEL. Subject Librarians here are playing a significant role in the collection building, information skills training and academic liaison. They will be busy in inquiry desk duties, question point access, evening and weekend duties. Mr. Robin explained us on what are the steps involved in books ordering in UEL Library. It goes like this: Checking the reading list; ordering; making sure that the fund does not become overspent but the same time ensure that all the money is spent; checking the progress of orders and chasing up those orders of which are delayed with the suppliers.

CW Fellows with Robin Stinson, Subject Librarian

CW Fellows with Mr. Robin Stinson

In the information skills training, subject librarians offer training for both UG and PG students. They provide one-to-one training to help the students on how to write accurate assignments, references etc. using Cite them right. They also involved in creation of training modules, library assignments for students in association with the lectures. Library assignments were made available in the Moodle online. Subject Librarians will be liaising with the teachers and administration about the purchases, training sessions and innovation in the Library. They also involved in attending meetings of programme committee, school boards, teaching & schools committee. Subject Librarians also does stock reading every year.

At the end, Mr. Robin shown us the online Library assignments, annotations which have been offered to students. Thanks to Mr. Robin for engaging us and made us to understand the role of subject Librarians.

In the second half of the day I was busy in looking at the online Library assignments given to UEL students.

August 5, 2014 (Tuesday)

Visit to Oxford:

I got an opportunity to visit the world-leading centre of learning, teaching and research and the oldest university in the English-speaking world (ox.ac.uk).

First we have visited the Central Library of Oxford city. The Library is located in the centre of city with well connected transportation network. Important services offering by the Central Library to the public are: ebooks; e-audio; Films and Music DVDs/CDs; Books on other languages; Local study centre for family history resources; free wifi, self services; impressive children corner. etc.

Central Library, Oxford

Central Library, Oxford

Oxford4 Oxford5

Visit to Bodleian Libraries:

Oxford University

Oxford University

The Bodleian libraries offer integrated library services to the University of Oxford and comprises of nearly 40 libraries. There are major research libraries as well as libraries attached to faculties, departments and other institutions of the University. The combined collections of Bodleian Libraries number more than 11 million printed items, in addition to vast quantities of materials in many other formats (Bodleian Libraries).

Bodleian Library is the University’s main research library and a legal deposit library. It is the second largest in the UK after the British Library. It has 120 miles of occupied shelving, 29 reading rooms and 2,490 places for readers (bodleian.ox.ac.uk/bodley).

Oxford’s libraries are among the most celebrated in the world, not only for their incomparable collections of books and

Bodleian Libraries

Bodleian Libraries

manuscripts, but also for their buildings, some of which have remained in continuous use since the Middle Ages. Among them the Bodleian, the chief among the University’s libraries, has a special place. First opened to scholars in 1602, it incorporates an earlier library erected by the University in the fifteenth century to house books donated by Humfrey, Duke of Gloucester. Since 1602 it has expanded, slowly at first but with increasing momentum over the last 150 years, to keep pace with the ever-growing accumulation of books and papers, but the core of the old buildings has remained intact. These buildings are still used by students and scholars from all over the world, and they attract an ever-increasing number of visitors (Bodleian Library & Radcliffe Camera).

Myself and Rishi took a standard guided tour to explore more about the Bodleian Libraries. It is the fantastic tour and our visit covered the Divinity School, 17th Century Convocation House, Chancellor’s court room and Duke Humfrey’s medieval library.

Divinity School, built in 1488 for the teaching of theology. With its elaborately vaulted ceiling and its 455 carved bosses, it is a masterpiece of English Gothic architecture. 17th century Convocation House, where Parliament was held in the Civil War. Attached to convocation hall there is a Chancellor’s Court room. Duke Humfrey’s medieval library, still in use today, where generations of famous scholars have studied through the ages. Users of the Library, include five kings, 40 Nobel Prize winners, 25 British Prime Ministers and writers such as Oscar Wilde, C S Lewis and J R R Tolkien (What’s on).

It was a great experience to visit such a historical, outstanding library.

In the afternoon as per the scheduled we have visited the Bodleian Library of Commonwealth & African Studies (BLoCAS) at Rhodes House, South Parks Road, Oxford. BLoCAS was opened in 1929 and specialises in the history and current affairs, political, economic and social of the Commonwealth and sub-Saharan Africa including the offshore islands. The Library holds books, journals, theses, government publications and special collections  such as manuscripts, archives, special or rare books (bodleian.ox.ac.uk/rhodes). BLoCAS have arranged a special visit to his historic location to learn about the history of Rhodes House Library, the book and archive collections as it is relocating to the Weston library, oxford during September 2014.

Nine participants from the different institutions were on the special Library visit. Lucy, Archivist took us for Library tour and she explained the history, development and collections of BLoCAS Library. During the visit I got the opportunity to read the original hand written and typed letters of Mahatma Gandhi in the archival section of the Library. It was really a thrilling experience for me. Thanks to Lucy for taking us for a tour and Heather Dawson for arranging tour for us.

Oxford7 Oxford8 Oxford9

Then we have visited the exhibition on “The Great War: Personal Stories from Downing Street to the Trenches” in the premises of Bodleian Libraries. Its a good experience. In the evening we had  shopping in the Oxford town and returned to the London on the same day.

August 6, 2014 (Wednesday)

In the morning session I was going through the articles and ppts sent by Gurdish on “Case Study Report: York Collection Profile”, “Reinvisionning Library Spaces” and research support @ UEL.

In the afternoon I had a meeting with Mr. Yogendra Singh, Librarian, IIT Roorkee, India, he was on a visit to UEL for the discussion with Gurdish. With Yogendra, I had a discussion on Library scenarios in India in general and IIT Libraries in particular as compare to the higher education libraries in UK and UEL.  

August 7, 2014 (Thursday)

In the first half of the day I was going through the very informative slides sent by Gurdish on “Redefining the academic Library: Managing the Migration to Digital Information Services”. These slides gave glimpses of evolving appropriate metrics in the transformational information landscape; Journal cost crowding out books; library as a social learning space; opportunities ahead for libraries; leveraging E-books and shared repositories to reduce local holdings with the example of Hathi Trust; refining the purchasing algorithm; creating a broader range of options for scholarly communication; ways to encourage open access; smart allocation of library staff time; mobile information services at students’ fingertips etc.

In the afternoon we had a review meeting and discussions on Reinvisionning Library Spaces. In the discussion Gurdish gave many ideas on how should be the library spaces which are in support of current learning styles, communication styles. She explained with the example of pyramid. Also she has given examples on future spaces such a designing computer gaming labs with in the Library space etc.

Another topic she took for discussion was on influencing and persuading people whilst preparation of projects. Projects needs to be build based on the person not for the task to get positive results. She gave the hints on how to prepare projects for different kind of people: (i) Analyser – Here sanctioning authority will go by statistics, needs to build a rapport with the person; (ii) Task Drivers: They see out come or result of the project before apporval; (iii) Amiable: They expect detailed presentation with proper explanations; and (iv) Expressive: Needs to present in a inspired way with more energy levels. Contents covered in today’s discussions are very useful for us to understand the nature of people before going for projects presentations. Thanks to Gurdish for giving many ideas on reinvisionning Library Spaces, influencing and persuading people in a varieties of way.

August 8, 2014 (Friday)

The whole day I spent on reviewing this week work. After reviewing, recalling the happenings of the week, I started writing the tenth week report on blog. By the time I finished the blog report, tenth week of my fellowship got ended. Waiting for a nice weekend…!!!



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