First, a word of introduction! I am now part of the Editor team for this blog. My name is Julian Wood, I am 39 years old and I work at the University of Bristol Library Services as a Library Assistant in the main Arts & Social Sciences Library, and in the Medical Library. I’m also studying the Distance MA Information and Library Studies at Aberystwyth University.
I am a CILIP Student Member (at the very generous rate of free membership!), and recently attended the CILIP Emerging Technologies Day (see Steve’s report on it here and here). In my free time I like cycling, meeting friends and reading.
I am a lifelong fan of libraries. At school it was a place of refuge to escape to when, as well as a place of inspiration and calm. My first job was as the ‘Saturday girl’ (they had always been girls, for some reason) at my local library in Malvern, Worcestershire.
I then studied German and Russian at Edinburgh University (1996-2000). After that, I spent a few years teaching English and translating in the Czech Republic. I started working at the University of Bristol in 2008, and in 2012 started the MA.
I am lucky to have always been keen on technology, so I’ve managed to keep up-to-date with IT. The MA course has helped with this, and with a lot of other aspects. See my article for Research Information for what I’ve learnt on the course.
Other things I appreciate about working in a University library:
- Colleagues are really kind and helpful.
- Everyone I work with has fascinating interests outside work- we have artists, musicians, writers…
- The students (undegraduate and postgraduate) are almost all friendly, polite and grateful
I’m presently working at our Medical Library most of the week. It is amazing me how different the Medical students are- very mature for their age.
I love working in a public-facing role, as I enjoy helping people. I find Customer Service very interesting. Above all, I think a smile and being welcoming goes a long way. I try to greet students as they enter the library, and remain approachable rather than too focused on my computer screen!
And to finish off with- a picture of my hamster John. He once shredded an entire Russian dictionary I offered him as bedding, and so is a wannabe librarian too:)