My new (academic) year’s resolutions

Copying Rachel and Tina, I have decided to make some new year’s resolutions. I have been working to the academic year for most of my life: school; college; university; working for a university, so it’s natural for me to see September as a fresh start.

Some of my previous new academic year’s resolutions have included:

  • Contribute something in every tutorial/seminar (mixed results)
  • Wear more skirts and dresses (successful)
  • Work crazy hard in my third year of my undergrad and drag my grade up, kicking and screaming, to a First (it nearly killed me, but I managed it)

Later this month I start my MA in Librarianship at the University of Sheffield, so unsurprisingly most of my resolutions relate to that. But I have also included some which aren’t strictly librarianship-related.

1. Work hard from the start

With my undergraduate degree I sort of dossed for my first year, and was a bit lost in my second. I really didn’t enjoy my second year modules, and felt as if I were doing many different topics. Halfway into my third year, my housemate and I did some complicated algebra (she mathed and I watched) to work out what we’d need to get per module and per essay to get certain grades. I’m not sure what happened, but I suddenly hit my stride and all these previously separate modules became complementary. I found the readings fascinating instead of a necessary evil. I managed to reach the average we had worked out, and got a First. It was a major slog, but worth it. If I had worked as hard from the beginning, my third year wouldn’t have been so stressful. I plan to work hard from the very beginning of my masters course, which will hopefully pay off later in the year.

2. Get what I pay for

Something I regret from my undergrad is that I hardly went to see lecturers about the work. When I did it was very helpful, but I didn’t tend to do it off my own back. When you work out how much you’re paying in tuition fees per contact hour, that just seems ridiculous. This year I am going to be proactive and ask for help when I need it. The department staff seem very friendly and helpful at Sheffield, so this one should hopefully be made easy 🙂

3. Stay in touch

I am awful at keeping in touch with people. I would hate to lose touch with the friends I’ve made in Oxford, so I will make a concerted effort not to resort to my usual bad ways.

4. Blog more

It’s a great way to keep a record and reflect on what I’ve been up to, so I’ll try to keep it up to date and interesting!

5. Take up something new

My list is getting pretty long now, but I hope to find a new activity or hobby when in Sheffield. In Exeter I tried cricket, which I loved, and started cycling in Oxford. I’ll try to carry on with both these, and maybe take up something new as well. I’m a bit worried I won’t have time while doing my masters, but I don’t want my life to only be about libraries!


I think that’s plenty to be getting on with!

Good luck to the 2011/12 trainees

The next cohort of trainees have started, and I must admit I am envious! I enjoyed my trainee year so much, I would happily have carried on for another year. But I am very excited to be starting library school later this month in Sheffield.

Just before we finished, we had a year in review session. This was an opportunity to let Staff Development know the good and bad things we experiences throughout the year. It was also a chance to put together some advice for this year’s trainees. In that session, I think the main thing we all thought was to seize the opportunities given throughout this year. I really enjoyed snooping round other libraries, and the sheer number of other trainees really allows that.  Plus it’s a good excuse for an hour or so out of the library!

Another thing to be prepared for, at least working in the SSL, is that you will become a photocopier engineer.

I personally found it useful to remind myself that, as important as working in a library is, it is still just a job. Sometimes the library will get crazy busy and it will seem like the end of the world if you get something wrong, but it really isn’t. Try to leave the stress of work at work. And remember, it will all get quiet again in vacation!

The traineeship, and working in the SSL, was wonderful, and has really fuelled my interest in the libraries/information profession. Good luck to this year’s lot, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!