Day 9 Silence, silence everywhere. Not a sound to be heard.

I have a very limited knowledge of academic libraries, this being my first time back stage so to speak so I may be making vast generalisations here. If you have more experience I would really like to know your opinions as I have found it to be quite an isolating place and worry that the people who work here may also have that experience. People have been very friendly and welcoming and I realise that I am creating more work and they have their jobs to do but it is so quiet.

As a teacher librarian I spend all day in a busy, often noisy environment where I have to communicate constantly with children and colleagues. Our library often has 2 classes of 30, other teachers and parents, and so it is rarely silent and often buzzing. I don’t want it to be a silent place. It is a place of learning and I expect our children to collaborate and communicate. They need to be mindful of others needs but it is not an academic library so the environment here is going to be different.

The expectation here is that everyone works quietly/silently unless they have booked a studyroom where they can work as a group and build understanding through discussions. That is what I expected. It is certainly very busy but what I think has surprised me is that I think you could work here all week and come into very little contact with the patrons. Yes the assistant librarians have to take turns on the information desk but many others in the work force are physically very removed from the users. Does that matter? Are they still capable of fulfilling the needs of users? Do they remain motived and passionate about their job? I don’t know. Maybe it is no different to a shop. The shop manager very rarely appears on the shopfloor. When they do it is usually to check things are running well… is this how it works in the library?

Much of the day in the Information, the Aquistions and the Media Sections are spent in front of a computer in a very quiet office. (Many without windows.) Everyone, I suppose quiet rightly, is focused on the work they have to do and is getting on with it but the silence of the library spills into the offices. In the Information Section this is because it is partially open to the library but the other areas I visited where just as quiet. I thought there might have been a bit of chat between coworkers but there appears not to be. I do realise that I am working in a place where English is not a first language for many people and may be missing out on some of these conversations, I might have even changed the dynamics of the office, but it is so damn quiet!

Is this always the case? Can anyone shed any light? Is it a lonely job? And where does the motivation come from? I’m not sure I could do it. Then again not everyone would like 60 children collaborating and talking, making a mess of the shelves and enjoying themselves.

Advertisements

Day One

Welcome to the Mong Man Wai Library.
After an almost 2 hour journey I arrived and was greeted by Cherrie. After a quick orientation and a tour I was left with information brochures to absorb and asked to make myself aquainted with the libray website.

Vision
As a centre for teaching, learning and research in a university-level institution, the Library will be the leading technology based quality service provider in the Asia-Pacific Region, best known for its excellent information resources and the exploitation of all and any available resources in the area of education

Mission
To support the Institute’s commitment to excellence in education and continuous professional development for teachers in Hong Kong by:

Providing quality information services to students, staff and the community at large

Developing resources without prejudice and limitation to languages, contents and formats

Ensuring a continuous free flow of information via state-of-the-art technology under the Library’s concept of “Library-without-Walls”

Collaborating with university, institutional and governmental libraries in Hong Kong and the Greater China Region for resources sharing

The library has 7 collaborative partners based in HK, China and Taiwan.

Research services
A comprehensive range of services to support yourresearch needs are provided. The services are available on a personalized basis, and can be adapted to help undertake preliminary research into a topic, frame research questions, track existing research in a given field, and offer support throughout a research project.
The following services are offered.
Literature searchesResearch consultation… Librarians in the Information Services and Research Section are available on call to discuss your research needs with you, either in person, by phone or email. The Library can advise on the range of available resources which are most pertinent to your research inquiry, and can assist in designing the most appropriate database search strategies.’
Document delivery services
When books and journal articles are not available electronically or in print form in the HKIEd Library collections, the Library can request them on your behalf through its Document Delivery or Inter-Library Loans services.
Research citation databases
“The Library has subscribed a number of research databases with citation search functions. With tools like “Cited Author Search”, researchers can easily discover who are citing their works, track prior research and monitor current developments, and follow the path of today’s hottest ideas.”
Journal Evaluation Metrics.
The Library is developing a suite of research evaluation tools for the identification of the most influential publications in a particular field. The Journal Citation Reports (JCR), Scopus, and SCImago Journal & Country Rank enable the identification and comparison of the status and impact of a range of leading English language journals in a field.

Jornal Contirbution Guideleines.
Guidlines are provided for those that are interested in publishing in particular journals.

Promotion of research from HKIEd
The library provides a respository for the researchers in order that they can build a prescence in the academic world even if their work is not intended for publication.

Citation managementThrough the provision of Endnote and RefWorks researchers staff and sytudents will find citation management easier.

Current awareness tools
Personal research profiles can be set up. (SDI) Selective Dissemination of Information) Information in the form of electronic databases and journals can be sent from RSS feeds from assigned librarians after iniatial profiling of research interest has be completed.

Workshops and instructionThe Library can provide individual or group instruction in the use of all of its databases and research tools – such as Journal Citation Reports, EndNote or EdSearch.

Placement starts tomorrow

It is finally here! I feel like a student teacher about to embark on teaching practice. I am a little bit nervous and have no idea what I’ll be doing. I have been a teacher for over 25 years and have never done anything else but teach in all that time. Well they say a change is as good as a rest. I’m looking forward to the challenge if not the 1.5 hour journey I’m going to have to make each day. I intend to use this page record my reflections and collate my ideas before writing my final paper which will have to be handed in around a month from now. Wish me luck!