In June 2021 we were delighted to welcome a student named Joseph for five days of work experience at the Library. He's written all about what his week was like on this guest blog:
Hi! I’m Joseph, and this week I’ve been doing work experience at the Guille-Allès Library. I thought I’d do a blog post talking about my experience here, to give people a glimpse into the inner workings of the Library, as well as giving other people who may want to do work experience here an idea of what you might be doing.
I started the week with a tour of the entire Library. You may think it’s quite big when you come inside, but it’s even bigger when you look through all of the staff area! It’s like a maze, with all of the different store rooms and stairways, most of them filled with even more books! It was very hard to find my way around at first, but I soon got the hang of it with help from the library staff. My first day was quite varied, and I was shown how to work on the Counter, and how to help out with certain problems and questions customers had. Throughout the week, that was one of my favourite parts of the job, helping out and chatting to the many different people who come to the Library. The conversations with those who came for IT support, or who were looking for certain books were mostly very fun. Throughout the week I helped out a huge amount of people, and nearly all of them were lovely.
That was one of my favourite parts of the job, helping out and chatting to the many different people who come to the Library.
I also had a great time with all of the other staff I was working with. Whether I was on the front desk, helping out in the children’s library, or working in processing, it was a joy to work with the library staff; they were always incredibly friendly and accommodating, as well as very fun to chat to! One of the highlights of my experience was going out to a care home with the Outreach team, and chatting and reading to the elderly people there, talking about what Guernsey was like back when they were young, and having a brilliant time. It felt great bringing books to people who weren’t able to go to the library themselves, as well as giving them a chance to chat and talk more than they normally would be able to. The community outreach from the Library is so important, and I’m very glad I was able to experience it.
One of the highlights of my experience was going out to a care home with the Outreach team, and chatting and reading to the elderly people there, talking about what Guernsey was like back when they were young, and having a brilliant time.
Another highlight was when I helped out with the Baby Bounce session on Thursday. I helped set up the toys and rattles, then sang and read to some adorable babies, as well as using puppets to make it even more exciting for them. Both the infants and their mums seemed to really enjoy it, and it was so great to see the smiles on their faces as we all sung nursery rhymes! I worked in the children’s library quite a bit, helping out in the story tower and with the Tots group. All the staff there were brilliant as well, I had a great time helping them with the children and school groups. It was especially lovely to see more shy children open up when we sang and read stories with them, you could really tell everyone who worked in the children’s section absolutely loved it there, and had a real passion for helping kids learn and read. It was definitely one of the highlights of my experience here.
I sang and read to some adorable babies...it was so great to see the smiles on their faces as we all sung nursery rhymes!
The look into the whole process of the Library was also incredibly interesting. The process of getting new stock, or returning a book to the shelves is a lot more than you would think, involving quite a lot of organising, scanning, and double checking to make sure the books end up in the right place. As well as this, I saw how we get new stock, the system of ordering fiction and non-fiction books, and even the processing of things like puzzles and movies! All of it is fascinating and quite satisfying once you’ve finally learnt what to do, and you can get it right!
One thing that really surprised me was how much the Library has. It’s a lot more than just books! When I worked on the social media and digital desk, I learnt about all the different services the library provides, and one which really impressed me was the eBook service! With Libby, you can get a ton of books, magazines, and other stuff online. I didn’t realise how much the Library had, both online and on site, with movies, audiobooks, magazines, graphic novels - there’s so much here!
One thing that really surprised me was how much the Library has. It's a lot more than just books!
There’s so much more to working at the Library than I expected, and it’s all been very enjoyable and informative, I’ve learnt a lot of skills which will be very useful in any other job I get. I want to thank everyone at the Library for making me feel so welcomed and involved, as well as being very understanding when I get things wrong! I’m really going to miss being part of the library team, but hopefully I will be again soon when I do some volunteering here over the summer!
I would wholeheartedly recommend doing work experience here, especially if you’re interested in the library, or a customer facing job, as you work with people of all ages, from babies to the elderly. The experience has been incredible, I’ve learnt so much! Thank you to everyone on the library team for giving me such an incredible opportunity, I’ve absolutely loved working here. I hope this post convinces someone to have a go volunteering, or doing work experience. It has been well worth it for me, and I don’t think I’m ever going to forget this week!
Thanks so much to Joseph for this post. We really enjoyed having you with us this week, and we're going to miss you too!