Week One

I just finished my first week of work, and let me tell you, it has been a blur! I can’t believe how much has happened.

My official title is “Graduate Library Trainee,” and I’m working for the Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust (library homepage). The library is located next to Torbay Hospital’s Horizon Centre, but it also provides services for community partners/organizations within this trust that aren’t the hospital. According to the trust’s website

The Trust runs Torbay Hospital, nine community hospitals and provides health and social care in Dawlish, Teignmouth, Totnes, Dartmouth, Torbay, Newton Abbot, Ashburton, Bovey Tracey and the surrounding area.

This week acted as a crash course in library work. There are four people in my department, and the library manager also just started. On Monday we signed paperwork (lots of it), and went on a tour of the hospital (even getting to see where the hospital helicopters land!). I had only been to the library and horizon centre for my interview, and didn’t realize how big the hospital is. Here is a map.

One of the strangest moments of training happened when completing health and safety checks. Here we were required to measure (with a tape measure) the distance between the computer monitor and my head… I guess they don’t want to be sued if I strain my eyes!

Because our department is relatively small, I was able to get a taste of many different jobs, and start working almost immediately. Tasks that I’ve been working on include: processing new books and journals, answering and requesting interlibrary loans, and processing the paperwork that goes into signing up new students/doctors for the library. I also got to observe an induction training for new nurses.

It is overwhelming how nice and accommodating my coworkers are. They have worked so hard to make me feel at ease in this place, and are always ready to answer any questions that may come up (not only about library work – I’m also getting lots of good information about things to do and see in the area!).

It’s also very interesting to work in a healthcare library, and see the differences between public v. academic v. healthcare/speciality libraries. For instance, there are many ethical issues around medical and healthcare librarianship that I never considered.

After work most days I come back to my flat and crash. It is a little overwhelming to start at a new job, and so far my building is very quiet (and not social). To try to make friends I therefore am joining Devon Bootlegs on their weekly walk tomorrow. Hopefully the 6:30am wakeup will be well worth it!


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