A post by Sarah Wolfenden and Katie Flanagan.
On 18th April, we welcomed members from one of the CILIP special interest groups: the Academic and Research Libraries Group (ARLG) London and South East Division, who travelled all the way up the Metropolitan line to have a tour around Brunel University Library with Sarah Wolfenden and to hear Katie Flanagan talk about the Special Collections. One of them had already spent the morning getting acquainted with the Brunel Library Inter Library Loans system and she’d had such a good time that she’d come back for more!
The visit started off with a tour around the Library with Sarah, the Subject Liaison Librarian for the School of Social Sciences. They were particularly interested in how our reservation system works as well as really liking the idea of the Pod on the ground floor, where students can make enquiries, with one person stating “it looks like you’re offering a really special service to the students”. The group visited the various floors of the Library, trying out the various QR codes dotted about to sounds of “ooh, isn’t that useful”!
After half an hour or so, we made our way to the Research Commons to meet Katie and see her in action. She discussed in detail the collections, the work needed to look after them, how she promotes them both internally and externally and showed us all some of the materials used to package them. We also got to see some of the variety of the collections, (including a chair!), various examples of signage and the downsides of using staplers – if you don’t know, why not pay a visit to the third floor to find out? The visitors asked lots of questions, and we were able to highlight our use of LibAnswers for enquiries. At least one of them will be going back to their manager to try and implement it at their workplace.
The feedback from the group was all positive and comments mentioned that they had learned new things about promotion, about managing reading rooms and had improved their knowledge of Special Collections in general. All in all – a good afternoon was had.