50 objects 50: the people behind the books

In this blog series we’ve discussed many items and collections the Library makes available to staff, students, and visitors, but we haven’t discussed the mechanics of how that happens. The reality is that the Library couldn’t function in the same ways to support research and teaching without its staff.

The Library employs some sixty staff. Some of them you see often doing outward-facing tasks such as staffing the enquiry desk, helping find particular items, and teaching information literacy, but the ones behind the scenes are no less important to the smooth running of Library services.

There are people who buy the physical and electronic resources, who catalogue them, and who work on the systems and databases that enable you to search for them online. Staff work in research data management, meaning that data generated by research at Brunel is made freely available for further study. Others build displays and generate posters and social medial posts. There are administrative staff who make sure everything runs smoothly, and there are the Library Management Team who fight for and direct the Library’s budget, resources, and best practice.

In addition there are around fifty student staff members, who do invaluable work in helping to keep the library open 24/7 in term time. The Library is a more pleasant environment because of  those who move the furniture to accommodate different teaching and learning styles, and who clean the floors and empty the bins.

Of course people aren’t objects, but the objects we’ve discussed in this series are made accessible and meaningful by people: a library is always more than a space with books in, and Brunel is fortunate in having a team of skilled and dedicated staff who make the Library an excellent resource.

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