Stepping Up, Up, Up and Away!

At the end of last year I was given the amazing opportunity to back fill one of my QUT colleagues and become a Liaison Librarian for the Faculty of Law. This was awesome (if temporary) and I have learnt a lot about myself and added a few new skills to my portfolio of things I can do.

So what skills have I learnt acting as an Liaison Librarian for the past 7 months? Here is a quick list in no particular order-

  • Liasioning – I have always felt I have strong interpersonal skills, particularly with those I know relatively well. This role was challenging as I had to reach out to academics I had never met before and almost sell my services to them. As a naturally awkward person this was difficult for me. But I used the great form of email to break the ice as I could spend time crafting the perfect email and send it to the academic I wanted to contact without having to come up with content on the spot and sound stilted or unqualified (one of my biggest worries!) Using email and then following it up with a face to face meeting really helped me to connect with my academics and improved my liaisoning skills #likeaboss
  • Teaching – Again my teaching skills coming into this role were not too bad but one new thing I had to learn was speaking in front of hundreds of students by myself in a lecture. This was very daunting but like any other teaching event very manageable when I did my prep work. I crafted lesson plans and powerpoint presentations, made sure I knew what I was talking about and (handy tip coming!) made sure I new what technology I would be dealing with ahead of time. By liaison (there’s that skills again :D) with my academic I felt confident that the content I was delivering was on point and most importantly new what recording software was being used. Luckily, it all ran smoothly and a couple of students even approached me after to say how useful it was #thosefeels
  • Autonomy – Working in this role meant I did not have desk or chat shifts so I had a whole bunch of extra time. I also was in the role that I usually went to to get assigned tasks to do. This meant I had to actually step up, think strategically, and at times create my own work. I joined working groups and started to really think about what things I wanted to do in this role. In the end I have several positive outputs including creating faculty wide newsletter to connect with our clients and promote library services and creating an Articulate Storyline learning object for the School of Justice that shows how to find different types of quality information and where the best resources to look at. Working more autonomously was really good as it gave me a sense of ownership and culpability and pushed me to really think about how I can best spend my time to benefit my clients and myself professionally #professionaldevelopment  

I have really enjoyed my time working as an Liaison Librarian at QUT. You are able to do some great work and have a real impact on students through liaising with academics and creating workshops and resources. I have learnt a lot from my work colleagues and managers and will hopefully take what I have learnt and continue to apply it as a Library and Information Professional. It has made me more confident as a librarian in general which has led me to accept a full time position at another library (how did this even happen)!

As sad as it is, after 6 years of working at QUT Library I will be moving on to work full time at Crown Law Library. I hope this new opportunity will allow me to continually develop more skills, give me some grounding and allow me to really sink my teeth into worthwhile projects as I get to spend 5 days a week at the same place #success!


A new information land – FINANCE!

So I haven’t written a blog for quite some time but I have an excuse! I have moved over to London and have been travelling, exploring and finding new work. It’s all been very faced paced and I am only now just starting to really settle in and have some spare time. I thought I would use this time to reflect on the new skills I have learnt and that I am developing over in London. Surprisingly there is more to London then just pubs and tourists, I have learnt and utilised many information skills!

My first job in London was as a temporary position within a finance team as an Administrative Assistant. They had BIG monthly deadlines that had to be met no matter what and a large influx of tickets and vouchers that had to be counted, recounted, recorded and invoiced daily. It was a very fast faced and high pressure environment that I did well in. By putting my head down and doing solid work I was always able to help the team reach their deadlines. Some of the key skills I developed were –

  • Inputting huge volumes of data accurately
  • Working to strict deadlines
  • Prioritising work schedule to meet deadlines
  • Filing copious amounts of paper files
  • Photocopying & scanning copious amounts of paperwork
  • Becoming familiar with creating invoices
  • Using invoicing program SAGE
  • Successfully communicating and working with team
  • Using complex Microsoft excel spreadsheets accurately

One of the key things I did in my 2 months of working with the finance team was helping them streamline one of their main duties, scanning. As I had previous experience with their brand of printer, I recommended a new option within the printer settings that allowed them to scan large documents without rushing. It also allowed them to continue their scan even if there was a jam. This saved them a lot of pain and time and scanning was a vital but very time consuming role within this team.

Working with Finance allowed me to develop my information skills by forcing me to process large quantities of information regularly and with a high level of accuracy. I could see that even the smallest amount of information, such as how many people where on a ticket, could affect not only the team but the business. For instance if a voucher was recorded wrong it could result in an incorrect invoice resulting in an unhappy customer and reflecting negatively on the business. I also used information skills whilst filing. Even in this task one out of place invoice means that the information is that much harder to locate. When labeling invoices they had to be given names according to a specific formula. This meant that they could be found easier at a later date. This showed a very important information retrieval system.

Overall, this job allowed me to develop my data inputting & filing skills. It also allowed me to see how important information management is to not only teams but the overall business needs. I will never forget my first job in London and all that it taught me!


Go back to Part D – Professional at Work