My Path Through Research

The Trials and Triumphs of Doing a PhD

Research Day Away

Last Wednesday was Research Day Away for our department. What does that mean? It means that a ‘day out’ for the people in the department was organised…woohoo!

What was the plan? The plan was to meet at Tate Britain, where we got a tour of the Science Laboratories. We got the opportunity to hear the scientists there describing and discussing their work. I liked the way it was done, probably as, since we were all in the heritage field, they could go a bit beyond what would probably normally be explained to a general audience.

From there we then made our way to the Print Rooms. Jacob had been telling me about the Print Rooms since I first met him. But still – WOW – I was impressed. I was even more impressed by Julia, the registrar there…She knew everything about the prints/drawings she was showing us, and could discuss them in such a good manner. I was really impressed. Jacob also confirmed that picking any picture at random from the collection, she can discuss it to her hearts content.

From there it was then off to catch the Tate-to-Tate boat to get to Tate Modern. Last Wednesday was a perfect day, very sunny, with a very pleasant breeze on the river. Ahhh! Good weather 🙂 So pleased with that *GRIN*.

First up at Tate Modern was lunch…Woohooo! I don’t go out to eat very often (out of my price range I guess)…and what I realised at that point is that…well…making the food myself would have cost so much less :P. At least it was good :). After a relaxing dinner the plan was to go around the exhibitions and enjoy them. Luckily, I teamed up with Jacob (who’s is a staff member, hence free entrance ;)), so rather than the normal slow pace you tend to take when seeing exhibits in a museum (wanting to get the most out of what you pay), we could take a bit of a faster pace, stopping in front of what interests us, and just getting the feel for the materials in each room.

Soon it was however time for me to be off, as a friend of my had arrived in London that day and I was going to be off to meet her. Good day though…can’t wait for the next one (so I can take the day off without feeling guilty about it :P).

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UCL Library Services Staff Conference: Support for International Students

A few weeks ago I received an e-mail from the Head of the Enquiry Service, Debs, about possibly helping out in a Library Staff Seminar they were organising about International Students. Being me, I said sure! I’ll be happy to help (though I had no idea what this would entail).

Last week then Debs organised a meeting for the other two girls and I who had said we’ll help out. A report had been issued by SCONUL (Society of College, national and University Libraries) about ‘Library Services for International Students‘ and she asked us if we would be interested in presenting our views as international students to a group of the library staff during the yearly Library Staff Seminar (and we would be given lunch then ;)). Sure! We said.

During this meeting we discussed a bit what issues we could discuss, and just got to know each other a bit, and then went back to our offices etc. to continue with our work. I started thinking what I could discuss, and decided that the best way for me to approach the issues was to discuss the hurdles I found with Accessibility to the library…both physically (the library is split over a lot of buildings, so I regularly have to run round the whole campus to get the books I need), and electronically (the website is not the most user friendly). Julie, a Chinese girl, spoke about language problems, and money problems, while Nishi spoke about Services offered at the library (she was a master student, but now works in the library)

Though in a way it was me giving a ‘service’ to the library, I still got more out of it than just a lunch ;). Being there and listening to what was being said, and was made aware of services the library offers which I was never aware of (or at least their exact role and breadth of expertise they can offer). I also made contact with the subject librarian (who already knew me, as apparently I have been the only person this year to suggest a book for purchase from the ‘suggest a book link’ ;), and she was overjoyed that someone had used it and she got some suggestions, while I was overjoyed as the books were purchased).

All in all I think I gained a lot from it, not just gave a presentation. So glad I had decide to reply to that e-mail!

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