We’ve been working to make borrowing books easier than ever.
Over the past few years we’ve been inserting RFID* tags into all our books. That’s many hours spent inserting tags and programming (we loved every moment of those stickers). Long story short, this means when you borrow a pile of books, you no longer have to find and scan every barcode in each book to check them out.
Our new self-issue machines can read multiple RFID tags at the same time as soon as you place the pile of books on the machine, making the whole process quicker and easier.
We’ve also made it possible to reserve on-shelf books. Just find a book you want via the Library Search and reserve it, whether it’s on-loan or on-the-shelf. If it’s on-loan it will be reserved for you when it’s returned. If it’s on-the-shelf, a member of library staff will fetch it for you and place it on the reserved-items shelf. You always get an email when it’s ready to collect. We’ve fetched 5,518 of these on-shelf books in the first trimester** alone!
* Radio Frequency Identification
** Trimester 1 was 27 September 2021 to 31 January 2022
It is strange to think that I’m already halfway through my internship, it has been about 6 weeks since I joined the Library Skills Team. As you may remember from my first blog post when I first started, I was a mixture of nerves and excitement wandering where my internship journey would take me. It is always natural to be nervous I think when starting a job. Though it’s safe to say those nerves didn’t last that long working with such a friendly and welcoming team.
What have I been up to?
In the first week of my internship, we just had our basic training going through fire safety and things like that. We also met all the staff and I got to meet the other Interns. At first, there was not a whole lot to do but Lee my supervisor gave me an opportunity to write a few small sections for the staff Digital Skills course. I got to write about Fake News and how to avoid online scams like phishing. In addition to this Lee also recommended to me and my fellow interns some MOOCs (Massive open online courses). These courses are very useful and when I had any downtime while working, I took a look at them and enrolled in a couple of courses.
Digital Skills Course
So, that was pretty much my first couple of weeks, but things didn’t really get going till it came to adapting the study skills course for students. For this, I first looked through everything that was written for the staff digital skills course and considered what could be useful for students. Some aspects I could use and just change slightly for a student audience, and I found ways to adapt some of the material aimed at teachers to work for students. I also came up with my own ideas and what digital skills I felt were relevant to students.
Later I discussed with Lee how we were going to deliver the content for students. We both felt that students would probably not engage as much with the course the way it was presented on Canvas so, we had to go in a different direction. As I have experience blogging and Lee wanted to get more content published on the library blog, I suggested writing the course as a series of blog posts. Lee seemed very interested in the idea and we came up with the plan for a post each week throughout the year. This way it feels less like a course, and it makes it easier to digest all the content over a full year than over a few weeks. We decided to call it #TechItUpTuesday if you want to see the latest post, please check it out and feel free to give me any feedback you have.
I am very much enjoying the experience so far; I’ve got to meet some very nice and friendly people. As I am working remotely it has also been most helpful to have a half-hour call almost every day just to talk about things other than work. I have also got the chance to stretch my writing muscles particularly with all the posts I have queued up to write for the digital skills course. I am now anxiously looking forward to what the rest of my internship has in store.
I can’t believe it’s already October. It’s autumn which is my favourite time of year, Halloween is upon us, but more importantly, I’m halfway through my internship with the Skills Team.
I am creating a brand- new, Public Communications skills guide. One section is all about blogging (ironic isn’t it), because Public Communications are pieces of writing, or visuals like posters and infographics that are created for the public sphere. This guide will go into detail about everything students need to know for such assessments.
What I’ve learnt in the last 6 weeks
By researching what it means to write for the public and the different formats used, I’ve developed new writing techniques and learnt the many factors of what goes into these formats. I’ve realised that the language I use, and my vocabulary has broadened, because writing is a craft. The more you practice, the more skilled you become.
As well as my writing, my proofreading and editing techniques have also developed. These are crucial to me as an aspiring author/poet, but also a blogger. Even though I’ve now completed my masters in English and Creative Writing, I will always be striving to develop my writing and editing techniques and this internship is providing me with this experience.
Something I haven’t had experience in before was copywriting, but it is a career I have been contemplating. I’m thankful for having the opportunity to learn how to copywrite and develop this skill further. The research for the copy was extensive; going down numerous rabbit holes, but if my studies taught me anything, it’s that sometimes these rabbit holes can be fruitful. It just so happens this was the case as I’ve now completed the copy for the guide.
The best is yet to come
With the copy completed, it’s time to build the skills guide. Helping with its construction and design were optional to me, but I want to make the most of the time I have working here. Learning how to design a website and how to use HTML coding is an area I’ve been wanting to get into. After completing my internship, I am looking at working in marketing and/or social media and having some web design expertise will make my applications stand out.
To sum it all up
In the last 6 weeks, I have become more confident in myself and my capabilities whilst gaining expertise in areas that will help me in my future career. A lot can happen in 6 weeks, so who knows what I’ll write about in my final update come November.
Here’s another autumnal image, because it’s pretty. There’s really no other reason for it being here.
The Journey so far – this is the sixth week and halfway through my journey as Visual Design Intern. The experience has been enlightening, eye-opening and fun to experience the work environment. I have not just sat at my home computer; I have also experienced the office life twice. This is very new but familiar as I was also a student that visited the library. As an Intern, I have seen different aspects of the library such as where the staff work.
These two work styles are very different from my experience with working from home I gain access to my software and a familiar atmosphere. The downside to this is face to face contact which is now slowly getting back to some normality. The one thing that I have found helpful is the daily meetings. These help me start and motivate my day and helps me practice using a camera and teams.
Within this time, I have gained a clear understanding of my role which is to help the other Interns design images and videos. This is for the Skills Guide and Digi skills. Creating images, I used PowerPoint and their icons. To create these icons I changed their size, colour and merged them together to create simple images. For the videos, these are instructive videos on how to create blogs, magazine articles, letters, opinion pieces and wikis.
In conclusion to my journey so far, I would say I have gained valuable experience and knowledge to move forward and carry on with my journey.
Hi again, it’s me, Codey, and I’m back with an update on the progress of my internship. Last time I mentioned that I’m the Customer Engagement and Communication intern, and I talked a little bit about what customer engagement broadly means. Now that it’s been a few weeks I’ve had a chance to dig into the role and figure out exactly what customer engagement is, why it’s so important, and how I can take that information away and produce something insightful and interesting by the end of my internship. I’m going to share some of what I’ve been up to with you all, and my thoughts throughout the process.
What is customer engagement?
One of my first tasks was to do some research into the ways that other academic institutions consider how best to engage with their customers. They do this by creating a Customer Engagement Strategy (CES), a plan of action regarding how they can ensure their service understands and meets the needs of their customers. Customer engagement is also about communication, because how else can they know exactly what the customer wants?
Why is it important?
There are many more aspects that make up customer engagement – inclusivity and accessibility, marketing, feedback and setting expectations – but suffice to say, it encompasses so much and that’s part of why it’s so important. Having excellent engagement with our customers means that they’re getting the most out of all that the library has to offer and increases their trust that the library will continue in providing excellent resources.
What have I been doing to try to improve the library’s customer engagement?
After doing some research into other institutions’ customer engagement strategies and plans, I delivered that information in a meeting to the library’s CES team, highlighting similarities and differences between theirs and ours. I identified a lot of common themes and some interesting stuff that was missing, and I think that information will really help shape the library’s strategy for the better. Part of the reason for my specific internship existing is that as a previous student at the University of Hull, I was a customer of the library, and potentially have some fresh insights into what it means to engage with a customer.
As a result of that feedback, you can now find the library’s Customer Engagement and Communication Strategy online on our website and see for yourself the commitment the library has made to provide excellent support to students, staff, and the general public.
Another interesting thing I’ve been working on is user testing of the library’s website. It’s increasingly important to have a robust online presence currently, and ensuring that the library’s online content is useful, easy to use and not hidden away is vital. We recently hosted a user testing session where a first-year student helped us to see exactly how a user interacts with our website, and because of that amazing feedback we’re already planning to improve parts of the site. It’s important to the library that we’re able to see our content through the eyes of a customer, to make sure what is being produced is effective.
What am I doing next?
So far, I’ve got more user testing sessions planned, which should hopefully give us a nice range of feedback from which to improve the library website. I’m also beginning the process of delivering some information directly to customers in the form of a skills-guide or blog post.
That’s all for now – hopefully that’s been interesting and I’m looking forward to my next internship blog post where I’ll be reflecting on the internship and will have some more stuff that I’ve delivered to present to you all. See you next time!
My adventure as an Intern first began with an e-mail from the Hull University Careers team. They were offering a whole range of interesting Internship opportunities for the university. After a difficult start to post-university life due to the COVID pandemic, when job opportunities were limited, I hoped to work in the media possibly as a writer or editor and so began writing my own blog about Music John’s Music Hub. I also worked a few part-time jobs such as writing for a music magazine MXDWN UK. This then led me to think, well I really enjoy writing and with my BA History degree I’ve also showcased my writing qualities. Therefore, I want to focus on an Internship that will give me knowledge in new areas, maybe learn some HTML, and also expand upon my writing abilities. That’s when I saw an internship with the Library Skills Team, where I would support the team in the writing and implementation of the Digital Skills course. Here was an opportunity to further showcase my writing ability and really get my career running and expand into new areas.
Then I got to work, updated my CV, and wrote my covering letter and I waited a few days, maybe a couple of weeks I don’t recall exactly, and I got an e-mail from Lee Fallin asking me for an interview. The interview with Lee was very pleasant and relaxed he gave me the chance to ask him a few questions whilst he told me all about the internship and ended with him confirming I had the job. Now I just had to wait with bated breath for my internship to begin.
You may wonder how other than my writing skills I can help people learn about digital skills, well let me tell you. As a blogger who runs their own website I have experience in how media is implemented in the digital world as well as how to keep my information safe online. I also learned many digital skills during my time as a university student where I improved my proficiency in Microsoft office and used many digital tools to aid in my study. As a former student, I also feel I would know how best to adapt the information we are delivering to a student audience. I’ve always had an interest in computers and everything digital and since I was about 4 years old, I was already able to use a computer (although mainly for games).
The first day finally arrived after signing all the necessary documents a few days before, as with most people on starting a new job I was a mixture of nerves and excitement. I was also joined by 3 other interns with various different responsibilities for the library or Skills Team, we then got to meet some of the staff including Lee my intern supervisor. The first week mainly consisted of basic training and meetings with all the other staff members as well as going through all the health and safety details.
I’m now into my second week and have already written a few small sections of the Digital Skills course as well as writing this, my first blog post for the University. This will be the first of several blog entries where I will write about various study skills mainly focused on digital skills.
Last year I graduated with a BA in Creative Writing and Film Studies, afterwards, I went straight on to a masters to study English and Creative Writing. I am currently working on my dissertation, a poetry portfolio. I’m a Poet, wouldn’t you know it… Yes, with a capital P as I’ve had a few poems published in online journals, however, this portfolio is going to be my first complete collection.
The main reasons I decided to do my degrees are the same for wanting to do this internship:
It’s a chance to let my creativity flow
To further pursue my passion for writing
To gain more experience as a writer
“But Jo,” I hear you say. “What will your internship include?”
Ok, ok I’ll tell you…
I’m working as part of the Skills Team, in the library to develop new Skills Guides for students. Living in the digital age the way we work, and how we’re assessed is ever-evolving. We need new guides to help students working on Public Communication assessments, such as academic blogs, magazine articles, letters to the editor, and author wikis. My job is to research such assessments, compile the information and transform it into accessible and readable advice for all.
“Didn’t you say you write poetry, how is that going to help you?”
Good question and I can see why you’d think a poet may not have the expertise to write these guides, but I don’t only write poetry. Throughout my four years of study, I’ve put my hand to a vast array of forms. Just because it says “Creative” in my degree title doesn’t mean I got away from academic writing. On the contrary. I’ve written many academic essays, critiques, reflective journals, and commentaries, as well as some reviews here and there. In the second year of my undergraduate degree, I wrote a 5000-word project, in film studies, discussing whether makeover television programmes create a false sense of beauty compared to that we see in beauty vlogs. And, no I didn’t include any poetry.
The academic side of my degrees provided me with researching and critical thinking techniques, whereas the creative side gave me the space to let my creativity shine and ideas flow. Both sides provided me with the techniques I need to develop content for the Skills Guides being created.
“That’s great! Last question; after these 12 weeks, what then?”
Once the project is complete, I will be able to state that I have expertise in areas such as copywriting and public communications. This will greatly increase my chances of completing my goals of working in social media and/or public relations.
“Thank you for answering these questions and good luck!”
Travelling through the up and downs of my journey as an intern
Where to begin …….
It all started last year at the end of my degree finishing Entertainment and Games Design in which I gained a 2:2. This is where I learnt my creative flare and learnt to level up my skills. Then my journey hit a roadblock where I could not expand my horizon and lost my motivation and due to the lockdown did not know which way to turn.
Looking beyond the horizon I looked at LinkedIn for connections and contacts regarding opportunities and Udemy to make sure my skills with other tools did not fade and learnt new skills. One day whilst looking through LinkedIn I saw an opportunity called Humberside Internship Programme (HIP). After a few weeks and many conversations, I received an email inviting me on an internship. I felt in disbelief and delighted to have been invited.
So that journey pressed forward…
So, first week arrives and I am introduced to the Skills Team and the project I would be working on. This was exciting but nervous. Throughout the talks I felt that my head was going to explode with the information, websites and steps to take forward. With the help of Lee and the other members of staff and interns it showed me a guiding light into the unknown and this has been a good learning curve for me.
In this internship my title is Visual Design Intern. My focus is to look at the skills guide and create a more welcoming and easier experience to this website for the user. This includes:
Opportunities to add rich media (animations, quizzes, videos and so on)
Supporting the others to enhance their work with media
At my journeys end…
I would have enhanced the skill guide with rich media and gained experience in the working environment and working within a team. This experience would give me confidence to move on to the next adventure and hopefully many more experiences to come.
Last week, I began an internship working with the Library at the University of Hull, with a focus on Customer Engagement and Communications. The role is entirely based online, and while there is the option to come into the library, it’s not as viable now that I am living back in London after finishing my degree. I studied Computer Science and having been told all that, you might have some of the following questions by now.
Who are you, mysterious blog writer?!
What is Customer Engagement, and why should I care about it?
How can you do internship from home? Who are you making the coffee for?
What does Computer Science have to do with customers? Get back to fixing printers!
(It is possible that you did not actually have any of these questions, but for the purpose of the blog, it’s important that you know these things so that in several weeks when I tell you about the amazing progress I’ve made, it’ll all make sense. So, bear with me!)
Wow, those are some great questions! Let me explain a little…
Unmasking the mysterious blog writer
Hi there! My name’s Codey. I’m 22 years old and I’ve been at Hull University since 2017. I like reading (fantasy novels mostly), writing (this blog post), martial arts, and dogs. I’ve got red hair, and I’ve got a rare birthmark on the entirety of my right arm. I wear glasses and my hearing isn’t great. I know, I know, I’ve made myself sound way too cool, please forgive me.
Customer Engagement, what is it good for?
This is a subject we’ll get into a lot more in-depth in my next blog post, where I will have done a lot more work on the subject. For now, I can at least give you the same surface detail that I have. Customer Engagement is all about actively building, supporting, and managing relationships with customers. I’ll explain more about what that means to me and my role specifically next time.
An internship, from the comfort of my own home?
It’s interesting. I’ve spent the last year of my academic study working from home, so you would think I’d be used to it by now. But it still felt weird to be starting a job in my bedroom. However, it’s been very easy to settle in. There’s been so much support and being a part of a group of other interns helps a lot. Over the last week couple of weeks, I’ve spent a lot of time just meeting people and learning about what they do, and with daily meetings over the camera, I really do feel like I’m a part of a team of people, instead of just working alone.
Computer Science with a focus on the customer? You’re mad!
Despite being a Computer Science graduate, I’ve found during my volunteering that one of the things I enjoy most is the opportunity to help people and problem solve. Personally, I don’t think I’d be able to enjoy a job that doesn’t involve some essence of customer service. This internship offers me a great opportunity to look at a professional environment from the perspective of the customer, while also getting some great experience working in a professional environment.
So! Hopefully, that gives you a little bit of an introduction as to who I am and what I’m doing, and I can’t wait to tell you more in my next blog about what I’ve been up to. See you next time!
The University Library is happy to be hosting four internships, providing four of our recent graduates with paid work experience. Our interns all started 23rd August and will be working with us for 12 weeks. They will be delivering defined projects, and we look forward to the energy and enthusiasm they will bring.
You can find out more about our new interns via our new University Library Blog over this week. Each of our interns have written an article to introduce themselves. Here is the publication schedule: