Thursday 9 January 2014

Meet your Academic Services Librarian #11

Ffion Bell
Library Graduate Trainee 2013/2014

I'm Ffion, and I'm the other 50% percent of the Library Graduate Trainees working in Information Services this year. Before the new year I worked with Lending (mainly trying to be helpful at the enquiry desks) as well as E-services & Communications. Now I've moved over to Academic Services (which explains this blog post) and Collections, Acquisitions & Resource Management.
On a boat-bus in Copenhagen
Originally from Pembrokeshire, I studied towards a BA in English and Archaeology at Queen's University Belfast - an excellent chance to read (getting distracted from my first library shelving job in the evenings) and spend summers digging holes in Irish turf bogs as well as places like Transylvania and Pompeii. For my 3rd year I studied abroad at Aarhus University in Denmark...I liked it so much I moved back over there shortly after graduation.

After realising I enjoyed the treasure-hunt of finding my way around databases/ sources/ library systems far more than writing the actual essays, I decided to learn all about doing that in an official sort of way. So I spent two years in Copenhagen, completing an M.L.I.Sc at the Royal School of Library and Information Science as well as working in an international school library and at an engineering firm (picking up random knowledge about wind turbines and different sorts of concrete along the way).

Somewhere under the Mendip Hills in Somerset
I'm enjoying working here at Aberystwyth University, as it's a great chance to learn about what different teams within Information Services do, and to develop my own skills. Easy access to thousands and thousands of books is also a plus - as you can probably imagine I am a massive bookworm (or as they say in Danish, a 'l├Žseheste', literally 'reading horse'). My favourites change all the time, but one I tell everyone to read if they haven't already is All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque - it's heartbreaking but brilliant.

Being back in Wales again is great, as I can wander about up mountains and along windy cliffs whenever I want in my free time - I missed that in Denmark which is almost completely flat. Wales also has limestone and old mines, so there's a chance to go caving/underground exploring again - while mud, darkness, and small holes underground are all involved it's far more fun than that sounds (I promise!).

Near Kutaisi, Georgia
I'm not sure where I'll end up living next, but I do like travelling all over the place, and I hope to continue doing so. Before starting this job in July 2013 I had a wander around Georgia and Armenia, which are both fascinating places to visit - one particularly memorable day was spent being fed khachapuri (a sort of cheesy-bread) and tea by friendly Georgian librarians at Tbilisi State University. Most people there knew where Wales is too, which was nice, because they are very keen on rugby!

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