A day in Magdalene Libraries: Part 1

To continue our ‘behind the scenes’ series of blog posts for National Libraries Day, Sophie Connor writes about her role in the College Library at Magdalene.

Sophie Connor, Libraries Assistant and Invigilator


‘I work part-time in the afternoons and divide my time equally between the College Library and the Pepys Library, supporting the Deputy Librarians with the day-to-day running of Magdalene College Libraries.

Magdalene College Library

Every afternoon when I arrive in the College Library I begin by emptying the book returns box. I process the returns on our Heritage circulation system and then reshelve all the books. I also help to supervise the use of the Library’s physical space, checking lighting and electrical appliances. I tidy the College Library daily and occasionally liaise with Maintenance and Housekeeping to report any problems. On Saturdays I also run the circulation reports on Heritage checking for reservations, recalls and overdue books.

In the College Library I am also responsible for processing the intake of all new books, establishing Library ownership by labelling, stamping and covering books ready for circulation. Occasionally I will also assist Annie with cataloguing and classifying new books and I check that all books recently catalogued on Voyager are correctly imported to the Heritage circulation system each week. I also help to change the new books display each week and update our new books dust jacket display.

One of my other key responsibilities at Magdalene is to manage the journal collection by accessioning and processing the daily intake of periodicals. I manage subscriptions and regularly check stock and request any missing or damaged issues. I also arrange for journals to be sent away for binding and I undertake basic repair of damaged books or journals in the College Library.

A major aspect of my role as Libraries Assistant is to provide a friendly and welcoming enquiry service to all members of the College, staff, students, and visiting scholars. I assist College members daily with enquiries and guide students in how to make full use of the Library, including how to search the catalogue systems, use bibliographic databases and access electronic resources. I very much enjoy daily contact with library users and helping students with their research.


In addition to these daily duties I also assist the Deputy College Librarian with ongoing projects. At the moment we are currently changing the status of books in the Wigglesworth Law Library from ‘Reference only’ to ‘Overnight loan’. This involves inserting a barcode into each book and adding new Overnight labels. We also have to update the accession record on the Heritage circulation system so that the books can be borrowed and add the barcode details to the Voyager holding record. This has been a very long and time-consuming process but we have almost finished and we are really pleased that students will soon be able to borrow books from the Wigglesworth Law Library.

I am also currently undertaking a personal project to identify old bookplates in the College Library collection and add provenance information to the Voyager catalogue record. As part of this process I am also updating old catalogue records to comply with current policy in preparation for the new LMS systems migration.’

2.F.40A, The Poetics of Aristotle, edited with critical notes and a translation by S. H. Butcher (1920)

2.F.40A, The Poetics of Aristotle, edited with critical notes and a translation by S. H. Butcher (1920)

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