In today’s post we interview Verity Herbert who works at our Diamond Library site.
What is your role within the library? I am a Senior Library Assistant, helping students at the Information Desks in the Library, but I also organise and manage the pop-up library.
What is the pop up library? The pop-up library, marketed under the name ‘The Library to You’, is a service which takes the Library out of the branches and into the academic departments, directly to students. With a mobile table and a touchscreen television, we offer the same help and advice that a student would find at an Information Desk, but we can reach students who don’t use the physical library but instead prefer to stay in their departments and access our resources remotely.
How did you become involved in the pop up library? With the opening of the Diamond, a building used jointly between the Library and the Engineering building, the Library needed to promote the services that are provided in the building and encourage students to visit the Fourth Floor where we are located. In the beginning, I was asked to develop a mobile stand that would move between the floors of the building but, over the years, the service has been expanded so that we now travel across campus.
What do you enjoy most about the pop up library? The best thing about the Pop-up Library is getting to show students all the different ways that the Library can help them as every single person I speak to says ‘That was really useful’ and that is a great feeling. Also, I once helped an Additional Support student who had difficulties overcoming the fear he felt at the prospect of entering a Library. I was able to show them all the ways they could find support, help and advice online, and how to access our electronic resources without having to come to the Library, and it was a great feeling to know that that student left with all the tools they needed to complete their studies with success.
How would you like to develop the pop up library in the future? As digital technologies continue to develop, I think the Library should continue to seek out students who don’t use the physical buildings in order to show them how we can help them remotely and the range of online resources available to them. Therefore there is a huge potential for growth with this service and I would love to see it in constant rotation between the academic departments.
Any advice for those who would like to start their own pop up library? The one thing that helped me the most while developing and planning the pop-up library is to be flexible and don’t be afraid to try new things. It is a trial and error exercise, learning which buildings work and which ones don’t, and which weeks of the year students will most likely ask for help. Also, it helps to pick up some marketing techniques as stopping and approaching students takes skill but they are always grateful in the end by what you have shown them.
Do you have a pop up library in your setting?
Thanks to Verity for her contribution!