Not only is it somewhere nice for people to go to for some piece and quiet, but also it is a social hub, where people get to take stuff out for free. And who doesn’t like free stuff?
Jasmeen and Didi speak to This Is It! about working as Creative Employment Programme Interns for Luton Library and why they think Libraries are still important.
What were you doing before you started working here?
Jasmeen: Before I worked with Luton central library, I was looking for work. I had mainly been doing temporary work for a variety of different companies. Most recently, I was a research assistant for a pharmaceutical company.
Didi: I was working as a part time Receptionist/Administrator at a local charity.
What made you made you want to apply for this role?
Jasmeen: I was very excited about being given the opportunity to work in a knowledge filled environment. I had spent most of my time as a child in libraries, and had acted as a volunteer on many occasions. I loved it then, so when I saw that such an opportunity had arisen, I jumped on it.
Didi: I am enthusiastic about the importance of books and information. I was attracted to the opportunity of putting the communication and IT skills I had acquired from my previous role to help support people in the local community.
There’s always something to do, and something new to learn.
Can you tell us a bit about your role at Luton Libraries?
Jasmeen: At the moment I do a little bit of everything. I work both with the frontline staff and with the librarians. Working with the frontline staff includes providing customers with the library’s services. As a result, we are actively helping customers with their needs. I could also be stacking shelves and finding requests placed by customers from anywhere in the county.
Working with the librarians, I help to sort out the ordering of new books, and the withdrawal of old or unwanted books from the system. In addition librarians organise a lot of events in the library, part of my role involves recording feedback from customers who attended these events. I have also recently been writing a lot of articles for the newsletters and designing posters!
Didi: I spend half of my time as a Library intern in Luton Central Library working frontline. This involves working hands on to help customers borrow items and find information, to help run activities in the library, and to carry out routine duties like shelving and sectioning.
I spend the other half of my time working on projects based around the Universal Offers. The Universal Offers are the four key areas of service that are essential to a 21st century library service. I am working under the Reading Offer with Children. This involves promoting reading through reading groups, challenges, promotions and author events. Currently, we are working on the Summer Reading Challenge. This offer has been developed in partnership with The Reading Agency to encourage children to read books whilst on their summer break.
I believe that public libraries are at the heart of any community. It’s a safe place where you can meet people and access a wide range of resources for knowledge or pleasure as well as providing free entertainment.
What’s the best part about working in a library?
Jasmeen: There’s always something to do, and something new to learn. There’s always a way to explore the progressive skills that have been gained as an individual, which I am very happy about. On top of that, you get the satisfaction of helping someone find what they need, and their gratitude is always heart-warming. You also get to meet and socialise with people of all different cultural backgrounds, which has made me appreciate what a big, yet small world we live in.
Didi: I enjoy the variety of the job, from dealing with members of the public on some days to working on a project or visiting other local libraries on other days. No day is the same and that excites me.
Why do you think it’s important to get more people using libraries?
Jasmeen: There is a very big community in the library. Not only is it somewhere nice for people to go to for some piece and quiet, but also it is a social hub, where people get to take stuff out for free. And who doesn’t like free stuff?
Didi: I believe that public libraries are at the heart of any community. It’s a safe place where you can meet people and access a wide range of resources for knowledge or pleasure as well as providing free entertainment. The services offered can help local people to learn and boost vital everyday skills needed to survive in an ever-changing society.
Find out more about Luton Library through their Website and Facebook page.