Nicola Carter is a Library Systems Trainer based at Osney Mead in Oxford.
What initially attracted you to your job?
That I could do it and that I really needed a change of job.
Can you walk me through your day to day activities?
I am writing training material for part of a new university catalogue and will then be delivering
What are the key issues facing your sector?
Unrealistic estimates of dates-of-delivery by our partners could lead to a last-minute panic as we
write training manuals and train with an unfamiliar database.
How does government legislation affect your job?
Quite a lot really because the development of the database we are working on has to comply with
SENDA but also because we are all temporary staff so government legislation, to an extent, protects
What impact has technology had on your job?
Enormous. We totally rely on our technicians’ knowledge of servers and how the software works with
then because without them we would have no catalogue!
What are the best things and worst things about your job?
Best: the view from my window; being able to organise my time, albeit within certain restraints.
Worst: worry that the software will not be functioning properly for the training sessions.
Advice to others looking for a job
What piece of advice do you wish someone had given you when you were first starting out?
You can’t change how anyone else behaves so learn to work around and with their personalities and
if you can’t do NOT stay in your job longer than necessary.
What do you need to break into this industry/sector?
A cheerful personality; tolerance to noise (libraries are usually noisy places); the ability to
multi-task; the ability to work well under pressure but see above!
What are your three most useful websites for your work?
My email accounts; the university web site; the catalogue we are working on.