“After my placement I knew CSU was where I wanted to be”

Meet Alex, one of our Library Officers at Orange Campus Library.

How did you choose CSU for your professional experience placement?

A couple of things led me to CSU. Firstly, it is a requirement that you choose an information setting that is different to one you already work in. I already had part-time work at both a local school library and my local city library, so my options were narrowed in my home town of Orange.

Secondly, I was studying with CSU. When I enrolled in the Master of Information Studies in 2010, I had two small children still at home and needed a university that would give me a lot of flexibility as to how and where I studied. CSU did not disappoint! I did the entire degree at home (in my pyjamas… while my children ran amok…). I was so impressed with the range of Library resources that I could access online, that I relished a chance to see those operations from the inside.

So even with all options open to me, I would have sought out CSU for my professional experience placement.

What were the highlights of the placement?

Highlights definitely included being introduced to the great range of CSU Library Guides and getting the opportunity to play around with creating a Library Guide myself. Another was learning about CSU Research Output and hearing from Karin Smith how the concept of open access works in the research world. I also really enjoyed reorganising the shelves with Pauline! After days of absorbing loads of information, it felt great to do something practical and after everyone being so generous with me, I enjoyed feeling like I was helping out, even in a small way.

I loved the structure of the placement and how I was moved around the organisation in a way that introduced me to all the different departments. Everyone made time to speak with me and answer my questions, large or small. I got to spend time at Bathurst and Orange campuses, and experience how the Library tailors its services to the specific needs of the local campuses. I loved seeing how all the Campus Libraries communicate with each other: the videoconferencing technology helps staff meet and share ideas no matter the location of the participants; and the internal courier system moves resources from one campus to another on a daily basis.

Did the placement influence your professional direction?

The placement absolutely influenced my professional direction because now I work here! I circled like a shark until a position opened up and then I pounced. I was always very interested in CSU, but after my placement I knew it was where I wanted to be.

Future plans?

At the moment I am thrilled to be taking it all in; learning more about reference and access services. Shortly after I began here we migrated to Alma, our new library management system, and there has been a lot to learn there. In 2013 I finished my Graduate Diploma in Information Studies, but from next year I will pick up my studies again and complete the Masters. I am interested in the Knowledge Management specialisation that CSU offers.