Bell Boy

The view which greets you when you enter the Medical Library. This photograph was taken before the library officially opens, but usually you’d find someone actually sitting directly behind the desk. In any case, any one working behind the desk, is happy to come to the desk to help. We always aware of customers coming to the desk.

Also we have a bell!!! I’ve seldom heard it used by a customer in earnest. However, some students can’t help themselves and press it to hear what it sounds like, or just for harmless devilment for the amusement of their colleagues! We did have a dental student who did it so often, he earned the nickname ‘Bell Boy’, I still find it difficult to remember his actual name. Having qualified as a dentist, he has recently returned to study medicine to reach his goal of becoming a maxillofacial surgeon, which requires the dual qualification of medicine and dentistry. [Oral & Maxillofacial (OMF) Surgeons specialise in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases affecting the mouth, jaws, face and neck. This information comes from, if this link isn’t working for you, that is the British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery ]

Have you noticed there are no self-service machines here! More later….



Come in! Come in! Come on in!

Medical Library Welcomes You

Welcome to the Medical Library, we like to think that all those who come through these doors will receive the help they ask for and so much more. It is an academic library, but in addition to catering to staff and students of the university,  the library is here for anyone who is employed by any of the Northern Ireland Trusts. In other words social workers, nurses, doctors, radiologists, speech therapists, psychologists, porters, managers and many others who work within the Health and Social Care Trusts.

Many arrive here for the first time, unaware of what this library will be able to offer. It is similar to going to a foreign country where the language, customs and roads are unfamiliar. Everyone who comes in has different attitudes, needs and experiences Some are nervous, perhaps they haven’t studied for a while; others have had bad experiences of a library. Often they have so much to do they just don’t know where to start.

Our first task is to be approachable, make everyone feel comfortable in their new surroundings. A smile is often enough to bring the customer to you, or a simple ‘Can I help you?’. That’s where it starts.

In academic libraries of old, the customer or library user was referred to as a ‘reader’. We use that term interchangeably!

Today a reader came to the desk, honestly I didn’t even remember her, but she greeted me as if she knew me well. I responded in kind. When today’s transaction was finished, she said, ‘I’ll never forget how you helped me when I came to the library. I was sitting over there and you saw I was in difficulty and came to my aid. You showed me how to get the information I needed and referred me to the girl who gave me help on using the databases. I never looked back and I’ve now finished my masters. I’m really grateful’.

That made my day. I was delighted. To have taken away her fear of the library is so rewarding.

So come on on in, we will help if we can.


Tara Sparling writes

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