Final blog from the Library

This week has been scheduled to be my final blog before I complete my Skills for the Future, Library and Archive Trainee position and move on to more exciting things. I say more exciting things, but I really don’t expect whatever I do next will be as interesting, as rewarding or as much fun!

When people have been asking what I have been doing they assume that all I have been doing is sorting out books. Well, admittedly there has been some of that (and there is plenty more to be done), but I have been on some really interesting training visits and placements. I have been to the Millennium Library Heritage Centre and the 2nd Air Division Memorial Library, Norfolk Records Office, Kings College Cambridge, the Museum of London, The Royal Academy of Arts, the Museums and Heritage Show, the Weald and Downland Museum and more.  There isn’t actually the space here to explain all the things I have learnt, but one thing I would recommend (both as a Skills for the Future trainee, but also as a volunteer) is for all of us who work in Museums to utilise the training course provided by SHARE. The Understanding Museums course was excellent and helps you to network with others within museum and heritage organisations.

I am pleased to say that the Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse Library and Resource Centre, as it is soon to become known, is well and truly open.  So far this year, over 500 visitors have been introduced to the library and resources; tracing relatives who lived in the Workhouse, undertaking personal research, researching their family histories and being introduced to ‘behind the scene activities’ of the museum. Local history groups and students at the University of East Anglia have attended sessions. Staff and volunteers have become more aware of recording their own contribution to the museum and an archive strategy to record museum activities has been put in place.

A leaflet promoting the Library and Resource Centre has been produced outlining the resources available and an Archive Policy has been developed with staff and volunteers to ensure that their valuable contribution to the history of the building and its current inhabitants is not lost.

There is not much more to say about this fabulous opportunity I have had other than to hope that the Library and Resource Centre continues to be used even more in the future, contact us via email at gressenhall.museum.norfolk.gov.uk or telephone 01362 860563 to make an appointment to come and utilise the centre…as one visitor stated.

my day…was so incredibly worthwhile thanks to your effort and hard work on my behalf. I feel like I achieved what most people do in a week, owing to your brilliant knowledge of the collections and instinctive sense of what I needed.

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