This is one of the big questions we get asked at the Explore the Past desk. But it is difficult to answer without leaving the desk. So one of my first projects here was to create a guide to help people print or save from microfilm.
One thing we discussed in our PG Cert sessions and which has come in handy for our first assignment is to learn from experiences by reflecting on them and finding better ways to do them for the next time. So, while it is lovely to complete this project completed and means I can get on with the next thing, it’s important to take a moment to reflect on what I have learnt during this task.
This task brought together lots of the skills we are learning throughout our placements. I used project management skills we have discussed in our PG Cert sessions, although the project involved more stages than I expected, so it would have been easier if I had planned it better from the beginning. I used the exciting writing we learned about with Kate Measures in a training session. I even used volunteer management skills I am yet to officially learn but which Sue Pope advised us about. I learnt some new skills in the use of Microsoft word too, from Lisa my supervisor.
But learning isn’t all done through training, some is just learned by having a go a things. So I learned a little about managing other people, negotiating with them for their skills and assistance. I asked the opinion of current users of the microfilm reader printer about what was needed in this guide. I had assistance from trainees Danielle and Emalee, and Roger (one of the WAAS volunteers) to test out the guide and Alex (my boyfriend) kindly proof read it. And Lisa, my supervisor, helped me to reformat the guide to help make it more user friendly.
Part of our role in the Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service is to make the archives accessible to the public and hopefully this guide will help to do just that, as well as providing a great vehicle for me to learn new skills.