Jun 05 2018

Rachel Heastie

We recently caught up with Rachel Heastie, a Weekend Supervisor in the Library, to discover how students have been using the new space, the feedback they have received in regards to the Library and what it's like working in a student-facing role.

1. Could you tell us a bit more about yourself and your role as a Weekend Supervisor in the Library? 

I started working for the library as a Deputy Weekend Supervisor in 2012 and have been in my current role as Weekend Supervisor since September 2017. I look after a team of 20 Deputy Supervisors and Library Assistants and our main role is to deliver a consistent, high level of service outside of usual office hours. Since moving into the new Library the help desk is open 12 hours a day throughout the year, so having a strong team at the weekends and weekday evenings is hugely important to the overall running of the service.

2. The Davison Building has now been open for nearly eight months. How are the students settling into the new Library? 

It has been really interesting to see the students get to know the Library and most importantly really start to make it their own over the last eight months. The Library has been set up to be a flexible space with the aim of it being conducive to lots of different types of study and learning and it has been fascinating to watch this develop. A great example of this is the space outside of our staff office which has become a favourite spot for students to hold dance and drama rehearsals!

3. Do you feel that students are enjoying the new space and the facilities it offers? 

I was talking to some students recently and they spoke about how the Davison Building has become the heart of campus and how having the Library, the Student Services Centre and Careers service together in one place was hugely positive to student life. 

In terms of the Library, students really enjoy the variety of study spaces on offer, including the outside terrace, the study pods, booths and sofas as well as the more traditional silent study spaces. The dedicated PGR and DDS spaces are also hugely popular.  

4. What feedback have you received from students about the new Library? 

Moving into the new Library has been a massive transition for students but the overriding feedback has been really positive, especially towards the frontline customer service colleagues who have worked so hard this year to make the move as smooth as possible for the students. We really value all feedback we receive as it helps us to ensure that the Library is what our students want and need it to be. 

5. What is it like working on the front line in a student facing role? What do you enjoy most about your job? 

Working in a student facing role is enormously rewarding, although it can at times be very challenging as well as extremely busy. The Library is so much more than just a place to study and often students are looking for reassurance and a friendly face to help get them through stressful times.

Being in the front line, working with my amazing team and the variety of tasks I have in my role are what I enjoy the most about my job.

6. What’s your favourite term at Royal Holloway and why? 

Autumn. It is a really busy time with the start of the new academic year which I find exciting, but I also love the changing colours of the trees on campus.

7. What do you enjoy doing outside of your work life? 

I have two children, so I am very busy with them when I am not at work, but when time allows I sing in an acapella choir and enjoy going to theatre productions and concerts. 

8. You may have seen our latest recruitment campaign, ‘Find your why’. We are interested to find out what Royal Holloway has helped you to discover about yourself… 

I am very lucky to have a great team and many of them are students. I genuinely enjoy and value working with and being part of the student experience at Royal Holloway.