I work as a Research Librarian at City University London Library. My role is a new one and I started working here in February 2013. I have been encouraged to go out and meet colleagues in other universities with a strong research culture to build a network and exchange ideas. I was aware of the Erasmus Staff Mobility Scheme for professional support staff and applied to participate in it this year. I have a degree in Modern Languages and spent a year abroad in France and Germany as part of this. I applied to visit the Freie Universität Berlin Library which is a major research Library at the end of July 2014. I chose the Freie Universität because it is a research university, it has 4,800 research students and I had always wanted to visit Berlin.
The visit to the University was organised to take place from 24 -31 July 2014. The Library Director developed a programme that included my particular areas of interest such as acquisitions, eresource provision, online learning, researcher and information literacy support, Primo and the Library website. The library structure of the Freie Universität Berlin comprises of the University Library and around forty departmental libraries with total holdings of around 8 million printed items, 38,000 e-journals, 400,000 e-books, and 1300 databases. The Library website is partly in English, there is a repository and the Library uses the research discovery tool Primo. The University is based in Dahlem which is just outside of the centre of Berlin. Dahlem is a very green and pleasant area. I stayed at a guest house in a lovely area just off the Kürfurstedamm shopping street and got the bus to the University. I had meetings with different members of staff to give different perspectives.
I found some similarities and some differences with the UK and will be posting some more entries on my blog soon. I very much enjoyed visiting Berlin, it is a great city.