Relation between a research student and his/her supervisor depends on several factors such as the nature of the discipline, the nature of the student’s research, personal characteristics and etc.
It could be quite complicated especially for those who come from a different culture or a different educational system. LIS departments in UK usually constitute some research groups or teams. If your research falls within research domain of a group, you can work as a member of the team and achieve lots of experience. If not, you are on your own, particularly if your supervisor has just a broad interest in your research topic and is not so expert in or keen on your topic. The main point that a research student should always bear in his/her mind is that the research is his/her own project and s/he is its director. The main role that a supervisor is supposed to play is to make sure that student’s research comply with the criteria of a high quality academic research. That’s it. So try to be your own supervisor. To survive as a research student in the British academia (or similar environments), read the book “How to get a PhD” by Estelle M. Phillips from Open University Press.