Jess

Name: Jess Haigh
Job Title: Subject Librarian
Hobby: I run book swaps, reading for pleasure promotion events, blog, promote charity events using social media and drink beer!
Blogs: www.travellingsuitcaselibrary.blogspot.com, www.jesshaigh.wordpress.com

What is the most rewarding thing about your hobby?
I love being social, and planning events to do with reading means I get to meet other people who love books. Blogging and social networking for me are an extension of declarative living which I love to do, and promoting charity events is just a natural extension of both these interests.

What is the most rewarding thing about your job?
This sounds cheesy, but we genuinely change people’s lives-whether its giving them the skills to get those extra marks on their assignments meaning they get accepted into University, or having mature students read a book all the way through for the first time, every day brings a new challenge and the students themselves are for the most part the best thing about my working day.

What do librarians/you do all day?
Depends entirely on the time of year. I catalogue, and develop my collection, liaise with curriculum staff, teach, do a lot of promotion of the library within the college, do admin work, run our library reading challenge, help students with researching and day-to-day crises and manage behaviour within the library. I also look after parts of the libraries’ website and have responsibility for my library’s journals

Does every librarian do the same thing?
No, not even within my college, on the same level as me, we all have different specialities and interests, some are more into working with publishers and online resources, some do more teaching, and of course our campus library managers have completely different sets of responsibilities.

How often do you shelve books?
Not as often as I’d like, to be honest, I do miss the hours of shelving I used to do as a library assistant. I do do a fair bit of weeding and monitoring stock every year, and I like to shelve the fiction section because it is My Baby, but in general I only visit the shelves when dealing with enquiries.

How often do yo do office work?
Does cataloguing count? That (mostly journals) is the bulk of my work but again it depends entirely on the time of year. In September I’m almost never in the office as we are doing all our library inductions.

Do you work at the issue desk all day?
No, though I do do a fair bit on the desk as I love it, it isn’t my main job role at all. But helping the students is my favourite part of the job so I try and do at least three hours issue desk work a day-though this isn’t always possible.

How boring is your job?
Not even a little bit, I love it all, even cataloguing Heating and Plumbing Monthly can be interesting!

Is what you do satisfying?
Yes, I wouldn’t do it otherwise. It costs a lot of money to get qualified as a librarian, you have to find it satisfying to be worth the extra years the MA takes.

Are you so bored that you have to find a crazy hobby to keep your life interesting?
My hobbies are mostly sitting-in-pubs-talking-about-stuff related, which isn’t that crazy.

Do librarians have secret exciting inner lives to compensate for their regular public lives?
Yes. On Tuesday we dress up and Fight Crime. No, seriously, the biggest group of librarians I’ve ever seen socially was at a friend’s board game party, which was exciting, but not that exciting.

Are librarians private about everything?
Have you been on Twitter lately?

Do you love reading?
Yes, but that’s not why I’m a librarian. I do think that reading is important though and we should all work together to end the stigma surrounding it.

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