Your name: Graeme Forbes
Library: National Library of Scotland
Job Title: Head of Collections Management
How did you become a librarian/what was your career path?
After graduating with a degree in English from the University of Stirling, I wrote to every University in the UK (there were fewer in 1979) asking for a job. I accepted an offer of a trainee post from Edinburgh and I was on my way.
I subsequently worked for Edinburgh City Libraries, West Surrey College of Art & Design, Leicester Polytechnic, and Napier College, Polytechnic and University before joining the National Library.
Did you need any specialist training for your current role?
I read for a Master’s degree in Librarianship and Information Science at the University of Sheffield, and later, whilst working, I gained an MBA from Edinburgh University.
What makes your library/department unique?
It’s the only National Library in Scotland! And of course, the breadth and depth of our collections, and our Legal Deposit privilege.
What is your favourite aspect of the job?
Working with so many smart and interesting people.
What has been your most complex/funny/unusual enquiry?
I was once asked for my trousers!
[Whilst at Napier I taught on the HNC Librarianship course which involved a trip to Mauritius for a distance-learners in-college week. On one of the days I returned from a lunchtime break, with my linen suit sodden after being caught in a sudden tropical downpour. The students (all female) were very insistent that they take my suit to dry it.]
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