ELISA mini-quiz – Donna Duff, East Lothian Council Library services

49e77dc1-63de-41e1-a014-0df02da7b1deYour name: Donna Duff
Library: East Lothian Council Library services
Job Title: Senior Librarian – Digital and Adult Services

How did you become a librarian/what was your career path?
I wanted to be a Librarian since the age of 4 when at school in England we visited our local library and I was allowed to date stamp all the books for my class. Throughout school my aim was always to go to University to become a qualified Librarian.  My first foray into libraries was in Glenrothes as part of a TVEI (Technical, Vocational, Education Initiative) scheme when I was 15 and spent a week working in a local branch library.  From that I was offered a Saturday job and then spend a year on a YTS scheme in the central library in Kirkcaldy.  After a spell of working in a consulting engineer’s library in Edinburgh I moved to Falkirk Libraries before going to Newcastle to study for a BA (Hons) in Library and Information management.  Throughout my three year course I worked in West Lothian Libraries as a casual assistant during summer breaks and once qualified worked at the University of Dundee’s Kirkcaldy campus for 12 years before moving to my present post 9 years ago.

Did you need any specialist training for your current role?
Not really but experience I had picked up during my previous roles helped.

What makes your library/department unique?
I think my department is unique as we appear to be one of the few public library services still to have a separate Adult and Junior department who each handle all aspects of that department. I am responsible for the purchasing of all stock, stock circulation, eResources, promotion of the library service, LMS for the adult sector of East Lothian and my counterpart in the Young Peoples service does the same for anyone under the age of 16 living in East Lothian.

What is your favourite aspect of the job?
My favourite aspect is the variety of the work I do on a daily basis – I deal with public enquiries, staff enquiries, publishers, authors and no day is the same.

What has been your most complex/funny/unusual enquiry?
When I worked for a consulting engineering firm I had to find out how much a giraffe weighed as we the engineers working on building the new enclosure at Edinburgh Zoo. Recently we also been asked to twin a Library toilet with one in the third world as part of the Toilet Twinning campaign.

Many thanks to Donna for taking part! If you’d take the mini-quiz, or have anything else you’d like posted on this site, please contact me – The Webmaster!

ELISA mini-quiz – Graeme Forbes, National Library of Scotland

nlsexterior2Your 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.]

Many thanks to Graeme for becoming our first ‘mini-quiz’ respondent. If you’d like to take part, or have anything else you’d like posted on this site, please contact me – The Webmaster!