David Fay, City Libraries Manager, shares his thoughts below after working a shift at Denton Burn Library…
As part of a series of ‘back to the floor days’ for senior staff, I was nominated to work at Denton Burn Library for an afternoon and evening. When I arrived, my colleague Gloria and I couldn’t decide who was the most nervous, but I was promptly given a tour of the building, shown where the fire exits were, and was told what sort of events were taking place that afternoon.
Apart from serving customers, there was plenty to do including accessioning new stock, replacing date labels and of course lots of shelving (I got a sneaky feeling they’d been saving a few things up for me!). Gloria was very patient as I tentatively issued and reserved books to some very nice customers.
A regular craft session was booked for the afternoon but we weren’t sure how many children would come. Having spent 6 years as a children’s librarian I felt on surer ground with this. Sure enough I soon got back into the swing of making things out of not very much! The children were aged from about 8 to 10 and were suitably energetic and cheeky. I was quickly told I had ears ‘like an elf’ and that they were going to make me an emergency wig! It was interesting to see Gloria running the group whilst keeping an eye on the counter – very impressive.
The evening was much quieter and gave me chance to do all the jobs I’d been left as well as finish the shelving and put books on display – it was very satisfying to do something with a tangible end result.
The day went by in a blur and gave me a tantalising reminder of why I started to work in libraries almost 30 years ago!
City Libraries Manager