Tell us a little about your role with Dublin City Libraries and the kind of things that you do
I work as a librarian in Dublin City Library and Archive. My role is to facilitate researchers in their quest for the correct primary or secondary material for their research. Depending on the query, I usually refer researchers to the appropriate newspaper, electoral registers or heritage databases. I also process new items such as books and election literature and I assist in the development of our collections.
What is your favourite part of the job?
My favourite part of being a librarian in the city library and archive is providing guidance to researchers and students who use the library. I enjoy answering research queries especially trawling through old newspapers or checking our heritage database. It is always an enjoyable task, especially facilitating members of the public with their family history queries.
Tell us about the library where you work? What are you most proud of?
Our branch library is different from other public libraries as we are a research facility so patrons cannot borrow books from our library. Instead, we store records relating to Dublin and Irish history and our researchers can view these items in the library and archive. We also provide study spaces for students who want a quiet place to conduct their studies. I am most proud of our digital collections, as these allow members of the public, who are unable to visit our library, to view some of our material online. There is a wealth of primary sources available through our digital repository and heritage databases.
Who was one of the most inspirational or interesting people you have met in your work with Dublin City Libraries?
Leo, our library attendant in Dublin City Library and Archive has a wealth of knowledge and experience of family history resources. He is always happy to help with genealogy queries and provides useful tips on how to conduct family history research.
Tell us an interesting fact about your library.
Dublin City Library and Archive hold some exceptionally detailed maps dating back to the 1600s. These are an important resource for researchers of the early modern period.
What was your favourite book as a child?
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. I thoroughly enjoyed the adventures of Jim Hawkins.
What are you reading right now?
The Third Policeman by Flann O’Brien. I actually bought this book a long time ago but I never got around to reading it. I am really enjoying it. The plot is quirky and bizarre but it is an excellent read.
Which of your books is battered from using again and again?
Green Against Green: The Irish Civil War by Michael Hopkinson. I am researching the Irish Civil War period and I have read and reread this book. It is a constant point of reference for my own research.
Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us.
I trained to be a historian before I became a librarian.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Dublin City Library and Archive is an excellent free facility for those interested in family history research.