Tell us a little about your role with Dublin City Libraries and the kind of things that you do.
I started working for Dublin City Libraries in the early 1990s and I am currently the Senior Librarian at Ballymun Library. My role is to manage and promote the variety of services offered by the library and work with the team here in Ballymun to provide the best possible cultural, literary, and educational service for the community.
What is your favourite part of the job?
I’ll always get a kick out of putting the right book in the hands of the right person. It doesn’t matter if it’s a seventeenth-century manuscript or the latest Wimpy Kid novel.
Books have brought so much joy to my life so to be able to facilitate others in accessing the wonderful ‘Republic of Letters’ is something I’ll always appreciate.
Librarianship seems to me to be one of the noble professions. Libraries are one of the few remaining public spaces where an individual’s self-worth is not determined by their social or economic status. They really are engines of enlightenment.
Tell us about the library where you work? What are you most proud of?
Ballymun is one of the largest libraries in the Dublin City Libraries’ branch network and we serve a diverse and vibrant community. I only recently took up my position here (after working in the Dublin City Library and Archive for a few years) and I am proud of how the team have continued to provide a service while adapting to the ever-changing challenges presented by Covid-19. Every day we have patrons telling us how glad they are to see the library back in business.
Who was one of the most inspirational/interesting people you have met in your work with Dublin City Libraries?
The late Andrew O’Brien who worked in the Dublin City Library and Archive was one of a kind. He had an encyclopaedic knowledge of the history of Dublin, music, literature as well as an inexhaustible font of truly awful jokes. He always wore his erudition lightly. He was taken too soon and he is sadly missed.
Tell us an interesting fact about your library.
When Ballymun Library opened in 1976 it was the largest public library in Ireland.
What was your favourite book as a child?
There was a Ladybird book called Tootles the Taxi that I loved when I was very young but Roger Lancelyn Green’s King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table made the greatest impression on me. The woodcut illustrations by Lotte Reiniger had as much impact as the stories themselves. I still have my childhood copy.
What are you reading right now?
David Mitchell’s glorious Utopia Avenue.
Which of your books is battered from using again and again? This can be any kind of book e.g. cookery book, travel, dictionary.
My Penguin Classics paperback of Moby Dick that I’ve had since I was sixteen. It’s falling to pieces but I’ll never part with it.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
If you are in a library and can’t find the item you are looking for, then please, please talk to the staff and we’ll try our best to get it for you.