Meet the Librarian

At the helm of every library are the wonderful librarians who ensure that each building is a welcoming place with opportunities for learning, wonderment and joy. A happy side-effect of a librarian’s job is that they have an incredible depth of knowledge of books and of all the great things happening in their community. We wanted to hear more about what they do…

This Month

Evelyn Conway

Evelyn Conway

Reader Services, Bibliographic Centre, Navan Road

Tell us a little about your role with Dublin City Libraries and the kind of things that you do ...

My current role – since 2016 - is as the adult non-fiction buyer for the city libraries (Senior Librarian grade) assigned to the Reader Services section (based in the Bibliographic Centre on the Navan Road). I also look after the ordering of the Talking Books, large print and languages collection, and have a a hand in the online ebook and eaudiobook collection (available nationally on the BorrowBox app).

My brief is to capture and promptly deliver relevant/topical and in-demand titles in sufficient quantity to meet public demand/interest. The work is very varied and involves a wide range of tasks related to the selection, ordering and cataloging of new stock.

What is your favourite part of the job?

I have always loved the ‘buzz’ of bringing the reader and the book together, whether that has been at the frontline dealing directly with the public or in my current role in sourcing and fast tracking the supply of requested titles for our patrons.

Tell us about the library section where you work? What are you most proud of?

I am very privileged to be part of a centralised team who collectively , and in close collaboration with our colleagues citywide, build high quality collections across all categories, genres and formats to serve the library and information needs of Dublin’s citizens, young and old.

Who was one of the most inspirational/interesting people you have met in your work with Dublin City Libraries?

The former Dublin City Librarian, Deirdre Ellis-King, who served in that post from 1984 until her retirement in 2010.

Deirdre is a visionary who steered the development of the capital’s city library service progressively and with huge passion and integrity for a quarter of a century. She was a mentor and source of inspiration for me from when I joined the then Dublin Corporation library service as a young school leaver in 1978.

Tell us an interesting fact about your library ...

I’m not sure if it is widely known that the City Council library service provides a team of professional librarians, on an agency basis, to the Irish Prison Service, to provide a public library service to offenders in the Dublin Prisons.

Indeed, a highlight of my career to date was my assignment as Senior Librarian in charge of the Prison Library Service, based in Mountjoy Prison, from 2000 to 2006.

What was your favourite book as a child?

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgeson Burnett is one of the standouts.

What are you reading right now?

Nothing But Blue Sky by Kathleen MacMahon.

Which of your books is battered from using again and again? This can be any kind of book e.g. cookery book, travel, dictionary.

As a foodie who loves to cook interesting and delicious meals for my family and friends, I continually delve into Neven Cooks by Neven Maguire. I have acquired a few of my signature dishes from this book.

Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us?

Some years ago, I developed a research interest in the history of the city library service, established in 1884. This research led me to uncover the major contribution of the city library personnel to the Irish independence struggle. Arising from this, I was invited to write a chapter on Dublin Public Libraries and the 1916 Rising, which is published in a book called Dublin City Council and the Rising, edited by John Gibney.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

While living in New York on career break in 1985, I worked for a Jewish family and got to know their mother who was a Holocaust survivor. This led to a lifelong interest in Holocaust literature and I read widely on the subject.

Share Your Favourites?

We want to hear about the books that matter to you. Tell us about your most cherished books, what you’re reading right now, your favourite book from your childhood, and the books that make up the story of your life. Share your recommended reads and take part here

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