What is your career background?
I took a rather circuitous route to becoming a librarian. Two of my aunts are librarians and they instilled a love of libraries in me, but in college I did an arts degree and for years I worked in music shops.
In 2010 I moved to Dublin and completed a masters. It was a number of years before I got the opportunity, but in 2017 I joined Lucan library as a Library Assistant. I have since progressed to Senior Librarian in Lucan and this year I will be moving to a new library in Castletymon.
I am also the Chairperson of the South Dublin County Council LGBTQ+ Network. I helped found the network in 2017 with colleagues here and we work to increase the representation of LGBTQ+ people across the council. The council have been incredibly supportive of the network, which is great because the visibility of LGBTQ+ people in the workplace, and feeling that you can be yourself among colleagues, is so important.
What does your role involve?
Library work involves a lot of different elements but one of the main elements these days to outreach in the community. That’s what I love about it. For a lot of people, it is their first experience of using a local authority service. We are the shopfront for the council, not just providing access to items for borrowing but also organising events, providing information about access to services, and much more.
Our work was obviously significantly impacted by the pandemic and we moved to supporting online eLibrary services, organising events online, providing information to individuals and organisations in the community – trying hard to keep the connection with the community alive.
It is wonderful to meet people in the library again since we have reopened. As a Senior Librarian my role involves more organisational and logistical activities like planning for events or applying for funding, but I do love to get out on the front desk and see first-hand how delighted people are to be able to visit their library again.
What are the most rewarding things about working for a local authority?
Working with people is the most rewarding aspect of the role for me. I am really looking to my new role in this brand-new branch in Castletymon and making connections with the community there. I love libraries and I really enjoy spreading the word about the services we offer. There is so much on offer that people might not know about – classes, events, groups you can join – and it’s all for free.
Why should someone consider a career with a local authority?
Joining a local authority is great opportunity for someone who wants to work with their community, make a difference in people’s lives, and work with some amazing people.
There is great comradery among colleagues here, and a lot of support. You also have good job security and the freedom to be inventive in how you approach things.
You also have the chance to deal with a lot of people and learn about a lot of areas outside of the sphere you studied in, which I enjoy.