Job Title: County Librarian
What was your favourite book as a child?
I know it may seem a cliché, but my favourite book was the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by C S Lewis. Growing up on a farm in a very rural part of Monaghan in the late 1960’s early 1970’s, I had no experience of libraries. The books I had access to were either in primary school or were purchased for me by my Mum in a lovely shop called McCauley’s in Cootehill! Mostly she bought me Enid Blyton books, which I also loved, but the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe was a total revelation to me.
I will never forget the wonder of reading a story which so completely transported me to another world. I am so delighted that I work in a service that provides that kind of reading experience to so many people every day.
How many years have you been working with Monaghan Libraries?
Well overall, I have been working in public library services for over 40 years. I began my career in Dublin City in 1982, my first branch was Ballymun. In my time there I worked in most of the northside branches. I moved back to Monaghan in 1999 and I have been here ever since!
Can you tell us more about what you do in your job
As County Librarian I have responsibility for the growth and development of the library service in County Monaghan.
It is my job to determine the needs of the community of County Monaghan and serve those needs through the planning, management and development of a modern Library Service. I have responsibility for the 26 library staff working in the service, as well staff working in the Cultural Section of the County Council in the Arts Office and County Museum.
What is the best part of your job?
The best part of the job is working with talented and dedicated colleagues in a service that I love. My one regret is that I don’t get a chance to work directly with the public nearly enough anymore. Nothing beats seeing first-hand the positive effect that libraries have in people’s everyday lives. But I am really proud of how we have developed the service in recent years. We are in the middle of building two new branches, which is really exciting, and it is wonderful to see customers returning the branches now that the Covid 19 restrictions have all been lifted.
Why do you think People should join their local library?
I believe libraries have something to offer to everyone. If you love reading for pleasure we have thousands of books to offer you in our own branches and millions of books available to request from branches all over the country. We also have thousands of eBooks, eAudiobooks, newspapers online, and online learning courses. We can provide you with the factual information you need for important life choices, we can provide a welcoming space to study or undertake research, to explore your Family Tree, to participate in creative activities, to attend a huge range of fun and informative events, to meet with friends or simply to take time out for yourself when you need it. This is your library, it is absolutely free to join, so why not use it!