What has changed in the library since September?
One of the big things that we’ve introduced is to try and change the culture of the library. We’ve tried to make the library an alternative for students to go to because we felt that it was a very similar environment to the canteen, and a very similar environment to the yard at times, so we’ve tried to instil more of a culture of learning, somewhere that’s quieter and more relaxed to study. We’ve still got some way to go with that. In addition to that we’ve had probably around 300-400 new fiction books in the library as well so we’re trying to keep up to date with the current stock and what students want to read as well. So they’re just some of the changes and there are more to come as well.
What sorts of changes are there to come?
As I say, we’re trying to get more of a learning environment, we’re trying to encourage more departments to use the library and to utilise its resources, and we’ve also put in a bid for new resources. We are going to improve the areas of the library, so an area for quiet reading is going to be introduced soon. When it comes to exam time we’re going to try to dedicate spaces for Year 11s and Year 13s so that they’ve got a prioritised space for that. We’re going to be stricter with the amount of noise, the amount of behaviour that would distract other students in particular. Obviously the library is going to go through a massive change by 2020, we’re going to get this new library, a new innovative style, but we want to make sure that students know how to utilise the library before that library comes here, so there are big changes ahead.
What’s the best part of being a librarian at Blue Coat?
I like speaking to students, just finding out what they’re up to, what they’re doing. Particularly sixth formers, because I get sixth formers in here all day, so speaking to them about their university choices, their choice of career path, if they’ve had any interviews or how the UCAS process is going. I find that quite interesting, you hear the good news stories, and the ones that nearly made it. It’s interesting to just get into someone’s life for just 5 minutes to find out what they’re struggling with, or what they’re doing well with. I find it really interesting. We’ve got new librarians in the library, so they’re going to be advocates for the library and meeting with them regularly and how enthusiastic they are about wanting to change the library is the best part.
What’s your favourite book?
That’s a hard one. One that I read recently called The Gorilla and The Bird, was a really good one, because I think it’s very apt at the moment. It’s about a mental health issue, and a guy that thinks that he’s in a TV show. It’s actually quite interesting, and he realises that actually he’s got a mental health issue and he wasn’t aware of it, so I did like that one. Overall I would say, you’ve put me on the spot now... I read An Inspector Calls for GCSE and I really liked it and I was fascinated by how the plot thickened to everybody’s involvement, so I would probably say of all time maybe that book.