Have you ever wanted to find out more about the people who work at Avery Hill and Stockwell Street Library? Of course you have! We continue our weekly profiles of the various staff you may spot or speak to at our libraries. Find out what they do, both inside and outside of working at the University of Greenwich!
This week, we profile the Senior Academic Services Librarian at Avery Hill Library, Barbara Gallagher:
HOW LONG HAVE YOU WORKED AT THE UNIVERSITY/LIBRARY?
23 years! I came on a six-month, part-time, term-time only contract when my children were eight, five and three. I was extremely part-time for the first eight years and then started working full-time, all-year round, 15 years ago. I’ve never looked back!
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR ROLE IN THE LIBRARY?
Ensuring the smooth running of Avery Hill Library on a day-to-day basis. I work with a small but perfectly formed team who will always go the extra mile to help our students and academic staff.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT WORKING IN THE LIBRARY?
Helping people who come into the library and don’t know where to start. It’s a great feeling when they go on their way with the information/books they need and a new-found confidence.
WHICH BOOKS IN THE LIBRARY DO YOU FIND MOST INTERESTING?
I am interested in the Psychology books but I mostly borrow the fiction.
WHERE IS YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE IN GREENWICH TO EAT/HAVE LUNCH?
In the summer, I love the outdoor cafés in Greenwich Park and they do a rather nice afternoon tea in the Fan Museum, but you need to book! I also like the food in Greenwich Market.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO OUTSIDE OF WORK?
I do a few fitness classes, swimming and dancing (mainly on the kitchen floor, dreaming I am a professional tap dancer – well, we all have some impossible dreams, don’t we?!).
FAVOURITE BOOK, MUSIC AND FILM?
Where do I start?!
I’m in a book group with 10 others and read at least one book a month. I love different genres such as the Nicci French psychological novels, Lee Child’s thrillers, Jane Austen, Samuel Pepys, Peter Ackroyd, Zadie Smith, Ian McEwan, plus a spot of chick-lit now and again! Favourite children’s books which I revisit are Tom’s Midnight Garden, The Secret Garden and When Marnie Was There.
As for music, I like all sorts – Rolling Stones, Frank Sinatra, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Black Sabbath, plus stuff on Classic FM. I want to have Freebird by Lynyrd Skynyrd played at the end of my funeral!
I love old black and white movies such as Rebecca and Brief Encounter. I also enjoy vintage musical films like High Society, Top Hat, Singin’ In The Rain and Some Like It Hot. I’m a huge fan of Apocalypse Now which I think is one of the best anti-war films ever made. Little Miss Sunshine is a film I can enjoy anytime. It has some very serious themes but is also highly entertaining – go on try it! You’ll be laughing one minute but you’ll also need a hanky!
WHERE IN THE WORLD WOULD YOU LIKE TO VISIT?
As an old gal, I now have a bucket list and visit a new country every year. Cuba is quite high on my list but I’ll give the cigars a miss!
IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY SUPERHUMAN POWER, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Powers to stop people feeling depressed would be fantastic – mental illness causes so much misery.
HAVE YOU VISITED THE CUTTY SARK, NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM, ROYAL OBSERVATORY AND QUEEN’S HOUSE?
Yes, all of them – I think Greenwich is an amazing place!