Get to Know Your Library Staff - Jill, Literacy, Learning & Engagement Advisor
How long have you worked for Doncaster Libraries?
I’ve worked for Doncaster Libraries for nearly 8 years. I moved from working in schools to the Central Library, where I worked for two years, the last part of which I was in charge of the Children’s Library. Then I was offered a job with the Literacy Team, and that’s where I still work. We were based at Barnby Dun but moved to the Central Library last summer so I’ve come full circle in terms of location.
What parts of your job do you enjoy the most?
All of it! I enjoy coming to work in the mornings. Every day is different and we get to do and organise lots of great things for schools and the public.
There are two parts to our job. The School Library Service, where we provide books, literacy time, advice, and a whole lot more to schools who buy into the service. It’s great as I love working with children, seeing how the sessions we do with them helps them enjoy reading for pleasure. And sometimes I get to see colleagues I used to work with.
For the other side of the job, we work in libraries and with the community encouraging adults and children to read, share books and use the library service. The thing I enjoy most about this side of the job is organising author events for adults and children. As an author myself, it’s wonderful to hear how other authors achieved their goals and to see how they entertain and enthuse their audiences, especially children.
Is there any service on offer or event that you would recommend?
I’m very proud of the fact that in May 2013 I started the Turn the Page Literary Festival which is still going strong, so as I said before, it’s great to meet the person who wrote a book you’ve read, so I’d recommend any of our Turn the Page events.
The School Library Service is an invaluable one for schools in Doncaster and a lot that buy in say they couldn’t do without Helen and her books.
What’s your favourite book?
Wow, that’s a hard question to answer when you love books. I’d like to pick two as I’m a fan of both fantasy and history. The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien was my first peek into the world of fantasy and got me hooked on the genre. I love the characters and the amazing adventure they go on.
My other favourite is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I aspire to be like Elizabeth Bennet and what woman in her right mind doesn’t fancy Mr Darcy ; )
If you could invite a famous person (dead or alive) to visit your workplace, who would you choose and why?
I would invite Leonardo Da Vinci to my workplace. The man was pure genius, ahead of his time, even if he was alive today. There are so many questions I’d ask him about his inventions.