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Get to Know Your Library Staff

This month we talk to Gary, who is on of the caretakers at Central Library.

How long have you worked for Doncaster Council?

I have worked as Central Library caretaker since 2014. Before that I worked for Housing Services and later on for the St leger Homes CCTV/ Concierge officer operator, mostly dealing with 850 residents through an intercom system whilst monitoring CCTV in Doncaster, Thorne and Mexborough.

What parts of your job do you enjoy the most?

As the Central Library Caretaker I assist library customers on a daily basis, which I feel is really rewarding and gives me a great deal of job satisfaction. As caretaker I tend to the smooth running of the building, deal with security issues, open and lock up the building, and ensure health and safety is adhered to. I also transport items around the borough to our other libraries, the museum and Archives. Central Library also has many rooms available for groups and organisations to hire and I prepare these rooms, ensuring a clean environment for people, also making sure any equipment required is available.  My role is varied and every day is different.  

I always feel proud when receiving thanks from members of the public. For example I have helped many groups put up displays in the foyer and they are always very appreciative. I am very approachable and always have a positive outlook on life.

What’s your favourite way to relax?

For reading I must confess that I’m probably more into interpretation of lyrics than I am a book reader. I do relax a lot in my leisure time listening to music, for example Elvis, Beatles, Rod Stewart, Kate Bush, George Michael, Bob Dylan and many more song writing legends. Even as a small child,  music has always been my love and having young parents in the swinging sixties era,  our family  holidays were at  Great Yarmouth going to see the late great Billy Fury and many more pop music heroes of the time. This is when I got the bug for music

Are there any services on offer that you would recommend?

I think downloading free music on Freegal, available through the library website is a must for any music lover.  I am hoping to pass on my love of music to my granddaughter who is 2 years old. She loves looking at the books in the Junior Library.

By using the Local Studies department I have traced back my family tree. I began tracing back my father’s side of the family to the 18th century leading to the Cockfield village near the town of Durham. One day my son and I had a spin out in the car on a quest to find family graves in Cockfield village. We discovered family graves of war members lost in battle or killed in pit disasters. For anyone else wanting to research their family history, Local studies have many useful tools such as free access to  Ancestry and Find my Past  websites that will assist you in tracing your family tree

My links with Doncaster Museum made me think more of my late Father who spent several active years of service in the K.O.Y.L.I stationed in places such as Berlin, Kenya, Cyprus, Aden and several other countries. So the KOYLI part of the museum is close to my heart.

I often finish my day’s duty on a Friday by joining in with The Yorkshire Artists watercolour art group. I have always had an interest in art and having never used watercolours before this is a new and exciting first for me. The art group meets on a Friday afternoon in Central Library.

If you could invite a famous person (dead or alive) to visit your workplace who would you choose?

Out of all of my heroes it has to be the late great David Bowie. Bowie had such a gift of marrying powerful lyrics with art and incredible vocals, to his magical music compositions. I often just love relaxing and getting lost in his incredible amazing music. Bowie was a genius and I would love to see him walking into Central Library

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