Illustration by Michael Driver
Unlike many librarians who always dreamed of standing behind a counter and stamping books, I came to the profession by accident. When I left university with a humanities degree in the 1970s, I had no clue about what I wanted to do with my state-funded higher education. I applied for a job as a gas meter reader which seemed suitable for a working-class lad from a council estate, but at the interview I was told that I was over-qualified and so I became a library assistant instead.
I quickly discovered that there wasn’t much to the library lark, but that if I wanted to get on I would have to become a fully qualified librarian.
Armed with my diploma and a burning social conscience, I set out to change the world of public libraries. Nearly 40 years on I have made the smallest of dents in its battleship armour. But on the way I have made met some amazing people. Read more...