What’s your name and job title?
I’m Matt Harvey, and I’m providing maternity cover for the role of Subject Librarian for Dental. I’m also a Learning Resource Officer for the library service.
What are your qualifications?
BA English Literature and Cultural Criticism, and MA Critical and Cultural Theory, from Cardiff University. Postgraduate Diploma in Information and Library Studies from Aberystwyth University.
Where did you work before?
My part-time jobs have ranged from hosing down a salad factory in full hazmat gear, to making computer games for the Trading Standards Institute. Which seems odd in hindsight.
My first library job was in my local library, during sixth form. I really liked working in such a positive environment, where the purpose was to help people find information and books for pleasure: not to sell them things.
At university, I taught students as a postgraduate tutor, and got an evening and weekend job at the Arts and Social Studies Library. After graduating, I worked in Student Support at Cardiff University and the University of South Wales, helping students finance their studies.
I returned to the Arts and Social Studies Library as a Senior Library Assistant, mainly working as an IT Support Assistant. During that time I got to set up this new thing called ‘social media’ for the library service, and also for the Journal of Information Literacy. I also completed my librarianship qualification at Aberystwyth.
Over the last few years, I have set up and run a digitisation service for the library service: checking copyright and providing scans of course readings for students. If you have anything you’d like scanned for your modules, let me know: http://bit.ly/ulslrss
I’ve just started a new post, providing maternity cover for the role of Subject Librarian for Dental. This means joining the teams at the Health Library and the Dental Library, which is very exciting! I’ll continue to run the digitisation service, with the help of a new team member. In my new role, I’m looking forward to leading workshops and teaching students: mainly information and digital literacy, with hopefully not too many questions about teeth.
Where did you live as a child?
A small village in Worcestershire.
What was the first library book you remember reading for pleasure?
Asterix. Instilled a lasting appreciation of history, cartoons, and excruciating puns!
What do you do in your spare time?
I’ve never given up on playing boardgames and, I might as well admit, toy soldiers. Fortunately, the geeks have inherited the earth, and this is now the height of cool. It won’t last.
My reading interests are science fiction, mythology and history, preferably medieval or earlier. I spend too much time on Wikipedia. My specialist subject is probably Tolkien.