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Meet the Team

Meet the Team – Helen

4 November 2013

Name and job titleMeet the Team - Helen
Helen Staffer, Site Librarian Bute & Architecture Libraries

Job description in a nutshell
As Site Librarian my role is to ensure the resources are in place to deliver the library and information services that our users need, when they need them. This ranges from recruiting staff who can provide excellent customer services, improving the study environment (you can never have too much purple in Bute) and maintaining our extended opening hours. I’m also involved in projects to improve services across all libraries including marketing and gathering user feedback. If you fancy being a mystery customer just get in touch!

Where did you grow up?

What did you do before the library?
I can’t remember a time before libraries! My first job at 18 was in Cardiff University’s Arts & Social Studies Library. I left after to study English followed by a MA in Librarianship. My first professional job was running the Short Loan Collection in Reading University Library but looking to return to Cardiff I moved to Cardiff public libraries. Story time and craft sessions with under-5s showed me how multi-skilled Librarians need to be- I discovered a hidden talent for papier mache that I’ve not been able to use since!! After a decade working with the Welsh Government Library Service I completed the circle by crossing the road to return to Cardiff University and my current post in Bute.

Currently reading
I’m 120 pages into Peter Ackroyd’s 800 page biography of London. I’m visiting the city at the end of the month so the race is on to finish it before then!!

Hard copy or electronic?
Oh either, although I usually end up with a paperback while my son and husband hog the Kindles to read Horrible Histories and the Game of Thrones saga! I need my own iPad this Christmas!

What are you favourite things about Cardiff? Any hidden gems that you would recommend?
I’ve always loved living on the coast so seeing Cardiff Bay develop has been a treat and a great location for a night out in the summer! Penarth is a gem for anyone who loves quirky shops, galleries and cafes, oh and Waterloo Gardens Teahouse in Roath is THE place to go if you enjoy a truly decadent afternoon tea.

Best thing about working here at the University?
The enthusiasm, energy and optimism of our students is infectious and inspires us to help them make the best of their time in Cardiff.

Most unusual or surprising library query?
I was once asked if we had a marketing book in stock which is a normal question it was just that I was walking through town at the time! Luckily with the Library catalogue available on a mobile app you can find out exactly what’s in stock while you’re shopping too…