Librarians with lives

I originally set this blog up in 2010 because I felt there was a gap in provision and support for mid-career information professionals. The idea from the outset was to be collaborative, so I pressganged asked various friends, colleagues and professional acquaintances to contribute guest posts.

From 2013-2016 I took an extended CPD break (long story), which meant that I mothballed LwL. Now it’s back…

The ethos is the same. I’m going to write about my CPD activities and ask other people to contribute theirs, with the twin aims of making professional life a bit easier for everyone and some of my loftier career goals more realistic.


I was made in a public library but I didn’t set out to be a Librarian. I fell into it at the age of 23 after completing a degree and a Masters in History, working in a bookshop, trying out the graduate milkround for size and finding it didn’t fit me.

I started out as the Graduate Trainee at the Oxford Union Society Library (2003-4). I did the distance learning ILS course at Aberystwyth (2004-2006) while working as a Library Assistant, then Senior Library Assistant at the National Maritime Museum (2004-2006) .

My first professional post was at Barnardo’s, where I was a Library and Information Services Officer (2006-2009) and I now work for an Arms-Length Body (ALB) as a Librarian (2009 – present). My current employer allowed me to set a library up from scratch, which is probably the coolest thing I’ll ever get to do in the profession.

I Chartered in 2008, Revalidated in 2016 and 2017 and have started Fellowship. I’m on the ALISS Committee.

Away from libraries I’m 1/4 of Team Wood, I do A LOT of running (from parkruns to ultramarathons and everything between), I go to the gym, I have a ridiculous nail varnish habit, a mild obsession with Oasis (the shop not the band), I like documentaries and books about the Space Race (Glenn, Lovell, Duke, Cernan), an actual obsession with Eurovision, and every September-December my life is taken over by Strictly. I love dance music (c.1989 – c.2005) , Proper Disco and perfect pop songs. I also like watching cycling and eating cake, sometimes simultaneously.




3 thoughts on “About

  1. I love the ‘librarians with lives’ tag line… I’m an ex-teacher and, when wandering places like the supermarket, the shocked looks of children told me I shouldn’t have a life outside of school!
    I love Aberystwyth, Jo. While I was living in England I had a friend doing his Ph.D there so I would go and stay with him and his girlfriend. He once set me the task of walking the town and trying to get lost…of course I couldn’t!

  2. I’d really, really, really like to write a guest post! I messaged a few weeks ago but heard nothing back, so here I am trying again… I’m nothing if not persistant! I think this is a fab blog and would really like the chance to be involved.

    I am a member of the the Editorial Panel for Cilip’s ‘Update with Gazette’ magazine. The panel consists of normal/regular joe Cilip members who provide feedback on the latest issue. I could write about how this doubles as a CPD exercise without anyone having to go to great expense/time/effort. It fits in perfectly with the original idea of Librarians With Lives.

    So please, take a look at my blog and have a think about whether the Editorial Panel would make an intersting topic for a post. It has the potential!

    Hope to hear from you soon, Cara.

    • Hi Cara,

      Sorry for the delay in getting back to you – we really live up to the Librarians with Lives tag!

      A guest post would be great. Are you on Twitter? My name on there is JWo79 and if you contact me there I’ll send you my e-mail address.


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