My name is Helen McNabb and I am the Library Resources Manager at the Vale of Glamorgan Libraries, and have been since the Vale was created after Local Government reorganisation in 1996. We are in charge of putting all the stock into our 9 libraries, so we order, catalogue , categorise, process onto the computer and send all the stock out. Over the last few years we have moved the ordering process to EDI, and when we moved to our current Library Management system a couple of years ago we also began downloading most of the catalogue records too.
I don’t work with the public but work behind the scenes. In addition to putting the stock into the system I am the Chair of the Welsh Book Purchasing Consortium, which covers most of the public library authorities in Wales and we have just concluded our most recent tender process for the book stock and are in the process of tendering for dvd and music provision.
I am very interested in eBooks because we also have another Consortium approach to eBooks in Wales and 21 out of 22 authorities are members of the same eBook service. It has been very successful, especially in some of the more remote areas where you have to travel a long way to get to a library, so we are all very keep to be able to improve the service with more stock, and an assured future.
Other things I do with my professional time include a management role with the management system, having been the Project Manager when we migrated to the present one, so do get a lot of contact with all the branch staff on many things to do with the computer system.
I have also been on of the judges for the Dagger in the Library for the past few years, and if you don’t know what it is I urge you to find out asap! At the moment the enthusiastic library crime readers have sent a long list of authors for us all to read, so me and my fellow judges are reading hard at the moment.
The situation with public libraries is heartbreaking, even though Wales has not been hit as hard as England yet. We have more support from the Welsh Assembly and CyMAL than the English libraries get, we still have Standards which are reported on annually, but the cuts are starting to bite in Wales this year as well now. I just have to hope, like so many of us do, that the future is less bleak than the worst forecasts predict.
Helen usually tweets at @mcnabbhm