CULIB - Cambridge University Libraries Information Bulletin

ISSN 0307 7284    Edited by Kathryn McKee, Aidan Baker, Mary Kattuman and Kate Arhel

Issue 59, Michaelmas 2006: Volunteers



This issue of CULIB takes as its theme Volunteers.

The idea of "free" labour may be seen by employers as seductive and by employees as a threat, but is either group justified in these perceptions? What can volunteers bring to libraries? What can libraries do for volunteers? We look to CSV's Lending Time project for some answers to these questions and some useful guidelines on using volunteers effectively. Following neatly on from this (and quite independently confirming many of the conclusions drawn from the Lending Time project), Chris Avery, who is responsible for Ely Library's Friends Group, shares her experiences of using volunteers and gives some tips on the practical aspects of managing them.

Aidan Baker finds out from the Cambridge and District Volunteer Centre ways in which one can go about getting volunteers, and then describes, as one who has done the course, what formal study can offer volunteers at Lampeter University's Department of Voluntary Sector Studies. Liz Russell will be known to many of us as a librarian who volunteers within various libraries of Cambridge University and Colleges; she describes what her years of library experience and specialist skills can bring to libraries and what volunteering means for her.

Those of you who might have expected to see some mention of librarians' VSO work in this issue, worry not, we are not ignoring this important area. We will be covering librarians' involvement in VSO in CULIB 60, which will be an international issue.

In our regular feature on what librarians do in their spare time, Chris Pascoe takes us face-to-face with the challenge of the Via Ferrata! Read on, if you have a head for heights.

And finally, if you have been inspired by what you have read about volunteering in these pages and would like to do something yourself, we have a plea for a volunteer – see below for details…

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Community Service Volunteers (CSV, is the UK's largest volunteering and training organisation, founded in 1962 by the founders of VSO. CSV runs a very wide range of volunteering projects, and offers training and consultancy to support organisations who wish to use volunteers. From 2002–2005 CSV managed the Lending Time project, in partnership with six library authorities across the UK, encouraging volunteers to become actively involved in their communities by volunteering within their local library service. CSV project managers worked with library staff to develop and coordinate a range of innovative volunteering activities. The individual authorities involved have continued to manage volunteer projects locally beyond the time span of the original pilot. An evaluation (which may be found on the CSV website) of the Lending Time Project, compiled by independent consultants Shared Intelligence, makes interesting reading. Overall the impact of the project was extremely positive, showing that there were clear benefits for the library services involved, for the individual volunteers, and for the wider community. Volunteers themselves showed a high level of satisfaction. A very wide range of activities was undertaken, some examples being: giving IT advice to new computer users, cataloguing or indexing local studies materials, helping at regular baby rhyme-time sessions or homework clubs, producing publicity materials or newsletters, or assisting with special events. Dissatisfaction arose primarily where there were delays in placing volunteers after recruitment, or where there was a lack of interest in their activities from library users, possibly due to poor promotion.

The pilot demonstrated that volunteers could add value by enabling library services to:

  • Offer new services or activities to users
  • Extend or improve existing services
  • Build and improve their resources, e.g. archives
  • Free up staff time to concentrate on core work
  • Draw on specialist skills not generally available within the library service.

There was no evidence to suggest that volunteers replaced paid staff. Indeed library staff were on the whole positive, feeling that training received in volunteer management contributed to their own professional development, and that the return on their time and effort in managing volunteers in terms of time saved, and services added or improved, was worthwhile. The most successful projects were those for which volunteers could be assigned activities quickly after recruitment, which had clear objectives and decision-making processes, where the management and communications infrastructure was in place to ensure the smooth running of the programme, and where library staff were actively supportive.

CSV has a useful summary of the key features of a library volunteer programme on its website, which is reproduced below:

  • Identify the key aims of the volunteer programme within the wider objectives of the library service
  • Be clear about why you want to involve volunteers
  • Ensure that there is an adequate management and support structure for volunteers
  • Designate a senior staff member with overall responsibility for ensuring the programme is managed effectively
  • Ensure there are adequate resources (physical and financial) as a volunteer programme can be cost effective, but it is not cost-free
  • Ensure that all levels of staff are consulted and given the opportunity to be involved in developing volunteer roles
  • Appoint a team of "volunteering champions" amongst the staff
  • Provide training for staff on working with volunteers and ensure that staff are aware of the time commitment involved in supervising and supporting volunteers
  • Establish sound volunteer policies, reimbursement of out of pocket expenses, insurance, clear volunteer rights and responsibilities, a good volunteer recruitment, placement and induction programme and regular feedback for volunteers
  • Create meaningful volunteer activities, with volunteers having a clear idea about where they fit within the organisation and task descriptions for each role
  • Foster a positive working environment, with staff committed to involving volunteers and volunteers feeling that they are part of the team

The Lending Time project focussed upon the public library sector, and on community involvement, but these principles would apply equally well in academic and special libraries. As with all projects, clear objectives, good planning and communication, and support of all staff are essential to the success of a volunteer programme. Where time and resources are invested in managing volunteers, the benefits both to the individuals volunteering and to the Library are clear.

The CULIB editorial team would like to thank Jason Tanner, Head of Press at CSV, for his assistance in the production of this article.

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…life is never dull! Some years ago Cambridgeshire Libraries decided to encourage the formation of Library Friends Groups, and our Ely group was among the first to form. We now have 67 paid up members, with a committee of eight. And the life of the library is certainly richer as a result.

When we embarked upon the Friends adventure, we felt it would be wise from the outset to set out how we envisaged their operating. A county policy on volunteers in libraries was drawn up, encouraging Friends Groups to provide "added value" to their library by organising the kind of activities which we would love to run, but for which we just don't have the manpower. So, talks, concerts, coffee mornings, fund raising to buy additional of specialist equipment, or to enhance the appearance of the library, were the kind of things we hoped they would do – as well as raising the local profile of the library, acting as a channel of communication between the library and the community it serves, and being a sounding board for any new initiatives we might think about introducing. Helping out behind the counter, shelving books or answering enquiries were not – because these core activities are already being carried out by paid and trained staff.

We also explained to our Friends that as a County Council service there are requirements upon us to do things in a certain way – to meet audit requirements, for example – and sometimes not to do things at all! So that, while we were extremely grateful for their enthusiasm and commitment, there might occasionally be times when we had to say: "Thanks, but no thanks". The Friends have always been generous and understanding in their acceptance of this.

So, clear ground rules to prevent misunderstandings are important. What else helps make a Friends Group successful? Well, as with any friendship, you get out of it what you put in, and no-one should be under any illusion that you set up a Friends Group and then leave them to get on with it. They thrive in a co-operative working atmosphere. From my perspective, it's like having another group of staff to manage – but with the vital difference that the Friends are not under contract, and they can choose to do, or not do, things. It's important to respect that, and to be aware that they are an independent group making their own decisions. Library staff are not Friends Group members, and should not seek to influence decision making – unless of course this is necessary to prevent any conflict of interests. However, Friends need to feel that they are part of the library team, so one of our first activities was a "Behind the Scenes at the Library" tour, in which they saw all the parts the public don't normally see, met other staff members and found out about all the other jobs which need to be done to keep the library running smoothly. In turn, when we took on several new members of staff to facilitate Sunday opening last year, the Friends were there with us to welcome them, and to provide "Tea at the Library" as a chance for the new recruits to meet each other and the existing staff.

Persuading Friends members to take an active role in the running of the group is difficult, as with many other such groups. Newsletters, displays and social events have been tried, but the best way seems to be word of mouth, perhaps a request to help out at a coffee morning to start with.

So, in no way is having a Friends Group a soft option, but it is very rewarding for both the library and the volunteers. A practical demonstration of this: if you find yourself in Ely, come and have a look at the original artwork by local students commissioned by the Friends to enhance the library entrance. It's a stunning display, providing the "wow" factor we knew we desperately needed but could not have achieved by ourselves, transforming an otherwise bleak and anonymous area into the gateway to a world of wonders – the local library!

Chris Avery
Service Supervisor, Ely Library & Learning Centre

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So you've read about what volunteers can do, and you'd like to tap into this valuable resource. Here's one way of getting there.

Cambridge and District Volunteer Centre is open most weeks. It exists to serve volunteers and the organizations that take them on.

For individual volunteers, the Centre offers one-to-one confidential advice, with sessions on Thursdays. It runs an individual training course as well – not on the scale of the Lampeter course described elsewhere in this issue, but a basic orientation into the world of volunteering.

For organizations, the Centre runs more advanced training courses on the recruitment, management and support of volunteers, with guidance about good practice and the commonest legal pitfalls.

For individuals and organizations together, the Centre runs a brokerage service.

Individuals can log on to the national Do-It website of volunteering opportunities at Do-It is kept up with data supplied by local volunteer centres such as the Cambridge one. You can search by town, postcode, interest, activity, and availability.

Organizations should discuss their requirements with their local volunteer centre. Intriguingly, the Cambridge centre has no libraries from within the city on its books, though other facilities of the University, such as the Disability Resource Centre, are there. So are a couple of South Cambridgeshire community libraries.

Centre Director Angie Ridley told me that her busiest times are September–October, when new students arrive, and January, when New Year resolutions are biting. So CULIB readers in need of volunteers should find plenty within the half-life of this issue!

Aidan Baker
Haddon Library

Contact details:
Cambridge and District Volunteer Centre
Llandaff Chambers
2 Regent Street
Tel : 01223 356 549
Fax: 01223 575 377
Opening Hours : Mon – Thurs 10:00-13:00, 14:00-16:00

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Interpersonal skills for volunteers is the title of a distance-learning course offered by the Department of Voluntary Sector Studies, University of Wales at Lampeter. In the late 1990s, the course won prizes, and it is still going strong.

Check it out. If a distance-learning course in interpersonal skills sounds at first like Flann O'Brien's correspondence course in tightrope-walking, try thinking of it as a course in volunteer studies. It consists of twenty-two units in eight modules.

I did it in slightly less than a year. It involved a lot of reading and some writing. The reading got me exploring libraries all over Cambridge; the writing was for the assignments of 750–1500 words that I had to complete, one for each module.

Most important of all, though, the course encouraged me to spend time watching people – neighbours, kinsfolk, friends, colleagues, people in meetings. Not spying on them, no; watching them. Noting, respectfully, the things they did and said, and how they did and said them, and reflecting on those. And reflecting on what I myself was doing and saying also, and on what was done and said by the organization in which I was a volunteer.

If you don't have access to live people for study, the course sends you to watch television.

I found myself considering questions such as these:

Suggest different meanings for the following same action:

  • A nod of the head between colleagues in a committee meeting
  • A nod of the head to someone across a crowded room.


Watch and listen carefully to the closure in interactions in your workplace. Try to note people's reactions to different types of ending, paying particular attention to what you consider are good and bad endings.


Give reasons for the following and illustrate by using examples:

  • Why meetings fail
  • Why presentations fail
  • How personal presentation can be improved

For that one, I looked back at a talk of my own that had bombed, and analysed its shortcomings a squirm at a time.

The course leads to a certificate, and to 40 credits that may be counted towards further study at Lampeter. I stopped at the certificate, but might go on later.

Was it worth it?

Going over old squirms analytically was undoubtedly a good way of quieting them. But better still was how much the course made me look outwards. The reading and observing introduced me to new concepts, gave me new words, new analytical tools. I can't claim to have worked any miracles of understanding since the course, but I think I know more now than I did about what makes people tick, and what to call it when they don't.

One of the requirements for people on the course is that they should have already some experience of voluntary work. Another is that they should be able to find 5–10 hours a week from somewhere, and perhaps CULIB readers feel they have enough time-juggling to do already. For people who can make it, though, the course is going to let a lot of other things grow brighter, clearer, and easier in the doing.

Aidan Baker
Haddon Library

Contact details for the Lampeter course are as follows:
Department of Voluntary Sector Studies
University of Wales, Lampeter
College Street
SA48 7ED
United Kingdom
tel: +44 (0) 1570 424785
fax: +44 (0) 1570 424990

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In June 1995, after 19 years as Assistant Librarian at King's College Library, I decided, prior to computerization, to accept a generous early retirement offer. I thought to myself, "At last more time for my dancing, especially my historical dancing with the Capriol Society. I might even find time to learn Italian and study the manuscripts for the 15th-century and the early printed sources for the 16th-century dances." However, this turned out to be another dancing dream.

What I didn't realise then, though I very soon did, was that I'd become known as an enthusiast for, and a specialist in the Bliss Classification, 2nd ed., and there were eager hands out there waiting to grab me on my release from paid work. By the end of July I was in the Rowe Music Library at King's College, 3 mornings a week, with Margaret Cranmer, classifying Alec King's Mozart books collection; and two mornings a week with Heather Lane at Sidney Sussex, classifying Economics. I did rather feel I'd been thrown in at the deep end, as I had very little background knowledge of the two subjects. Fortunately Bliss is very supportive of the subject amateur, provided you understand how to read the schedules correctly: in depth for a very specific subject, or a major discipline, but in broad outline for an undergraduate collection. And very soon, Jesus College was added to my weekly timetable, starting with Politics. (I have to say that I've never before or since reached such heights of luxury in staff accommodation.)

I'm still working 4 short mornings a week (now made even shorter by the change of rules for my pensioner's bus pass, which insists on totally free travel, but not until after 9.30 a.m.). I've experienced the pleasures and problems, though only minor, of the following libraries: the Computer Laboratory Library, Trinity Hall, the Haddon Library of Archaeology & Anthropology (where I even had a short spell of paid employment, from a grant), Fitzwilliam College and Queens' College. I am currently at the Haddon and Queens'. This has provided me with much classification variety and challenge, which is good exercise for my ageing brain. The hardest work is remembering each library's little cataloguing and classification ways, never mind the direction to walk from the bus stop, when I've been immersed in my current paperback on the bus!

I have had great enjoyment, or worrying feelings of knowledge inadequacy, in exploring Language & Literature, Music, Political Science, Computer Science, the Reference Collection at Trinity Hall, for which I devised a simple schedule based on Bliss, Archaeology, especially South American, Social Anthropology, Fine Arts, Law, History, Museology, Philosophy, Physics and Mathematics.

Sometimes I had to work through a newly-published schedule, like Law or Mathematics, hoping that I had made all the correct decisions on depth of classification, or between alternatives provided by the scheme, before applying it to the book stock. At other times the schedule would only be in draft, often a Cambridge colleges' version, where I needed to be alert for corrections or additions which I should incorporate as I applied it. Occasionally I was able to help in the creation of a schedule for a more specialised subject, as in Aidan Baker's schedule for Museum Studies at the Haddon.

And so I continue to volunteer. I have always been an addition to, not a substitute for, paid staff. Volunteering allows me to continue to exercise the library skill which I have always most enjoyed, and also to enjoy the good company of the library staff, and usually excellent coffee, and interestingly varied loo facilities!

Liz Russell

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Carol Reekie came across the following and sent it to CULIB as she thought some might find this amusing.

The Original Manuscript The Modern Translation
The library is closed The server is down
The book is not published This web site is still under construction
The book is missing A hacker shut down the site
The book is out of print The web site no longer exists
The book has been damaged The web site has been vandalised
You wrote down the wrong
You typed in the wrong address
The book must be mis-shelved The DNS and the IP address are not
synchronised correctly

Carol altered some of the wording slightly but the original can be found in the following article:
Stover, M., 2001. 'Internet shock: change, continuity, and the theological librarian', Journal of Religious and Theological Information 3(3/4), p.1–12.

The table has been reproduced with the kind permission of Haworth Press Inc:

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Have you ever wanted to do something rather different when you have some spare time or when you go on holiday? Well, I know just the thing for those with an adventurous spirit and a taste for the high life. It's called Via Ferrata and involves a little bit of climbing. This sport is an exciting one with adrenalin rushes and scenic views to match your wildest dreams and is currently one of the up-and-coming activities to test your stamina and determination. Chris Pascoe on the Via Ferrata

Via Ferrata ("iron way") provides an easier way of doing what used to be the domain of the mountain climber without having to carry all of the cumbersome ropes and pitons, etc. Usually when climbing the VF you will come across many ladders (some with more than 300 rungs and vertical), stays that are fixed into the rock faces at many different angles, stemples and brackets which are also fixed and to go all the way up a fixed steel cable that runs through stays with an eye to accommodate the cable. You clip onto the cable with a carabiner as a safety device, and you can then climb the VF to your heart's content without fear of falling (too far), using hand and foot holds all the way up. You may often find a bridge or two as well, usually consisting of three cables (one to walk on, one to clip onto, and one to hold on to, if you are lucky).

Sometimes the VF are very crowded, especially the easier ones near towns in the Dolomites, and you may have to queue to clip on at the start. It is also quite slow going if it is busy, and some people get infuriated when the ones above stop at regular intervals to video the family or take lots of photos. It is deemed unethical to descend a VF, as often there are no stopping-off places on a climb of 2–3 hours and it means unclipping somebody and can be very unsafe in places.

The dolomite rock is very crumbly and sometimes pulls away when you put your weight on it, and it is also quite sharp, so you need a good pair of gloves (fingerless are the best) to get a grip. Secondly, you will need a good pair of walking/climbing boots that you don't mind scuffing up a bit, as you need good grip, especially if the rock is wet. Lastly, as far as equipment goes, you will need a good hard safety helmet (the rocks really do hurt if they land on your head), a safety harness, either waist or full body, but one that must incorporate a locking hold point for the lanyard. The lanyard or Zyper (to give it its brand name) is a shock-corded nylon cable, on to which are attached a carabiner at each end and a locking carabiner with a kinetic shock absorber attached to the middle of your harness at your waist. The method of climbing is quite simple and you climb your way up by means of attaching first one carabiner onto the cable above a stay, detaching your second one from below, and then putting it above the same stay, so that you are always attached by two carabiners. This way, if you do happen to have a downward progression, you will only go as far as the stay below you – this will still hurt but you won't fall all the way down and possibly take someone else with you. When you come to a long vertical ladder the cable runs up the side of it and you attach one carabiner to the cable and the other one to a rung as far above you as you can reach (very safe), and clip on and off as you progress upwards.

Extra things that you need to carry are items such as waterproofs, a fleece (it can be a lot colder on top), food and drink, a whistle and a torch in case of emergency, and a good map of the area, so all this will mean having a rucksack on your back. My rucksack is usually as small as I can get away with and I carry a large pouch on the front with all the beer in it. Fantastic!

You will find VF in lots of countries now and it is becoming very popular. As well as Italy, VF climbs are to be found in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, France, Sweden, Norway, Australia and the USA. As far as I know, none have sprung up in England yet, but give it time! In some countries new VF are being put up as commercial ventures, but that's another aspect to the sport. A lot of guided VF climbs and holidays are available on the Internet, and you will be supplied with all the correct equipment and instruction, so you don't need to spend out on your own before you go. I think this is a good way to try it out, for those who are unsure, or need some encouragement – but beware; it can be a bit expensive. I avoided this by just going out and trying one after buying the gear and have been enjoying it for the last 10 years without having to test my shock absorber – yet.

Chris Pascoe on the Via Ferrata Routes throughout the countries are generally graded (as are proper climbs by mountaineers) by the severity of the climb or how airy it can be. Sometimes you will find yourself going against gravity and climbing outwards, so hang on. Usually the climbs are categorized in the range 1–7 or A–F and are rated easy through to severe, which means you need special climbing experience. I and my wife have attained grade 5 to 6 over 10 years, and that is plenty hard enough at times, especially as we only climb when on holidays abroad.

I can suggest some great routes in the Dolomites in Northern Italy, easily topped by the Val Gardena area, which has some terrifically challenging climbs, some with a rifugio at the top, where you can sit in the afternoon sun and have a huge bowl of pasta and a couple of pints of lager before you wend your way down the "tourist route" or the scree slope. Other routes can be found in the Cortina D'Ampezzo area in the Cristallo peaks, and the Pomagnon area, and also the area around the wonderful Madonna di Campiglio, which has the highest VF in the Brenta Dolomites. My favourite VF has to be the Brigata Tridentina that takes about three hours to climb and finishes on a swinging bridge, looking down into a crevice and onto the road, about 1,500 feet below you. This is a truly awesome climb.

Whatever you do, you will need to keep a close eye on the weather, both before you start and while you're attempting the climb, as it can change within minutes and can catch you out very quickly. The last place you want to be in a thunderstorm is hanging onto a cable at 9–10,000 feet while the lightning forks around you and you have no escape. Better not to go than become a statistic for the Alpine Rescue.

Above all, you will find this a tremendous challenge if you have a good head for heights and the determination to achieve something you have not done before. If you want to check what gear you need I will be happy to show you what is required. See you face-to-face sometime!

Chris Pascoe
Unviersity Library

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Could you become part of the CULIB team? Fiona Grant, who has been producing the online version of CULIB, and has done much over the past few years to enhance its appearance, has moved to a new position, and we need someone to take over from her in preparing CULIB for the web. Do you have web skills (or would you like an opportunity to develop them)? If you think you might be able to help and would enjoy being part of a small and friendly team, please get in touch with one of the editors.

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Barry Eaden retired on 28 April after a record 51 years in the UL. Barry began his career in the Reading Room and spent several years in Periodicals, where his major contribution was the printed list of serials that went into several editions and manifestations in the 1970s and 1980s and continued to be used long after the advent of the microfiche and computer catalogues. He went on to become Head of Inter-Library Loans and was President of the Staff Club from 1997.

Professor Stefan Reif and Mrs Shulie Reif retired from the Taylor-Schechter Research Unit at the end of March. Stefan principally plans to spend his retirement in further academic work, but has also taken on a part-time post as "Project Consultant" to the UL, working closing with the University Librarian on fundraising and PR. Dr Ben Outhwaite, for several years one of the researchers, has succeeded Stefan as Head of the Unit. Dr Avihai Shivtiel also left in March, while Dr Siam Bhayro, former Lector of Semitic Languages at Yale and Lecturer in Hebrew and Jewish Studies at University College, London, joined the Unit in June. Esther-Miriam Wagner,currently studying for a doctorate in Judaeo-Arabic, is another new member.

Two new Assistant Under-Librarians were appointed in May: Céline Carty from the Seeley Library,who replaces Carole Smith in English Cataloguing with responsibility for Voyager training; and William Hale, John Hall's successor in Rare Books, who came to West Road from Corpus where he was employed on a three-year project as Parker-Taylor Bibliographer, cataloguing the early printed books in the Parker Library.

A Royal Commonwealth Society project to catalogue official publications, both printed and hand-written, has recruited Dr Sarah Preston from Peterhouse and Fiona Grant from English Cataloguing, who also leaves the CULIB editorial team to take up her new post. The project, based in the UL, begins in October and has been funded for two-and-a-half years.

Former members of staff Catherine Ansorge and Emma Coonan have rejoined the UL, Catherine as an Arabic & Hebrew specialist and Emma as a member of the Official Publications team. Susannah Crockford from Periodicals, Rob Coulson from the Map Room and Agnieszka Drabek from Retrospective Conversion have transferred to the staff of English Cataloguing.

Other UL departures include Daniel Davies, Arabic and Hebrew specialist, and Scott Maloney of Imaging Services, both of whom left in July. Imaging Services also lost Nikki Scrivens, whose post was cut in a review of departmental economics, while Magdalena Weglowska left Electronic Service and Systems for a post in the Old Schools and the responsibility of maintaining the University website.

Finally, it is significant in these challenging times of revised hierarchies that the UL's first professional Personnel Officer, Maureen Dann, took up post on 3 July.

Elsewhere, following the retirement of Aude Fitzsimons, Assistant Librarian, Phillipa Grimstone has been appointed Sub-Librarian at Magdalene from 1 October 2006.

Huw Jones, Assistant Librarian at Gonville & Caius since 1999, joined the Libraries@Cambridge team at the UL on a permanent basis from 1 August, having been seconded part-time since March 2005. His full-time replacement as Assistant Librarian (Bibliographic Services) at Caius is Neil Kirkham, who has just completed his MA at Sheffield.

Congratulations are due to Hazel Sanderson, Library Assistant at Selwyn College, who has achieved the City & Guilds Award for Library & Information Services, passing all modules with credit.

Kate Arhel, who worked at King's Library with great distinction for four-and-a-half years, has moved from King's to the Pendlebury Library, where she is now Senior Library Assistant. Kate will soon attain her MA degree and Diploma in Library and Information Studies from UCL. King's has great pleasure in welcoming Gareth Burgess, who has recently graduated in music from Cambridge University as their new Library Assistant. Gareth was a student at Churchill College, where he served as Music Sizar. Gareth is a pianist and is involved in musical performances in Cambridge and further afield.

It's that time of year when it's all change for those libraries with graduate trainees. At Christ's, Eleanor Murphy is off to Loughborough University to join their MA/MSc programme in Information and Library Management. Her successor is Colin Higgins, who has had varied experience both in academic libraries and teaching English abroad in China and Siberia. Classics says goodbye to Emma Lowden and welcomes Sandra Cunningham, whose experiences travelling in South America, Australia and Asia after graduating included many visits to the local public libraries. Emmanuel bids farewell to Peter Andrews appointing in his stead Tom Morse, a modern language graduate from Durham University. At New Hall, Anna Thompson replaces Païvi Pasi. Anna has an MPhil in Medieval history. Sarah Turk has left Newnham to embark on full-time study for the MA in Library and Information Studies at UCL. Newnham's 2006–7 trainee is Rebecca Gower, who has a degree in English from the University of York. At St John's, Charis Cheffy is replaced by Naomi Herbert, an English graduate of Newnham. Trinity's Beth Brook is taking up a position as Information Policy Advisor for the Office of Public Sector Information. Her successor is Steven Archer, a Cambridge graduate in Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic.

Charlotte Cairns has joined the team at Emmanuel College as part-time library assistant in the afternoons; she also works for Fitzwilliam College Library in the mornings.

From the end of September, Stephanie Skene joins Robinson College as library assistant. Stephanie comes to Robinson after a break from Homerton School of Health Studies.

Peterhouse has a new library assistant post, full-time during school terms. The post will be filled by Emily Grayton, who has previously worked in the Resources Centre in the Bell School in Saffron Walden. Emily will be working mostly in the Ward (Undergraduate) library, but will also assist in the Perne (Rare Books) Library.

Katie Birkwood has been appointed library assistant at the Theological Federation, having previously been working as a junior library assistant at the UL. Katie will shortly commence a part-time MA course in Library and Information Studies at University College London.

Jane Robinson, who once described herself in these pages as a "bossy pedant", and who was Geography's Librarian for exactly seventeen years and a quarter, has left Cambridge to get married! Her job has been taken by Robert Carter, who moves over from Architecture and History of Art. He was seven years at Scroope Terrace and takes what he expects to be a lifelong interest in art & architecture with him – but the move to Geography is also a kind of homecoming, as that was his degree subject at Newcastle. His old AHA post has now come in two, and at the time of writing neither of the parts has been filled.

AHA's other adventure over the summer has been a major refurbishment.

The Faculty of Philosophy clocks up an unlikely first. With Sally Carlton's departure, after ten years at the Casimir Lewy Library, the Faculty has learned for the first time what it's like when a member of the Assistant Staff retires! The novelty arises from the Faculty's recent, rapid expansion. That includes the Casimir Lewy Library's move, to a new location where it will no longer have to double as a corridor. Sally's place in it has been taken by Enid Kuznets.

The Music Faculty, which has known retirements before, loses Sandra Dawe after 35 years. Her replacement Kate Arhel is mentioned above.

The Mill Lane Library has a new assistant in Ian Preston, who divides his time between Mill Lane and Experimental Psychology.

Congratulations to Jane Kennerley at the Judge Institute on the birth of a son. Jack Kennerley came into the world at 18:58 on Tuesday 29 August weighing 7lb 7oz. Jane's maternity leave put Acting Librarian Sharon Hicks in charge of a move of the library. The new, improved space is due to re-open on 18 September.

And a couple of library publications. Cambridge Libraries Group brought out a book of recipes in aid of its Tsunami Appeal – a fundraising effort in support of librarians rebuilding in Sri Lanka. (For more on this project see CULIB 58.) The appeal was a great success, netting £4,000 – and a few copies of the recipe book are still available! £5 each from Anne Hughes at Clare College Library (tel. 01223 333202 or email

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