Chris works at Musselburgh Library and enjoys his varied job, which covers everything from Bookbug sessions to Code Club.
Chris has been in the job for a year and a half, and feels lucky to spend each working day surrounded by books. “So many people say to us that their dream is to work in a library,” he explains. “I think that for a lot of people it’s just one of those jobs that seem peaceful, it’s not a high pressured and intense environment, so you’re a lot happier.”
As a fan of fantasy and historical fiction, Chris has learned a lot about other genres from chatting to people who use the library. He said, “I’m an avid reader, so you’ve immediately got something in common with anyone that walks in. You don’t have to read the same things, it’s just easy to engage with them.” Chris is a Musselburgh local and enjoys building up a rapport with the library regulars. “That’s one of the best bits, you really feel like you’re part of the community,” he said.
Chris also enjoys the freedom that comes with the job. “The best part is you get to be quite creative, you’re a free licence to just build your own projects. It’s all about trying to get people in to the library – this is a community library and it’s a resource for people, so it’s trying to figure out how to best serve them,” he explains.
One project Chris has been involved in is revamping the Code Club which teaches kids aged 8 to 12 how to code through making games, animations and websites. Coding is an increasingly popular and useful skill – in fact, this week is National Coding Week! The Code Club at Musselburgh Library has been very successful since the revamp, with a waiting list for kids looking to get involved.
An unexpected highlight of Chris’ job is running Bookbug sessions for young children. “I never saw myself as a kids entertainer, I don’t think any of us do, but you do the training and once you get into it it’s quite fun. It’s nice watching the kids grow up, they come when they’re close to newborn, and before you know it they’re toddling around!”
Helping members of the community to appreciate reading is something Chris and his colleagues really enjoy. “We’re all really passionate about reading and getting people to read,” he said. “That’s pretty much why we’re here, and there will always be a place for it.”