Staff are key to the delivery of everything we want to achieve at the National Library of Scotland.
Training and development are essential in creating motivated and skilled people who have a clear sense of how they contribute to the Library's strategic priorities.
We employ approximately 320 staff covering a wide range of functions, roles and skills.
Meet some of the people who already work here and find out a little about what they do and why they enjoy working at the Library.
Jo Stevenson — Reading Room Assistant
I started at the Library as a part-time Reading Room Assistant whilst completing my PhD in American Literature at university. I fell in love with the job, the people and the place, and quickly decided to pursue a career in this area.
My day-to-day role is highly varied. I work with our readers to ensure they get the best out of their research time in our reading rooms, but also answer enquiries from remote users who contact us for help with a huge range of queries, from pre-ordering material to complex family history questions. The combination of working with the public and conducting research is really rewarding, as it satisfies my intellectual curiosity and keeps me on my toes!
I have also worked alongside a number of different departments covering special collections and outreach. I've taken part in a book launch for a guide book written by school pupils, and helped to rehouse photographs taken by Scottish legend Tom Weir. These hugely enjoyable and interesting experiences demonstrate the breadth of activities the Library opens up to staff.
Trevor Thomson — General Collections Assistant
I am a member of the curatorial team responsible for 20th and 21st century material.
Originally I started working part-time in the Reference Services team while completing an Open University degree in literature and history and taking care of my small children. The job was interesting, flexible and reintroduced me to a world of adults!
I then switched roles, and now I work closely with the Library's collections — checking donations, looking for gaps in the collections and helping to identify material to buy. I also work on archiving of Scottish websites, which keeps me in touch with all sorts of aspects of Scottish cultural life. I studied Information and Library Science at Masters level, partly sponsored by the Library — an enormously helpful grounding in librarianship, and an excellent opportunity for personal and professional development.
Without question, the most rewarding aspect of working in the Library is engaging with the material — from football programmes to beautiful 20th-century first editions. It's a unique collection and a joy to work with. As are my colleagues, of course!
Freddie Alexander — Reference Services Team member
I am a member of the Reference Team which is the first point of contact for most visitors to the Library's reading rooms. In an average day I can meet people with a variety of backgrounds, interests and nationalities. I was particularly drawn to this position due to the range of functions the Library has, as well helping readers conduct their research at the National Library.
There is an encouraging atmosphere of personal development at the Library, with frequent courses and workshops for skills such as teamwork and public speaking. I have also been encouraged to gain skills from other departments, and am able to volunteer with both the Digital Preservation and Collections Audit teams in order to bolster my CV.
I would highly recommend working at the National Library of Scotland. It has given me an invaluable space to discover my love for heritage and curation, while also being a hive of activity in central Edinburgh. No day is like another!
Helen Keenlyside — Acquisitions Librarian
I joined the Library in 2014, after working in acquisitions at a university library. I was interested in working here because it involved working with a variety of material, and the fact that it was the National Library didn't hurt!
As an Acquisitions Librarian, my job involves adding modern (post-1900) items to the Librarys collections. I liaise with our curators, and with publishers, booksellers, and donors, and can be called on to source a wide range of titles.
An aspect of my role that I particularly enjoy is handling donations. We receive all sorts of donated books, journals and ephemera, and it can be fascinating. My personal favourites have been collections of comics from the early 20th century.
I have been able to take advantage of many training and development opportunities at the Library, which have helped me grow on a professional and personal level. I am currently in the role of Minute Secretary for the SCURL Business Committee, which is a wonderful opportunity to learn about current events in the Scottish library sector.
Keisha Rowe — HR Assistant
I was drawn to working at the Library as I've always had an attraction to these public spaces. Even whilst at University, I used to spend time in the library where it would provide me with endless amounts of inspiration and comfort as I got lost in the historical archives of books and publications.
So after relocating from London and feeling incredibly homesick, I wanted to work in a place that would recapture some of those feelings that I once had at University; so the Library felt like a nice place to do this.
I decided to apply to work within HR as despite coming from a professional background in retail admin and customer service, I always enjoyed working with others and supporting teams in order to accomplish any organisational goals or objectives.
Everyone I have met here has been incredibly friendly and welcoming. I enjoy working at the Library, helping others and discovering all that it has to offer to the public.
Craig Robertson — Estates Officer
I've been working in the Library since 2013. I work in the Estates department, where we take care of the building's operation and maintenance. My role covers both on-going development of the estate and fabric maintenance. On a daily basis I can be doing anything from surveys from scaffolding, to creating and managing contracts and designing our next set of projects.
A recent project was the refurbishment of our Conservation Workshop, which included buying of bespoke laboratory furniture. This variety in my work is what I enjoy, with every day providing new opportunities to learn and develop, meet new people and work towards obtaining the next level of responsibilities.
I was first attracted to public service by the stability and benefits. I get a good holiday allowance, flexible working, an excellent pension and opportunities to learn and develop. Only last month I was on a 'back-of-house' tour of the Titanic Museum in Belfast to discuss how they manage their estate.
To anyone thinking of joining the Library I say 'Welcome to the family!
Fergus Mason — Access and Enquiries Assistant
I have moved around a lot within the Library. Like a lot of people working in this field, I've always liked libraries and was keen to try my hand in one — so I started with the National Library of Scotland's Conservation Volunteer Programme in the summer of 2014. I did a stint with the Front of House team, then volunteered with the Manuscripts team while completing a Masters in Information Management.
I'm currently working in the Kelvin Hall facility in Glasgow — the home of the Moving Image Archive — which opened in 2016. In an eclectic role, I do everything from handling genealogy enquiries to organising film screenings.
I really enjoy the range of roles within the Library — and the scope and scale of its collections. During my time here I've been able to work with materials ranging from early 20th century literary manuscripts to contemporary film — and have helped hundreds of people to access our collections.
Suzy Pope — Reader Services Assistant
In 2011, I applied for a part-time job in the Reading Rooms to fill the gap while I looked for a graduate job. Now I'm full-time, and have worked in four different departments. We have so much material, it's hard to envisage leaving without learning about every single thing in the Library!
I'm a Readers' Services Assistant, which mostly entails answering enquiries. These vary from simple questions about ordering journals or a lengthy family history search from a remote enquirer.
I also work in the General Reading Room at the Collection and Returns desk, so remote enquiry answering is mixed with giving out and returning material, and helping people use our catalogue and online resources. I enjoy helping our readers and try my best to create a welcoming environment for them.
Working with books in general is also a big reason I enjoy working at the Library. I particularly enjoyed working in International Collections, getting a taste of collections interpretation and development. The Library has also supported my CILIP accreditation