FIL Committee Member Biographies
Who the FIL Committee actually are..
Jean Christopher (Chair)
Special Assistant Librarian
Liverpool City Libraries
I never intended to work in libraries, it just “happened”. I had just finished university and wanted money, saw the advert and the rest is history. I started my library life as a Library Assistant 1982 in “the branches”, which I really enjoyed as I was expected to learn and cover every aspect of the job. At that time, it was usual practice to be transferred to a different department/branch every couple of years. I did that until I was promoted to Library Manager and given my own branch library to manage.
In 2012 Liverpool City Libraries went through a major restructure which saw many branch libraries closing and many staff taking early retirement. It also coincided with the reopening of our newly built Central Library. A post became available in our stock department with responsibility for the Document Delivery Service to which I was promoted. There have been many changes to the service over the years and although the fundamental aspect of the job is the same, the processes are now very different. I really enjoy working in this area as there is always something new going on!
Out of work I enjoy reading, playing with my new puppy, needlecraft and window shopping for anything!
Eva Dann (Treasurer)
Senior Information Assistant for Document Delivery
Royal Holloway Library, University of London
Eva is a Senior Information Assistant for Document Delivery at Royal Holloway, University of London. She previously worked in the public library sector for 10 years and has also been a freelance translator. She is on the third year of her Masters in Library and Information Studies by distance learning at Aberystwyth University.
Sian Jones (Secretary)
Library Assistant, Library Service Desk Team
Llyfygell Hugh Owen Library, Aberystwyth University
I qualified from the then College of Librarianship Wales in 1985. My heart has always been in public libraries and I was lucky to gain my first position as a Senior Assistant Librarian in the London Borough of Havering where I gained valuable experience. I then worked for 14 years in the public library service in the London Borough of Harrow where I worked in a number of branches including the central reference library and the main lending library. I obtained my chartership whilst working in Harrow libraries.
After moving to Wales I joined the Library Lending Team at Aberystwyth University in 2003. I undertake a range of front line duties but most of my time is spent working in Document Supply, a service which we have developed and promoted over many years. I have attended the FIL conferences for a number of years always finding it valuable to collaborate with other ‘inter-lenders’. Outside of work I enjoy gardening, art galleries and travelling.
Dawn Downes (Marketing)
Senior Library Assistant, ILL and Periodicals Team
Martial Rose Library, University of Winchester
I’m an American who moved here after marrying my Shropshire Lad in 2002. I always knew I wanted to work in Libraries. We were never able to visit our local Public Libraries regularly, as we always lived in the country or a town that didn’t have one. When I did visit, I never felt comfortable on the “wrong” side of the desk. Even now if I visit a Library I want to get to work, tidying the shelves or helping patrons/borrower/users (whatever you call them). I volunteered at our tiny school library in High School, and at both of the Universities I attended I worked as many hours as I could. At the second University I attended, I begged for a job and they put me to work typing envelopes for microfilm (remember what those are anyone?).
I was given my first full time position when I moved to Indiana and the Librarian at a large Public Library took a chance on me. I was given a lot of responsibilities quickly, but the fit was right and I enjoyed every minute. After moving to the UK, I had a Public Library job for under a year and then moved to my current position at the University of Winchester. I enjoy the academic world, but do miss working with the general public, especially the little ones. I took over the running of the ILL team a few years later and have enjoyed the challenge! I’m also managing our Library Assistant team and journals. I’m very busy as I’m sure you all understand well!
Donna Murtha (Journal Editor & Vice Chair)
Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
I’ve worked in library for over fifteen years, first in public and academic sectors before moving into NHS libraries in 2011. I didn’t always want to work in libraries, and I had a varied career path before settling in libraries. I initially trained as a nurse, then did a Masters in counter-terrorism research before completing a library Masters at Aberystwyth University. I’ve always loved books and researching, so it makes sense that I finally ended up as a librarian!
Being an NHS librarian means I get to do a bit of everything in the library world – cataloguing, document supply, literature searching, collection management, teaching. It’s a very varied and rewarding role as we often find out the evidence we provide (from a literature search or supplying an article) has a positive impact on patient care. As I have a background in history, my real passion is for rare books and special collections.
In my spare time I write and publish fiction. I also enjoy baking and knitting, though not at the same time!
Matthias Werner (Journal & Website)
Library Assistant, Content Purchasing
Templeman Library, University of Kent
I do not actually have a library background, other than spending most of my university life in the library. After graduation I moved from my home town in Germany to London where I worked as a proof reader for a translation company. When our first child was born in 2007, I took some time off and then worked as a temp in various administration roles at the University of Kent.
My first library job at Kent was in the cartoon archive where I scanned newspaper cartoons and other art work for the British Cartoon Archive website (it is actually a great website – check it out). I soon after found a permanent position as library assistant at the Templeman Library. When a senior colleague retired I took over the day-to-day running of the document delivery service. It has been a steep learning curve but I enjoy the job very much. Currently I am on a secondment in research support, ensuring that items in our institutional repository are REF compliant.
With three young children (all girls, two of them twins) there is no such thing as spare time. I started to learn playing piano a few years ago, and from time to time I am allowed to go to the pub or cinema.
Emma Willcox (Conference Co-ordinator)
Library Assistant (Content, Licensing and Intellectual Property)
The Open University
After graduating from Kent University with a BA in English Literature, I started my career working in the publishing industry. After four years working in copyright and permissions at Wiley, I made the move to higher education in 2015. Since then, I have been working as a Library Assistant at the Open University. I spend half my time working in content acquisition and the other half in ILLs/document delivery.
I love working at this fantastic institution and supporting its hard-working, dedicated students. Distance education presents unique challenges and opportunities for library services; I’ve enjoyed learning about new technologies and embracing the move to electronic resources. At the same time, I appreciate the time I spend working in document delivery as It helps me remain connected to the print books that made me want to work in libraries in the first place. Outside of work, I am a keen reader and video-gamer. I also enjoy amateur dramatics and karaoke