Heather Anderson

Assistant Librarian for Metadata and Acquisitions
University of Ulster

I completed a BA in Combined Humanities at the Ulster Polytechnic where French and Geography were my chosen subjects.  Later in life I attended the University of Wales, Aberystwyth and studied part-time for a Masters in Information and Library Studies.  I graduated in 2007 and then subsequently became a Chartered member of CILIP in 2012.

Libraries were not where I had ever envisaged myself working, but after graduating from the Ulster Polytechnic I was desperately looking for a job and applying for many jobs in many different sectors.  Quite by chance, a library job came up at the University of Ulster, near where I lived.  I applied and have now worked at the University of Ulster since 1988, starting out as an Information Assistant working both at the Issue Desk and in Resource Management.  In 2009, I became a Senior Information Assistant in the Cataloguing section overseeing a small team of staff.

Between September 2006 and December 2012 in addition to my daytime post I also worked part-time in the evenings and weekends as an Assistant Librarian in charge of the Issue Desk.  This was my first step onto the professional ladder and being the most senior person in charge out of core hours was certainly, at times, a steep learning curve!  Accidents, floods, systems failures, power failures, noisy users, international and distance learners, accident reporting  and broken fixtures and fittings were all just an everyday part of the job.

I was appointed to the full-time post of Assistant Librarian for Metadata and Acquisitions at the University of Ulster in November 2012. I have a large staff across three campuses and responsibilities for stock purchase (print, NBM and e-books) and withdrawal, staff training, health and safety, office procedures and workflows, budgets and allocations, new technologies and upgrades based around our LMS, software and EDI developments, reading lists, cataloguing rules and regulations, and new standards such as RDA.  I regularly gather and produce statistics for in-house purposes and also annually for outside bodies such as Sconul.

I am the academic representative for the University of Ulster on the CILIP Ireland Committee where I have served as Treasurer for approximately 4 years.  I had previously served as a committee member and Web Editor for the Career Development Group Northern Ireland, a CILIP Special Interest Group, for about 5 years.  I also sit on the Acquisitions Group Ireland which is an active group of librarians from both public and private sectors, in Ireland and Northern Ireland, who are interested in acquisitions.

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