My name is Liam O’Hare. I am currently employed as a Senior Learning Resource Officer in the Southern Regional College (SRC), Newry, Co. Down, Northern Ireland. There are five campuses with libraries and Newry is the largest and busiest of them. There are approximately 1700 full-time and 9400 part-time students based in the Newry Campus. The SRC offers a wide range of courses at FE level and increasingly at HE in partnership with the University of Ulster. I work 18 hours a week as the sole Senior Learning Resource Officer on this site. I have always enjoyed helping people to find the information that they are seeking and developing a service that makes a significant contribution to their educational attainment.
I spend a great deal of time developing and managing the library’s e-resources. Issues relating to student and teaching staff use of the library also demand a significant input from myself as is management of four part-time library assistants.
I qualified as a teacher first but decided that librarianship was my preferred profession. I studied for the Diploma in Librarianship at Aberystwyth, Wales and subsequently worked in a public library in Leicester for a year.
I returned to Northern Ireland but was unable to secure a permanent post. I taught for several years before returning to England where I worked as a children’s librarian on Hertfordshire and the London Borough of Merton. I worked as a children’s librarian for three years and I became a Chartered Librarian. Returning to Northern Ireland I worked as a school librarian until my current position where I have worked for the past twelve years.
A library and information professional should always keep to the fore that the users are the raison d’etre for the service provided and that one should always endeavour to seek ways to develop and improve this service.