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New Voices Case Study by Rebecca Miller

Category: New Voices

This New Voices Case Study was written by new professional Rebecca Miller, Library Assistant at Bridgeton Library in Glasgow. If you would like to write for New Voices, please get in touch with the Students & New Professionals Community by emailing

Hi, my name is Rebecca Miller. I work as a Library Assistant in Bridgeton Library in Glasgow. I started working for Glasgow Libraries over a year ago. I had always wanted to work in libraries since I left school, because I love reading books and helping people. So, when this role came up, I jumped at the opportunity to realise my dream.

My main duties in this role are: working as part of a team to deliver excellent customer service, requesting books for customers, telling people about all the services that they can access through their library membership, and helping customers to use the computers. I love working in this role because it is so varied; one minute I can be delivering Bookbug sessions and the next I can be helping customers to find their next book. There is one main challenge in this role and it is dealing with difficult customers.

In my role I work as part of a team with 4 other colleagues. During the day each of us has different responsibilities: two members of staff remain at the desk to answer the telephone and to serve customers, one of us walks around the library with the iPad and asks the customers if they need any help looking up a book or finding out other information and the other member of staff remains round the computer area and provides help when required.

When I started in my role with Glasgow Libraries I did not know much about: the book-buying process, how to use library catalogues, delivering class visits or Bookbug sessions. So, I would say to anyone wanting to work in public libraries that although you may not have the role-specific knowledge and experience when you apply, as long as you have experience providing customer service, love to read, have experience of working with kids, like to talk to people and are proficient in literacy and numeracy that you will thrive in this role.

My main tip for anybody who wants to work in this sector or the information profession, in general, is to volunteer, because you gain so much experience that may prove valuable in a future role. There are lots of people who I work with, that started off volunteering in a role such as Digi Pal and then progressed into a role as a Library Assistant.

I have recently started the process of Certification because I wanted to develop myself further in my current role and eventually want to work in a university library. I want to work in a university library because I love reading academic texts and my university librarian helped me so much when it came to the completion of my dissertation and I would love to help other students to complete theirs. I am not very far into completing Certification, I have recently completed my PKSB, found myself a mentor who works as a university librarian and started gathering evidence for my portfolio.

I am part of the Special Interest Group Public and Mobile Libraries. There was a blog post about a survey on how libraries help decrease levels of loneliness and social isolation. From my experience, libraries provide so many opportunities for people to catch up, to join groups, and to have a chat. I would say that libraries have a massive effect on levels of loneliness and social isolation, and I would encourage other people to think about the difference that they can make to their customers’ lives.

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