CILIPS Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland
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Penny Robertson, City of Glasgow College

Category: Meet our Members

The following is a guest blog post by Penny Robertson as part of our focus on sectors.


An average day in the life of an information professional in tertiary education is one that could never be described as dull or slow-paced!

My first real job was as a library assistant at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee and I was hooked I loved the buzz of a college library and working with our students and a truly brilliant team of library assistants and librarians.

As Libraries Manager at City of Glasgow College I oversee two campus libraries that cater for a student audience of approximately 30,000. Our curricula cover everything from weekend and evening classes, HNC and HND, Modern Apprenticeships, professional/specialist awards and degree level courses.

On any given day I may be helping out with desk cover in our busy campus libraries, answering queries relating to copyright and digital learning and working with my counterparts in learning technologies and digital pedagogy to determine plans and activities to ensure our College is at the forefront of learning within Glasgow and beyond. There’s not really what you would call an average day!

My favourite part of the job is working with my team of librarians, library systems analyst and library and information assistants to deliver the best possible service we can to our students, staff and stakeholders. Our team are very proactive and like to try new ways of working or changes to service if it is for the benefit of our students and stakeholders. Our motto is anything can be changed and if it fails, no worries try something different!  The challenging part of the job is how busy we are, making it difficult getting the opportunity to meet and discuss ways forward with service delivery.

I have been a member of CILIP Scotland since my student days, too far away now to count! I’ve found it to be a valuable and unique source of networks giving me access to some amazing professionals through special interest groups such as the Cataloguing and Indexing Group Scotland and the Academic and Research Libraries Group in Scotland.

If you were looking for a job like mine. I would recommend the following areas as a must; management and leadership skills, understanding service design and development and how digital technologies can enable your service. I think it’s important to have a holistic approach and the ability to create momentum to achieve this and finally, if in doubt, always, always ask a librarian!

Penny Robertson, City of Glasgow College, Libraries Manager.