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Shahnila Shafiq, City of Glasgow College

Category: Blog, Meet our Members


This blog is part of our Meet our Members series, focusing on different members and their careers.

Hello lovely people of Library World. My name is Shahnila and I currently work as an Information Assistant at City of Glasgow College library. I work over at both City and Riverside campuses. I love books and all libraries and the best thing about my role is that I get to work with a variety of different students (Engineering, Marine and STEM at Riverside) and Art, Humanities and Sciences at City campus. I love my role as no two days are the same. I am in the resource management team and get to do a variety of tasks, i.e. student invoicing, books processing, adding and deletions, book displays, desk duties and create reports. Due to my interest in book conservation issues, in my spare time I do book repairs and book-binding courses – I convinced my librarian to invest in a book repairs tool kit over the two campuses in which I now actively look after the physical stock and little jobs.

Before this, I was an International Conferences Researcher with the Glasgow Convention Bureau and I have also worked at Glasgow Life Public libraries where during my MBA I evaluated how the Scottish Executive implemented their Digital Strategy in Glasgow Public libraries in my research. I read quite widely (fiction and non-fiction) especially current affairs, business, economics, and library ethics.

I love helping students with complex research queries due to my research background, whether its journal articles, books, extracts or a general question. I find connecting people with the resources they need very fulfilling. I genuinely believe in the importance and power of libraries and reading and believe in showing a positive BAME image of libraries in Scotland. I also think equality and diversity are not just buzz words but there needs to be a connection between rhetoric and practice.

Although I have always loved history and old books, I also have a passion for manuscripts and archives (everything medieval) which happened much later accidentally. I love consulting them and reading about them in my spare time, especially medieval art. An area I feel passionate about is access to Special Collections and Archives, as there is such a taboo surrounding them. I believe they are there for everyone to enjoy and learn from as our national and local treasures not just the very privileged and academic researches. It took me years to have the confidence to consult them and enjoy them & I try and show a light-hearted approach to them on my Twitter. In my spare time, I write poetry and short stories and love reading other literature. I also love beautiful books and bindings and therefore, book materiality is a subject close to my heart. I believe there should be fewer barriers to access Special Collections and Archives and everyone should benefit from them. I also love library tourism and have a professional curiosity for libraries far and wide, what type of books and resources they hold, physical logistics of library space and access issues. I hope in my life I get to visit many libraries worldwide. I also love making bookish and library friends so if you want to geek over books and manuscripts, see beautiful daily photos of Glasgow (my city) or my library adventures, visit library or museum events together, or have tea & cake together, I am always happy to chat so say hello on Twitter @shahnilashafiq.

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