8th December: The Enquiry Desk team

The Enquiry Desk team members are the friendly face of the Library and Knowledge Service. They are the staff working at the desk, ready to help you when you come into one of our site libraries. They welcome and register new members, provide prompt responses to your email requests and arrange the speedy supply of journal articles and books for you. They keep the Library tidy; help you find books; manage the room bookings and troubleshoot computers and printers; they are the House elves!

We asked the team a few questions:

What do you like about working in the Library?  

Melissa: I like meeting and helping the users, especially the users that seem nervous coming into us or haven’t used us in a while. Just sitting with them for 10 mins and explaining how we can help really makes a difference to them…

David: The thing I most enjoy day to day is the sheer variety of people that I meet through working here, some of whom I’ve got to know pretty well. That and being happy and proud to be a tiny cog in the big machine that is the NHS…

Cecelia: There’s always something new to learn! Also, I think we’re a really good team. I enjoy working with everyone and, as Covid has proved, we all pull together and help each other out when needed.

Christine: I work with and meet some very interesting people. The NHS has such a wide diversity of staff working for them and I like being a part of this. I like the fact that in a small way I contribute to staff development seeing them go forward in their careers and students qualify.

Has anything funny ever happened to you in the Library?

Bev: As a nervous new recruit to the library team, I once asked a burly, 6ft something male doctor if his name was SHARON when trying to find his print job on the system…😳

David: I had to “break in” to the staff office when we lost the keys but I’m not going to say how I did it!

Gillian: In a previous library job, I once had a lady phone up thinking I was Sainsbury’s customer help desk as she had a problem with the baked beans she had bought.  She phoned back several times.  Didn’t matter what I said she wouldn’t believe we weren’t Sainsbury’s as she insisted that our number was printed on her till receipt.

Christine: I once walked in on two student doctors getting ready for exams doing role play. Not saying anymore.

Tell us something interesting about yourself

Scott: I’m not a very interesting person unfortunately, being born on a leap year is usually my go-to fact but I suppose this year I became a published novelist so that probably takes the top spot now.

Bev: I once flew a helicopter for three minutes single-handedly.  Thankfully the instructor didn’t tell me till after he took back the controls! 😱

David: I’ve lived full time on boats for the last 10 years…

Gillian: In the line of work I once had a conversation with Screaming Lord Sutch (and very nice he was too)

Melissa: Interesting mmm tough one… I met loads of famous people whilst working for the BBC but mostly met them in the toilets!  I’ve started wild swimming this year and am still going into the sea despite seeing a giant eel!

Christine: Before COVID I used to love doing Murder Mystery games with my friends.

Cecelia: I love to travel – I’ve been on a few road trips around Europe; visited Nepal, Taiwan, India (only briefly), Brazil, Thailand, Cambodia, Sumatra, various Caribbean Islands, and New Zealand and my home country USA – not all in the same trip!

What do you enjoy about Christmas?

Christine: It has to be without doubt the decorations. Not just at home but everywhere. It makes me feel very happy.

Melissa: Decorating the tree together is always nice, although my partner then re arranges it afterwards! Sounds corny but being healthy and safe at home… after spending a few Christmas’s in hospital, there is nothing being like at home…

Gillian: Carols, Meeting friends, Chestnut stuffing cos we only every have it at Christmas, Not turning the telly on apart for the Queens speech because Christmas telly is usually rubbish and we get a board game out instead, phoning our relatives in Canada.

Scott: I adore Christmas and look forward to it every year. I’m a strict never-before-December person but once Dec 1st comes along I bring the festive jumpers out of the wardrobe and fire up the Christmas music playlists and the annual roster of films we watch every year.


David: When it’s over…

When do you put your decorations up?

David: I don’t…

Cecelia: This year the Christmas lights went up in mid-November as I stress-bought loads waiting for the US election results to come in. The tree and the rest of the ornaments usually go up mid-Dec, but we don’t have a lot of Christmas decorations as we often go to visit family over Christmas. We do decorate a lot for Halloween and often leave some spooky stuff up year round, so the skulls get decorated with Santa hats.

Scott: Growing up, we always put our decorations and tree up on 10th December as it’s the anniversary of a family bereavement. This is a tradition I’ve carried on since leaving home and I find it a way to bring something positive from something sad.

Nicola: I’d like to put them up at the beginning of December, my partner would like to wait until Christmas Eve (this is also his approach to present shopping), so we compromise and put them up mid-December.

Roland: Saturday was D-Day  (Decoration Day). There are some similarities to the real event in 1944 – the unremitting toil from first thing until dark, the constant threat of disaster, and the sense of achievement at the end of it all.

Send your enquiries or contact the team on bsuh.library@nhs.net