Thursday 14 June 2012

Meet your Academic Services Librarian

This year we will do a series of posts introducing you to the members of the Academic Services Team. This time it is the librarian for Education and Lifelong Learning, and Welsh and Celtic Studies.

Elgan Davies

I came to work in the University Library, the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, straight from school as Library Assistant in the General Library at the Old College, which was the main university library at the time when all the arts departments were located in town. I stayed for two years before leaving to do my degree in Welsh and Welsh History and then a year’s Postgraduate Diploma course at the College of Librarianship Wales (now the Department of Information Studies) which was then an independent institution.

By the time I returned to the university as a member of staff the slow move ‘up the hill’ had quickened and the Hugh Owen Library had opened as the main university library. The oil crisis and ‘winter of discontent’ of the nineteen seventies put the brakes on things for a few years and I was asked to look after the General Library, or the Undergraduate Reading Room as it was then known, serving the remaining teaching departments still located in town who were waiting for the Arts Block Three building to be built, but it never was.

However, within a few years the uphill move recommenced and more teaching departments moved out of the Old College Building. But they were soon replaced by the Education Department which moved from its long time home in Cambrian Chambers and the buildings in Alexandra Road opposite what is now the Rheidol Retail Park, and the Undergraduate Reading Room became the Old College Library.

After the Drama Department left Laura Place and moved into the Parry-Williams Building on the Penglais Campus and became the Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies, the Department of Welsh and the Department of Education (now the School of Education and Lifelong Learning) were the only two academic departments left at Old College. For nearly thirty years I was Subject Librarian for these two departments until, in October 2011, SELL moved into Penbryn (P5) on Penglais and the Old College Library closed.

I have also moved up the hill and am now leader of the Learning and Teaching Support Team within Academic Services.

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