After 20 years spent answering reference enquiries at Wandsworth Libraries and approaching retirement age, what is a qualified Librarian to do? Travel the world? Take up pottery? Read all the books you've never got round to reading?
If you're Merle Edwards you take up another post 3 weeks after a well-earned holiday, which lasts at least another 18 years. Merle is TFPL's longest serving temp and we are proud and delighted to have her working for us.
She has been with Three Raymond Buildings Chambers for 3 days per week since 1996 and her colleagues are very glad to have her. Starting out in the basement, she sorted out the chambers' copies of Halsbury's Statutes and chased up lots of missing issues. Eventually she emerged from there into the beautiful offices she occupies today. She is often found updating looseleaf files but also still handles some enquiries - those days spent in the reference library at Wandsworth have stood her in good stead and have given her an excellent grounding in answering questions on everything from European history to architecture and the occult!
It was wonderful to meet Merle and talk about her experiences over the years. As a recruiter, I am sometimes asked in interviews if age will be a problem. This question often comes from people in their 40s or 50s and there is genuine concern about age discrimination. I think we're lucky that our industry thrives on the experience, knowledge and commitment that often comes with age. Merle is certainly great proof that we can enjoy a long and happy career in the library world.
Thank you Merle!