In Volume 10 we speak with Maria King from the University of Salford.

Word of the Week

Bokeh — a word of Japanese origin that describes the aesthetic quality of the blurred, out-of-focus areas of a photo.

The Interview

Job title?
Trainee Academic Support Librarian.

What’s the best part of your job?
Being able to make a difference and feeling like I have had an impact on students who perhaps are struggling or have a lack of confidence.

Favourite book? Favourite magazine?
Well, my favourite author is Agatha Christie, it’s quite hard to narrow it down to one book as they are all so good but perhaps The Murder of Roger Ackroyd for how ingenious it is.

What will the library of the future be like? (In one sentence)
No matter what changes take place I think the library of the future will remain a space that is welcoming and open to everyone.

Most common query in the library?
Where are the toilets!! More specifically to my role, we get a lot of students who ask about referencing, it seems to be something that really panics them!

Coffee or Tea?
I’m going to go rogue and say neither — hot chocolate! I like the smell of coffee though if that counts?

What job would you do if you weren’t a librarian?
I would love to own my own bar/food place that put punk gigs on in the evening, outside of work I love to eat out and go to punk gigs so that would combine everything I enjoy.

Should the library be quiet or a place for discussion?
Well as someone who once got asked to be quiet by another member of library staff I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen the library as somewhere that should be quiet all the time! It’s good to have quiet times or areas for those that want them but libraries should also be places where people can talk about their love of books or learn by debating and talking to others.

Anything you would like to ask me?
I would like to know your favourite book — definitely the hardest question to answer!

Well, I would have to say the Odyssey as a classicist; but as a general reader, I’m going to go for the Master and the Margarita! I love the mischief and surrealism.

Many thanks again to Maria!

Speaking of which, we have a new set of questions at the ready!
Would you like to participate or nominate a colleague?
As always, you can reach me at