In Volume 19 we speak with Olive from Glasgow Women’s Library.

You can find GWL on Twitter, promoting all kinds of brilliant projects and generally being amazing:

Word of the Week

Wow, this was a very interesting one, I thought. Slogan comes from Scottish Gaelic sluagh-ghairm (sluagh army + gairm cry) which translates to battle-cry. It’s quite fun imagining some modern big brand slogans used in battle, e.g. “Reassuringly expensive!” shout those marching beneath Stella Artois’ illustrious banner.

The Interview

What’s your role in the library? 
I volunteer in the cataloguing team, working with new books and donations, and contributing to the development of our classification system.

What’s great about your library? 
So many things – the welcoming and inclusive atmosphere, the strong values underpinning everything we do, the great range of events, the richness of the collection and its links to our archive, the beautiful building which is part of a group of historically significant Glasgow libraries.

Favourite Book?
There’s a special place in my heart for Allan Ahlberg’s Happy Families series, and his wonderful Cops and Robbers.  I also love the short fiction of Annie Proulx.

Favourite Magazine?
There’s a gorgeous sewing and textiles magazine called The Maker’s Atelier.

If you could change one thing in the library world, what would it be?
In my library world, some bigger, better and stronger shelves would be wonderful.

How do you think libraries are going to change in the next decade?
The struggle to survive on shrinking budgets will make the role of the volunteer ever more important.

If you weren’t a librarian what would you do? 
I was an English and ESOL teacher for forty years so working quietly through a pile of uncatalogued books once a week is all the career change I’m looking for.

Which mythological creature would you like to exist?
I live on the north bank of the Clyde so a water-kelpie would be fun.

And that’s a wrap. Many thanks to Olive for taking part. For those who don’t know what a kelpie is, I would recommend a quick google!

Are you a librarian? Would you like to participate? Get in touch with the team at