In today’s post, we speak to Philippa Rose, librarian at The King’s School, Canterbury.

Before we start, we usually have some trivia, but I’ve decided to swap this out for a new idea which I think it more library appropriate!

What am I reading?

This week I’m reading The Wind-up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami. One of my favourite authors, Murakami leads you through a dreamlike story of coincidence and hidden meaning as Toru Okada searches for his lost cat. He has such a unique and poetic style, and I’d highly recommend it to fans of any genre.

The Interview

Job title?
Head Librarian

What’s the best part of your job?
Seeing pupils grow as researchers. Knowing they are more critical of information and seeing how that empowers them.

Favourite book? Favourite magazine?
Index on Censorship never fails to teach me something about the world, but there’s something special about the Christmas edition of Country Living Magazine – muddy wellies, a scruffy dog by the open fire, a casserole in the oven, some weird and wonderful craftsmanship, and half the garden brought inside to add that festival feel.

What will the library of the future be like? (In one sentence)
Not very different to the library of today – providing people with information in the best form for their needs.

Most common query in the library?
Where’s the toilet?

Coffee or Tea?
Coffee, if it’s the good stuff.

What job would you do if you weren’t a librarian?
I used to teach in a university, so if I hadn’t found librarianship I’d probably still be there! Failing that, something outdoors maybe? I’d love to make a living from testing sports clothes or running equipment.

Should the library be quiet or a place for discussion?
Ideally both. Information is often best learnt when personal theories are shared. If you have to compromise then whatever best suits your patrons. At my school, there are plenty of spaces for discussion but we’re the only possible location for quiet study so we prioritise that.

Anything you want to ask me?
What’s your favourite memory of a library as an adult?

I suppose my favourite funny memory was when there was a plumbing issue in Durham University Library. The staff put up a sign blaming the Basilisk and said that the university wizards were working on it.

On a serious note, I just enjoyed sifting through the special collections section and scanning through books that were over a century old. Knowing that those words had survived and that the author was still able to communicate despite the generations that separated us was always special.

Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions, Philippa!

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