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M25 SpeedMeet

Welcome to M25 SpeedMeet. Every month we meet someone working in an M25 member institution and ask them to tell us a little bit about themselves.

One of the three strategic themes of the M25 Strategic Plan 2019-2022 is connecting and collaborating through our network. Our aim is to provide a regional network whose members offer multiple perspectives that can inform decision making, and facilitate opportunities for networking and joint working on shared issues. What better way to do this than to meet?

If you’d like to feature in the M25 SpeedMeet, please contact m25libadmin@london.ac.uk.

Who are you, where are you based and what do you do? 

Liz Pinel, Customer Services Manager at the Royal College of Nursing Library and Archive Service. The RCN is a membership organisation of more than 450,000 registered nurses, midwives, nursing support workers and nursing students. We are both a professional body, carrying out work on nursing standards, education and practice, and a trade union. The Library and Archive Service provides an eLibrary and digital archive to members and the public across the UK, a physical library space in London, and access to our archives in Edinburgh (both currently closed to visitors owing to COVID-19 restrictions) 

What do you most enjoy about your job? 

The variety! The Customer Services Team is the initial point of contact for all library and archive enquiries: we provide help and support in the library and remotely via web chat/email/telephone. I co-manage and support the team with complex or challenging enquiries, ensure we provide regular staff training, and help maintain quality. I co-lead the library marketing group which includes our social media accounts, and am responsible for the quarterly statistics report on library and archive use and engagement. I get very geeky over Excel spreadsheets full of data! 

What motivates you in your work? 

Knowing that our work is supporting key health workers in their education and CPD, and supporting trade union activities to protect their rights and health. I want to give our members the best possible experience using the library and archive, and support them in finding what they need at that point in time.  

The RCN is a very supportive employer, concerned for the health and wellbeing of employeesand my manager exemplifies this. I have particularly appreciated this over the last 6 months while juggling childcare and work during the lockdown.

How has/can the M25 Consortium support you in your career? 

We’re relatively new members of the M25 and I haven’t yet had a chance to attend events. Our 2019 Graduate Trainees attended the ‘Applying to study library and information science’ event and they came back enthused and excited. The events on offer are inspiring and I regularly peruse the listings to see if I can attend – not always easy as I work part-time. I have enjoyed reading the SpeedMeets and seeing the variety of libraries and roles represented with the M25 Consortium.  

What would it surprise people to know about you? 

I have been an enthusiastic member of various amateur musical theatre groups and performed parts ranging from a fairy in Iolanthe to 3rd ‘niece’ in The Baker’s Wife and a Cabaretequse dancer in Musical of Musicals! 

Complete the sentence:
If I wasn’t working in a library, I would be… an urban tour guide and photographer because… I love exploring the local history and connections between people and placesDuring lockdown I got involved in a Layers of London Twitter challenge for people to photograph Royal Mail pillar boxes and have spent far too much time exploring the Post Office Directories to find out more about local businesses that have left behind ‘ghost signs’. 

Liz Pinel, September 2020

To read more SpeedMeet interviews see the links below!

David Allen, Royal Society of Chemistry – Librarian

Russell Burke, LSHTM – Assistant Librarian

Verity Allison, St George’s, University of London – Journals and E-Resources Librarian