My 1355 days at the Pendlebury Library

When you read this blog post I’ll have already left my position as a Library Assistant at the Pendlebury Library and I’ll be enjoying some days off before starting my new job at the British Library as a Music cataloguer. It seems to me like it was only yesterday when, on 29th July 2013, I entered the Pendlebury Library for the first time (actually, the first time had been a few weeks earlier for the job interview). It was a sunny and quiet day, almost nobody around. The calm before the storm. Only two months later, at the beginning of the new academic year, the situation was completely different: almost 200 new faces to remember and all sorts of requests. Joys and sorrows of working in academic libraries 🙂


Cambridge, Faculty of Music

Since then, 1355 days have passed, more than 44 months. Certainly I haven’t spent all my days at the Pendlebury (holidays are an essential and satisfying part of the job!), but I will say that I have spent many pleasant days that I’m sure I’ll remember as an important and enjoyable step in my career as a librarian.


Cambridge, Faculty of Music

At the Pendlebury I have felt at home; even on busy days and stressful terms the atmosphere reflected the proverbial English aplomb: don’t panic and take it easy 😉 In the end we always managed to do all what we had to do and our library users have always been satisfied (or, at least, I haven’t had one complaint yet). I have to thank all my colleagues for all I have learnt and all the opportunities I have had working here. I was given the possibility to attend training courses and conferences, to visit other libraries in Cambridge and to share other librarians’ experiences.

Pendlebury Library

Pendlebury Library

When I started here I had already worked in the same field for fifteen years in Italy, but since day one I realised there was a huge gap between the two experiences. I came from a medium-size one-person library and I was used to working alone and taking decisions on my own; in Cambridge, working on a team, I have had the chance to broaden my horizons and to consider things from a different angle.

I’m sure I’ll miss a lot of people and things that have become part of my everyday routine. I’ll miss:

– my lovely and smiling colleagues and their family’s adventures. It’s mostly because of them that I’ll cherish the last 1355 days at the Pendlebury. Thank you for sharing your expertise with me!

– my ‘distant’ colleagues at the Music Department of the University Library, accomplices in adventures, parties and ‘de-deduplication’ 😉

– 6 different classes of students which makes about 550 library accounts to update and so many names to memorize! I have always been good at keeping names in my mind, but please do try to remember surnames you don’t know how to pronounce! Anyway, I did my best. Sorry guys, if you want to complain it’s too late 🙂 Good luck to all of you in your careers!

– the academic staff, the supervisors, the custodians and the admin staff. Definitely a list of people easier to remember! Thank you for your patience!

– all other librarians and friends I’ve met in these almost 4 years. Do not panic, I’ll be around (that sounds like a threat, wouldn’t you say? 😉 )

– all the books and scores to catalogue and donations to select. Well, maybe I won’t miss it too much … I don’t think the British Library is lacking in books! 🙂

– all the problems with the deduplication 🙂 This point is probably familiar only to Cambridge librarians, given that it disturbs the sleep of many of them. I spent a lot of time in the recent past double-checking the Pendlebury records in preparation for the catalogue’s migration to the new Library Management System. And now, in the middle of it, I have to leave the party. I’ll miss all the fun, but field 599 will always have a place in my heart 🙂

King’s College

– my strolls through King’s College twice a day, always with my camera at my fingertips ready to capture any small differences in light.

Seeing that I am not a photographer, the result is that now I have a large collection of almost identical pictures.

I’m sure I’ve forgot a lot of things I will miss. I will probably need to open my blog to list them (don’t panic, just a joke!).

To conclude, thank you very much to Anna Pensaert, the Head of Music Collections, who believed in me from the beginning and gave me the opportunity to work in such a stimulating library. And thank you to Helen and Kate, two extraordinary colleagues: I couldn’t have asked for more!

I’m very proud to have been a member of the prestigious University of Cambridge.


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2 Responses to My 1355 days at the Pendlebury Library

  1. anon says:

    The author joins a distinguished tradition of a Cambridge – BL Music Collections “revolving door”: recent luminaries include Dr Amelie Roper (currently a curator at the BL; formerly librarian of Christ’s), Dr Nicolas Bell (currently librarian of Trinity), and Dr James Clements (currently librarian of King’s).

    However, the author should be aware that it might not be “too late” for complaints to surface just because she is no longer in Cambridge — there are users (admittedly, not particularly regular users, but still…) of Cambridge libraries among the staff of the BL (as a perusal of the contents of, for example, eBLJ, would show)!


    • another anon says:

      And also not forgetting Dr. Clemens Gresser (previously in Music Collections at the BL, then deputy librarian of the Pendlebury, now the Divinity Librarian).


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