My first job was in the public library in Stockbridge, a district of
Edinburgh. I must have started in 1959, when I was 17. Librarianship was my third choice as I had wanted to be a vet (not enough qualifications) and then a nurse (my father did not approve)! At the beginning of each day, we had to sort and tidy the shelves (readers can be very untidy), putting fiction into alpha order and non-fiction into the Dewey Decimal order. I remember the janitor going around the Library with a spray gun, to keep the bugs at bay every day and we had to keep an eye on the local drunks who used the Reading Room to get warm and have a nap! I was moved around by the Library Service and at one branch, I used to have to trek into the large adjacent housing scheme and collect overdue books. Not a job that would be given to a young girl in this day and age! However, I enjoyed the experience and never had any ‘grief’!
I later worked for the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and then The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh in their Medical libraries – most interesting. I cannot remember what I earned in the public library system, but I got £5 a week, plus lunch vouchers for 2/6p a day, when I worked for the Colleges. I left in 1967 to have our first son (one of three) and many years later, worked briefly in the Cullen public library.
Memory contributed by Marion Yool, WRVS volunteer from Croy
Information on Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh Medical Library
Marion is a long serving member of WRVS latterly as a Director (1996-2002). She is a valuable member of the team of WRVS volunteers helping with this project. Marion has been interviewing people in a variety of settings in Moray and has then added the memories to the site via the online form.