Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa
Te Rau Herenga O Aotearoa

Member Q&A #1: Raewyn Adams


Where do you work? 

I'm a librarian at the Tauranga Hospital Library, Bay of Plenty District Health Board.

How did you end up working in libraries? 

I just always "did"-almost. At school I was a student librarian at Primary, Intermediate and Secondary school. When I left school I went fish farming for two years and when that wasn't working out, I took a step back and thought "What do I want to do?" and ended up at Tauranga Public Library in 1980. 

Has there been a highlight during your time working in libraries or an interesting reference enquiry

There are far too many to list here! A story that springs to mind is from the reference desk early to mid-1980s when I was asked for books on "growing". I asked "What are you wanting to grow?" and the answer came back "Ummm....tomatoes..". I dutifully showed him the books on tomatoes. My less naive colleague at the catalogue was killing herself laughing, knowing that I hadn't understood that what he was growing was cannabis! 

Or in the mid-1990s when I was in collection management and received a phone call about an unpaid invoice for sex videos. I was going through trying to identify what this person was phoning about-invoice numbers etc- and kept saying that we are a public library and don't have sex videos. Eventually, it dawned on me that this was an Australian accent and she meant six videos. Doh! 

What's your favourite part of working in a library? 

The satisfaction of making a positive difference to the care provided to our patients and the personal knowledge and perspective I gain from the resources I find for people. 

Lastly, it wouldn't be a library-related interview without asking what your favourite book is? 

The soul of an octopus by Sy Montgomery. The attraction isn't whether or not octopuses have "soul"-that I still don't know-but the author's journey includes a lot of information that has helped me get to know these fascinating animals. 


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