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This week in our MHC Life series, we speak to Assistant Librarian, Cliona Doyle. Cliona talks us through her inspiration for choosing a career as a Librarian and how she's finding WFH.

Tell us a bit about you and your career journey to MHC – what inspired you to get into this career?

As a child I wanted to be an archaeologist and dug plenty of holes in my parents' garden in the search for ancient civilisation. As time went on my interests shifted to all things historical and eventually towards Irish history in particular.

After completing an M.A. in Modern Irish History I was fortunate to get a temporary position in an academic medical library. This inspired me to continue a career in libraries.

I started in MHC in January 2016. The corporate library world was definitely for me. I went on to complete my MSc in Information and Library Management in the evenings over the next two years. Almost five years on I am now an Assistant Librarian.

Favourite thing about your role

Variety! The Library supports staff in all departments across the firm and so no day is the same in terms of the research and information requests we receive.

I am part of a dynamic and solution driven team. It is a busy and vibrant environment with ample opportunities to work on interesting projects. With the large amounts of information now available at everyone's finger tips the challenge is often how best to give access to relevant, accurate, up to date information without "information overload".

I am also a member of our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) committee MHC RISE, which focuses on education, particularly for the disadvantaged. We support this cause in a number of ways including providing funding, promoting awareness and volunteering.

Talk us through a typical day for you during the COVID-19 pandemic…

I naturally wake very early in the morning, much to the horror of my night owl partner, and I enjoy a cup of coffee while I catch up on emails and news first thing.

There is no typical day in the library, however my day is usually made up of a combination of research, current awareness, delivering training and working on library projects. We have daily Library Zoom calls to catch up as a team, which is a great way to keep connected while WFH. Much to my surprise I have discovered I am definitely one for waving goodbye on Zoom calls – and I have embraced this.

If the weather is nice I try to get out and stretch my legs at lunchtime and in the evenings we often watch a movie or bring Peter (the dog) for a walk.

What books have you read during lockdown?

There is something comforting in re-reading old favourites during these unprecedented times. I am enjoying reading my way through the A-Z of my many novels I collected over the years.

I am also part of the book club in MHC. Our lunchtime zoom calls are always something to look forward to.

What sports/hobbies/pastimes do you enjoy?

I would not consider myself as a sporty person however when we were in the office I enjoyed going to Monday evening Boxercise sessions. During WFH I have been adding miles to my exercise bike and enjoy long walks.

A recent home project of mine was sorting through all our photographs and creating photo books of our holiday photos. We love to travel and were lucky enough to see the Northern Lights in Iceland last year and these pictures are special to us. Other holiday books completed so far include Japan, Italy and Disneyland Paris. I look forward to a time when we can travel again but in the meantime it is nice to be able to revisit the memories of holidays gone by.

Favourite quote?

"When you absolutely positively have to know, ask a librarian." American Library Association

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