Helen – Age 63

“I used to think I could go on forever, then I reached 59 and started to feel my age, I fight against it though! I think being in work helps you feel younger than if you retire. My favourite part is helping the public with any enquiry when they walk through the door.”

I’m married with 2 children and my son surprised me by producing a grandson which I wasn’t expecting at all. I’ve been working in libraries since 1977, I qualified as a professional Librarian in 1982. I’ve worked in mostly public libraries but also a school library and university libraries, but I like working for the public the best.

Last year I failed in an interview to get a job as a manager so I’m now Library Digital Services Coordinator. My favourite part is helping the public with any enquiry they walk through the door with. Because we work in a public place, no one day is the same as the other. It’s great when you help someone and they buy you a box of chocolates or bunch of flowers.

Young people starting out should have the confidence in their ability to do the job. My daughter was nervous, but once she took that step into employment all that went out the window. I like to garden and I do pilates. I do cooking, although I don’t enjoy it very much. It does get harder, it gets harder to think, the older you get, you get more tired and you need to be aware of it.

I used to think I could go on forever but once I reached 58, 59, I started to feel my age. I rebelled against it but your body let’s you down, but I do think being in work helps you feel younger than if you retire. I think it’s very important that libraries stay open, one way or another. We have libraries that aren’t staffed at all where members get in with a swipe card.