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LOVE YOUR LOCAL ?? Meet Richard James the Blacktown City Council Mobile Library Manager

00:00 March 28, 2022

Tell us a little bit about who you are and your background?

My name is Richard James. I grew up in Cabramatta. I have worked got Blacktown City Libraries for 28 years.

What is your position, your role?

I have worked at Blacktown City Libraries for a long time and if I say how long, it will give away my age. I have worked at all the libraries in Blacktown, and the mobile library was the challenge I needed now. I drive, I meet with new and returning customers every day, and I make sure that I have the right mix of library resources for them, talking to them finding out what they want and ensuring I have it next time, or showing them how they can use the catalogue to reserve items, and then I will be able to bring out the reserve for them to pick up when I am at their best place for the library service.

What is the best part about your job? What do you love?

When the new mobile library was mentioned, I thought it was perfect for me. I drive a beautiful Mercedes Sprinter, I gets to be out in all the weathers in the fresh air, I love the early morning starts as I then can play golf. But most importantly the mobile library is a great way to serve the customer, by bringing the library to them.

What makes Elara Village a part of the community?

It is a meeting place for people, whether it be at the community centre, the cafes, restaurants or coming to see me every Wednesday.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I am an avid reader – I love fantasy and crime books and I enjoy line dancing, golf, jigsaws and crosswords and am a great partner for trivia competitions! I love travelling, not only for line dancing competitions, but also to see the world with my lovely lady.

What was your first job?

My first job was a casual at Luna Park over the Summer holidays after I left school. My first full time job was at the Commonwealth Bank in Fairfield

What is the best advice anyone has ever given to you?

Treat people how you would like to be treated and if you can’t laugh at yourself then don’t laugh at others.

How has the Elara community responded to your service?

Very enthusiastically. Elara has been one of the busiest stops from me from day 1.

What sets you apart?

The Mobile Library has everything that the other libraries have; books, magazines and DVDs, access to wonderful high quality electronic resources such as BorrowBox, Hoopla, IndyReads, and PressReader, which has thousands of newspapers and magazines from across the world in their original languages. Talking about community languages we also have material in 30 languages including Hindi, Punjabi, Gujarati Tamil and Persian. We can also source other languages from the State Library of NSW.

What sets the mobile library apart is the ability to serve the customer where they are; at a railway station or at Elara Village.

Tell us about your values/council values/brand positioning?

We, at the Library and Council, are very customer focused. We have the Mobile Library which has been running for 3 years and during the Covid lockdowns we were delivering reserves to resident’s homes and we have just released our Blacktown City Libraries app, and I am happy to show people how to use it when they come to visit me at the Mobile Library.

The Blacktown City Council Mobile library visit Elara Village every Wednesday from 11am to 1pm.

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