Jerwood Library Who’s Who: David Butler

This continues our Who’s Who series of blog posts where individual members of staff at the Jerwood Library of the Performing Arts talk about themselves and their work.

David ButlerHello, I’m David and I’m a full time library assistant in the Jerwood Library. I grew up in a small seaside town in the North West of England but have been in London for the last 15 years – so the northern accent has definitely softened!​ I actually did a BMus and a PGDip at Trinity Laban when it was still Trinity College of Music. I spent my first year at the ‘old building’ in central London, centered around Mandeville Place – just off Oxford Street. Back then, the campus was spread over several very different buildings. There was a practice annex, a building with the library and some rooms for lectures, the ‘main’ building on Mandeville Place, and Hinde Street Church where we had a lot of our orchestral rehearsals. We had our ‘Principal’s address’ in the Wigmore Hall and a lot of my student loan was spent on CDs from the big HMV which used to be on Oxford Street!

I’ve been working in the Jerwood library for around 6 years now and it feels very much like home. Prior to working here, I worked at the Music Publishers Association and in the library at the Royal Academy of Music.

What is a typical day at work like for you?

The alarm clock goes off at 5.45am during the week – my wife is a primary school teacher and has to be in work crazily early! If I’m opening up the library at 9am, then I usually aim to get to work for about 8.30am (especially if I’ve cycled to work – which I try to do as much as possible). This gives me a chance to get myself organized and make sure everything is ‘fired up’ and ready to go for when we open the doors at 9am. My working week is split between covering the issue desk and working in the library office while generally helping to keep the library running smoothly. Working in the office involves many different tasks including processing new stock to make it ready for the shelves and repairing older stock that is perhaps damaged or worn (see here for more about this work).

What do I enjoy most about the job?

I really enjoy helping people and I get to do this every single day, which is great. This could involve anything from helping someone find a piece of music, showing them how to access an online resource or track down a journal in another library, to simply helping someone use the printer, save their work or add dynamic markings in Sibelius. I also really enjoy being a part of the Jerwood Library team. There are 9 of us altogether and I feel very lucky to have such friendly, supportive, kind and interesting colleagues. I feel that we work very well together as a team and, as a result, offer a high-quality service to students, staff and visitors to the Jerwood Library.

Are there any hidden or little-known aspects of your work you’d like to share?

I do a lot of ‘behind the scenes’ work on the reading lists. I work closely with the Head Librarian to ensure that all the lists are up-to-date on the catalogue and that for any items deemed ‘essential reading’ by the teachers we have a copy on short loan or an e-book wherever possible.

Finally, could you tell us something people may not know about you?

With various groups I’ve been lucky enough to perform in some amazing places including Buckingham Palace and the Royal Albert Hall with Imogen Heap. On a non-music-related note I met the Queen when I was about 9 years old!

You can contact David and the rest of the Jerwood Library team using the contact details on the Trinity Laban website.

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