Liz Lancashire is a Marketing Communications and Research Consultant:
“I’ve been an Oldham Library member for ooh…several moons, and my earliest memories of my local library are of me checking out stacks of Meg and Mog, Miffy, and Dr Seuss books and walking out with my haul and a happy smile on my face. I moved on to the Worst Witch, anything by Judy Blume and the wonderful Lois Duncan (who simultaneously scared the bejeesus out of me and convinced me I could do astral projection) and my rather less credible American teen drama period with the Sweet Valley High series.
But moving on a few years, since I’ve had a proper job, if I ever need to find anything out, Oldham Library is my first port of call.
As a marketing consultant, I’ve used the business department of Oldham Library many times, for my own business and for my clients’. I’ve referenced their business databases, market reports, and media directories when I’ve needed information on the local business landscape; information on market size, breakdown, and predictions for intelligence reports; and to build media lists to help me deliver comprehensive PR projects. As a freelancer, I couldn’t justify buying the publications myself but many of them are incredibly useful for providing a first-rate service. And it’s not just the titles that the business library holds that has helped me. It’s the business librarians that work there. When I come in or ring up with a vague question, they help to work out what I really need to know and dig the information out for me.
Another benefit to using the business library for me – well a freelancer’s life can be a lonely one. Oldham Library has provided me with a network, a comfortable place to sit and work that’s not my dining room, and friendly faces when I’ve spent too much time with only my peace lily for company.
Surprising things happen in Oldham Library. I’ve been to fascinating talks from reformed convicts, seen brilliant shows by CBeebies presenters, took part in chilled lunchtime mindfulness sessions, and had personalised artwork created for me by the official Dennis the Menace artist, Nigel Parkinson (Dennis being another of my childhood heroes). But on more than one occasion I’ve visited the library with my children and been able to sneak off to the business section and leave them crafting, painting rocks, or being entertained by an organised playgroup that the library has hosted.
It’s a really valuable resource for me and I love that where I sat analysing the breakdown of the UK construction market on the Friday, I’ll be taking a selfie with Batman at Comic Con on the Saturday.