In the next of our series introducing members of the team who you might meet at our sites or across the University, #DULibIntroducing welcomes Kelly Hetherington, who you may meet on our Help and Information desk in Bill Bryson Library, or may have contact with through our open access research repository, Durham Research Online. Do say hello!
Please state your name, full job title, and a brief description of what that entails:
Kelly Hetherington, Repository Assistant. Durham Research Online is one of our open access repositories; our academics deposit their publications with us and we make them available to the public, open access. I have to check copyright, respond to email queries and make sure that all our records are correct. The repository plays a very important part in the open access requirements for our REF submission (Research Excellence Framework) which impacts upon the reputation of funding received by the university.
I also am the face behind most of the @DRODurham tweets. I love using Twitter to interact with our academics and promote their research in the repository.
So, how long have you worked in the Library?
Almost three years but I’ve had four different jobs – starting as an extended hours assistant, then extended hours supervisor and library assistant. I’ve been a repository assistant since April 2019.
What’s the most interesting/enjoyable aspect of your job?
I absolutely love getting the first peek at Durham research. It reminds me how amazing the university is and means that every day I get to read about new discoveries. For example, this morning I found an article in our repository from a Psychology PhD student that backs up the idea that ‘if you smile the whole world smiles with you’. I’m also really passionate about open access – ultimately, a lot of Durham publications will be behind a paywall in journals, however, we are making a copy accessible to anyone, anywhere in the world; it may not be the final ‘pretty’ version and it may not be available immediately but eventually anyone will be able to read and benefit from it.
I think this is an important step in the right direction towards academic equality – not everyone can afford to subscribe to expensive journals. For example, this year one of our most popular articles has been ‘Towards an integrated anthropology of sleep” from academics at the Parent-Infant Sleep Lab and I like to think of it helping new mothers understand their little ones. A highlight of my career in the library so far has been inviting academics to the library to speak to us about their research which included Cecilia Tomori, one of the authors from this paper. I think I can speak for all of my colleagues saying we left the room in awe as she and our other academic colleagues were so inspirational!
What are you reading at the moment?
What was the last film you saw, and what would you rate it out of 10?
Avengers Endgame – 6 (I hadn’t seen the others so I was a bit lost – oops!)
If you could invite one person from history for a cuppa at Small Island Coffee, who would it be?
Not really a known person from history, but I’d invite my grandfather. He was Polish but sent to a prison camp in Siberia by the Soviet Union during WW2. When the Polish prisoners of war were liberated he fought in the Battle of Monte Cassino in WW2 with the Anders Army. He then settled in a tiny North East England village and became a factory manager. I’d love to hear more about his life.
What achievement are you most proud of?
You are going to retrieve a book on Level 1 and see a giant tarantula in the Archaeology section. What do you do?
Avoid it. Then tell our lovely colleague Gareth who deals with all manner of library disasters – nothing surprises him!
Tell me a secret about Durham/the Library:
There are the most beautiful bluebells in woods near the university (Houghall Woods)
What’s the best piece of advice you could give to new Library users?
If you can’t renew your books online or you have any problem accessing your library account online – don’t leave it, pop in, give us a call on 0191 334 3042 or email firstname.lastname@example.org (we are super helpful!)
If we want to know more about your role in the Library, where can we find more information?