Hannah Rausa: Serials Librarian (Technical Services)
How long have you worked at the NHM?
I started at the NHM Library 10 years ago in May 2003, as an Information Assistant. I left for a short period to pursue my academic studies, but returned in August 2005. I have been Serials Librarian for the past four years.
What were you doing before you came here?
I was studying for my BSc Geography Degree at University and I also worked as an office secretary in London. Working at the NHM Library was my first full time job since leaving University. It is such an interesting and unique place to work in, I have continued to work here.
What does your average day look like?
An average day for me involves a variety of tasks. They range from corresponding with our subscription agent and publishers, about our annual subscription orders and newly available content. Reviewing our expenditure forecasts against our budget, investigating alternative ways to access content which may benefit our users and our budget. I also assist staff with serial queries such as finding material on the shelves, tracking down missing issues, and advising on the best way to manage our serial records. In addition I provide enquiry support on our service desk on a weekly basis.
If you had to pick one favourite from the L&A collections what would it be?
There are so many amazing items to choose from! A personal favourite is Williams Smith’s Geological Map from 1815. It was the first treasure I unearthed when I started working here. I had the opportunity to handle it and was involved in some public outreach events associated with it, so really got a flavour of the excitement and amazement which it draws from people.
Do you have a favourite place or object on display in the Museum?
The Mineral Gallery is a fascinating space and I always discover new things each time I visit there – it is amazing to see what our natural world produces. The Blue Whale also holds a place in my heart. Along with the Central Hall it forms a strong memory of my first visit to the NHM when I was a child. I remember being completely in awe of the size and beauty of the Museum and the Blue Whale. I purchased a Blue Whale book from the museum shop, which was treasured for many years.
If you had to spend the rest of your life as an animal, what would it be and why?
Based on my love of the countryside and my belief in the value of family, I think it would have to be a dog, with its pack mentality and outdoor lifestyle. I would of course need to be homed with a loving and caring human family.