We caught up with Northern Health’s new Library Manager, Natasha Bradley.
What’s your coffee order?
I don’t drink coffee, I drink tea, chai tea.
Tell us about your Northern Health journey.
I started at the very end of June last year, just before lockdown two. So it was a pretty interesting time to start at a hospital.
How did COVID-19 impact the library?
It had an impact on people’s ability to access the space because we do get people from all over the hospital come in together, so that was something that presented a risk. The library was closed as a physical space for about four months out of last year. However, as we were still loaning books to people, we developed an alternative process to that, and as about 80 per cent of the library activity is online and has been online for a number of years, that went on uninterrupted.
What is your greatest achievement or favourite memory since you began working here?
I feel really fortunate to have walked into a library that is really well regarded, with a fantastic team and a great supportive management as well. It’s been pretty memorable to start at a hospital during a pandemic so that is always going to stick with me. Every day in the library is an adventure, and it’s endlessly fascinating and it’s really hard to pick out a favourite memory.
Tell us about your career before joining Northern Health.
Libraries are a second career for me. I’ve been in libraries for eight years and predominately health libraries. Before that, I used to work in online, so developing websites and managing websites. I’ve always been around information management and organisation for the whole of my professional life.
Are you a lover of books and reading?
Libraries are more about connecting people with information. I do love reading, but that’s not what libraries are about. It’s really about understanding the needs of what the particular library is focused on and making sure that the information is organised and presented in a way that makes it easy for people to access.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I don’t think there are typical days. There’s always different things happening. Sometimes I am working on the products and services that the library has available and that involves a lot of analysis and talking to vendors and negotiating. Sometimes I am working on literature searches for clinical and non-clinical staff just to support and develop their information needs. Sometimes I am working on the bigger strategic goals for the library and how the library will support Northern Health. Sometimes I am doing reporting and sometimes I am doing what people consider classic librarian activities like cataloguing. There is not really a core set of activities that I have to do every day and that’s one of the things that I love about libraries.
What would people be most surprised to know about you?
I am an avid equestrian, so I ride horses. I don’t think I do it very well but I enjoy it.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I have a family, so that’s number one priority. I do spend a portion of my weekend riding and that’s really fascinating and enjoyable and relaxing. That’s a whole weekend so in between activities with family, before I know it, it’s Sunday.
How would you describe Northern Health in one sentence?
Those key words, safe, kind and together, actually sum up the organisation really well. I’ve found Northern Health a genuine pleasure in terms of an organisation and the individuals and I really enjoy working here.