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Lisa Capps

Career Path: Library Manager, Supreme and Local Courts of the Northern Territory
Location: Darwin, Australia

When you see those Facebook questions 'What did you want to be when you grow up?' mine was either a librarian or tour operator. I picked librarian purely for my love of books. Little did I know when I went to the University of Northumbria in the United Kingdom back in 1991 - 1994, studying BA (Hons) Information and Library Management, that I would rarely read a book but learnt a myriad of other information instead. I studied the usual, cataloguing, etc. but found my love was studying legal and business information, marketing, and current awareness. It opened a whole new world to me that constantly inspires me.

My first library job was straight after University, in a law library in my home town of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, UK. It was job-share and was purely looseleafing. I could looseleaf in my sleep!! I then moved to Birmingham in the UK and worked for various law firms there, until moving back to Newcastle to work in the law firm in which I got my first job, before making the decision to move to Adelaide. I was sponsored by the South Australian Government, as Librarian was on the wanted VISA list at the time (2008).

In Adelaide, I worked for the Courts Administration Authority, Lexis Nexis AU and Aequus Counsel. I left ALLA in 2013 as I took up the position of Librarian and Records Manager at the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) until I relocated to the Northern Territory in September 2020, working as Library Manager at the Bachelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education.

What are you doing now?Lisa Capps

I am the Library Manager of the Supreme and Local Courts of the Northern Territory. There is a very small team and we have many challenges ahead. I am looking at upgrading the Library Management System/Catalogue, rolling out online training packages to all Judiciary and Court Staff, revamping Current Awareness and many other projects that are in the pipeline.

What was it about Northumbria that made you decide to study here?

It offered the course I wanted to do and also I wanted to study in the area I grew up in,

What was it like studying at Northumbria?

It was a great place to study. There were a mixture of lectures, seminars and team projects. At the time there weren't many on the course and this allowed us to be more supported by the lecturers and staff at the University. I also made lifelong friends through my course.

How connected was your course with industry?

I had to undertake 2 vocational placements in years one and three. In year one I was placed in a public library and knew this was not for me, however in my third year I was placed in a law firm library and I knew this was all I wanted to do and I here I am as Library Manager for the Courts.

We also had a week in London visiting many different types of libraries which was a fantastic opportunity.

If you took on a placement during your course how did you feel this helped you in your career/ with your studies?

The placement I took during my course steered me into my lifelong career.

What was the best thing about your course?

Everything I did on the course was great. The modules were varied and it allowed me to experience a wide range of possible career directions.

How did studying at Northumbria help you achieve your career goals/ give your career an edge?

Studying at Northumbria was the starting point in achieving my dream job as Library Manager of the Courts in the NT.

Which skills/knowledge did you learn on your course that you use most now throughout your career?

Current Awareness Skills that I studied each year of the course I still use to this day.

What did you enjoy most about your time at Northumbria University?

The course itself and the social aspect. I am grateful to still have the fiends I made at university.

What advice would you give somebody who is considering studying at Northumbria?

To pick Northumbria as a place to study. Not only are the facilities excellent but it is in one of the best Cities in the UK

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in three words?

Exciting, informative and career-making.

For more information about me visit:

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