The Library News Questionnaire

This issue: Dr Paul Ayris, Director of Library Services

Are you a member of any other libraries? Yes, quite a number as historians have to use a lot of different libraries, archives and museums to meet their information needs. I have in fact used libraries all over the world. The three places I use the most are the British Library, Lambeth Palace and the Public Record Office, all in London.

What is your favourite ever book (fiction or non-fiction), and why? This is a very difficult question for a University Librarian, as we do get to see (but not read) quite a lot of books in the course of our work. As a student, I read the New Testament in the original Greek, which I set myself as a task, and which I then compared with the Latin Vulgate translation. When I organised an exhibition at the British Library, I borrowed one of only two surviving examples of William Tyndale's New Testament of 1525 from St Paul's Cathedral Library and I felt a great sense of responsibility whilst the book was in my care.

Your favourite writer? Difficult to mention just one, as I buy books all the time, but I think at the moment I would say Dickens.

Do you ever read poetry? Yes. I read a lot of Wordsworth as a student.

What newspapers and magazines do you read? I read the Times when I commute, and Sailing Today as I try and sail as often as I can in the summer months. I went out for the first time this season on 12 May.

What electronic media do you regularly use? I could not do my job without e-mail, and I also increasingly rely on the World Wide Web.