Staff Profile: Dev Misra, Secondary Librarian

This year, we will continue to share staff profiles to get to know members of our school family a little better. Each week we will feature a member of staff across all areas of the school including teachers, admin staff, support staff and more. This week we focus on Dev Misra, Secondary Librarian.

Taking a lead from Jayne Holden’s entertaining profile from last week, I am also officially old! I celebrated 25 years in libraries last year. That almost completely covers the period that we have had the World Wide Web. I have seen a great many changes during this period, many of which my current students would be quite oblivious to. I attempted to describe an audio cassette tape to my son (13 years), who refused to believe it until he saw one being played in a film!

I have thoroughly enjoyed all my library experiences that range from Universities, Colleges and Research Institutions to High Schools. Each have their unique challenges, but I have found the dynamic environment of school libraries to be the most enjoyable. I was therefore, delighted to join BIS Abu Dhabi last October, after a stint in Higher Education.

Contrary to the general stereotype of most Librarians of my generation – I am not a huge fan of books! However, I am a huge fan of quality literature and information in the most appropriate format. And that is the challenge – how do our young learners judge quality? The ability to critically evaluate everything they read and are exposed to, whether as a leisure activity or in their school work is a skill that as educators, we are all keen to develop in them.

The BIS libraries are evolving. We are engaging and collaborating with teachers to provide the best environment, services and resources to support all our readers – students, staff and administrators, teachers and parents.

My family and I have been in the UAE for almost 17 years now. My son, Rayan was born here and my daughter, Bidisha is back in the UK reading Law at the University of York having completing her entire schooling in the UAE. I was born and brought up in beautiful North-West London (well, beautiful to me!). Having started my library career in London, I was very used to the international working environment as well as the diversity of the students.

I enjoy travelling, but only to countries that have cuisines I like! This limits my preferences to South-East Asia, Italy, Turkey, Iran and the Arab World. I have a close connection with my Indian heritage and visit friends and family regularly. We are active members of our regional Indian Cultural Association here in Abu Dhabi, which allows me to engage in my other passion, namely the game of Cricket. My enthusiasm for the game compensates for my sheer lack of talent.

So, what am I reading? The Lives of Others, by Neel Mukherjee and my next book will be The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani, which by the way, is the book club title for February. As you can see, I tend to favour South Asian diaspora writers in English.

We are now building up to International Day closely followed by our Library Week in conjunction with World Book Day in March. We would very much like the involvement of parents, particularly during Library Week and of course please feel free to donate titles to the Library to develop our parents/staff collection.

Dev Misra
Secondary Librarian