Andrew Barker went to work in a library for a year in 1994 ahead of starting a teacher training course. Twenty-one years later he’s very glad to say that he’s still working in one. Through the rest of the 1990s he moved on from public libraries, via further education colleges, ending up very happily in university libraries in 2008, when he began a five-year stint as Head of Library Academic Services at the University of East Anglia.
Currently, Andrew is Head of Academic Liaison, Special Collections & Archives at the University of Liverpool, where he has been since May 2013. He is responsible for heading up all aspects of academic liaison, including managing a team of excellent librarians and working with them to find innovative ways of supporting learning and teaching. This role also includes managing research support and working with colleagues on scholarly communication initiatives.
In addition, Andrew has the wonderful job of working with a team of Special Collections librarians and archivists to raise the visibility, while ensuring the preservation, of the University of Liverpool’s superb Special Collections & Archives. This work is very close to his heart as it is these collections that make the University of Liverpool Library distinct. He is committed to ensuring that the collections are visible to the university community, to the whole of Merseyside, and beyond.
Andrew has a passion for improving student experience and finding new ways of partnering with students and colleagues in the University and much wider afield. This manifests itself presently in an e-textbook project he is involved in with Liverpool University Press (LUP) as part of a wider Jisc project, ‘The institution as e-textbook publisher’. The output of this project will be the publication of two open access e-textbooks branded under the LUP imprint.
Nationally, Andrew is part of UKSG, sitting on the main Committee, chairing the Publications Subcommittee and co-editing the fortnightly UKSG newsletter, UKSG eNews.
In his spare time Andrew buys a lot of LPs (that’s long-playing records to those of you too young to remember vinyl!). His taste in music is wide and deep, covering ‘60s beat groups, ‘80s UK indie pop, American ‘hard bop’ jazz of the 1950s, Capitol-era Sinatra, Bach and English folk rock from the late 1960s. A Beatles fan from boyhood, he still can’t quite believe that he lives in a house round the corner from Paul McCartney’s childhood home.
When not listening to records, Andrew can be found with his wife and two daughters watching 1930s screwball comedies while drinking Darjeeling tea, or a decent wine. He is an avid supporter of Sunderland Association Football Club, the tenth most successful club in English football.