Interview: Cristina Ferrer, ICMP Subject Librarian

We had a long chat with our librarian Cristina about the various resources available to ICMP students...


Whether you just joined ICMP or you're attending the final year of your programme, our library can be a great resource for both your academic and personal projects.

We talked to Cristina Ferrer, our Subject Librarian and - of course - massive music fan. Originally from Barcelona, Spain, Cristina has over 20 years of experience as an academic specialist librarian and has worked across multiple European institutions in Spain, Italy, France and the UK.

Hi Cristina! Tell us a bit about you... How did you become an academic librarian?
I grew up in Barcelona, Spain, where I have spent most of my life, except for my years studying and working in Rome, Florence and Paris. After my BA in Ancient History and Archaeology, I started a PhD in Economic History of the Roman Empire and also decided to enrol in a 3-year Programme on Archives and Information Sciences. During the second year, I started working part-time as a Librarian and unfortunately never completed my History PhD. I suppose that is how I became a Librarian...!

I soon left Spain and moved to Rome and then to Florence where I worked as a Reference Librarian, supporting PhD students with their research on History, Economics, Political  Sciences and Law. In 1999 I went back to Barcelona as I was offered a Librarian job at Open University of Catalonia (UOC), the first Spanish university to start an e-learning project.

My team and I were in charge of developing the first ever digital resource collection in Spain! It was a very exciting moment for an information scientist; we were learning how to use the Internet as it was growing and getting more and more sophisticated...!

Five years ago, my husband and I moved to London to pursue new career opportunities. This has brought me to ICMP just over a year ago!

How is it to work for a music college?
This job merges two of my passions: supporting students with their learning/researching and music. When I read the job description, I said to myself ‘This is for you!’.
 I also enjoy working with young adults and knowing that I can be helpful during their academic journey at ICMP.


Are you a music fan yourself?
Music has always been crucial in my life. I have a classical music background, as I studied both that and piano until 6th Grade, and also completed two years of History of Music at Uni (which I absolutely LOVED!). In addition, I have always loved to sing in choirs and I am currently a member of a lovely community choir called All Sing Choir.

If I ever had to choose my favourite music genres I would say I adore soul, funk, jazz, 80s pop, world music and, of course, most classical music. I am a total fan of David Bowie, Tom Waits, Talking Heads, Madonna, Prince, Bob Dylan, Marisa Monte, The Cure, Van Morrison, Kate Tempest, Miles Davis, Chet Baker, Rolling Stones, Billie Holiday... Well, the list is potentially never-ending!


What services can the library and yourself offer to students?
The library is designed as a quiet study space for students. All core and recommended texts are available on site, together with a wide range of online resources that you can access through our partners' extensive libraries. There is also plenty of sheet music available - please come and see me if you’re looking for anything in particular!

It is a self-service library and all books must be checked-in (returned) and checked-out (borrowed) by the users themselves. The library is open until 11pm during the week and 10pm on weekends, so it's definitely a perfect place to study! We also have twelve brand new Mac computers and a printer/photocopier for student use. 

You can also Ask the Librarian aka me if you need help with defining your dissertation topic, developing your research strategy, locating and using sources and more. Don't forget that you can also book 1:1 sessions.

What’s the thing you like the most about your job?
It is truly inspiring to be surrounded by such an amazing and lively musical environment. The size of ICMP allows me to be aware of students' needs and adapt the resources and services in real-time. It is a very nice environment to work in and new ideas are always welcome. It’s like a small family. I enjoy every single aspect of my job and I honestly don't have time to get bored!

Students have their particular needs and it really makes my day if I know I have contributed to their learning and research projects!

I believe that an appropriate use of the library and learning resources always have a positive impact in the student’s learning experience, and therefore in their academic results. So, please, students: don’t be afraid to approach me and ask! I am here to help with anything you need regarding the use of the available learning resources.

No question is a silly question: although it is a self-service library and I only work part-time, I am available to support you whenever you need it.


What are the next plans for the library?
At the moment most of our students have full access to a wide range of digital resources (eBooks, articles, peer reviewed Journals, etc.), which are provided by our main validating partners. What we are looking to do is to start our own eBook Collection. I am very excited about this and will share more information in the near future.

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Study music in London with ICMP

If you're interested in developing your musicianship, learning from our regular industry guests and collaborating within the vibrant ICMP creative community, then speak to our Admissions Team. They're on hand to help you find the right course that matches your ability and aspirations.

Contact the team on 020 7328 0222 or via email and start your music career today.

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by Lara Magnelli
November 6, 2019
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