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Hospital librarian stepping down after 32 years

05 Feb 2014

The librarian at St Bernard’s Hospital in Ealing is set to begin the next chapter in his life as he retires from his career which has spanned more than three decades.

Paul Lang has been working in the patient library at the West London Mental Health NHS Trust site since 1982 managing the facility as well as visiting wards with a book trolley to make the service accessible to all patients.  In that time, he has grown to be a familiar and popular figure with thousands of patients, carers and staff.

Paul, who lives in Epsom, said: “I have hugely enjoyed my time here within the trust and the friendship I have made with a variety of people.  The library is extremely important for patients here.  It is a neutral place away from clinical wards which can often put patients at ease, giving them a change of scenery. Many of our patients use the library to research on new subjects or interests.”

In addition to his role, 64-year-old Paul is also a keen historian having written several books and delivered seminars about the history of Ealing and surrounding areas to local groups.  Recently, Paul appeared on the BBC programme Great British Railway Journeys with Portillo, talking about the history of the Hanwell Asylum.

He added: “I have no intention of slowing down – I am part way through writing my next new book which will focus on Richmond, charting its history and contrasting old scenes with how they look today.”

Denise Godleman, head of administration and patient services, has been Paul’s manager for the past three years.  She said: “Paul has formed very effective working relationships with everyone he has had contact with.  He is a fountain of all knowledge about this hospital and will be greatly missed by everyone.”