Geraldine Dyos, (formerly Lambe) arrived at Putney in April 1990 – when Madonna held the UK number one with her single Vogue, and just two months after Nelson Mandela was released from prison. “I thought it would be a good job for a few years,” she said. In fact, it turned out to be 32.
Geraldine was raised in the North East, studying Librarianship in Birmingham, before heading down to London to start working life. She had been brought up on books, visiting the library frequently as a child. Reading was a central part of her family life, in a time before Tiktok and Instagram, and the library was an inspiring place to go.
Once in London, Dyos began work as a Librarian, and, before coming to Putney, she worked at both Hampton Library and the Medical Library at Kingston Hospital. She enjoyed her time at both, but a difficult home life along with her young sons objecting to attending Kingston Hospital’s holiday play scheme, meant that it was time to look for a role which would better fit her family life; the job at Putney came along at just the right time.
At the hospital she had an Apple computer and access to an online dial up computer in Switzerland, “When I arrived at Putney the only electrical device in the library was the plug on the cleaner’s hoover,” she said.