As a children’s librarian, Mike Treacy has been championing the power of books for 27 years.
The 53-year-old from Surbiton, who has worked with children since 1985, manages a staff of four at Kingston library.
Throughout his long career in librarianship, Mr Treacy has been involved in a number of charity initiatives and his favourite job – children’s storytelling.
Although his post has become managerial now, he still enjoys doing readings at the borough’s many libraries.
He said: “Books definitely change people’s lives.
“If you are around long enough you see the children grow up and develop into characters of their own. I like to hope that maybe I have added a little along the way.”
The ardent reader, whose favourite book is Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, said: “From when I first read it at 14, for my O-levels, I loved it. It’s a book that really got me reading. “I really only started reading avidly and using public libraries at about 14.”
With books having had an impact on the most important aspects of his life, it is no wonder that Mr Treacy met his wife Lucy while working at the children’s library services in Richmond.
Though not a father himself, Mr Treacy is devoted to inspiring children.
He said: “We used to do an initiative every summer at Kingston Hospital where we read to children on long stay wards. I remember there was a boy in an isolation ward with his mother.
“I read to him and he held a corner of the book while I was reading. When I went to take it away, he held onto it. He was so taken by it.
“Parents say to me, ‘Oh my little daughter still remembers the stories you used to read to her. She wants to be a librarian now’.”