Gladstone's Library, Hawarden

The receptionist is nearly always the first person you will see on arriving at Gladstone's Library. Victoria Leary, who joined the team when the library reopened, talks about what it's like staffing the front desk in a residential library.

I have worked in hospitality for years, and Gladstone's Library is similar to a normal hotel in some ways but very different in others.

I like that people are here because they have chosen to be here; their visit is not just a standard stop-over. People come because it's special. They also come to learn.

Another thing is that it lives up to its promise. There's nothing worse than checking people into a hotel and seeing them disappointed, but that doesn't happen here. The things you see on our social media and on our website are exactly what it is.

That goes all the way through to the staff.

Gladstone's Library isn't an ordinary hotel or B&B. I know of some hotels that require their staff wear a uniform or a certain kind of makeup and behave in certain ways.

The nice thing about the library is that, while we are tidy and professional, it's not overly corporate. What people are seeing, as they come in, us the person as they are. I'm me.

It's also great to have the support of my colleagues. Caroline, who also works reception, has been here for years and she's brilliant.

I like it best when there's a buzz and people are booking in and the phone is going. You find the time goes so fast.

People are excited to be here. We've had people say they missed the library and that they're so glad it reopened. I think a lot of people have worried about the futures of their favourite places, especially as some didn't make it.

It's good to be able to say: Gladstone's Library is still here, and that the people who stay with us feel like they are helping. It's a win-win, really. Everyone who stays with us is part of the place.