You'll go farther with a tortoise

20th October 2000 at 01:00
LIZZIE Davenport, who gave the first of Napier University's series of professorial public lectures this week, is an academic librarian turned computing whizz. But she is also a former secretary for The TES Scotland. She came with not just an honours MA but an MLitt in Greek pastoral poetry, and promptly started a geology degree at the Open University.

True to her lecture theme that work and the tools employed, including information technology, are less important than human relations and interactions, Lizze was better at getting on with people than with her old-tech typewriter. She hated having to retype when errors occurred, and the bad luck of spilling coffee over a completed letter led her to announce that it could dry on the radiator and the recipient would not notice the stain.

During her service the paper was off the streets for 11 months because of a Times industrial dispute. Lizzie made a symbolic gesture of frustration at the dithering and delays. She brought a tortoise into the office.

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