Photo of Francisco-Fernando Granados by Erin Watkins
The best thing about my job is the people. This might be a strange answer coming from someone who works in the back in systems and technical services. My coworkers are smart, talented and hardworking. Our users are creative, quirky and compassionate. I work at a small art and design school–would you expect anything different?
I adore our students. I saw one of them at a party where he sat cross legged on the floor with bunches of bananas on his shoulders. He was in the library a few weeks ago wrapping the legs of the light tables with cassette tape for an installation. There’s another student who is often comes to work in the library, who works at my favourite neighbourhood stationery and typewriter fetish store. There’s a first year student who was in one of my tour groups on my second day of work. I regularly see him on the bike path, and he hollers “hello librarian!” when we pass.
There’s a prof from somewhere else who’s on sabbatical. He’s religiously in the library working hard on his next book, sitting in a study carrel by the window, typing away for at least 5 hours a day. There’s an artist from around the corner, who comes in every Saturday morning to read the paper, and browse the new issues of magazines. There’s a ceramics technician who comes into browse the magazines with his big ceramic cup of coffee.
We’ve just added a regular feature to our news blog: Pssst…, which are user profiles and recommendations. We have a fantastic library school practicum student, Erin Watkins, who has made this happen.
I want to highlight the people in our community and our collections and services. We’ll seek out people who use the more unique collections–menus collection, artists’ books, sound effects, etc. I imagine that some people might answer that their favourite library resource is the space, a specific database, the gorgeous magazines, meeting rooms, and the staff.
We know that people will start looking for information by asking their friends. The “People who liked this also liked” recommendations are a human discovery layer and also drive sales. In addition to putting a more human face on the library website, I hope that this will be a way for our users to discover new resources. Perhaps people will request to be profiled, but I suspect that we’ll have to ask people if we can interview them.
I’m excited to highlight our collections and users. I’m also excited to have conversations with our users about what they use and what they love.