Concordia University

https://www.concordia.ca/content/shared/en/news/main/stories/2015/10/14/meet-the-library-staff-circulation-desk-webster-vanier.html

Secrets of the stacks

From laptop loans to pet therapy, library staff reveal their favourite services
October 21, 2016
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By Tom Peacock

Mark Bysterveldt, access services supervisor


October 21 is Canadian Library Workers Day.

On the occasion, we thought we would mark the day by  hearing from Concordia Library staff who are always available to help you navigate resources, or find the right physical space to work on a project or review for an exam.

We sat down with four members of the team to find out more about what they do, how they assist students, staff and faculty, and what they love best about the library. 
 

Mark Bysterveldt, access services supervisor

1. What services do you provide to help students?

Mark Bysterveldt (pictured above): I work at the circulation desk checking in and out materials for students and faculty. We offer traditional book lending as well as access to electronic resources and loans of devices, such as laptops and tablets. We also guide students to other areas of the library where they can get additional information as needed.

2. What’s the most important change you’ve seen at the library since you started working here?

MB: The adoption and utilization of newer technologies. From giving students access to iPads or new digital resources such as electronic reserves, Concordia Library keeps pace with the needs of the ever-evolving student body.

3. What aspect of the Webster Library Transformation are you most excited about?

MB: Study space! It is one of the hottest commodities on campus and getting another floor for the library will definitely help our students during busy times like exams. The vertical landscaping “living walls” are sure to add some vibrancy to the space as well.

4. What do you wish students knew or better understood about the library?

MB: The sheer amount of resources available to them through the library. Anything from the course reserves system to our inter-library–lending arrangement where we can bring in a book from another institution if we don’t offer it in our collection.

5. What are your most common requests?

MB: One of the more common requests is for additional copies of textbooks to be placed on reserve for larger classes. We also have students asking if we offer various cellphone chargers, if they happened to forget theirs that day.

6. What is your favourite item in the library?

MB: I would have to say Blade Runner on LaserDisc, due to the history of the medium and the film’s place as a seminal work of science-fiction cinema. I’m also very fond of the Special Collections at the Vanier Library.


Nadia Paszkiewicz

Nadia Paszkiewicz, circulation and stacks clerk

1. What services do you provide to help students?

Nadia Paszkiewicz: I provide students with access to many services to help them succeed: requests for holds, inter-campus deliveries, room bookings, reciprocal borrowing privilege cards, computer guest accounts, assistance with the use of laptops, tablets and course reserve materials, and I answer inquiries related to policies and other services.

2. What’s the most important change you’ve seen at the library since you started working here?

NP: Technology. We have more laptops and tablets, the study rooms now include HD screens, students have access to online renewal, and there are electronic books, magazines and many online resources. Also, the Concordia Library is a voice on social media, and you can always chat with a librarian on the library website.

3. What aspect of the Webster Library Transformation are you most excited about?

NP: The renovation of the entire Webster Library and the addition of the fifth floor mean a lot more study space. It also offers a great variety of learning areas, quiet reading rooms, dissertation writers’ rooms — all that while keeping our printed books collection on campus. 

4. What do you wish students knew or better understood about the library?

NP: Libraries are not just about books anymore — it’s a whole new concept. It’s space for active and collaborative learning, and intensive study, which are both important during exams. It’s a space where students take command of their own learning and their own future. All these services are here to help them succeed.

5. What are your most common requests?

NP: Laptops and the course reserve materials. Borrowing a laptop is great because you don’t have to bring your own. You do your work and return it when you’re done. If you need to you can keep it over night. The course reserve room allows you to access your course textbooks at any time.

6. What is your favourite item in the library?

NP: The iPad, because it provides a new way to access anything you need, to read books and magazines, and check your email. It’s a new way to view and edit pictures, stay connected with friends and family, and watch TV and movies on the run. But I have to confess, I love books.


Linda Quartz

Linda Quartz, media and documentary delivery assistant

1. What services do you provide to help students?

Linda Quartz: The first thing that I provide to students is article deliveries and inter-library loans. We provide articles from our collection of journals, monographs and reference materials. We scan the article and email it to users.

I also fill in at the circulation desk, and assist students with checking out material and answering queries. But my all-time favourite service is providing pet therapy for the students before and during exam time every semester.

2. What’s the most important change you’ve seen at the library since you started working here?

LQ: I have been here for 38 years and seen many changes — from the introduction of computers all the way to providing online access to our databases. But I guess the main one would be access to our many online resources (even though I still encourage students to use books and come to the library).

3. What aspect of the Webster Library Transformation are you most excited about?

LQ: More study space for the students.

4. What do you wish students knew or better understood about the library?

LQ: It’s not just a study space. There are many resources that we can offer them.

5. What are your most common requests?

LQ: How can I find an article in a journal?

6. What is your favourite item in the library?

LQ: The variety of (printed) books that we have in our collection.


nadia-paszkiewicz-webster-library-staff-620

Aline Sorel, reference assistant

1. What services do you provide to help students?

Aline Sorel: I work in the reference department at the Vanier Library. My job is mainly helping students and faculty and other members of the community to find information, whether in print or online. I also help them understand how to use the library website and databases.

2. What’s the most important change you’ve seen at the library since you started working here?

AS: All of the automation that’s taken place. Previously everything was print based, so people were tied to the library for studying and looking for stuff. Now you can study and look for sources at home. A lot of what we have is available online.

But the biggest change is the automation in information and circulation services — the way people take books out and the way they interact in the library. 

3. What aspect of the Webster Library Transformation are you most excited about?

AS: I think it’s all the physical change. There are going to be things like 3D printers available, and other types of technology for students to use when they need to do presentations. It’s pretty exciting. And if we don’t make these changes we’ll fall behind other academic libraries, and we risk becoming irrelevant.

4. What do you wish students knew or better understood about the library?

AS: Even though it’s the age of the internet and there’s a lot available online, it still helps to have somebody who knows how to guide you in the right direction. Not every source is valid — librarians and library staff can help a lot.

It’s also important for students doing research to plan properly and be patient. You can’t just come in the night before your paper is due and hope you’ll find what you need. Sometimes your subject will be too narrow and you’ll have to go back to your professor and suggest another topic.

Also, because of the physical space, it’s important for our clients to be respectful of the people around them. Silent blue zones don’t mean you can talk quietly.

5. What are your most common requests?

AS: We get a lot of requests for citation help. Some people worry too much and overthink it, and some people don’t worry enough.

There are also a lot of general requests for information on research topics. They lead to us showing our clients how the Discovery Search works, the online catalogue, works, what the databases do and don’t do, and which ones they should use. 

6. What is your favourite item in the library?

AS: At Vanier, we have the Special Collections. My favourite thing in there is called The Scots Magazine, which was first published in 1739. It still exists today, and has to do with everything Scottish. But when it started in 1739, it was published annually and it was a look at the world. It has all kinds of interesting things in it — such as recipes for home remedies that seem like they’d kill rather than cure.

Find out more about the 
Webster Library Transformation Project.

 



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