Concordia University

https://www.concordia.ca/content/shared/en/news/main/stories/2016/01/26/special-collections-to-course-reserve-room-library-staff-reveal-favourite-services.html

Secrets of the stacks, part 2: from movie streaming to ‘shelves filled with possibilities’

Concordia library staff reveal their favourite services
January 26, 2016
|
By Tom Peacock

library-faye-corbin-620 Interlibrary loans supervisor Faye Corbin (centre) chats with her colleagues.


If you study or work at Concordia, chances are you’ve spent some time in the Georges P. Vanier Library on the Loyola Campus, or the R. Howard Webster Library downtown, on the Sir George Williams Campus.

The university’s libraries are an essential component of academic life — providing a vast collection of reference materials as well as individual and collaborative study areas.

Library staff members are always available to help you navigate resources, or find the right physical space to work on a project or review for an exam.

Last October, we published interviews with four library staff members. Now, we’re following up with five more, to get a little more insight into what they do, how they can assist students, staff and faculty, and what they love best about Concordia’s libraries.


Faye Corbin, interlibrary loans supervisor

1. How do you help students/what services do you provide?

I help students (also faculty and staff) find material that is not available at Concordia that they require for their research — in print, online, on micro-film, and/or in micro-fiche format. Once we locate the material, we can then provide interlibrary service for our patrons, free of charge, from anywhere in the world.

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

The increase in the number of students using the library and the increase in the technology that the library provides to aid in student learning. Most notable is the Data Visualization Studio. It’s not yet complete, but it promises to be a spectacular addition to the library technology. 

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

The Library Transformation has opened up the space for all visitors to the library. The natural light and how the space has been delineated showcases the new study space and the increase in seating accommodations. The brightness has given new life to the library.

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

The library is not only a space for silent study; it is also an environment for group collaboration. The new study rooms are a great space for groups to work on projects and presentations; the collaborative space also provides an area for groups to flesh out ideas and mentor each other. Libraries are a place to continue the learning experience; many tools are at the students’ fingertips.

5. What are your most common requests?

The most common requests among interlibrary loans are for books; textbooks, novels, theses, conference papers, etc. The more interesting requests are for items that are harder to find; archived articles; covers of magazines that are no longer in print; illustrated books that are kept in special collections. Concordians request the ordinary as well as the extraordinary!

6. What is your favourite item in the library?

I don’t have a favourite item in the library. I like to be surrounded by books; the shelves are filled with possibilities, we only have to open a book to broaden our knowledge or spark our interests.
 


library-karen-ayotte-guibord-620

Karen Ayotte-Guibord, circulation supervisor

1. How do you help students/what services do you provide?

I help students find reserve material in the Reserve Room. If there’s a problem with the self-checkout machine, I will loan out the material at the Circulation Desk. I also assist students with print jobs, room bookings if necessary and any questions they may have. If necessary, I refer the questions to the appropriate person. Finally, on special occasions such as Halloween and Christmas, I provide the students with treats.

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

The Periodicals were moved to the first floor and are stored in the compact shelving, the Reserve Room and the upgraded study rooms.

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

The students will have more study space, enhanced equipment such as big screens and upgraded Graduate Study rooms.

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

 Some students are not aware of all the services that are offered in the library, such as workshops and services for disabled patrons.

5. What are your most common requests?

“Where do I find the books and articles for my course?” “How can I print from my laptop?” “How do I scan this book?” “I want to borrow a laptop or iPad.”

6. What is your favourite item in the library?

The Reserve Room.
 


library-karin-hilker-620

Karin Hilker, derived cataloguing/order assistant

1. How do you help students/what services do you provide?

I work in Collection Services; it’s not a public area where we deal with the students directly. Much of what we do is order, receive, catalogue and process materials for student use. I place a lot of orders for books and other materials for course reserves, library stacks and collections such as the Azrieli Holocaust Collection. I also catalogue some of this material.

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

Technology has got to be one of the biggest changes. We’ve gone from library catalogue cards to terminals to computers; from VHS tapes to DVDs to streaming videos. We have laptops, iPads, WiFi and more.

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

There is a lot more practical study space for students.

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

Students are often unaware of the many services and resources available to them, many of which would make their lives at the university much easier.

It would be helpful if they also knew why it takes more than a couple of days for them to get a book they want. If we don’t have it already, there is a whole process of search, order, receive, catalogue, process and shelve — each by a different person in a different department — to get that book into the library. We communicate and problem solve with many different vendors all over the world.

5. What are your most common requests?

I get a lot of requests from professors and librarians for books needed for course reserves and replacements for books that have been lost or damaged.

6. What is your favourite item in the library?

We have a great collection of CDs, DVDs and children’s books (well used by parents and teachers, as well as students). But my favourite part is probably Special Collections. We have many interesting old photos, books and documents.
 


library-barbara-kordas-620

Barbara Kordas, collections project assistant

1. How do you help students/what services do you provide?

One of my priorities, as collections project assistant, is to manage the weekly online Bookstore Adoptions Reports. These consist of books and course packs that instructors select every semester for courses they teach.

The reports tell me which items are new to the library, and are subsequently ordered from our campus bookstores.

After they are received and catalogued by staff in the Collections Services Department on the Loyola Campus, they are shelved in our Course Reserves Rooms at the Webster and Vanier libraries. These items are valuable to students for research and study. They are placed on a three-hour loan, so that as many students as possible will have a chance to borrow them.

Another responsibility of mine is ordering DVDs with rights to create digital files that are hosted on our password-protected institutional server, Helix. Concordia students have access to these films.

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

I’ve worked (and studied) at Concordia for a long time, so when I look back at the way we researched, ordered and catalogued materials, a lot has changed since then. The most significant change is linked to ongoing technological advancement.

At my fingertips I have available online a variety of pertinent resources for researching, ordering and cataloguing print and non-print materials. Our online Library Staff Wiki is an extremely useful resource for staff who want to know about our Acquisitions and Collections policies, and more.

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

I shall look forward to the vertical landscaping system throughout the Webster Library. I’ll be curious about its effect on the population using the library. Spaciousness is another improvement that will be welcomed.

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

I wish they knew and understood the intricate process for purchasing books for the Reserves Rooms at Webster and Vanier libraries. Several departments and various staff, performing different tasks, are involved in this process, and therefore new books destined for Reserves can take up to a week or more, to reach their respective locations. If students are interested in knowing this procedure, staff at the Reserves Rooms could inform them.

5. What are your most common requests?

Since my position does not require me to be in the public areas of the library, requests primarily come from selection librarians and support staff, via emails. These include orders for purchasing books, DVDs, and DVDs with streaming rights. Requests from selection librarians for streaming licenses, which I acquire from vendors or producers for approval by our electronic resources librarian, are becoming the norm.

6. What is your favourite item in the library?

Books! I am a browser of bookshelves because I rely on my tactile sense for intuition.


library-martine-langevin-620

Martine Langevin, reference assistant

1. How do you help students/what services do you provide?

As a reference assistant I am one of the staff students meet at the beginning of the term. One of my duties is to greet them at our different points of service, either at the Grey Nuns Reading Room or the Webster library’s information desk. I provide informational, instructional and directional services pertinent to library facilities and collections.  

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

The most important change for me has been how the internet and automation have completely changed the way we do our work, from ordering books to servicing our students. We are providing more and more student/patron-driven services. Our Course Reserve Room, thanks to Concordia undergraduate students contribution with the support of the CSU, our Ask a Librarian (chat, email, phone) service, and online access to digital resources are examples.    

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

The renewal and reallocation of the space to provide different learning and studying environments. I had the chance to visit the Webster library’s third floor renovations in September prior to the opening and I felt then that students and library users are finally getting what they’ve been asking for.  

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

Libraries are more than buildings. They are communities of people who have learned the skills and know-how to understand how to evaluate and access the mountain of information that is out there. Libraries are gateways to reputable information not freely available on the web.

5. What are your most common requests?

Here are my top three: Most students will initially ask where and how they can find their textbooks and readings. It is followed quite closely by how they can access the WiFi, and how to get to a specific place whether it is in the library or not.

6. What is your favourite item in the library?

My favourite item in the library is the display we have set up near the entrance of the Webster Library for new books, the latest issue of some magazines and today’s newspaper. Every morning, when I look at it, it inspires me to read more.  


Find out more about
Concordia’s libraries.

 



Back to top

© Concordia University