5 Questions: Farzaneh Keramati

Friday, January 19, 2024

Once a month the Student Engagement and Communications Assistant co-op student interviews Library staff to provide patrons with a peek behind the bookstacks at all the work that happens to provide a variety of services and resources that support the learning, research and innovation that happens at Waterloo.   

This month, co-op student Emily Fitzgerald interviewed Farzaneh Keramati, Liaison Librarian for Religious Studies.   

Q1: How does your position benefit the Library community? 

As the liaison librarian for Religious Studies, I support the foundational areas of reference collections, liaison instruction, as well as special projects such as the collection development policy project and the accessibility project relating to compliance with the AODA, which will commence in the new year. A huge part of my role that I love is talking with students and learning about their academic needs. I can then design my lesson plans and presentations based on what they require to improve the quality of their assignments and research skills.  

Q2: What is one Library service or resource that Library users should know about?    

I would like to highlight three services because I believe they are all equally important. To begin, we have research guides that subject librarians add many different helpful resources to, such as reference materials, primary sources, course related sources and archival materials. Another resource that I highly recommend is our research databases. Students often ask where to start their search, and the most common answer is Google. However, we have more than 400 databases that cover a large range of subjects, and most importantly, include more reliable information as there are peer-reviewed articles. The last resource I want to highlight is the library’s Online Learning Object Repository. This is an excellent resource that makes openly discoverable online learning content produced by the University of Waterloo staff.  

Q3: What other faculties or departments do you work with on campus? 

Since transitioning into my current position as a liaison librarian, I’ve maintained my previous relationships with library staff from when I worked in Collection Development, as well as the Acquisitions team. In my current position, I will be collaborating with the Faculty of Arts as I have three upcoming library sessions for ARTS140. Furthermore, there will be a collaborative Winter term event tailored for our international student community, where I will be giving a short presentation. In addition, I work with other liaison librarians at Davis Centre, and when teaching opportunities arise, I will co-teach with them. As I move forward, I hope to develop a stronger relationship with faculty members in Religious Studies and other departments on campus. 

Q4: Where do you see the future of the Library? 

As we know, new technological changes are coming our way, the main one being centered around AI tools. It is not a secret that many students use Chat GTP in their research process, however this is a tool that although can be helpful, can also produce misinformation and disinformation. As librarians, I believe that it should be our responsibility to educate ourselves on these changes. It is crucial that we strive to always be one step ahead of our students so we can teach them how to use these new tools and technologies correctly.  

Q5: What is your favorite book? 

My favourite book is called You Can If You Think You Can by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale. In this book Peale shows how we can make the impossible possible. It explains how to believe in yourself and not run away from your fears, as well as what it takes to achieve your goals to make miracles happen. In addition, Peale dives into the importance of drawing on resources in our mind, not taking things too seriously, as well as how to get on top of things and stay there. It is truly a brilliant book that shares an abundance of inspirational advice that has benefited my life tremendously. 

If you enjoyed reading about Farzaneh’s role at the Library, read our previous interviews with librarian Jackie Stapleton, university librarian Beth Namachchivaya, director of information technology and facilities services Randy Dauphin, and library coordinator at Musagetes Mark Anderton.  

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