Once a month the Student Engagement and Communications Assistant co-op student interviews Library staff to provide Library 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 Meray Philobbos interviewed Jackie Stapleton, Information Services and Resources Liaison Librarian.
Question 1: How does your position benefit the Library community?
Jackie: I am the Liaison Librarian for the Department of Kinesiology and Health Sciences, and the School of Public Health Sciences. As a Liaison Librarian, I support three main areas, teaching and instruction, research support, and collection development (purchasing material for the Library). I want to highlight the research support I provide for students and faculty. I’ve developed a specialization in health information resources and regularly provide individual research consultations to help students search effectively and efficiently. I really enjoy meeting with students either in person or virtually to help them save time and improve the quality of their assignments and papers.
Meray: That's so interesting, I'll be sure to make use of those consultations! Could you tell me a little bit about the other two areas you mentioned?
Jackie: Sure! So, the first area is Collections. As a Liaison Librarian, I help the Library select health resources, including books, journals, databases, and more. In some cases, resources can be incredibly expensive, and we may collaborate with other university libraries to negotiate large consortial packages with publishers and health journals. The second area is instruction. I am invited to provide guest lectures or class presentations in courses throughout undergraduate and graduate programs to support student assignments and research.
Q2: What is one Library service or resource that Library users should know about?
Jackie: I would like to highlight the Library’s systematic review support. Systematic reviews are a specific form of literature review, especially important in evidence-based health research. It has a very rigorous and comprehensive methodology. Researchers, graduate students and sometimes upper year undergraduate students may choose to conduct a systematic review for their thesis or publication. The Library offers systematic review support which includes guidance, education or training, and sometimes collaborations on research teams. Any Waterloo student or researcher planning a systematic review can meet with a librarian to discuss their research question and how to find relevant evidence.
Meray: That’s so cool. What’s your favourite part of helping people with systemic reviews?
Jackie: It really takes advantage of a Librarian's skills and expertise. Librarians love to search and organize information, and this is the backbone of a successful systematic review. I enjoy sharing my expertise because I know it makes for a better product in the end that truly benefits the researchers and students who come to meet with me.
Q3: What other faculties or departments do you work with on campus?
Jackie: Another service unit I work with on campus is the Writing and Communication Centre (WCC). In one example, I have teamed up with the WCC and the HEALTH 107 course instructor to create a series of online modules which support first year student communication and research skills. This is a great opportunity to introduce all incoming Faculty of Health students to their Liaison Librarians and WCC contacts, and the types of support we can provide.
Q4: Where do you see the future of the Library?
Jackie: Although tools and information sources may change, helping and supporting students in how to find, evaluate, and appraise information in an unbiased way, will always be our role. Take Chat GPT for example. Students may use it to get ideas, however, it doesn’t change the need to be able to understand good, reliable sources of information and how to evaluate it. That’s how I see our future; continuing with our core philosophies.
Q5: What is your favorite book?
Jackie: Choosing just one book is quite difficult, so I’ll go by the last one I read, which was during my summer vacation. It’s Diamond Eye by Kate Quinn. It’s based on a true person, a woman, who ended up becoming a Russian sniper during World War II. It attracted me because the description said she worked in a Library before the war started. How someone could go from being a Librarian to a sniper really interested me, and my husband is a history teacher, so I like reading history books. It’s a really good book, I highly recommend it.
Meray: Wow, that doesn’t sound like any book I’ve read before. So how did she transition from being a Librarian to a sniper?
Jackie: She didn’t really use her Library skills. She already had a history of shooting recreationally. She was a single mother, and she didn’t want her son to lose out on not having a male role model, so one of the things she did was learn shooting so she could teach him. Then, the War started, and she joined the Russian army.
If you enjoyed reading about Jackie's role at the Library, read our previous interviews with:
- Administration and Strategic Initiatives' Jude Doble
- Cataloguing and Metadata's Courtney Bremer
- Accessibility and IR's Michael R. Clark
- Circulation’s Amy Lim
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