5 Questions: Marian Davies

Friday, February 23, 2024

Marian DaviesOnce 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 Marian Davies, Liaison Librarian in the Faculty of Environment. 

Q1: How does your position benefit the Library community?

My position benefits the library immensely. As a liaison librarian, I play a key role in nurturing students' love for reading, research, studying, and finding the right information. I also play a key role with faculty, being in their classrooms, instructing students, conferring with faculty members on instruction, alerting them to new books, and promoting older material. Communications between liaison librarians, faculty members, and students can make a real difference with respect to students having a tremendously successful academic career.

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

Our colleagues, all library staff members, are the library’s most valuable resource. All the demanding work that they do -- most of which is behind the scenes-- is amazing and makes an enormous impact. Something wonderful about the staff is how dedicated they are to the library and each other.

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

The other departments I work with on campus include; Department of Geography and Environemtal Mangement (GEM), School of Environment Resources and Sustainability (SERS), the Department of Knowledge Integration, and the School of Planning. 

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

The library of the future will continue to play a pivotal role in most people’s lives. The library is the place where you can find professional, educated, experienced staff that are patient and caring. They can correctly and appropriately advise you on your information needs. Most importantly, librarians can help you navigate the unceasing wash of information that flows from so many different information sources. The need to navigate information will only increase. 

The specialized learning to understand, advise, and instruct on information requires the breadth of experience and expertise held within the librarian’s domain. The library has been, and always will be an important space for students, but it will be the librarians, and library staff, who will make the library a space where students can learn the weight of the words that create meaning behind the questions: what is information, what is knowledge, what tools do I need to learn about, what resources do I need and where are they? One question easily leads into another, and another, and another, and so forth. Asking questions is a most natural act. It seems clear to me that the world needs more librarians than ever!  

Q5: What is your favorite book? 

It is so hard to choose just one, but a favourite of mine is The Soul of the White Ant by Eugene Marais. It is a book about termites, written by a scholar and a man of culture. Marais left the city to live in nature, close to his main research subjects: termites and apes. The termite colony is quite fascinating. Numerous roles make up the smooth operations involved in surviving and thriving. Everyone is moving and performing a specific action, except the Queen, who never moves! However, if something happens to the Queen, each termite will stop what they are doing, run back to the hive, to feast on her. It is pure mayhem. Marais’ style of writing is accessible and clear with a warm and philosophical undertone. Published in 1937, the intricate illustrations and photographs enhance the content significantly.

If you enjoyed reading about Marian’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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