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 Randy Dauphin, Director of Information Technology and Facility Services.
Q1: How does your position benefit the Library community?
Randy: Information Technology (IT) and Facility Services are used by everybody in the library community. Whether you’re a student, staff, faculty, librarian, you’re going to intersect with us at some point. When it comes to the Facilities side of the job, the Library’s physical spaces need to function for everybody, providing an accessible, inclusive community space for all. On the IT side, the Library’s virtual spaces -- from our website to the underlying technology -- all must be accessible to everybody.
Q2: What is one Library service or resource that Library users should know about?
Randy: A service that I would like library users to know about is our bookable space. If you’re looking for space to collaborate, whether that’s for a group assignment or a research project, the Library provides bookable space at both our main campus locations. You can also book private space individual space, if you need a quiet place to listen to a lecture or do an online interview. If people come into the Library to use it as a study or work space, then there's a greater chance they’ll learn more about the other services we provide.
Q3: What other faculties or departments do you work with on campus?
Randy: I work with everybody. I’ve been on campus for 19 years now, and the ones that I work with the most include IST, Plant Operations, Human Resources, Provost’s Office, space planning committee, Print & Retail Services and Food Services. I also have contact with all the faculties and most of the departments. The Library is a support department that is here to help everyone on campus, and I’m a person that likes to be of service so it's a good fit!
Q4: Where do you see the future of the Library?
Randy: That’s a great question! I just attended Designing Libraries X Conference.
Emily: What is that?
Randy: It’s where libraries come together from across Canada and the United States to talk about the future of libraries. So, I think one aspect has to do with collaboration, and working with others to provide the services and support students, researchers and faculty need.
Technology is also going to play a huge role in the future of the library. And not just the e-reserves or ebooks, but makerspaces and access to different technology and software that students and faculty can come in to use and experiment with.
There’s still going to be physical books and connecting students and researchers with the resources they need for their work, but outside of that, I think flexibility is also going to play a big part in the future of the library. For example, having spaces that are geared to multiple services, such as at another university that has a makerspace that was used as an event space in the evening to host a student costume ball.
Q5: What is your favorite book?
Randy: I really love a lot of books, but the book that changed my direction was The Hobbit, which I read in grade five. I didn’t really like school that much before then, but I had a good teacher that year who encouraged me to read it. After that I became a voracious reader, which led me down the path of so many other great books so it would be hard for me to say only one book! I have about 10-15 that I read over and over again and that I couldn’t go to a dessert island without across a wide range of topics, from religion to philosophy, and both fiction and non-fiction.
Emily: Regarding The Hobbit, do you prefer the books or the movies?
Randy: I prefer the books because when you read fantasy books you get to imagine how the characters look. When you think of being inclusive, when you read a book, you can make it as inclusive as you want it to be. Whereas when books are turned into a movie, you lose some of that imagination, even if it’s a great movie.
If you enjoyed reading about Randy’s role at the Library, read our previous interviews with https://bit.ly/5QuestionsCourtney, https://bit.ly/5QuestionsJude, https://bit.ly/5QsJackie, and https://bit.ly/5QulBethN. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to be notified when we post the next interview!