Episode four: The Show Must Go On?

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Over the last few episodes, you've seen how library staff have adapted to the new virtual environment. During this time, a few new members have joined our 115-person team. Please help us welcome them to the University of Waterloo.

The Newest Virtual Library BunchStarting a new job can be overwhelming, especially if you are moving across the country. Two new library staff were anticipating these changes in March before beginning their new positions. Having moved from Nanaimo, B.C., Tim Turay, systems administrator (pictured left, middle row), worked one day in the library before the campus shut down. Antonio Muñoz Gómez, cataloguing and metadata librarian (pictured right, middle row), moved from Prince George, B.C. and started a week later.

Both Tim and Antonio have been adapting to their new work environment and navigating the learning curve that comes with any new job. Tim's unit has been working hard to get library staff set up at home with necessary tools and resources. This four-person unit thoroughly tests the products other library staff use in their jobs, ensuring staff can be effective and methodical as possible in their work. Antonio's department catalogues library resources, which appear in the Library’s search tool, Omni. He points out that it can be challenging to start a new job when you are not in close proximity to your colleagues. Both Tim and Antonio have been making use of various communication tools to connect with other library staff virtually, participating in virtual lunches and meetings, while also networking with colleagues from other universities.

"It can be challenging to start a new job when you are not in close proximity to your colleagues."

Other new staff to the Library for the spring term are University of Waterloo co-op students. Jessica Bloom (pictured left, bottom row), Elita Depew (pictured middle, bottom row) and Akila Patel (pictured right, bottom row) are learning to navigate their work term virtually. All three identified the desire to talk to fellow library staff face to face and are looking forward to being in the physical library space. Elita and Akila have yet to set foot in Musagetes Library and are hoping to have the opportunity to explore this unique building!

All three are bringing their areas of interest and skills to the projects they are working on this term. Jessica is part of the Instructional Design team. She is working on her design skills by formatting information into learning objects to make information more accessible for students, stating:

"If designs are fluent and easy to follow and read, then students may feel more inclined to use that resource. Using a database properly could attribute to students succeeding on their paper or project. It excites me to know designing a page or a flow may aid in attaining information needed to achieve something really big and important."

For Musagetes Library, Elita is creating video tutorials, revamping the GIS for architecture library guide, and is designing a GIS social media campaign to educate students about what can be done with GIS, because "it’s more than just maps." Akila is creating a health and architecture social media takeover in July and is writing a project proposal about using gamification in the Library.

The virtual library bunch series has shed light on how the show IS still going on. Library staff are here, ready, willing and able to assist the campus. Get to know your friendly neighbourhood library staff and how we can assist you.

Mary Lynne BartlettHere's the story of a lovely library
Providing online resources in a virtual world
All the staff had skills and knowledge to assist the campus,
Services and resources available in different ways

One day library staff started working from home (due to COVID -19)
And they knew that it was much more than a hunch
That this group must pivot to provide services virtually
That's the way we all became the Virtual Library Bunch

Written by Mary Lynne Bartlett (pictured right)

Read Episode one: The Undergraduate | Episode two: Is There a Librarian Available? | Episode three: Dear Library

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