Five questions: with Amy Lim, course reserves specialist, Circulation Services

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Starting this month, the student engagement and communications assistant co-op student is interviewing a library staff member to provide library patrons with a peek behind the book stacks at all the work that happens to provide the variety of services and resources that support the learning, research and innovation that happens at Waterloo.

This month, co-op student Jacqui Mason interviewed Amy Lim, course reserves specialist, Circulation Services.

1: How does your position benefit the library community?

Amy: With Course Reserves, we are all about providing access to course materials to students at zero cost. With the high cost of course materials, I think it’s important that there are no barriers to accessing course materials, therefore, enabling the academic success of students. We also ensure that content through Course Reserves is accessibility-friendly and meets copyright guidelines. It’s a win-win for faculty and students!

Jacqui: And to add to that, what would you say is the most rewarding aspect of your position?

Amy: I would say the most rewarding aspect of my position is being a resource for all things library related. Whether it's assisting an instructor with creating a reserve reading list or helping a student find their course text, it is a rewarding experience when I'm able to help them find the resources they need. It helps to know that we have access to a wide range of resources through the Library.

2: What is one library service or resource that library users should know about?

Amy: You can say I’m a little biased when I say this, but Course Reserves. It wasn’t until the second year of my undergrad that I found out about Course Reserves. I remember buying all my textbooks in first year, only to find out that all my instructors put copies of the books at the Library.

I believe it should be more widely known to first-year undergraduate students and to instructors who maybe don’t know they can upload or bring copies of the materials to the Library.

Jacqui: I agree 100%. For me, luckily one of my instructors in first year had all our course materials available on Course Reserves. However, I know many students have been or are in the same situation as you were in your second year.

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

Amy: I work with many departments on campus. A part of being in Circulation Services and Course Reserves is that I’m constantly coordinating with various departments on the circulation desk (e.g. W Print, Plant Operations, etc.). Through Course Reserves, I also work with faculty members and the University colleges, primarily St. Jerome's and Renison.

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

Amy: My hope is that there will be more places for collaboration. The Library is already a “Third Place” for many students, so being a place where relationship building, and a sense of community can occur will help the students and campus community at large. Related to collaboration, I see the Library continuing to being a partner in innovating digital spaces, like open educational resources (OER) and enabling inclusive research through equity, diversity and inclusion efforts.  

5: What is your favorite book?

Amy: The answer to this question is usually the book I’m currently reading, so Enchantment by Kathrine May. The author has been able to fully articulate my thoughts and feelings about the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s allowed me to reflect on what has happened in the past couple of years and truly appreciate the little moments in life.

If you enjoyed reading about Amy’s role at the Library and want to hear from more library staff members in the future, follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to be notified when we post the next interview!  

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