Five questions: with Courtney Bremer, cataloguing and metadata librarian

Friday, June 23, 2023

Once a month the student engagement and communications assistant co-op student interviews library staff to provide library patrons with a peek behind the book stacks 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 Courtney Bremer, cataloguing and metadata librarian. 

Courtney Bremer1. How does your position benefit the library community?  

Courtney: Not necessarily my position specifically but cataloguing certainly helps the library community. Our department is responsible for all the metadata of the resources. If we don’t input quality metadata into our catalogue system, users won’t be able to easily discover the resources they need, missing out on the full benefits of our vast collection for their assignments, research, etc.   

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

Courtney: I would have to say the library chat service, Ask us, and the “report a problem” button found in the Library’s catalogue, Omni. Between these two services, users are able to get help with anything they need as they try to access the Library’s resources. The live web chat and off-hour email Ask us services are available for all types of inquiries, with responses from real people who will make sure you get in contact with the right experts within the Library, based on your question. The “report a problem” button is found in Omni, on every resource listing; it’s helpful if you experience any issues gaining access to the resource you’re looking for. If a link to the resource is broken or you have a question about the resource this button, and subsequent form, will let the Library know there is a problem, so we can work to resolve it as soon as possible.     

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

Courtney: Cataloging work is primarily behind the scenes work, but we have and are available to help researchers structure their databases and help determine what metadata is important to include when organizing their information. Additionally, we work with the extended library network on campus, including knowledge sharing with the college libraries and providing support to the libraries within the Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre, Glow Centre, Women's Centre, and the Centre for Extended Learning.    

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

Courtney: I see the future of the Library evolving as students’ needs evolve. We are currently a place students use to access resources and study; I think the Library will continue to build spaces that support students alongside their learning in the faculties. We will continue to grow our collections to support the fantastic research our University does and more will become electronically available too. We will likely continue to grow our physical collections, as well as our special collections and archives.     

5. What is your favourite book?  

Courtney: I know it is not one you would necessarily find in an academic research library, but I would have to say Love You Forever by Robert Munsch. One, you can’t go wrong with Robert Munsch. Two, the story is about family, the child-parent relationship and how taking care of one another comes full circle. I have loved it since I was a little kid.    

If you enjoyed reading about Courtney’s role at the Library, read our previous interviews with Accessibility and IR's Michael R. Clark and Circulation’s Amy Lim. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to be notified when we post the next interview!  

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