October features Mount Royal University for our 7 Questions with AAAL Institutions.
1. What is the most interesting/unique item or collection in your library?
Our Archive has a very cool Medieval and Early Modern Manuscript Collection. We recently added a beautiful complete printed and illuminated Book of Hours to the collection. Peter, our archivist frequently uses this material in his instruction and makes sure that students have an opportunity to engage with this collection.
2. What is the best spot in the library?
This is a very subjective question! I thought I would ask around and of course, everyone has a different amazing spot in our library to highlight. Francine, our Associate Dean of Collections and Metadata said that her favourite spot was “where I was able to chat with David Attenborough in the Natural History Museum yesterday”. She was referring to one of many of our VR applications available in our Experience Lab. Geoff, our Business librarian and avid cyclist said that, although he also enjoys the WWI collection in the stacks and the microfilm reader (yes, he said that), the best spot to him is the showers located in our underground bike storage/parkade: “there is nothing like a hot shower to start your work day after a grueling all weather cycling commute to work”. Pearl, our department Chair, stated without any hesitation that the best spot was the seating in the Curriculum Collection where she does a lot of her teaching and work with Education students. Staff members Heidi and Isha favour specific spots to relax, Isha highlighting our pod seating that has a prime location next to a bright and sunny window and Heidi enjoys sitting by our fireplace during the summertime because it is less busy. I personally like the window spot in the café because I like to do things while I feed my body with caffeinated drinks. And they also play good music there.
3. What is the busiest time of year?
Mid-September through to mid-October is always a busy time for everyone.
4. What is something that users are often confused about it your library?
Printing. And they are not alone. Printing and printers are a constant struggle for us all. I think I have an “Office Space” moment at least once a month. I think you all know what I am talking about…
5. What has been a recent change for your institution or library?
Even though we opened the doors to the Riddell Library and Learning Centre (RLLC) in 2017, we still feel relatively brand new. Moving libraries was a huge change. The process of imagining the new space truly allowed us to think about the ways the Library is, and can be, involved in teaching, learning, and research. We now share our space with several building partners, we went from a single floor library located within the university to a four story stand-alone building…we have added so many new roles to our growing team. The list of change is endless and we are still learning. We are still a relatively small, yet mighty team and have embraced the many opportunities that have come with our new digs.
6. What is a recent team-building activity/event you’ve done for library staff?
We hold a professional development day for the entire Library annually, and this year, in one of the activities we spent some time exploring and reflecting each of our strengths and work styles, and how we work with those who may have similar or diverging styles. Then we each designed a quilt patch, to reflect a particular strength. People used a range of tools, including markers or stencils or vinyl or any of the tools and technologies available in the Maker Studio. The patches will be sewn together to make a quilt that represents the ways we work together as a team.
7. What is a surprising fact about your library?
Every floor in our library features a skateboard wall when you get off the elevator and they are constructed from real, repurposed skateboard deck pieces.