Libraries and librarians are essential to a university education. Their work spans disciplines, faculties, and departments, creating an environment for meaningful research and study. Over the next two months we’ll be highlighting some of that work, as so much of it goes unseen.
Join us in acknowledging the importance of librarians on campus as they make research and higher learning possible through their work. We’ll be sharing librarian profiles on our website and social media channels to help demonstrate the wide variety of roles and responsibilities that librarians carry out every day.
There are so many ways that we make the UofM Happen!
Name: Vickie Albrecht
Library: Sciences and Technology Library
- What library do you work in? Does it serve a specific group on campus?
I serve in the Sciences and Technology Library, with a focus on the Department of Biological Sciences.
- What does an average day look like for you as a librarian at the UofM?
No two days are the same. I spend a lot of time preparing for workshops and consultations.
I also spend a lot of time staying up-to-date with current trends and technology through professional development. One thing that people might not know about librarians is that we also do a lot of professional service and giving back to the larger library world. I’m currently planning and co-chairing the Manitoba Librarians Conference in 2018. I am also the secretary for the Association of College and Research Libraries’ North Dakota and Manitoba Chapter.
- What do you think are the most common misconceptions about librarians on campus?
I recently gave a lecture to a class of about 80-100 students explaining how they could make use of library resources. I gave the students a multiple choice question: what does a librarian do? The majority answered that librarians know about books, put books away in the stacks, and can show students how to print. The correct answer was assisting with gathering resources. Also, there’s a misconception that librarians aren’t academics – often times, even faculty don’t know that librarians do research and service just like professors. We write papers and articles, go to conferences, and take research leaves.
- Why are libraries important to university life?
Libraries are information centres that transmit data throughout the entire university. Without libraries, it’s impossible to do research. We maintain subscriptions to journals, and purchase and curate content.
Physical libraries are also a hub that people can go to if they’re lost or new to the university.
- What made you decide to become a librarian?
Becoming a librarian was never my plan initially. I got an undergraduate degree in science and was heading towards a master’s degree in botany. I found that I was really strong when it came to looking up information and it was something I enjoyed a lot more than anything else. I decided to become a librarian because it was a lifestyle that appealed to me more than being a professor or working in a lab.
- The availability of online resources and electronic copies of textbooks and articles makes some people think we don’t need physical libraries or librarians anymore. What would you say to someone to convince them that this isn’t the case?
Physical libraries are definitely changing as a result of more electronic resources. Libraries are now often spaces where people can socialize, eat, chat, and work on projects together. Libraries offer a space for collaborative work and places where students and faculty can have immediate access to the resources they need. As we continue to move towards more and more digitalization of resources, physical libraries will continue to change and adjust to keep up with the growth and volume of information available. We’ll always need librarians to specialize in disseminating the huge amount of information that is now available.
- What are some ways that students and staff on campus can make use of library services available to them?
Anyone can come and ask me questions, anytime. It’s important for people to know that about librarians.
We’re here for you. I can answer faculty and students questions about copyright, research, even things
like resume and CV preparation.
Sciences and Technology Library
211 Machray Hall
University of Manitoba
Look for more librarian profiles on our social media channels and website over the next few months: