Librarian, Scholarly Communication and Learning Support, Royal Roads University
Summarize yourself and your professional experience in a few sentences (where you’re from, course of study, where you currently work, job title).
I grew up in a small town near Ottawa, Ontario, and started out my career as a law clerk before deciding to pursue a university degree in psychology. I could never commit to graduate studies in the field, and, having worked in the library as an undergrad, eventually admitted to myself that I was meant to be a librarian. I completed my Master of Library and Information Studies at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2021 and promptly moved all the way across the country for a librarian role at Royal Roads University in Victoria, British Columbia.
Please describe the main function of your organization and your current responsibilities.
Royal Roads University is a public institution that serves both undergraduate and graduate students and has a focus on providing flexible learning that supports mature students and mid-career learners in addition to learners coming from more traditional pathways. The institution has a focus on research that leads to solutions for real-world problems and includes a diverse faculty of researchers and scholar-practitioners. As the Scholarly Communication and Learning Support Librarian, I support the university community across different stages of the research process. Working in a small institution, I provide research support and instruction across all programs, including specialized instruction focused on knowledge mobilization, scholarly profiles, and publishing to our doctoral students. I also work with the institutional repository, provide guidance on OA publishing options, work with researchers to share their work, and serve on the institution’s Research Advisory Committee.
How did you get into scholarly communications, and what was your path to your current role?
I learned about the research lifecyle and scholarly publishing during my undergraduate degree, while also helping other students find and access appropriate resources as a staff member in the library. Following that, I spent about 10 years working in various administrative roles in post-secondary education, completing my Masters degree in Library and Information Studies while working full-time.
When I was looking for my first academic librarian role, what was most important to me was connection — I enjoy teaching and providing support to students as they learn to navigate the world of scientific research, and also being able to build relationships with faculty. I had worked with students, faculty, and staff across multiple departments and roles, including academic quality assurance, student services, and library roles including access services, copyright, and educational technologies. I think that this breadth of experience made scholarly communications appealing to me. There are so many different aspects to the field and ways to play a role in how we share knowledge.
What tools, websites, and organizations do you find most valuable for your career development?
One of the first places I looked to as a new schol comm librarian was The Scholarly Kitchen. It gave me a great view of new developments and trends in publishing, as well as helping me to develop a foundational knowledge of the field.
Joining different associations also helped me build a network of other professionals and helped me find webinars, resources, and communities of practice. SSP has given me a broad view of the publishing world, while also allowing me to find mentors and connect with other librarians, publishers, and members with similar interests. In Western Canada, the Council of Prairie and Pacific University Libraries’ Scholarly Communications Working Group helped situate me in a regional context, and taught me the basics, along with the Schol Comm in Canada Slack group, where I also found information and made connections with others doing similar work.
What advice would you give to people interested in a career in scholarly communications?
There is room for you in scholarly communications, and you also don’t have to know it all. There are so many different ways to work in this field, even when only considering the librarianship side of things. If you’re curious, willing to ask questions and value the importance of sharing knowledge, you’ll find a place.
Any fun facts or hobbies outside of scholarly communications?
In true librarian fashion, I am both a cat person and a knitter. I also like cold water swimming/dipping, trivia, and volunteer with an organization called ElderDog that supports seniors by providing care and support for their dogs.