LTAS Member Spotlight: Ashley Edwards

In the months leading up to the annual BC Library Conference (May 2016) the member spotlight will showcase several library technicians/assistants who are presenting in a panel looking at the current state of the profession and its future.

Introducing Ashley!

Where are you currently working?

Simon Fraser University

 Can you tell us a bit about this position

I work in the Learning & Instructional Services division, as a library assistant. My role has me facilitating workshops for undergrads, staffing the Research Help desk and AskAway (online reference). I also do some admin-type work: help with statistics, scheduling, ordering supplies for the division, scheduling instruction, and assisting librarians in a variety of projects.
My favourite part about my job is the instruction, which as an introvert was a huge surprise to me! But I love helping students learn how to use our resources better.

How did you become interested in being a Library Technician? 

I really didn’t know what I wanted to do, and several people mentioned working in a library. I stumbled upon UFV’s Library Technician program website, and thought the program looked like a lot of fun. I initially thought I’d like to work in public libraries, since I spent a lot of time as a child at my local library, however I love working in an academic library.

Education history

I graduated in 2009 from UFV with my tech diploma. I also have an Associate of Arts in Media & Communication, and my BA in Adult Education with UFV. In 2014 I completed UFV’s Library Technician post-diploma certificate.

I think that in this profession, being open to continuous learning is a definite asset. This could be done in a formal setting, like taking classes, or informally by keeping up with library blogs and reading articles. Attending conferences is a great way to learn more about the profession, and meet people.

What about outside of work? What are your hobbies/interests?

I try to spend a lot of time with my friends and family on the weekends. I’m a reluctant exerciser (though I love Zumba), and would much rather be curled up with a book or good movie. I’m also a beginner quilter, and photographer.

Any advice for new technicians or people interested in the field? 

I get asked this question frequently in my role as Chair. I advise to talk to people, find out what the profession is like, and what the programs teach you. Be flexible in where you want to work, gain experience wherever you can find it. And don’t be afraid to try something new, you might love it. Each library sector is different, and you may be surprised where you end up – it could be quite different than where you expect to go!

Are you on the LTAS Executive? In what position?

Chair and Blog Coordinator

Is there anyone you want to nominate to be showcased in our Member Spotlight? Maybe yourself? Please fill out this form, and you could be next month’s member spotlight!

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