The AALT Technician is the official journal of the Alberta Association of Library Technicians.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Faces of AALT #5: AALT Communication Services Director Amy Southgate

Hello AALT!

This is the fifth post in the post in the Faces of AALT interview series, in which I interview myself, and manage to retain most of my sanity. I hope you have been enjoying this series, it is a great way to learn about different kinds of library technician work and about your co-members across the province. We are starting by featuring our 2016-17 board members, but soon we will be turning it over to regular members. If you would like to be featured please email for more information.
I look forward to seeing all of you on Faces of AALT soon!
Amy Southgate AALT Communication Services Director 2016-17

Faces of AALT: Amy Southgate, AALT Communication Services Director

AALT Technician: What is your professional background? 
Amy Southgate: I completed the Library Information Technology program at SAIT, and I also have a Bachelors degree from the University of Calgary. I have spent all of my career so far working in academic libraries. I started with practicum placements at Mount Royal University and the University of Calgary. After graduation I did a contract at the University of Lethbridge as a Library Operations Specialist, where I catalogued audio visual materials, worked on the public service desk as well as student engagement and social media. After that I moved to the University of Alberta in the Interlibrary Loans department.

AT: Where do you work and what are your responsibilities? 
AS: This past summer I transferred into a new position at the UofA as a Public Services Assistant. I spend lots of time doing reference in person at the service desk as well as chat. Off the desk I work on: subject liaison support, social media, displays, reading lists, institutional repository support, and other projects.

AT: What made you want to work in the library and information field?
AS: I love learning. So for me being able to work with interesting passionate people, and learn something new every day, is a real dream job!

AT: What is the most awesome part of your job?
AS: Public service is the most awesome part of my job. Being able to answer someone's question or teach them something new is so satisfying. Working in public service you get to build relationships with your patrons, it's so nice to have students and faculty stop by to chat with you on the desk.

AT: What advice would you give to someone looking to becoming a library technician?
AS: What you learn in school is very important, but the best resource you will ever have is other people. Your coworkers and colleagues at other organizations are invaluable, so take the time to get to know people in your organization and throughout library land. Also take time to get involved in organizations, not only will you gain connections but you will also be making libraries and the library technician profession stronger. Remember that relationships are give and take, you never know what skill or knowledge you have that might be valuable to someone else. Especially if you are new! a fresh perspective is more valuable than you think. Finally, remember that because so much of library land is build on relationships, your reputation is very important and you never know who knows who and where information will spread.

AT: What is the last book(s) you read?
AS: I split my time between reading non-fiction and fantasy or science fiction. A couple of my favourites from this past year were The Aeronaut's Windless and Walkable City

AT: What do you like to do outside of work?
AS: I love going to local events and believe in supporting local business, so living in Edmonton great, there is so much to do here! I can often be found at street festivals, craft fairs, farmers market or seeing live music, theatre and recently ballet.

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