In a series of portraits we are going to introduce the staff at the Library to all our readers and customers. Who are the people working at the library? And what are they doing there? Read our portraits and get to know your librarians! We asked Katharina a few questions.
What are your main duties?
A large part of my time is devoted to communication. I lead the team at the Library working with communication. To be more concrete we’re talking about planning and writing blog posts like this one, writing news for our web site and maintaining our feeds in social media. We also have a newsletter for employees at the university that needs planning and writing before we send it away. Besides communication, I also work a little bit with some of our systems (especially our system for maintaining loans) and research support.
What made you apply for a job at the University of Borås?
I was a student at the university when I applied for a job here, and the thought of working at the university library was quite attracting for a student at the School of Library and Information Science. I mean this was the library where I had gone looking for books and articles so many times; just the thought of working here was thrilling. Plus it was such a nice library, just a few years old! Besides, I was at that time fairly clear that I wanted to work at a university, college or business library. The reason to this was partly the kind of people using these kinds of library, but also that I had a feeling that the technological development was faster within these libraries. And since I also have training as a computer engineer, I was drawn to it. If it is true that technological development is faster at these types of libraries or not, I leave unsaid today.
Today, I would gladly recommend others to apply for a job at “my” library. In my eyes, this is still a very good library, with the small organization’s advantage when it comes to speed and agility. It’s easy to change things, and your voice is listened to and taken into account. Plus it works a bunch of incredibly skilled (and funny) people here. Who doesn’t want that kind of colleagues?
Did you know from the start that you wanted to work with the things you do today?
Not at all! And I’ve worked with quite different tasks since I started here almost 10 (!) years ago. Purchase, teaching, programming, research support, web and communication. I think this is fun, there is the opportunity to try different things and develop in different directions. And if this question is rather about whether I’ve always wanted to be a librarian, the answer is still no. I became a librarian by coincidence, but it was still lucky, because it is a really fun job.
What do you enjoy most about the job?
I don’t know if it is possible to say that “this is the most fun,” but one thing that I appreciate very much my job is to try to work out how we can best inform our users about our business. So concretely it’s to reflect on how we will get our users to understand the extent of what we can do for them. And that applies both to students, researchers and other staff. And then it’s also very fun to meet users that already has realized that we can help them, and actually help them in a good and professional manner. For example, it is a very nice feeling when you helped a student to manage a database and the student receives articles that make sense from their perspective, and you see that the student really understands. In moments like that, it’s very fun to work.
Do you have any book tips that you want to share?
Jennifer Government by Max Barry is worth reading. It’s a twisted, funny and terrifying vision of the near future, when the world is run by giant corporations and employees take the last names of the companies they work for. It’s a globalised, ultra-capitalist free market paradise! It gives you something to think about.
Text: Katharina Nordling & Lena Holmberg
Photo: Lena Holmberg