I enjoyed INFO546 course immensely, it was so well taught. Having worked in libraries for some time in other capacities, I felt as if I was being allowed to peek behind the curtains at the world of resource description, and it’s a fascinating area.
I work at Otago University during the day and study at night, and I’ve learned a lot about my learning style.
Where have you worked?
I have worked in client services teams at the University of Otago Library, starting while studying for a BA in film and anthropology, and also in the University of South Australia Library. I’ve been with the Information Resources department since 2017, again at the University of Otago, primarily purchasing resources.
I’ve worked with records before, mostly in the resource acquisitions team where I facilitate title-by-title monograph and e-resource access. Just as the course was ending though, I applied for a fixed-term role as a cataloguer with the resource access team, and was successful, thanks to my studies at VUW. I was learning about this type of work as I got my new position.
I am still learning these dark and complex arts, and I absolutely love it! For a curious generalist, this is heaven, pretty much.
I love everything about this work. I don’t think I would fit in well in the corporate world. I love the focus on ethics and caring for and helping people that you get in libraries. You come across people from all sorts of backgrounds. The taonga you get to work with, joining people up with what they need, making taonga and information discoverable, is rewarding. Finding course materials for what people need – it’s all connected to helping people.
Tips for study
If anyone is thinking of taking up study here’s my tips:
- Get your citation software sorted early so you can hit the ground running – I love Zotero.
- Find the people to help you and ask them for advice, including the people you work with.
- There are intensive reading lists – if you learn a few tricks like the new version of Word which has a Read Aloud function – it means you can hear it being read while you highlight important information without losing track.
- There’s also software you can download from VUW IT called “Read & Write” and it can read screenshots, which Word can’t.
- LIANZA video’s on Youtube have been amazing. It’s been a great resource – you know you can trust what’s being said, has great content, and it’s from a New Zealand perspective.
Thank you so much to LIANZA for this prize and the opportunity to join. I’m really enjoying the “big picture” perspectives afforded by my studies, and I know that an affiliation with your organisation will only add to that. We all appreciate your services in so many ways. I’d also like to thank the Information Studies programme for their teaching and the University of Otago Library for their support.
About Mary Flemming
Mary Smith Fleming (1908 – 1964) was Senior Lecturer in Cataloguing at the New Zealand Library School from 1946 to 1964. The LIANZA Mary Fleming Grant is awarded to the Victoria University of Wellington student, who in the opinion of the VUW Information Studies Programme Director, is the best student of the year in INFO546 (2021).