Where are you from?
I’m from Chatham, New Brunswick, which is now Miramichi. I had my first Commodore 64 when I was six and that set me on the path towards computers. I was interested in history and computers — two things that face completely opposite directions. I didn’t know what I would do with a degree in history and I knew computers were either going to take off or not, so I thought I’d go with the option that would most likely take off. I studied computer science at the University of New Brunswick and was set to graduate in 2004. My cousin, Scott Powell, who works here in the Faculty of Education, said ‘Why don’t you apply for this job in the library?’ It was a contract position; I applied for it and was successful. That contract turned into a permanent job.
How long have you been at the U of L and what do you do here?
I started as a technical specialist in May of 2004. I became a systems support specialist in 2011. All the systems staff in the library are responsible to help patrons, staff and faculty with the problems they’re having with technology. The specific things that I look after are the digital library initiative, our digital library platform, and our institutional repository platform, OPUS. I administer both those services, as well as our LibGuides software.
What’s the best part of your job?
The greatest thing is not having to do the same thing all the time. I like to solve problems, so variety gives me the ability to solve many different problems. My job gives me the ability to multitask. If we’re helping students, that could involve helping them with Word, a software package or helping them solve an issue they’re having with the computer. We’re all here for the students because we wouldn’t have jobs without them.
What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
I love penguins. Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve been fascinated by penguins. I don’t know if it’s because they’re just interesting, or the way they walk, or that they have such a hard life and they keep on keeping on.
I also volunteer doing a lot of different things and I especially enjoy volunteering at the Lethbridge Humane Society. It gives me the ability to have down time and not have to think about anything. It gives me escape time where I’m just taking care of the dogs and walking and playing with them.