Meet Your Library Staff
This is where we feature members of our staff here at SAIT’s Reg Erhardt Library. In this post, we are introducing Corrinna Meidinger, who works with Library Acquisitions as a Licensing Technician and is our GIS and Data Specialist.
- Are you a native Calgarian? If not, how did you choose to live here in Calgary?
I was born and raised in Calgary. In fact, I was born at the old Grace Hospital, which used to be located in Hillhurst at the bottom of the hill only about a kilometer away from the SAIT Campus.
- To the surprise of many, Calgary does actually have four distinct seasons. Do you have a favourite season and why is it your favourite?
There are days in each season that make me think it is my favourite but honestly my favourite season is the probably the fall. I love a bright yellow leaves on blue-sky day. I always get so sentimental in the fall.
- If you could choose to have a superpower, what would it be?
I have actually thought about this many times and it is a hard choice. I would love to be able to fly or to sing like K. D. Lang but if I could only choose one thing I would like for my kitchen pantry to be a teleportation device and time-machine so I could visit family (past or present) anytime I want. I realize that isn’t exactly a superpower but it is my wish.
- What made you choose a career in libraries/archives?
I spent a few years working in bookstores and daycare but didn’t really have a particular career-path in mind. Then I found my old report card from kindergarten. My teacher commented that I was shy but loved to spend time in the library sharing books with other kids. That’s when I realized that I could work with books and children if I worked in a school library. I also found the variety of possible work-settings appealing. So I got my library technician diploma and worked in a school library as well as in records management before coming to work at the SAIT library.
- What do you see as the role of an academic library in a technical school like SAIT? How is it different from other academic libraries?
Our students come from a wide variety of backgrounds. Some come to SAIT straight out of high school while others come with credentials from other institutions and years of industry experience. Often our students might only be at SAIT for two years or less. Our task is to meet each individual where they are at and provide them with the most relevant services and resources we can.
- When you talk to your friends, family or visitors about SAIT, what do you tell them?
I am very proud of SAIT’s history. It means a lot to me that SAIT has been training apprentices and skilled trade workers for over a hundred years. I love Heritage Hall and its position on campus looking out over the downtown skyline. In all honesty though, I talk about the food at the Market Place and Four Nines a lot!!
- Can you tell us a bit about your role on the Technical Services/Collections team?
I am responsible for the e-resource subscription licensing which involves reviewing license terms, communicating with vendors, processing renewal payments, and troubleshooting technical problems. I work with other technical services staff to make sure we are consistent in our processes and are meeting our collection development goals.
- How do you evaluate whether to continue subscribing to a resource?
If we know faculty and students are consistently using a resource, we will continue to subscribe. Most of our vendors provide usage stats and that helps a lot with evaluation. We also consider how unique a resource is, the cost, and of course relevancy to SAIT programs. Faculty can be very helpful with resource evaluation.
- What is the most common misconception that people have about collection development? How would you try to change that perception?
I think that the most common misconception is that we just collect books. Because so many of our programs are focused on applied education and many are two-year or apprentice programs, our collection is very much focused on currency and relevancy over breadth. Often the kinds of resources our students need are the same types of resources they will use in industry – such as standards, wiring diagrams, CAD files, or even sound effects.
- You recently completed a Bachelor of GIS at SAIT. How did your experience as a student at SAIT affect your work in the Library?
I have a much better understanding of how students in the School of Construction use spatial data and what they need for their projects. I can communicate more effectively with data providers and I am able to help students define the scope of their projects. I am much more helpful with providing access to the data we license and directing to students to other data sources.
- What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
The most challenging aspects of my job are the volume and variety of tasks. Incidentally, these are also the aspects that make my job interesting.