“My job isn’t just about books and the library is much more than a books’ storage with tables and chairs,” enthusiastically states Alexandra Lavallée.1 Besides, she would love to put away those tenacious myths about her career and workplace.
One look at her daily planner is enough to see the diversity of her tasks and responsibilities: library and personnel management, collections’ selection and purchase (books, databases, theme kits, games and audiovisual equipment), design of the environment (teamwork, reading and consultation zones), showcasing the service through various activities (Facebook page, exhibits, book club), website administration and the creation of informational skills workshops, etc.
The workshops are particularly crucial in the Google era: “In a society where information and data are the new gold rush, students need to learn not only to find information, but also to distinguish the reliable sources from the populist or biased sites, or those financed by an industry,” she explains.
A role that shatters stereotypes
Alexandra Lavallée conceives her role as one of a facilitator working to foster the creation of knowledge, collaboration and the development of communities. That perspective motivates her, among other things, to take part in projects promoting interdisciplinary collaboration, like setting up a comic book club with the participation of the institution’s literature and creativity and media departments.
Highlighting the dynamism of her team, she is particularly proud of the creation, in spring 2019, of a committee to think about the birth of an innovation space, Fab Lab style. The project, set up with the Cégep’s entrepreneurship service, sparked the enthusiasm of multiple services and departments. “The simple fact of dreaming a common project together is a great success that’s priceless in my eyes. I am thrilled!” she says.
1 Alexandra Lavallée is a learning methods and techniques specialist, but prefers to introduce herself as a librarian, a more evocative term and better known to the public. She is a member of the Association des professionnelles et professionnels du Cégep Limoilou (CSQ).