Focus on: Marilyn Smith, Training Librarian

26 August 2002
Position: Smith is the first incumbent (since May) of the new Training Librarian position at UCT Libraries' main library on Upper Campus.

What did she do before taking up her new post?: Smith has actually been with UCT Libraries for about 10 years. She started in the periodicals section in 1993, before moving to the Institute of Child Health (ICH) Library at Red Cross Children's Hospital, from which she had a tearful farewell recently after a seven-year sojourn.

Where is she based?: On level 5 of the Chancellor Oppenheimer Library on Upper Campus.

What does her job entail?: With the library growing at a rate of knots – in terms of its "invisible" electronic resources – there is a concern that many staff members and students are getting left behind in the rush. Using the library's Ulwazi Training Room – with its now inadequate 10 PCs – and laboratories around campus, Smith is teaching students and staff how to use the library's online catalogue to find printed books and journals, and also how to access its plethora of electronic journals and databases.

Short-term goals: Smith is working on a number of web-based training programmes, which she hopes to have up and running by the start of the 2003 academic year. In the medium term, she would really like to see the library become part of the academic curriculum, just so students and staff can appreciate all that UCT Libraries has on offer.

Real long-term goals: "To make sure that every single person can use the library with confidence, and give everyone the 'unfair' technological advantage."

Life philosophy: Smith is a big fan of Ralph Waldo Emerson's recipe to Success, which not only incites one to "laugh often and much", but also encourages readers "to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others" and "to leave the world a bit better".

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