Dialog box with a quote and close picture of a lady smiling and books along the bottom of the image.

Accessit Team Talk – Carole – Product Representative

In our third edition of ‘Librarians of Accessit’, where we get to know more about the librarians that form our team at Accessit, our very own Carole Gardiner shares her experiences of library life, the overall impact Accessit had on her librarianship, her favourite genres to read and how she encouraged students to read,

Where in New Zealand are you based and what do you like about where you live?

I live in Dunedin and it is one of New Zealand’s best kept secrets! The weather is honestly not as cold nor terrible as people assume, the people are friendly and you can have lots of big city things (like a vibrant arts scene, great cafes, beautiful beaches and loads of outdoor activities) without the traffic congestion and long commutes you would typically have in a ‘big city’.

How long were you a librarian for?

I’ve been a librarian forever. My first job after graduating was as a circulation assistant at the University of Otago’s Central Library. I loved the job and I’ve been a librarian ever since.

What is the best part of being a librarian?

Being able to help people. Librarians don’t always know the answer (although they do tend to know a little bit about a lot of different things), but they do know how to find an answer – and they tend to persist until they find it! Being able to find the right piece of information or match someone up with the perfect book is incredibly satisfying.

In your view, what are some important key features for school libraries and librarians?

Definitely the need to have well-staffed and well-resourced school libraries. I’m really disheartened to hear about library hours being reduced and budgets cut. Everyone deserves to have a well-stocked and vibrant library AND a librarian who knows their stuff.

What were the most rewarding things about being a librarian?

Every day is different and it’s such a buzz when you are able to help someone. I’ve had students who didn’t read come and tell me that they were up all night with a torch reading because the book I’d suggested had been too good to put down. (I did have to apologise in a few cases when their parents had told them off for being up too late). I really enjoy problem solving too, and there is always plenty of that when managing a library.

What is the strangest or funniest thing a student has said to you?

One of my favourites was the student who noticed that I had new glasses, and told me, “They make you look more intelligent Miss”. I wasn’t quite sure how I was supposed to take that, but it did make me laugh!

When did you first encounter Accessit?

I first heard about Accessit when I took over as the librarian at Queen’s High School in 2007. Several of the other local secondary schools either already used Accessit or switched to it soon after, and I was super jealous! Every time we had a get-together, they would all compare notes about the latest features and how they were using Accessit in their libraries, and these were things that the system I was using couldn’t do. I then attended a couple of Accessit Roadshows and lobbied my school management for several years before finally getting Accessit in my library in 2016.

What is your favourite feature of Accessit’s?

It’s really hard to only pick one thing! I love the Web App and how easy it is to make it look really amazing by embedding content and adding links to images. I also love how easy it is to have a super-tidy catalogue using things like Replace, Append, Retrospective tidy-up, and the Authority files. But maybe my very favourite thing would have to be our amazing Support team. When I was working as a school librarian, it was so reassuring to know that I could pick up the phone and call them – they are always so very friendly and patient!

How does Accessit make a librarian’s life better?

It truly does save so much time. In other systems, I used to spend a lot of time on overdues and printing out lists of records from my catalogue that I then had to work through and update individually. When I switched to using Accessit, I couldn’t believe how much quicker these tasks were. I also think that then, as a result of this, librarians can spend more time getting to know their borrowers, coming up with great ideas for new displays, library programmes or ways to promote their resources – all the things that deliver higher levels of job satisfaction.

How would you encourage students to read?

In lots of ways – promoting books with displays or on the Web App, reading as much as I can so that I can make informed recommendations and be a reading role model, talk to my students so that I know what sort of books they like, run fun activities and have generous lending rules and let them borrow over the summer holiday. But most of all, make reading (and the library) fun!

What do you like to read?

I enjoy reading most things. Horror isn’t a favourite but I do read the occasional horror novel accidentally, not recognising the genre until I’m fully committed to the story and I have to see it to the end (so I can make sure that my favourite characters survive!). I love historical fiction, fantasy, YA and contemporary fiction, a bit of sci-fi and the occasional biography or non-fiction book. As long as it’s well written and gripping I don’t really mind what the genre is.

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