In April and May, WAVAW was lucky enough to host Lisa Patrick as our Library Technician practicum student from Langara’s Department of Library and Information Technology Program.
Lisa was tasked with an extremely challenging, complex and ambitious project: revamping the entire WAVAW library system! Never daunted by the magnitude of the job, she always went about her work with amazing professionalism, skill and enthusiasm (even when weeding through our holdings to discover such gems of relevance as a thirty-year-old binder of conference proceedings on Soviet literature).
Lisa spent five full days a week with us and accomplished an incredible amount towards our vision for an accessible, updated, and lively resource library! Working with members of WAVAW’s Library Committee (Alana, Ariana, Jodie and Sharon), she developed a new classification and shelving system to better meet the needs of users; updated our records for accuracy; added new materials and removed outdated ones; transferred data to a new digital library system that she proposed for its affordability and user-friendliness; and researched comparable small libraries in the non-profit sector to develop recommendations for WAVAW.
Lisa brought a strong understanding of WAVAW’s mission to end all forms of violence against women and to support survivors, and an equally strong commitment to integrating WAVAW’s values into every aspect of her work in the library. Her sharp analytical skills and grasp of WAVAW’s anti-oppressive philosophy really showed in her development of a new classification system. As we learned, it is no easy feat to categorize an anti-oppression library from an intersectional perspective! Lisa was also attuned to the needs of non-expert users in locating and shelving library resources and maintaining the database and circulation system. We are so grateful for all her explanations of complex library systems to our staff committee members, none of whom know much about serials, subject headings or circulation (though we can, of course, nerd out pretty hard over feminist books, zines and media)!
We know that Lisa will continue to apply her organizational genius, interpersonal warmth and feminist smarts in all she does—and we hope she’ll stay involved with WAVAW! We are incredibly grateful for all of her time and energy during this practicum.