Lauren Orav is the Dorothy H. Hoover Library's current Reference Intern. We talked to Lauren about her interests, what she does in the library and some of her favourite parts of the library's collection.
Can you explain what your role is in the library?
As a Reference Intern, I'm available to help students with their research questions. If you need help searching the catalogue, finding resources, or figuring out how to cite something, you can talk to me! I also make and update Libguides, the online research guides OCADU has to help you find resources on various subjects, and put together book displays for the library.
What do you do outside the OCADU Library?
Outside the OCADU Library, I have another job as a web-services librarian in a law library, which has a completely different atmosphere. I also volunteer with the Toronto Vegetarian Association, spend time learning about User Experience Design, play video games, hang out with my girlfriend, and knit.
How does your work in the library inform your research and/or interests outside of the library and vice versa?
At OCADU, I'm constantly being shown new ideas through the library's collection and the discussions I have with students. There's so much information — which can be both a curse and a blessing. I think about information a lot, and how it functions in our lives.
Right now, my work in and outside of OCADU incorporates a lot of User Experience (UX) Design. I think a lot about the different ways to present information, and the different interpretations of information that result from those presentations. Knowing more about this can make me a better librarian, because it means I'll be more effective when teaching students about research and making Libguides. And aside from being useful, it's also just really neat to learn about.
What are some of your favourite items in the library's collection?
Dionne Brand's Bread out of Stone - I love everything Brand has written, but her essays are probably my favourite. I admire her way with words, and her fearlessness in depicting life.
Michael Cho's Back Alleys and Urban Landscapes - Cho's illustrations of Toronto's streets are wonderful, especially how he depicts light.
Camerson Duder's Awfully Devoted Women - Growing up as a lesbian, I never learned the history of women like me. Reading Duder's interviews with Canadian lesbians who lived during 1900-65 felt like uncovering a part of myself.