Meet: Marcia Ostrowski, the newest member of the University Library’s Academic Engagement Librarian team. Marcia took up her role in February 2016 and is based on Level 4 of the Hartley Library on the University Highfield Campus. Marcia has been a member of staff of the University Library for a couple of years already: she worked as a Library Assistant at the Avenue campus (Library & Learning Commons), and at the Health Services Library, as well as in the Hartley Library.
We asked Marcia to tell us something of the route she has taken to Southampton. She began by giving an account of her professional journey to becoming an academic engagement librarian at the University of Southampton:
The decision to move from Wisconsin to Arizona happened while I was teaching and experienced two weeks of brutal weather, with temperatures of minus 28 Celsius, and a car that refused to start. The vision of mountains, sunshine, and the Grand Canyon became an opportunity when a friend of mine moved there. I finished the teaching year, packed my bags and cat, and drove to the Grand Canyon. While there, I worked at the Visitors’ Centre, hiked the trails, and learned much about the Native American culture. I later worked at the Northern Arizona University’s Library, managing the Circulation/Reserves/Stock department, and obtained my Master’s in Library Science at the University of Arizona. I moved back to the Midwest, to Missouri to work at the University Library but found that I preferred the Southwest. After moving back to Arizona and working in higher education libraries, I moved to Nevada with my husband and worked at the University of Nevada, Reno, and a Nursing and Allied Health educational institution. I also obtained a second Masters, in the field of Educational Technology. I moved to Southampton with my husband and dog, and have been working at the Hartley Library since 2015.
What are your primary interests in librarianship?
I have many interests in the area of librarianship: Information, digital, and creation literacy (ability to create and disseminate new knowledge in meaningful ways across our global networked society); educational technology; big data; assistive technology; virtual librarianship; information management; gaming.
What have you found most surprising about your role so far?
How quickly the day goes; there are not enough hours to accomplish everything that I want to accomplish. I am a bit of an overachiever, and therefore I try to absorb as much knowledge as I can each day. I am grateful to all the Library staff for giving their time to help me along this exciting journey. Although I come to the position with previous experience and knowledge, I know that I still have much to learn. Each University and Library has its own culture, and being a life-long learner, I am enjoying learning new things each day.
Tell us something about yourself that will surprise us, Marcia.
I have scuba dived in Mexico, Hawaii, and some lakes in the United States. I used to play the stand-up bass and am a self-taught piano player. I enjoy hiking and being outdoors, and never saw any live rattlesnakes or scorpions during my hikes in the Southwest, especially Arizona. However, I am sure that they did see me.
While camping in the remote Aravaipa Canyon, I heard mountain lions, but the only animals I encountered face-to-face were some local cattle. The sweet reward at the end of the 10-mile hike (one way) is an apple orchard that only the wildlife has easy access to.
The photos you see are of the wildlife and scenery at Glacier National Park. We met the lovely ram and its mate along the path. Needless to say, we waited until they decided to move on.