I think the characteristics that best define me as a librarian are passion and big ideas. I can't help but get excited about projects and issues that affect the people we serve. I'm definitely a big-picture person; I like to see the connections, how everything fits together – or at least how it might fit together. I think it's why I've been attracted to both technical services and public services, and why I'm an effective advocate for our library users: I understand their needs, but I also understand the reasons why we do things the way we do.

Academic librarianship attracts me the most because of its intimate connection to teaching and learning. I love finding creative ways to engage students in the information-seeking process, both in the classroom and beyond. I am energized by watching students' attitudes toward the information environment grow increasingly sophisticated. I'm also fascinated by the intersections between pedagogy, technology, and inquiry, and enjoy working with faculty in bringing these to students.

Technology has played a huge role in my career. I entered the profession at a time when the use of technology in public services was just taking off, and I am, most unapologetically, a geek. In recent years, I've channelled this aspect of my professional life into web development. I believe in standards, usability, and good information architecture, and am a passionate advocate for all of them, both in developing web sites and web-based applications, and in teaching others to do so.

In Fall 2008 I began pursuing an MA in Educational Technology and Learning Design at Simon Fraser University, which seems to provide a perfect integration of my varied interests. At this point I have no idea where it will lead me, but I'm certainly enjoying the journey.

Travel and networking have been wonderful benefits of academic librarianship; I've been fortunate to receive excellent support for professional involvement, from committee work and presentations to publications, and have been active locally and nationally. I've also made three professionally related journeys to South Africa, which has heightened my awareness of international issues, something that I would like to continue to develop.

33844 King Road Abbotsford, B.C. V2S 7M8
colleen.bell@ucfv.ca 604.504.7441 x4396 (v) 604.853.0796 (f)

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