Get to Know Mayu Ishida, Reference Librarian graphic

With the changing needs of library users during this unprecedented time, Mayu Ishida, Reference Librarian at UBC’s Woodward Library, continues to provide services and support to students, faculty and staff in the biological sciences, computer sciences, statistics and mathematics. As a proud graduate of UBC iSchool, Mayu has been contributing towards the learning and research advancement of her alma mater: “I’m a science librarian, so I have the opportunity to work in different aspects of the library and it’s been a very rewarding experience”.

When asked about what keeps her inspired, she answers: “I’m inspired by how UBC Library employees are adapting to our patrons’ information needs during the COVID-19 outbreak. We try to provide e-books and other online alternatives to print materials whenever possible. We continue providing reference services, consults, and workshops online. We contribute to AskAway, the province-wide virtual reference service, and have signed up for extra AskAway shifts since the usage of the service is increasing. I feel fortunate to be able to participate in these efforts”.

Thinking about her current remote working set-up, Mayu smiles. “I appreciate my team’s camaraderie. Recently, we had a new colleague who joined us and another colleague who returned from her leave. We greeted these two colleagues by setting our Zoom virtual backgrounds to a welcome banner that my colleague, Eleri, created specifically for this occasion,” she laughs.

On her time off, Mayu finds relaxation in knitting. “I like trying different types of yarn that I haven’t tried before. I just like all the different textures and colours and different materials that yarn is made of,” she explains. “Right now, I’m trying lacey yarn and I’m making a scarf with it. It’s taking a long time, but it’s rewarding”.

As Mayu reminisces about her own experience being welcomed to UBC Library, she recalls all the support she received throughout her career. As a new hire, Mayu would often meet with fellow new librarians and archivists over coffee, tea, and shared experiences. She would also connect with more tenured librarians, who guided her and offered perspectives. “That was a nice support group and I was fortunate to be matched with two mentors when I started – one from my branch and another from a different branch of the library,” she explains.

At this point in her career, Mayu feels fortunate that she has opportunities to foster rich learning experiences by mentoring student librarians working for Woodward Library. She makes it a point to impart time-tested advice that was given to her when she was a student librarian herself: “They have the freedom to explore the program, to build their CV, but also to get that well-rounded experience through experiential learning”.

Learn more about UBC Library’s online resources and how we’re supporting the UBC community during the COVID-19 outbreak.

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