RUSA - STARGazing: Meet Naomi I. Chow
1. What’s your institutional affiliation?
University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Library
2. What’s your OCLC / Docline symbol?
HUH for OCLC
HIUHAU for Docline
3. What would be the title of your autobiography?
The case of the curious (& messy) librarian
4. How did you get involved in resource sharing (or access services, etc.)?
I was initially exposed to resource sharing during my first job at the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library. I was in the Reference department, which included interlibrary loan services. The reference librarians would assist the ILL staff by clearing and verifying ILL requests (paper-based back then!) when we sat at the Information Desk. I also spent some time in the ILL section covering resource sharing duties while an ILL staff person was out on extended leave. Through these experiences, I discovered that I loved connecting people with the needed resource, whether found in-library in the stacks or through ILL, especially through deciphering the elusive and/or scrambled reference or locating potential lending libraries. And now, I’m able to focus upon resource sharing full-time as the ILL unit librarian at UHM. Dreams do come true!
5. What are you passionate about? How does that passion inform your work?
I love unraveling a mystery or a problem, whether through my love of reading, or while at work. I enjoy the challenge of finding a practical solution to a problem or question, and then working with staff and patrons to implement the solution.
6. What do you feel are the benefits of your STARS membership, and why would you encourage others to get involved?
As resource sharing is networked based, STARS is invaluable as it has allowed me to connect to other institutions through meeting individual people both in-person, or through online connections. Through events sponsored at the ALA meetings, as well as online, I have been able to find support regarding everything from questions about procedures for daily workflow to the bigger issues facing resource sharing and libraries today. I am able to participate in discussions about current trends and common concerns by way of my STARS membership. The STARS and the resource sharing community is very welcoming and everyone is supportive of one another. By helping one another, we are in essence helping our own community of patrons as well. We are stronger through our ability to share efficiently and effectively.
7. What do you wish you’d known when you started out in resource sharing (access services, etc.)?
Resource sharing and access services people are a friendly bunch of folks who really want to connect people with their resources. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone or send an email to a colleague at another institution about the possibility of obtaining an item for a patron. There may be an alternative solution available!
8. How has your STARS membership helped you do your job?
Networking and problem-solving with friendly folks!
9. What are you reading?
I just finished two very different novels that I found engrossing for different reasons: Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford, and The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson. Both are based on historical events or times, so I suppose that’s my current reading theme.
10. Share your favorite fun fact about yourself
My family has two pet parakeets with dog-like names, Fifi and Crusher, courtesy of my son with a sense of humor.