RUSA - STARGazing: Meet Adebola Fabiku
1. What is your institutional affiliation?
University of Washington Libraries
2. What’s your OCLC / Docline symbol?
3. What would be the title of your autobiography?
Why? by Adebola Fabiku
My friends, family, and colleagues poke fun at the fact that I say that word all the time. I just need to understand why. For some reason the “interesting” people always seem to find me and want to interact with me, and I just have to say why? When I see a weird request, I just say why? By asking why I am usually able to dig deeper into problems that arise in the workplace and find a good solution.
This autobiography would turn into a series of Why? books about different aspects of my life (professional, personal, and all the weird things). I think my life is interesting enough to have a series of books, that’s why I was Born FabiKOOL! (alternate title).
4. How did you get involved in resource sharing (or access services, etc.)?
I got involved in resource sharing by accident. While I was in library school, every time I applied for an internship or volunteer position, I would be placed in interlibrary loan. I never expressed interest in it but for some reason I kept being placed in that department. Even the first professional position I applied for was for a reference position, but they asked me if I could work in circulation and ILL instead since I had so much experience. I had the same experience with the job I held prior to my current job. I applied for a cataloging position and they asked me if I wanted the ILL position instead. I guess ILL was my destiny.
5. What are you passionate about? How does that passion inform your work?
I am passionate about access to information. Growing up I wanted to be a journalist because I believed that the public should have access to information. Transitioning to libraries, my passion has remained the same. I am always advocating for favorable license terms for ILL. Even advocating for ILL departments to do their own marketing goes hand in hand with my passion. We must let our users know that they have access to our services so that they can get the information that they need. I also truly believe that our policies and procedures should not be a barrier to users accessing information. When I make decisions or begin a project, I try to always keep that in mind.
6. What do you feel are the benefits of your STARS membership, and why would you encourage others to get involved?
Having a group of people who understand the work you do is one of the benefits of a STARS membership. Other people in the library think they understand resource sharing, but they have no idea of the complexities that make up this work.
I would encourage others to get involved because of the amazing people in STARS. I really like that STARS is not limited to people who work at large research institutions. It feels like so many of the professional organizations prioritize the opinions of the large research institutions and STARS isn’t like that. I joined STARS when I was at a small liberal arts college. Also, being involved with the future of resource sharing is also another cool reason to get involved.
7. What do you wish you’d known when you started out in resource sharing (access services, etc.)?
I wish I had known that faculty members don’t know how to place proper requests. Kidding, but not really.
On a more serious note, I wish I knew how important customer service was to our job because everyone is our customer. The skills that I took from my previous customer service jobs are so useful in this field. We communicate so much with our users through email, phone, in person and even our request forms and webpages. We serve our users and other libraries but we’re also building relationships with campus and community partners. Viewing resource sharing positions as a customer service job has made leading my unit easier and has helped with our mission of putting our users first.
8. How has your STARS membership helped you do your job?
I love being able to see the work that other members are doing at their institutions. I’ve also been able to make connections with others and have been able to call on them when I need assistance with a something, they may have more expertise in.
9. What are you reading?
Emails! All day, every day.
Other than that, I’m really into YA fiction and leadership books right now. I just finished the Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer. I have just begun reading Start with Why by Simon Sinek. I wanted to read it since I’m always asking that question. Once I’m finished with that book, I will probably finish reading The Selection series by Kiera Cass.
10. Share your favorite fun fact about yourself
True Story...One time I ate chicken with Ludacris then Flavor Flav gave me eye contact and three dollars. Later I got bum-rushed by the New Kids on the Block and the Jabbawockeez because I may or may not have had ice cream.