He will try and remember your name, or your faculty or some small detail about you. It is his subtle way of making you feel comfortable, especially if you are a new student. “Welcome to Memorial, welcome to campus, welcome to St. Johnâs, welcome to the QEII Library, how can we help you?” These are words he says often and in return students and faculty never forget the kindness, or his face.
Greg Bourgeois sees himself as just one of the many employees on campus who do their job with skill and grace as a flow of students and faculty are continually replenished. “I donât think anything I do in my particular job is of any greater significance to what anyone else in my department or any department in the university community as a whole does. I think everybody does the best that they can do and thatâs all we ask of anybodyâ¦It really comes down to being approachable.”
Mr. Bourgeois has worked in the QEII library for almost 30 years. If you measure that in the number of Memorial graduates, you get this staggering statistic: roughly 63,120, that is over half the population size of the city of St. Johnâs; it is difficult to grasp that immense reach and impact in the daily routines that make up a work life on a university campus. Yet some things remain the same and perhaps that is what roots people in campus life and makes them not only fixtures, but for a short while, almost like family to students: “The people on campus, the university, is such a diverse workplace. There are so many different cultures and so many fresh faces every year, full of expectation and promise. Campus is alive with people, with culture, forward movement, initiative, innovation, care and also strife and anxiety and it is just so full of life and that inspires me. It keeps me engaged.”
Often being the first point of contact for new students is an interesting perspective and the questions asked can require some fast thinking and wide-ranging know-how. “Youâll quite often get people asking where is my exam, what building are my classes in, where are the bus schedules, where is the Arts and Culture Centre, how do I find a family doctorâ¦people often tend to view libraries as information centresâ¦I try and answer as many of them as I can. If I donât have an answer to the question, I do my best to track down an answer for the patron.”
“Gregâs dedication to patron service is exemplary and is representative of the attitude of all staff in the circulation department. One of the top priorities within our unit is public service,” said Donna Norman, supervisor of the circulation and document delivery department. “The QEII library has approximately 998,000 people pass through our doors every year, and 94,000 materials were checked out in 2012 so you can see why service is so very important to the work we do.”
It is the small gestures of kindness that make for lasting memories and can come to epitomize a chapter in the life of student. The marks fade, the essay and exam pressures release, but the experience of kindness stays as students enter the worlds that await them. “Iâve been asked to graduation ceremonies, particularly by people who didnât have family hereâ¦I remember one particular gift I was given. It was a line drawing of a fish that one particular grad student gave me. She said, ‘if it wasnât for you I wouldnât have graduated from Memorial’ and I was really taken aback. I said, ‘of course you would have. You’re bright and talented and ambitious,’ and she said ‘yes, but I didn’t really feel welcomed until I walked into the library and you set up my account. You gave me so many helpful pointersâ¦I got the support I needed.’ That drawing hangs proudly in my home,” said Mr. Bourgeois.
The Mount is hosting A Symposium on the First World War: Remembrance, Commemoration and Perspectives from May 14 to May 17 in anticipation of the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I.
To recognize this event, the Library has created a small display of artifacts in the vitrines at the rear of the main floor of the EMF Centre.
Among the items on display are the Christmas 1914 gift box distributed to the soldiers at the behest of Princess Mary, the daughter of King George V, medals, a 1919 Peace Plate, a sketch by the distinguished Western Front artist Muirhead Bone, and a presentation copy of Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome signed by the men of the Officers' Mess.
We are looking for two tenure-track Public Services Librarians for the Health Sciences Library. Deadline for applications is June 2, 2014. Visit our librarian recruitment page for full details including the posting and information for new and prospective librarians.
May 4-10 is North American Occupational Safety and Health Week, and we have resources to help you stay safe, current, and compliant when it comes to chemical hazards. Get full-text access to more than 320,000 MSDSs provided directly from manufacturers and suppliers: MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets).
In addition to MSDSs, our subscription to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety Academic Support Program provides access to:
- CHEMINFO: Chemical health and safety information for more than 1,700 important workplace chemicals
- RTECS: The Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances
- The OSH References collection: Convenient access to international sources of OSH-related information including adverse effects of chemicals, ergonomics, case studies, and more.
- Canadian enviroOSH Legislation plus Standards
- The International Labour Office (ILO) Encyclopedia of Occupational Health and Safety
- CHEMpendium of chemical hazard data
Got a question? We’ve got answers. Ask us.
Come to learn about various strategies that you could use in your work as a Research Assistant.
What could you do when you cannot find an item? What services are currently available to support your research? How could RefWorks help you organize and share your results?
You are welcome to bring your own questions.
Registration is NOT required for this 30-minute drop-in session.
HIL Seminar Room (HIL 417)
Wednesday, 7 May 2014 (10:30am) or
Thursday, 8 May 2014 (3pm) or
Tuesday, 13 May 2014 (6pm)
Please note: The Library doors are locked to incoming patrons 15 minutes before the building closes.