Meet Library Staff Member Katelyn Couch, Reserves Coordinator

Post Date:
Mar 25, 2024

Katelyn joined Queen’s University Library as a Library Technician in September 2021. Since then, one of the aspects that she enjoys the most is the variety with which it brings, As Reserves Coordinator, Katelyn says, “There isn’t a “typical” day-in-the-life of Reserves. But there are two things of which I can be certain when I come to work: 1) I will be working with technology, primarily Alma and our library’s course reserve management system, Leganto, and 2) I will be communicating with patrons and other library staff members.”  

In Katelyn’s position, it is necessary to lead by example, which she says “involves being organized, a good communicator, proactive, resilient, and adaptable. It is also important to possess self-awareness, have a growth-mindset, and have the ability to prioritize and manage competing tasks. As important as it is to have technology skills, it is even more important to have people skills, as Reserves is both a service and a team.” 

Katelyn was drawn to work in a library from a young age, recalling, “The first time I remember ever learning about the possibility of a career in the library field was in 6th grade when I watched The Mummy. The scene where Rachel Weisz’ character, Evy, declares “I am a librarian” is one of my favourite scenes from that movie. While that movie initially spiked my curiosity about a career in the library field, my family helped to make my dream a realization.”  

Katelyn is quick to share the credit for her successful library career, not just with her family but also her colleagues, saying “I am fortunate enough to be able to work with many amazing and inspirational colleagues and friends. But one of my greatest inspirations within the library field is Nathalie Soini who was my manager when I first started my career at Queen’s and who is now the Education Librarian. She made me feel empowered enough to apply for the position of Reserves Coordinator, in the first place. Even though she is no longer my manager, I know that I can still go to her for support and guidance. It is clear that being a librarian is more than just a job to her, it is a lifelong passion; she puts so much heart and energy into what she does on a daily basis. I try to emulate this work ethic in my own work life too.” 

For anyone just starting out, Katelyn says it is essential to keep an open mind: “Be proactive. Say yes to opportunities when they arise. Be confident in yourself. Stay thirsty for knowledge and embrace lifelong learning. If you’re open to learning, then every day will present the opportunity to learn something new, which will ultimately contribute to your career growth and longevity.” 

Katelyn embodies this attitude as she makes a positive difference in students’ post-secondary journeys by helping to provide more equitable access to materials that they need in order to succeed in their courses. She is optimistic for a bright path forward for Reserves, saying “In the future, I envision the Reserves team continuing to work well together with the same motivation as now; that is, to provide a consistently high-quality service to library patrons. I am sure there will be technological advances made, including advances in our digitization services. New advances in technology should in turn enable us to better serve the needs of our patrons. I am also hopeful that more open educational resources will be used in courses here, at Queen’s.” 

When asked about what she is most proud of, Katelyn says:  

Outside of my home life and being a mom, I consider one of my greatest accomplishments being an Indigenous woman working in the library field, as I know that demographically, Indigenous peoples are underrepresented in the library field and within academic institutions. For this reason, I also consider it a great accomplishment whenever I can help to create more space for Indigenous voices within the library, i.e. I am currently involved in a project group involving Indigenous newspapers.  

Through my mother’s and grandmother’s side, I am proud to belong to the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation. I am also proud to identify as a Queen’s alumni and a Kingstonian since birth. With this said, I genuinely care about the issues affecting Queen’s University students, staff and faculty, Queen’s University and the wider Kingston community, including members of our public. 


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