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Career Spotlight: What I do as Engagement Consultant for NoveList

Career Spotlight: What I do as Engagement Consultant for NoveList

September 26, 2022

Caleigh Haworth
Engagement Consultant for NoveList (EBSCO)

First of all, tell us a bit about your current work and how long you’ve been at it.

I’ve been an Engagement Consultant for NoveList (EBSCO) since June 2021. The focus of my job is creating and providing training and help documentation for library staff on NoveList products. It’s a remote position, and the other members of my team are all over the US.

What drove you to choose your career path and how did you go about getting your job? What kind of education and experience did you need?

It wasn’t a straight path! I’ve always been passionate about libraries. When it came time to decide what to do for a career, I was excited to think I could have a job in a library. I attended the Library and Information Technology program at SAIT, graduating in 2001.

My first job as a newly minted Library Technician was at the Okotoks Public Library, and I ended up staying for twelve years. Being in a library in a rapidly growing and vibrant community was thrilling. I experienced a wide range of public library work here, from circulation to collection maintenance to programming to management and supervision. An aspect of the work that I really enjoyed was learning and development, creating training materials and processes for new staff and programs to teach patrons to use technology. I fell in love with getting people excited to learn new things, and I think there’s nothing better than seeing someone get that “Aha!” moment during training.

I then had the opportunity to build on these skills through a new position at Marigold Library System, Training and Communications Coordinator. At Marigold, I created and implemented training sessions for member library staff on digital systems and programs, including e-resources. I loved traveling to libraries throughout the system to train library staff to use these resources, to get excited about them, and to feel more confident showing them to their patrons.

One of the resources I provided training on was LibraryAware. A product from NoveList providing templates and tools to help libraries create engaging promotional materials. I also used this product regularly at Marigold. I made bookmarks, flyers, posters, and brochures using LibraryAware for the member libraries to promote their e-resources throughout their communities. In addition, I used LibraryAware to assist in the creation of the monthly digital newsletter Marigold sent out to member library staff, board members, and other stakeholders. It was a product I enjoyed using, and I appreciated the responsive customer service I received whenever I had a question or hit a snag in my creation process. So, when I came across the Engagement Consultant job posting from NoveList and saw a large part of the position involved LibraryAware, I just had to apply!

What kinds of things do you do beyond what most people see? What do you actually spend the majority of your time doing?

Training takes a lot of prep work. I need to be as familiar with the product and its features as possible. It involves a lot of playing with the products and thinking of situations from my work in libraries and those I’ve heard about from library staff – how would I use the product for a successful outcome? Next is to set goals for the training; what will indicate the training is successful? Then I decide what points I want the training session to cover and make an outline. Now it’s time to create a script. Then I practice, reviewing the flow and timing and making necessary adjustments. Then it’s more practice, practice, practice!

What misconceptions do people often have about your job?

Because my position is remote, some people think there isn’t much teamwork or that I work “alone.” While it would be lovely to see my amazing co-workers in person, everything we do is incredibly collaborative. There are lots of virtual meetings and chat conversations. Throughout my average day, I am regularly communicating with people. Our team is so supportive of each other, and we often bounce ideas around, just like in an in-person environment.

What are your average work hours? Typical 9-5 thing or not?

My standard day is 8am – 4:30pm, but sometimes I work earlier or later if I happen to be meeting (virtually) with customers from other time zones.

What personal tips and shortcuts made your job easier?

I would be lost with the online project planning program we use. It lets us keep track of tasks and timelines and who is responsible for what. It’s invaluable, especially when there are multiple people or even multiple teams collaborating on projects.

What’s the worst part of the job and how do you deal with it?

Ugh, time zones! Lol. Sometimes I set meetings for a group with individuals in three (or more!) time zones. I use an online time zone calculator that will let you see a time across multiple time zones of your choosing; otherwise, I would make a mess of it.

What’s the most enjoyable part of the job?

I am never bored. There are so many aspects of this position and multiple products. I get to learn new things, help others learn new things, and everything is library related.

What advice would you give to those aspiring to join your profession?

Cultivate your love of learning. You’ll find joy in helping others learn if you love to learn. Evaluate the training sessions you attend, the design and the flow. Seek out learning opportunities on instructional design. But, most importantly, have a passion for the subject matter you’re training on and honestly care about your learners.

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