Melinda Livas

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Physical Sciences and Engineering Librarian
UC Davis
When did you start in your current position?:
Apr 01, 2016
Years in LAUC: 
2

How did you become interested in librarianship?

While working as a research assistant for an academic library, I became friends with a Government Documents Librarian, and she convinced me to change careers and pursue an MLIS.  Her selling point: “We need more librarians of color in the field of librarianship, and your research background would serve the profession well.” Two years after that conversation, my career as a librarian began. 

Describe the first time you worked in a library.

Luckily for me, while pursuing my MLIS, I worked in an academic library as a research assistant. When I was not working on research projects for the library director, I worked at the Information Commons Desk. Working at the Information Commons desk was extremely gratifying, and sold me on becoming an academic librarian. I thoroughly enjoyed helping students, faculty and staff members when they came to the library.

What is your current or recent role in LAUC, either locally or systemwide?: 

Presently, I am the current chair of the Professional Issues Committee, for LAUC-D.

What do you like best about being a UC librarian?

Helping patrons find the resources they need for research projects, experimenting with teaching technology tools, and learning new teaching concepts.

Describe a recent or current project on which you are working.

A year ago, UC-Davis migrated to Canvas, and I led the charge to get the the library's icon on the Canvas global menu.  The purpose of the library’s presence in Canvas is to offer course-centric access to library resources to facilitate students’ use of essential library tools, services and learning objects at their point of need, while supporting instructors’ teaching needs. This is an ongoing, iterative process, and I get to work with a group of talented librarians to help me guide this continuous project. 

Describe your recent professional work outside of work, such as association work, writing, research, or anything else.

Currently, I am working on qualitative research study with twelve other faculty members from Winston-Salem State University. The qualitative study relates to how women in academia balance the stress of working in academia and life outside of the university. 

We are hoping to identify resources, methods, and techniques that are used to encourage and develop well-being and maintaining wellness while having a career in academia.

What would you like the next big thing in libraries to be?

This is nothing new, but I would like for libraries to continue collaborating with services outside of the library; these partnerships help to increase our presence in the university community. Also, I would like for libraries to start considering implementing Cross-Institution (Library) Collaboration projects. I think cross-institutional collaborations can become meaningful learning experiences for librarians and library users. 

Complete this statement: "One surprising fact about me is...”

I am a huge dog lover and an avid bird watcher.

Can you recommend a book or movie or tell us your favorite book or movie and why?

Currently I am reading The American Non-Dilemma: Racial Inequality Without Racism, by Dr. Nancy DiTomaso, and highly recommend it. Dr. DiTomaso provides a vivid landscape relating to why racial inequality still plagues American society.