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Librarian Profile—Olivia Ivey

Librarian Profile: Olivia Ivey

Born and raised in Georgia, Public Affairs Librarian Olivia Ivey began her college career in “The Peach State” at the University Of Georgia in Athens. She received her BA in Social Work and continued on to earn a Master of Social Work at Columbia University in New York City. Olivia was drawn to social work because of its practical and rewarding nature, and inspired by her father’s dedication to the field. After graduation, she moved on to work for a nonprofit organization, The Caring Community, as the Director of a senior center in Greenwich Village. Although the work was gratifying, after two years, Olivia was ready for a new challenge and wanted to explore her interest in Archival and Library studies. She received her Master of Library Science from University of Maryland in College Park, where she found a strong community of fellow students and a break from the busy pace of New York City. Post-graduation, Olivia worked as a Law Librarian at the Wirtz Labor Library before transitioning to academic librarianship, first at the Washington College of Law, and now at Bender Library.

Where can you find her?

Olivia provides individual appointments to students each week, in addition to her work at the Research Assistance Desk, and the Library instruction she provides by working with SPA professors to add an information literacy component to their courses. She is also working to assess learning outcomes that take a holistic approach to information literacy. Olivia can often be found riding her bike when she isn’t at work. Between her regular bike commute to work and weekend rides on local trails, she loves the “glorious Vitamin D, guilt-free milkshakes, and getting out of the heart of the city.” Olivia even spent her honeymoon last year cycling from Salzburg to Vienna!

Why she loves her job

“I love the students with my whole entire heart! I don’t like to be on center stage, but I love playing a support role that matters and helping students and researchers find the missing puzzle piece for their projects. Learning through the curiosity of others helps me to grow and develop as a person each day.” Olivia also enjoys being a part of an academic community, where she finds motivation in the lively environment and high level of student engagement. Another stimulating aspect of working at a university is the increased activity and the many opportunities for human engagement through her work as a librarian.

In the community

Olivia stays busy within the AU Community, chairing the Budget & Benefits Committee, serving on the Faculty Senate, the Dean’s Round Table, the Senate Executive Committee, the University Library Faculty Council, and the Collection Management Team (which she chaired last year.) She will be presenting later this spring at the 2016 Colloquium on Libraries & Service Learning in Boston, speaking about an assessment project of information literacy as a institution-wide learning outcome in service learning courses.

While it can be challenging to stay on top of it all, one lesson that Olivia has taken from cycling is this: “The cap to what you’re capable of is so much higher than you think.”