Not jazzed (no, not at all)
It’s a sad week here in Information & Library Services at Judge, as we prepare to say a fond farewell – on Friday – to one of our esteemed colleagues: Meg Westbury. Meg has been with us since January 2011 and despite her part-time hours has made a huge contribution to our service offering, regularly encouraging us with the expression: ‘I’m jazzed!’ None of us are at all jazzed about her departure, but hand-in-hand with these feelings, we’re of course very happy that her next challenge will be running her own library service (at Cambridge University’s Wolfson College).
Meg was originally employed as our ‘Projects Officer’, but it was her tapping into the zeitgeist and academic background in anthropology that led to the the renaming of her own post to ‘User Experience Librarian’. Although Meg ran the odd usability study or focus group, her part time hours never allowed her to fly with the more ethnographic elements of her role. As fate would have it only now are we able to offer the UX librarian post as a full-time position, but Meg is already set on a new course.
It would take too long to list Meg’s many achievements but it would be remiss of me not to mention: her extensive contribution to the Designated Support Librarian initiative – part of the boutique/personalising mindset we operate here; her regular 30 webapps classes and many other top-notch teaching sessions; evangelism on behalf of Mendeley (although I never once saw her in the Mendeley t-shirt that I know she owns); those project management initiatives, which we have spectacularly failed to embrace; her acres of social media expertise; and her undoubted excellence in website design. Perhaps the biggest impact she has made, certainly in organisational terms, has been her legendary support of our Executive MBAs which has been described in so many glowing terms it has frankly started to get a bit wearing!
Since September of this year, various circumstances have dictated that the teaching load we share has been heavier than ever, but we have both risen to the occasion and, even better, got to understand each other more as a result, to the point at which she is now finally giving back the sarcasm I’ve always dished out to her. I just knew I’d wear her down in the end.
What will I miss most about working with her? Other than her utter reliability as a co-presenter, and supportive function as a go-to person when I needed an additional voice to make a decision, probably her unfailing ability to respond with the line ‘That’s a great question!’ as a shorthand for: ‘Let me get back to you on that, after I’ve thought about it’.
Meg you will be HUGELY missed.
Thanks for everything (apart from the salt water taffy, obviously).