Meet Library Staff Member Alison Holah, Reference Assistant

Post Date:
Oct 30, 2023

Welcome to our second feature helping you to get to know your library staff. 

Alison Holah joined Queen’s University Library in March 2022, first as a Library Technician at Stauffer and then taking a position as Reference Assistant at Lederman Law Library in April 2023. 

Alison’s variety of experience in roles across sectors and countries brings a broad perspective that is appreciated by library users and colleagues alike. Alison describes herself as a military spouse, originally from the UK, who has lived in Germany (Osnabruck) and New Brunswick (Fredericton). She says, “My experience of living in different countries has allowed me to promote a respectful attitude towards people from all cultures, backgrounds, and abilities”.   

Alison completed her degree in Information and Library Studies (BA) from Leeds Beckett University in 1997. Since then she has held diverse, client-driven roles in fields such as IT and retail, that have well prepared her for the work and continuous learning at her position here at Queen’s University. Alison shares credit with her colleagues for her success here at Queen’s, saying “The virtual reference team – particularly Carling and Maggie -  guided me to develop my reference skills and appreciated and responded to my questions. The Reference Assistants are a collaborative group, they share their knowledge and wisdom freely.”  

Alison’s commitment to continuous growth also helps her thrive in an academic environment, “Being in an atmosphere of growth, discussion and learning is what motivates me and makes me feel happy. I consider myself a work in progress, constantly learning and trying to improve.” 

As a reference assistant, Alison is often a student’s first point of contact with the library. This can be as straightforward as helping them get set up for printing, to providing a strategic approach to Legal Research, which often involves referring students to book research consultations with the excellent Librarians at Lederman Law Library. Equally, encouraging students to use Libguides and other resources is a valuable skill, acknowledging that accessibility means providing options and links to online resources, in multiple formats. 

“Every day is different, I enjoy the variety. I love helping people, and being positive, and I enjoy working with a myriad of people and learning from them. This is a learning rich environment filled with a high proportion of exceptional individuals that can collectively achieve greatness in the running of the Queen’s University Library.” 

The library would agree with this statement and we are grateful to Alison for all of her many contributions to this learning environment.  

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