Thursday, July 31, 2014
Last updated: 3 days ago

Librarian Jo Ann Ramirez solves puzzles in the digital age

Jo-Ann Ramirez. Photo Jon Chiang/The Ubyssey

Jo-Ann Ramirez. Photo Jon Chiang/The Ubyssey

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Jo Ann Ramirez did not always want to be a librarian: growing up in Texas, she dreamed of becoming an archaeologist. But now, as UBC’s head associate university librarian, collections management, she said she’s applying the same passion she found for archaeology to her work at the library.

“Like archaeology, it’s the scavenger hunt approach. If you like knowledge, and if you like puzzles, then this is the job for you,” Ramirez said.

Ramirez embodies the new role of UBC librarians in the digital age; she’s far from the stereotypical high-strung librarian shushing visitors.

“People usually think of the 1940s librarian sitting down in her desk, but we’re very dynamic,” Ramirez said. “We’re building exhibits, we’re trying to inspire scholarship.”

But even with all the innovation taking place at UBC libraries, Ramirez still has a soft spot for the staple of the traditional library: printed books.

“It’s kind of nice to just have your hands on a book,” Ramirez said. “I’ve tried to read on tablets, and personally, I’m not quite comfortable with it.

“Can’t curl up in a tub with [a tablet],” she added with a laugh.