Spotlight: Librarian Mike Wood helps students' stress disappear

Posted: January 13, 2016

Librarian Mike Wood joined the college’s Downtown Campus Library in 2015. After earning a master’s degree in library and information science from the University of Washington, Mike gained seven years of experience working with students as an academic librarian at a number of colleges in the Puget Sound. He taught information literacy and information resources to classes, and helped students one-on-one with coursework.

  1. What inspires you each day?

Al Griswold, executive vice president at Bates, mentioned something in a Student Services meeting that got me to thinking about this a while ago. One of the nice things about being a librarian at Bates is knowing that I’m part of something important, something that is bigger than me. We are working together to help people make their lives and families better through education, and being part of such a worthy effort is pretty inspiring.

  1. What is your mission at Bates?

To sum it up, my mission is to help students understand, locate, and use information sources that meet the standard for success at Bates. Connecting students with quality information to support assignments is a big part of that, and providing college-wide information literacy instruction is at the top of my job description.

  1. What’s the best part of your job so far?

I know this job is not about me, but I’ll admit this: Sometimes, as I’m helping a student who may be confused or worried about how they are going to get an assignment done, I see their stress disappear. That’s the best part. At times like that, I feel great about leaving my advertising career to become an academic librarian.

  1. How do you encourage students to use library services?

Supporting student retention is the reason the library exists. There is so much available from the library that makes academic work easier. For example, we have a carefully selected book collection for career training and gen-ed, computers and databases with millions of information sources that they can’t get on Google, Streaming academic video from Films on Demand,  dozens of Library Guide websites custom made for Bates students to support class work, study rooms, printing, information literacy instruction sessions- it’s quite a list.

  1. If you had the opportunity to meet and have dinner with one person, living or dead, who would that be and why?

I would like to have dinner with a person from history, the polar explorer Sir Earnest Shackleton. Shackleton was an incredibly strong and inspiring leader on expeditions to the Antarctic a hundred years ago, and it would be amazing to have the honor of meeting a personal hero over dinner.