Spotlight on Staff: Students' bravery to change their lives inspires lead library technician Beth Reichenbach
Posted: October 28, 2016
Lead Library Technician Beth Reichenbach had always loved books. But it wasn’t until she received her associate degree from Tacoma Community College and discovered she still didn’t feel prepared for a career, that she looked to technical colleges, found inspiration, and earned a technical degree in library science.
A Tacoma native, Beth had grown up hearing about Bates (in fact, both her brothers had attended Bates), so she was excited when she found the opportunity to work in the Bates library. From her first job as an entry-level library technician assistant to her recently-acquired role as lead library technician, Beth has grown with the college’s library for more than 15 years.
She happily continues to live in Tacoma with her husband, Rick, and their almost three-year-old, Carter. Beth smilingly shared, “They love books, too!” In addition to her love of reading, she recently found a new hobby and creative outlet by working with fused glass. She enjoys her pieces so much; she wanted to share it with others, so she donated a piece for auction to the Bates Technical College Foundation.
The bravery our students show in coming to school to change their lives—often without realizing how brave it is to seek change.
- What is your biggest inspiration?
The “ah-ha” moments are when a student learns something new, or realizes that they did something they said they couldn’t do. Watching the growth from fearful new students to confident graduates. The bravery our students show in coming to school to change their lives—often without realizing how brave it is to seek change. Sometimes, I will help someone with some small detail, and they overflow with gratitude, reminding me that what I might view as just a routine task of my job can make a huge difference to improve someone’s day or help them reach their goals.
- What does true leadership mean to you?
I feel like I should quote a dictionary definition. It would be an accurate and unbiased answer to simply say leadership is the act of guiding others. If you want to know my thoughts on the best and most sincere way to present that guidance, I have to say it is by being an example that others want to follow. Do your best, and help others do their best. Be open. Be honest. Be kind. Work hard.
- What’s the coolest (or most important) change you see happening at the college today?
Working in the library, a department all about finding, evaluating, organizing, and using information, I’m excited to see a growing focus on making data-based decisions. The work our institutional researcher has done to identify and make data openly accessible to the college community speaks to the core of my information-loving library-heart.
- What three traits define you?
Curiosity, caring and creativity. I couldn’t stop asking questions and trying to find answers if I tried. It’s is my pleasure and joy that I get to help other people find answers to their questions. I often find challenging questions or problems to be inspiration to dig deeper and try new ways of finding answers or solutions. Every day brings questions I haven’t been asked before and opportunities to learn something new.
- What is your mission at Bates? To help. To help students, faculty and staff find the information and resources that they need to be a success. Whether it be to help a student get set up to access the technology training resources from MS Imagine Academy, help a faculty member find Open Education Resources to use with their classes, or help a staff member locate a contact number for someone, I love to help.
Every person that I’ve worked with at Bates seems to care deeply about our students and helping them be successful.
- What do you like most about Bates Technical College?
The people. Every person that I’ve worked with at Bates seems to care deeply about our students and helping them be successful.