January’s CAPAL Member Profile: Tara Mawhinney


January’s Member Profile is of Tara Mawhinney, Liaison Librarian at McGill University‘s Schulich Library of Physical Sciences, Life Sciences and Engineering.

Picture of Tara Mawhinney

What’s your favourite place in your library?

It’s not actually in my building but in another branch that’s part of our library system. It’s called the Birks Reading Room and it’s for religious studies. It has beautiful stained glass windows, has a cozy atmosphere and is very quiet. You even have to take off your shoes to go in.

What is the best thing about living in your city? What’s the worst?

The best thing is the architecture. I love the old buildings but of course, that’s also the worst thing about my city: all the construction needed to keep the city and its buildings from falling down! It never ends. Both on and off campus. This fall, I wanted to give each new student a hard hat when they arrived. Welcome to McGill! Welcome to construction!

What are you most excited to be working on right now?

Shameless self-promotion: I’m very excited to be working on the final edits of an article on virtual reference services that will be coming out very soon in the Journal of Academic Librarianship. Stay tuned!

Tell us about someone whose work you admire.

I really admire the work of R. David Lankes. I really like a quote from him and keep it in mind in my daily work: “The mission of librarians is to improve society through facilitating knowledge creation in their communities.” That about sums it all up, doesn’t it?

Weigh in: is CAPAL pronounced ‘capple’ or ‘ca-pal’?

This was the main reason I wanted to do a CAPAL Member Profile, just to answer this question! It’s capple of course! No offense to a certain someone on the Membership Committee with me who says otherwise. 😉 Of course, you say ‘potato’, I say ‘potahto’…