Librarian Caitlin Keenan builds efficient websites one word at a time


Interview conducted by Talia Greene, Young Canada Works intern

You’re the new Web Integration Librarian. What does this role entail? What does a typical day look like for you?

UVic Libraries’ online presence includes a main website with 600+ pages, over 300 subject guides, and more than a dozen other content platforms providing access to millions of subscription resources, learning & training support materials for students and faculty, and information about our services. It’s a lot! My job is to make sense of all of the interconnections between those different platforms and resources and help shepherd us towards a consistent and comprehensible web presence that helps students and other library users find what they’re looking for easily and efficiently. At the moment, my day-to-day involves a lot of planning documents, spreadsheets, and conversations with folk around the Libraries; shortly, the focus will shift to conducting user experience research with students and faculty from across the university in preparation for a major website redesign.

Where have you worked before coming to UVic?

Before UVic, I worked across town at Royal Roads University, in a similar but broader role. Before that, I worked as a web content strategist & UX researcher at BC Pension Corporation – and before that, I was a freelance editor. My educational background is in linguistics (specifically, diachronic syntax, or how the structures of language change over time). I see my present role as a librarian/web content wrangler as a natural extension of my interest in language – both linguistics and library science are basically concerned with understanding how information is organized, structured, shared, and understood by fallible human beings.

You’re a UVic alum and have lived in Victoria for years. What are your favourite things about Victoria and do you have any recommendations for things to do/see/eat here?

If you have never visited the Royal Roads campus, it really is well worth a trip out to the West Shore to visit it. Castles and gardens and forests, oh my! When I was an undergrad at UVic, I lived in the Cook Street Village area, and it’s still one of my favourite areas of the city – for the bakeries, the beaches, and the beautiful old houses.

What’s your favourite thing to do on the weekends? Any interests or hobbies outside work?

I have a 2-year-old and a 5-year-old, so any personal activities I might like to pursue are pretty much on pause at the moment. We spend a lot of our time adventuring on old railroad tracks or at the swimming pool. In stolen adult moments, I enjoy choral singing, PC adventure games, table-top roleplaying, and indoor rock climbing. My favourite fiction genres are sci-fi and murder mysteries.

What TV show are you enjoying at the moment and what do you like about it?

If we’re being perfectly honest, I have done almost nothing but rewatch 90s Star Trek and binge New Star Trek since basically spring 2020. What started as pandemic escapism to a comforting vision of a post-scarcity utopian future has turned into general escapism from *gestures broadly at the world in general*. I think we’re probably all craving a path to optimism at the moment and Star Trek scratches that itch for me. Make it so!

Contact Caitlin.