Day in the Life: Michael Lines


- Lisa Abram

Librarian Michael Lines brings his passion for print to work—and the classroom. Photo: UVic Photo Services.

Michael Lines has a passion for the history of the book. That’s why, in addition to his role at UVic Libraries as a learning and research librarian, he leads bookbinding workshops for younger students.

With subject specialties in political science, philosophy and medieval studies, the connection between his outreach activities and librarian work is a strong one.

“As a librarian, I’m focused on helping UVic students navigate our information-saturated environment. For most undergrads, that means learning to research a topic, while balancing, speed, accuracy and completeness,” Lines says.

A typical day includes meetings about library initiatives, collaborating with administrators, searching bibliographies for new books and serving on the Research Help Desk. Lines talks to around a dozen UVic students a day, and is available for one-on-one research consultations that can be booked online.

With in-depth knowledge in his subject specialties, Lines’ positive influence on students can be felt. “I bring a bird’s eye view to the topics that I present. As a librarian, it’s my responsibility to include a full range of views on subjects of importance to the research and the teaching agendas of the departments I work with.”

Engaging with students of all ages in a dynamic learning environment on and off campus is a natural fit for Lines.

“After taking a bookbinding course in 2014, I volunteered to help students in my daughter’s class to make a very large book containing their handmade maps of Canada,” he says. “They had an exciting time sewing the pages, and I was hooked.”

Arranged through the UVic Speakers Bureau, his mini-bookbinding workshops deliver literacy messages to K-6 students. Older students get a glimpse into the publishing world and learn they can take part in it as an artist, writer, printer, designer, editor or publisher.

Equipped with supplies and tools, Lines takes each class through the step-by-step process of making a simple book, explaining book structure with examples taken from classroom texts. At Science Venture camp this summer, he brought his bookmaking workshop to young humanities enthusiasts.

“I was really pleased to see that these young people have a great feel for the value of analogue. They were not surprised to learn that their reading speed and comprehension were much better in print, especially for longer works.”

Learn more about UVic Libraries and the subject librarians who make dynamic learning an everyday part of the lives of students on and off campus.


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Keywords: Day in the Life, publishing, librarian, staff, teaching, community

People: Michael Lines

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