| By Jessica McIntosh |
COVID-19 has thrown the world into a seemingly never-ending storm. Continuous conversation about societal shifts, the “Great Resignation,” and changes in education are heard daily. This constant communication has trickled down to impact individuals on a level we haven’t seen in decades. And now these changes have become personal.
After 10 years as an academic librarian, it became time to reflect on my career and where I saw my future. I’ve spent time in educational publishing and journalism, and that combination led me to explore other areas of education. During my time as a faculty librarian, I had the opportunity to learn and teach a variety of educational tools and databases, so it seemed natural to explore that area of librarianship and information literacy.
As a user and teacher of Gale products, I was drawn to their mission, culture, and people—as well as to the exceptional products they offered users worldwide. I was intrigued by shifting my work to the other side of the lens and improving products for users on the inside. I would experience students showing frustration at the operation of some products, and the idea of being able to improve those products from the inside became a goal I wanted to work toward.
There’s something so intentional about the educational products Gale creates. From the purposeful inclusion of accessibility elements to the constant work toward being available on the open web and automatic authentication, when available. Gale has made it a priority to share evidence-based information with users. I also see an emphasis on continual improvement of products, to support users in their research and access. The Gale team is forward-thinking and always striving to make the best user experience possible.
Transitioning to Gale has been a thoughtful exercise, and onboarding was smooth and inclusive. As part of a cohort of other new hires, the start of a remote position has felt less solitary and more collaborative. And the experience of training in a group made information retention that much better.
I’m still new to this change, but the work and mission of Gale and its efforts to serve learners makes my contributions feel important and valuable. COVID-19 may have changed the landscape of the workforce and education, but Gale has continued to provide exceptional tools to aid teachers and students in a virtual environment. I look forward to learning and growing, while helping to improve the Gale landscape.