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Meet the Endeavour team leader breaking the mold in library services

Written by Endeavour College of Natural Health |

natural leaders

A librarian is probably not the first person you’d expect to find at a rock concert. Yet Sophie Gow was a regular at festivals like Livid and the Big Day Out, gathering contemporary music for museum collections. Now, she leads Endeavour’s library team.

“I loved collecting music at large music festivals,” Sophie said. For more than a decade, I worked in performing arts and museums in Melbourne and Brisbane. I met many people and realised how much I enjoy helping others.”

Sophie returned to university to do a library degree and started working in public libraries, where customer service is a high priority. She spent ten years at the City of Gold Coast Library and another two at St Hilda’s School.

“Moving to Endeavour, with its academic library, pushed me out of my comfort zone. I started as the Campus Librarian at the Gold Coast and got the opportunity to act in this role when the previous National Librarian took leave. At first, I felt like a fraud – but I’ve found my feet and appreciate leading a capable and engaged team of librarians.

Sophie and her team break the mold in more ways than one. In the recent Insync library client survey, the Endeavour library achieved outstanding results, ranking ahead of 17 other Australian universities for its service and achieving an overall score of 87.1%. That’s no mean feat for a team based across the six Endeavour campuses and offering virtual and in-person librarian services.

“The secret is a team dedicated to helping students and staff and supporting each other,” Sophie said. “They go out of their way to help students succeed. Being a librarian can be stressful, especially when confronted with other people’s anxiety around assessment. But it’s also at those overwhelming times that we can help the most.”

For Sophie, the past two and a half years with Endeavour have passed in a whirlwind of managing staff, policy, administration and curating the right resources for students and academics.

“I get excited about ensuring our physical and online collection is relevant, accessible, and we’re delivering what the Endeavour community needs,” Sophie said.” I’ve also got right into copyright – which surprised me! Each librarian is attached to a department so we can source and share new material with them, but we also take on additional projects.

“Our libraries are an integral part of each campus, and we’re keen to ensure students know we’re available to help in person or online. My biggest tip is to talk with a librarian – even if we don’t know the answer, we know how to direct you, and we make stuff happen!”

Endeavour College of Natural Health

Endeavour College of Natural Health is Australia's largest Higher Education provider of natural medicine courses.

The College is known as the centre of excellence for natural medicine and is respected for its internationally recognised academic teams and high calibre graduates. Endeavour offers Bachelor of Health Science degrees in Naturopathy, Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine, Acupuncture Therapies and Chinese Medicine, Undergraduate Certificates, a Diploma of Health Science and massage courses.

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