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CILA: Issue 2, Yesan Sellan

Issue 2, June 2018

Member Yesan Sellan, Bangalore, India

Tell us about your journey to librarianship.

It has been more than two decades since I first started serving as a theological librarian in India. In 1998, I graduated from the library science department at Bishop Heber College, Trichy, India, joining a theological seminary as librarian simply because I needed a job. God had a plan entirely different from mine, as we read in Isaiah “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord (Isaiah 55:8). Serving theological fraternity gives me a sense of satisfaction as I go the extra mile to serve the community. Whenever I am faced with a challenge, I consider it as an opportunity to retune myself, rejuvenate and navigate through the challenge, seeing the fruits of perseverance at the culmination of it all.

Attending to students’ queries with passion, guiding them to the right resources, and making the resources accessible for all users without any prejudice are some of the principles to being a successful librarian. It has been a rewarding experience to be part of this theological librarianship ministry.

2. How long have you been a librarian?

Since 1998.

3. What facet of the profession or your day-to-day responsibilities are you most passionate about?

Serving students and faculty with a smile and keeping them informed of the latest development, news or information. I begin each day with a word of prayer and a smile on my face. I respond to email requests from faculty and students and ensure that resources are in order for students.

4. What are some ways you market services/resources to library users?

Display of new arrivals, email alerts, colorful posters and oral announcements, close working relationships with faculty members and occasional cash rewards for best library are a few ways that I market our library services.

5. What are some low budget or free professional development venues that you participate in currently?

Attending various workshops and seminars hosted by library associations.

6. What is the single most challenging thing for you to accomplish as an international librarian?

Acquisition of adequate print resources, including journal subscriptions is a challenge here. We have limited budget provision for the library and increase in the cost of print resources and journal subscriptions is a challenge for us to overcome.  I am writing a proposal to management for starting a journal publication which will help us in acquiring journals on exchange.

7. If CILA were to support your library in the future, what would your single greatest need be?

I would like CILA to consider offering learning resources to its members for provisional developments.

I have thoroughly enjoyed working with CILA. Thanks to everyone for their cooperation.