Have You Met… Lydia Zvyagintseva?

Have you met Lydia, Head of Digital Scholarship Services for Libraries and Information Resources?

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Have you met Lydia, Head of Digital Scholarship Services for Libraries and Information Resources? Spend the next few minutes getting to know her a little better.

What is your first U of A memory?

Taking the orientation tour as an undergrad. I remember being photographed by the HUB mall transit station as the moment where it really settled in that okay, I have finally joined the university, I am pursuing a bachelor's degree here. That transition from high school to university student felt like the beginnings of adulthood.

What is your favourite distraction?

Twitter for sure. Librarians are very active on Twitter for better or for worse. I can easily spend all weekend on it.

What is a weird pet peeve you have?

I don't know if it's weird, but I don't like when people are late, or if they don't let me know that they're running behind.

What would you tell your 18-year-old self if you could?

To have faith that things will work out. I think I spent a lot of time feeling anxious and worrying. It's really hard to be a young person - you don't know what you don't know.

What is the most boring thing about you?

I'm a planner. I can schedule things a year in advance. Whether that's boring or not, I'm aware at times that it can be a little tedious, and it does take some of the spontaneity out of life.

If you were enrolling in one course/program/degree right now, what would it be?

Creative code or interactive media. I think of it as the intersection of art and technology.

What is your go-to snack on campus?

I want to say Filistix because I know I'm going to get very comforting and interesting food. I'm a big supporter of whatever's in SUB. When I was an undergrad, there used to be a place called SUBnut which sold donuts with peanuts and stuff on them - that was my favourite snack.

If you could see any live performance tomorrow, what would it be?

Bill Callahan or Cat Power. They're some of the performers I listened to in my early twenties. To have an intimate performance with them would be very meaningful.

You have a friend visiting Edmonton for the first time - where do you take them?

I have started piloting my very unofficial Lydia's Custom Slavic Tours of West Edmonton Mall, so I may take them there and show them some of the highlights that I like. I might take them over the high level bridge, or if they like nature, I might take them to the Whitemud Creek ravine.

What is something your coworkers don't know about you?

I love UFC and watching combat sports. I also know how to throw spinning back elbows and I enjoy kickboxing and weightlifting.

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Lydia is the Head of Digital Scholarship Services at the University of Alberta Library, where she is responsible for the operations and service design of the Digital Scholarship Centre. In addition to Library and Information Studies, Lydia has degrees in Digital Humanities and French Language and Literature. Lydia's interests include digital pedagogy, civic technologies, and community engagement. When not organizing people and information, she enjoys exploring Edmonton's parks and trails, going to the Art Gallery of Alberta, and taking on home renovation projects.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.