Saint John bookstore a “gateway” for learners

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At the Saint John Campus of NBCC, if you need a textbook, a hoodie or even a bus schedule, the bookstore is the place to go.

Bryanna Boyd, who works in Bookstore Operations, sees the bookstore as the “gateway” to information for students, and fall is her favourite time of year. That’s when the gateway swings open once again and she can help new NBCC learners find the answers they seek.

“They may have questions about their schedules, about IT, even about city buses,” she said. “If I can point them to a website or a room number, even if I can just answer a few basic questions and get them over that one hurdle, it puts them at ease and makes it all less overwhelming for them.”

A career in Bookstore Operations was probably inevitable for Boyd. With a Master’s degree in Library and Information Studies and a lifelong love of reading, every job she’d ever had related to either books or post-secondary education. When she applied for a position at the Saint John Campus bookstore, it was meant to be.

“It actually seemed like a perfect fit,” she laughed. “Fall is the busiest time of year at the bookstore and I still love the excitement and energy of it, that feeling of being back at school. The students coming in are all excited and waiting to start their next journey.”

Boyd is a people person who enjoys working with the public and has a genuine interest in where people have come from and what has brought them to NBCC. These traits have helped her forge connections with NBCC learners.

“I’m quiet myself, but it’s nice to meet the students and see what everyone is doing. I’m interested in what they think of the campus and their program,” she said.

“For returning students, it’s neat to see how they’ve grown from their first year. In their first year, they might have been uncertain or shy, but when they return in second year, they’re confident and helping other people. I enjoy seeing that.”

Boyd’s interest in helping students succeed extends beyond those who attend regular daytime classes at the College. With a strategic goal of welcoming more learners, NBCC is committed to meeting students where they are by expanding its offerings in continuing education, online programming and digital badges. Boyd recognizes that those who study outside of regular business hours may not be able to access the bookstore, so she looks for new ways to serve those learners.

“We’ve started shipping books to online students, and there are times that I’ve kept the store open late or opened early to allow someone who works during the day an opportunity to come in and get the books they need,” she said. “Not everyone can leave work to get a post-secondary education, so I try to be pretty flexible and figure out something that can work for everyone.”

Boyd is passionate about her work and about the College, and it shows in the smile and greeting she offers every customer. As one of the many support staff College-wide who support learners in their post-secondary aspirations, she is transforming lives and communities.

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