Prior to being appointed as the online Library and Administration Assistant in 2016, Anja Andriamasy (AA) served as an intern at Globethics.net. In her current role, she supports the Globethics.net Library by curating, uploading and updating content, as well as supporting the administrative duties of the organisation. Below, Nefti Bempong-Ahun (NBA), Assistant Editor/ Communications Assistant at Globethics.net in conversation with Anja on her journey to Globethics.net, what ethics means to her, and her hopes for the Globethics.net Library.
NBA: Thank you so much for joining us today, Anja. I’d love to start off by learning more about you, your background and how it led you to Globethics.net?
AA: My background is mostly focused on international studies. I graduated with a Bachelor in International Relations, and after that completed my Masters in Applied and Professional Ethics at the University of Leeds. Having lived in several countries, such as Senegal, Ivory Coast and Madagascar, I was naturally drawn to study an international discipline. The international context is what first drew me to Globethics.net, but I was also interested in the idea of promoting ethics in higher education. I remember the very first collection I worked on was focused on elections and ethics, and saw this as a continuation of my own learning journey.
NBA: You’ve lived in so many different places, with a strong background in international relations and development, and now you’re the Online Library Assistant! I wanted to ask about your transition into this field, as well as your experiences as a librarian in general?
AA: I’ve always been passionate about reading the online library. In my current role, I mostly focus on curating thematic content and update the library with new content. I went from writing my dissertation to now providing users with the resources for their very own dissertation! Within my role I also appreciate our commitment to serving the global south, and providing those with limited access to freely available learning resources. It’s a nice way of contributing to the greater good, and my overall experience has been, and continues to be extremely interesting and enriching.
NBA: Globethics.net does an excellent job at empowering the global south, and we thank you for being such a big part of doing this. As you’ve been with Globethics.net for over five years now, I also wanted to ask you about the evolution of the Globethics.net library, as I know it started off as the Global Digital Library on Theology and Ecumenism. How has the library grown and progressed over time?
AA: When I started, the library didn’t exclusively focus on theology but also ethics, and exploring different international contexts. The library used to have a much broader focus, but was later streamlined to focus on ethics in higher education. I was personally very happy about this, as the right to education is a cause close to my heart. Education is one of the greatest gifts we can receive, it is a gift needed to grow and develop.
NBA: I definitely agree with you about the importance of education and the impact it has on shaping lives. Following up on your work as a librarian, what collection has been your favourite to develop and work on?
AA: I’m interested in collections that deal with cultures, such as the Intercultural Ethics collection. I had the opportunity to discover different cultures, and it was interesting to see synergies, whilst also appreciating differences in application and practice. There was also an institutional collection on Arigatou, which deals with family ethics. This is an important collection because everything comes from family first. So this collection is a good overview of what family means.
NBA: Thank you for sharing some of your favourite collections with us. You were one of the editors of the Who Cares about Ethics publication. How was your experience as an editor and how was it different from being a librarian, as well as your experience with Globethics.net Publications as a whole?
AA: It was a completely new experience. In my current role, I’m used to providing support but in this role I was leading the process of colleting contributions from the authors. It was exciting to pitch the idea and discuss with potential authors, a completely new of communication and collaborating with common actors. There was a lot to juggle at times though, and it did give me a new appreciation for Globethics.net Publications!
NBA: Great! Well the Who Cares about Ethics publication is out now, and I know that it was very well received. Moving on from publications, what would you say has been your biggest achievement or most impactful activity with Globethics.net?
AA: I would definitely say the Who Cares about Ethics publication was one of them, as it was my very first time writing a poem for an educational resource. I would also say the promotional videos I have produced for the Academic resources and programmes department. Both projects allowed me to explore my creativity and contribute to something bigger.
NBA: I know that the videos you’ve created have definitely bought a lot of people a lot of joy, myself included. Coming back to your role as a librarian, what are some of the challenges you’re faced with day to day?
AA: Submitting something in the library definitely requires more work than one may assume. You need to follow a very specific procedure, because not only is the submitted content going to appear in the library, but it’ll also be linked to other sources. So cataloguing content is extremely important to increase visibility. Of course, there’s also the sheer volume amount of content that needs to be managed across tight deadlines, all whilst maintaining rigour and attention to detail.
NBA: Thank you for sharing. Moving on to the positives, what would you say are the key benefits of using the Globethics.net library, and what is your vision for the library?
AA: The main benefit of using the library is first of all that it’s free! You can access and download everything for free. You also get to discover interdisciplinary resources, and the option to explore specific topics and disciplines in more detail. In addition, you also have the opportunity to submit directly to the library, a great opportunity for young researchers. My main hope for the library would be to include more visual material, shorter promotional videos and more imagery! That would be my wish.
NBA: I think that’s great, more inclusivity for our visual leaners, and best of luck with developing this further. Now, coming to my last question: why does ethics in higher education matter and why does it matter to you personally?
AA: As mentioned before, I’m really passionate about education. Higher education is the place that builds people for humanity, future leaders for generations to come. This is how we can make the world better, through education.
NBA: I agree that integrating ethical decision-making for future leaders will be key in shaping the future. Thank you again for your time and sharing with us today, and we can’t see all that’s to come from the Globethics.net Online Library!