Melanie Kindrachuk is a Public Service Librarian at the Stratford Public Library in Southern Ontario, and has been working in the library field for over 20 years. She loves reading, sewing & embroidery, and you just might find her doing all three together.

Zadie in the Library

What was the first job you ever had? 

I worked in a deli over my summer breaks during university; that taught me a lot about customer service in a busy environment – very useful today!

What was your first position in the library or information field? 

My first library related job started as a volunteer position during my MLIS at McGill. I worked at one of the private English libraries in Montreal, and eventually worked at 3 of the 4 English libraries simultaneously. While they weren’t reliable or full time work, I did get a lot out of them, including my husband 😉

How do you stay up to date in your field? 

Reading journals & online resources; taking free webinars and as much training as my library will provide; joining committees and volunteering for roles in the wider library world. And talking to other librarians a lot!

What is your favourite part of library, archive, or information services work?

My specialty and favourite thing is Readers’ Advisory. I was a part of the Ontario Library Associations Readers’ Advisory Committee for a few years and was able to serve as Chair, which was a real honour. I also push for our library to be involved in RA activities on social media and doing things like the National Tattoo Day #Book4Tat even on twitter (started by Multnomah Library), and encourage all our library staff to keep up to date on their RA training so we can be a strong RA team together.

I love to share reading whether at work or outside of it, so I’ve kept a book blog since 2006 and host the Canadian Book Challenge for anyone who wants to read and share CanLit. This reading challenge was originally created and hosted by John Mutford of the Yellowknife Public Library!

What are you reading or watching right now? 

Having just finished reading along with Women In Translation Month (August), I’m finishing up some translated works: Flights by Olga Tokarczuk and Babylon by Yasmina Reza – and I’ve just finished going through Tove Jansson’s quirky Moomin series, which somehow I missed as a child.

If you didn’t work in information services, what do you think you’d be doing?

Definitely a full time textile artist! I love to sew and to work with fabrics, but as Anne Walsh said in your first ever interview, that doesn’t pay so well so I stick to doing it as my sanity saving hobby.

What is the best career advice you’ve ever received? 

Take the opportunities that come your way, and if you can’t see any, make some opportunities.