Amy Lorencz lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia and is the Metadata and Copyright Librarian at the Patrick Power Library and Saint Mary’s University. She graduated 5 years ago from Dalhousie and has been librarian-ing ever since. She has a cat named Bruce Wayne who is the best cat in the universe. Her boyfriend lives in Ontario so she spends a lot of time in airports without her cat. She likes art and reading Bernard Cornwell books.
What was the first job you ever had?
The first job I ever had was when I was 17 (if you don’t count being a paper delivery person for 3 months when I was 12) was at Sam the Record Man – in Market Mall, Calgary, Alberta, 1998. Now you know how old I am! I had my own catalogue and classification/numbering system for my CD collection as a teen so it was neat to work with a much larger catalogue of music! We did everything the old school way. Our competitors at HMV had a fancy computer system while we had a giant paper catalogue and numbering system for ordering. This may be where it all began…my foray into library land!
What was your first position in the library or information field?
My first position was at the Dunlop Art Gallery in the Regina Public Library as a Gallery Facilitator. It was sort of being a reference person for the gallery. We would create displays related to the exhibit at the time using the library’s collection and we would study the art and artists/movements etc. to talk to patrons about it. My undergrad is in Art History so working here I felt connected to my background. It was amazing to see what a Public Library could do in making art accessible to everyone. The gallery was directly across from the circulation counter so we saw everyone enter and exit. The gallery brought art that was challenging and wonderful. I really really miss it.
How do you stay up to date in your field?
Twitter… I find out so much through very engaged librarians on that platform. My co-workers are an excellent resource, too.
What is your favourite part of library, archive, or information services work?
The people. Hands down the best part of it. It can be challenging with so many perspectives and experiences all under the same roof but without that diverse thinking, ingenuity would not happen. We are doing some neat stuff and I am so proud of it. Now if only a certain vendor would provide me with the right MARC records…any day now 😉
What are you reading or watching right now?
I just finished watching Hilda on Netflix and it reminded me so much of growing up on a farm and in a small city. Adventuring, exploring, and making friends with any creature. My mom, who passed away this year, used to catch fireflies in a mason jar to keep in my bed over night and release the next morning. It brought back some pleasant childhood memories. Go watch it!
If you didn’t work in information services, what do you think you’d be doing?
Tugboat driver. Just gently ramming other boats in the harbour…helping them get where they need to go.
What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?
Don’t pigeon hole yourself and narrow your expertise! Diversify your skills. Be a master generalist.
What is the coolest thing in your office or on your desk?
I have a Dalek Christmas Ornament. It’s awesome.
What makes you passionate about library work?
I oversee the Technical Services Department, the unsung heroes of libraries. Cataloguing is very much a public service. There is something powerful and important about labeling and making a book discoverable through cataloguing in the ILS. This system allows an item to be placed on a shelf and borrowed many times by people in need of that information with no cost to them. How cool is that? Libraries. The. Best.
Why do you think library work is important?
The internet is turning into a cesspool and not the interactive commons it hoped to be. Libraries can create that space, all libraries. A space for the makers, the doers, the thinkers, the players, the lonely, and the curious.