Angela is the Community Engagement Coordinator for Annapolis Valley Regional Library in Nova Scotia. She has been a librarian since the early 1990’s. She’s served on ALA committee’s such as the Notable Recordings for Children Committee and the 2015 Caldecott Committee. Angela is currently on the NSLA Board as the Public Relations and Promotions Convenor.
What was the first job you ever had?
My first job was waitressing at a small cafe in Wartrace, TN. I learned a lot about customer service in that job. I served lunch to farmers, guitar makers, WW2 Veterans, families, and rowdy teenagers. We had regulars and we had folks just passing through. A lot like a library….
What was your first position in the library or information field?
I started this long journey as a work-study job in college. The library was a great place to work: I took the hours no-one else wanted, like Friday night, and since the place was pretty much empty, I got to read, do assignments, and explore the stacks while shelving. There was a rare book room at my college that I made excuses to visit. I loved how it smelled in there, all papery and cool and musty.
How do you stay up to date in your field?
Conferences, blogs, Twitter, volunteering on committees, working with my local library association, webinars, and journals. I love to network and meet other librarians and find out how I can borrow their ideas for my own job. Let’s connect on Twitter! @annavalley
What is your favourite part of library, archive, or information services work?
The connections we make with one another. Libraries connect humans in a special way- we see everyone from all ages, birth to death, from all socio-economic classes, poor to rich. We connect people to books and information, and librarians connect to each other. I love a good librarian party, and talking with other book people: patrons, friends, librarians, authors, publishers.
What are you reading or watching right now?
At any given time I have a stack of picture books in my house. I read piles and piles of picture books. I’m also whiling away the dark Winter hours with British mystery DVDs I borrow from our library. Right now, it is Endeavour…
If you didn’t work in information services, what do you think you’d be doing?
I’d like to fantasize that I would own a children’s bookshop. A little cozy store filled with light and books and events that brought families in to share the love of books. Either that or a “Harry Potter Party For Hire” business that paid me to travel the world.
What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?
I once had a manager that forced me to do Management Training. It went on for months – different workshops and classes. She said someday I would thank her. Thanks, Eva.
What’s the coolest thing in your office or on your desk?
I have a couple of framed picture-book illustrator pieces that make me happy on a regular basis.
What aspect of library work are you most passionate about?
I guess I would have to say books. I still get a thrill when I open a new book, take a big sniff of that lovely ink. I drool over digitized manuscripts from the British Library. I read incessantly, and I love to introduce people to books they will fall in love with. Libraries are doing amazing things that are not 100% about books, but we also have this huge storehouse of story, and I sincerely hold a belief that stories will save humanity from whatever dire circumstances we find ourselves in.