Alessandra Waddell is the Library Technician at Aurora College Yellowknife Campus. She is originally from Calgary but has lived in Yellowknife for 2 years. When she’s not working, you can usually find her buried in a book with a giant cup of coffee, or snuggling her puppy dog.

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Describe yourself in three words. 

Dorky, noisy, and intelligent.

What was the first job you ever had? 

Before I found a job in the library field, I was the queen of assorted retail jobs. I started working when I was 16 at Forever 21, and continued to work retail jobs for about 6 years after that, up until I graduated from college. Safe to say I do not miss it!

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

I had a handful of practicum placements when I was in the LIT program at SAIT. I worked with Alberta Health Services at a couple of hospital libraries, including Knowledge Resource Services in their downtown office, and I also did a 3-week practicum at an elementary/junior high school library, which I LOVED.

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

My favourite part of library work is watching people get excited about learning. I think learning is so important, and some people don’t realize how exciting it can be to learn about things you’re passionate about. Some people will come into the library with little idea of what they’re even looking for – and the feeling of matching them with a book that suits them perfectly is a great feeling.

What are you reading or watching right now? 

I’m currently reading Columbine by Dave Cullen – it’s a non-fiction novel about the tragedy in Littleton Colorado, written by a journalist who covered the story back in 1999. It’s full of information that was never showed in the media, and I think although very heavy, it’s a really important read. On any given day, you can find me rewatching The Office for the 2,000,000th time.

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

I think I would be teaching. I always wanted to work with kids in one way or another, and when I was growing up, I would make my brothers play “School” with me. Of course, I always got to be the teacher. I’m sure they loved that they would go to school all day and then come home to made up homework from their big sister… but it was tons of fun for me!

What is the coolest thing in your office or on your desk? 

As I’m just settling into my office, there isn’t much going on in here yet. So for now, I’d have to say my SAIT diploma is the coolest thing in my office, which is super nerdy! I never really had a place for it, but I like having it up on display finally.

What aspect of library work are you most passionate about?

Reference and reader’s advisory. Connecting people with material that fits their needs is so rewarding, and I have learned so much from assisting with reference and research. I love learning alongside patrons, and it’s exciting to see people get excited about the material you provide them with. The library can be an overwhelming place, it’s important for library staff to be able to provide those services for people who just need a hand navigating through the stacks!