Kayla Lar-Son is a proud Métis woman originally from Tofield, Alberta, and now residing in rural Strathcona County. Currently she is an Indigenous Academic Resident for the University of Alberta Libraries where she works in Digital Initiatives and is the embedded TYP Librarian. When she isn’t at work she can be found hanging around the farm with her husband, dog, and cat.
Describe yourself in three words.
Energetic, passionate, strong.
What’s an average day at your library?
Chaotic and ever changing. I currently work in Digital Initiatives which keeps me in my office some days where I have been evaluating our digital collections, and working within an Indigenous Data Sovereignty framework to create a consultation guide for my unit. However I do a lot of engagement work with Indigenous communities on and off campus. I am currently the Transition Year Program Librarian so I can often be seen running around campus going to meetings, consultations, and events.
I am also a sessional instructor for SLIS at the UofA where I teach LIS 598 Indigenous LIS in a Canadian Context with my co-instructor Tanya Ball in the fall semester. As instructors we believe in experiential learning so often you can see our class visiting different UofA campus libraries, going on field trips to Indigenous communities, and meeting with special guests.
What was the first job you ever had?
I grew up in a small farming community called Tofield and my first job was a summer job painting horse corrals.
What was your first position in the library or information field?
My first library position was in Rutherford Library at the University of Alberta where I was an Indigenous Intern while completing my MLIS.
If you didn’t work in information services, what do you think you’d be doing?
If I wasn’t working within information services I think I would still continue to work with community, I would probably be a community support worker or maybe a teacher.
What is the coolest thing in your office or on your desk?
I have a huge Métis battle standard flag that takes up one of the sides of my cubicle.
What aspect of library work are you most passionate about?
For sure it has to be outreach with undergraduate students as well as teaching and learning. I also am passionate about advocacy within our profession, I am very privileged to be in the position that I am and want to use my voice to make changes within our profession.