Leigha Rind is a Métis Indigenous Intern at the University of Alberta Libraries. She grew up in Devon, Alberta, with family roots in Duck Lake, Saskatchewan and Bedford, Nova Scotia. She is about to begin her second year of the MLIS program at the U of A. When she’s not working, she can probably be found reading graphic novels, playing video games, or going for long walks in the Amiskwaciwâskahikan (Edmonton) river valley.
What was the first job you ever had?
I got my first job in grade six; it was a flyer route in my hometown, Devon, Alberta. I sorted the flyers while watching MTV with my sister of Fridays after school. Since I split the pay with her, I barely made any money! It was good though – I made at least enough money to buy a graphic novel or two a month.
What was your first position in the library or information field?
I was a summer reading program coordinator at Devon Public Library during my third year of undergraduate studies. It’s a great library, and I am very attached to it because I’ve been going there since I was two years old. I realized during that job that I had big ideas about what the library could (and should) be. I realized that my ideas were a little too big for a summer reading program coordinator to have. I also realized that if I was going to pursue those ideas, I would need to stay in school a bit longer!
What is your favourite part of library, archive, or information services work?
I love helping people find what they need, without feeling like I’m selling something (I had a sales job once… it was not my cup of tea). I also love the creative aspect of library work. Problem solving, answering reference questions, putting together displays and programming – it’s all creative work!
What are you reading or watching right now?
Currently, I’m reading through a huge stack of graphic novels. I’m taking a Graphic Novels & Comic Books course over the spring and summer term. I’m currently watching Game of Thrones… I’m so anxious to watch the last episode!
What is the coolest thing in your office or on your desk?
I have a little amigurumi shark that I bought from the Devon Farmer’s Market (see the picture!). I had to bring it to work to keep it safe – my cat was determined to destroy it!
What do you think is the biggest challenge libraries face today?
I think the biggest challenge libraries face today is a perpetual one: change. Changes in technology and in the ways people use information are definitely major challenges, but I’m thinking especially of the changes libraries still need to make concerning social responsibility. I am fortunate to know many people in libraries that recognize the need for this kind of change, and there are some awesome projects happening (I’m thinking of the Decolonizing Descriptions project at the U of A Libraries). It will take lots of time and consultation, but I know many librarians and students who are eager to ensure that libraries truly do live up to their goal of being safe and welcoming spaces for all. It makes me very hopeful and excited to see the future that we will create together in library and information organizations.