Joanne is the Library and Archives Manager for the Milo Library in southern Alberta.
Describe yourself in three words.
Dedicated, passionate, adaptable.
What’s an average day at your library?
I’m not sure there ever is an average day in the Milo Library and that’s what makes this job so fulfilling. As a single part-time employee, each day is different. No matter what else is on the agenda, manning the desk is the priority. Book orders, processing, reference and archival questions and services are varied and can take substantial time and effort. Interacting with people, both young and old is my favourite part of the job, but the highlight of my week is running the preschool Rhyme Time program for the last 20 years.
What was the first job you ever had?
The first official job I ever had was as a hairdresser, and prior to that I babysat for a lot of families while in Jr. and Sr. High School.
What was your first position in the library or information field?
The first position I ever held in the library world was as a volunteer Board member when I was the Community School Coordinator. When the Library Manager left to work at Chinook Arch, I was encouraged to apply for the job and haven’t looked back. In 2004, our Board decided to build a library, and after raising all the funds ourselves, and with lots of volunteer labour, our building was complete in November 2007. We went from one room in the school to a building of over 5200 square feet. Part of the building plan was to have an Archives Room in the basement, so we became an active member of the Archives Society of Alberta. Gathering and archiving the local historical documents has been very beneficial to our community. Providing tours through our library is a very rewarding part of the job.
What is the coolest thing in your office or on your desk?
The coolest thing in my office is the original Milo Post Office Wicket that was given to the family when that building was closed down. It has been restored and built into the library. The reverse side holds the “mail” for each Board member and local organizations.
Why do you think library work is important?
In this world of “fake news” and an internet full of misinformation, libraries are more vital then ever. Helping patrons find the right information is very satisfying.