Meet Arianne Smith-Piquette!

Arianne is the Library Technician at the CKUA Radio Network in Edmonton, Alberta. CKUA is a not-for-profit broadcaster established in 1927. Arianne is a human who enjoys cycling, filling her house with plants, all animals, and lately has been experimenting with fermentation.

arianne

What’s an average day at your library? 

I’m the only library staff member in a special library. Generally my time is divided between acquisitions and collection management, along with managing volunteers and other assorted non-library related tasks to help the station out. An average day is managing an active music promotion inbox, listening to new music sent to us (digital and physical) and prioritizing what’s coming in, keeping on top of new releases that we need (whether it’s purchasing a copy or chasing down a promotional copy), then managing the digital database that holds our collection and adding new music to it. The library clients are the Announcer/Producers here at CKUA, and since we play an eclectic mix of music the volume and variety of stuff coming in is pretty robust. Day to day work means being a music director, database administrator, library technician, and volunteer manager plus occasional tech support for the users.

What was the first job you ever had? 

I started babysitting when I was a young pre-teen and my first “real” job was working at Dairy Queen once I turned 15. I’ve worked many jobs but some highlights (aside from what I’m currently doing, #dreamjob) include working at a pet store, a greenhouse, screening patches for my friends’ bands by hand, and an HMV megastore.

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

Sharing information is really the best part of being a library professional. Having the opportunity to constantly be learning, in some respects about things I would not regularly be exposed to, then being able to share that with other people is something I take a lot of joy in.

What are you reading or watching right now? 

I’ve recently discovered a show called Big Dreams, Small Spacesit’s a British reality TV show about gardening, which combines all my interests into one quiet and wonderful show (currently on Netflix). I’ve been reading less and listening to podcasts more lately due to life circumstances, and would heartily recommend The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week; it’s exactly what is sounds like, where the editors of Popular Science recount the strangest facts they’ve learned that week. I’ve gleefully grossed out my husband and co-workers with many facts from this podcast – not all facts are gross, but all are fascinating!

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

There is so much stuff on my desk; it’s hard to say – I currently have about ~150 CDs, a box of old records that was shipped to our station to an announcer who lives in BC, a handful of 78 RPM records that were mis-numbered when they were catalogued and need to be fixed, and a small box one of my volunteers made me while I was on vacation, which contains 3 small plastic pigs and a box of Ready Crisp bacon. There’s a story behind that one.

pigs

Advertisements

Meet Leona Berreault!

Leona is the local librarian for the Fort Liard Community Library in Fort Liard, Northwest Territories. She is from Fort Liard and loves working. She has two jobs. She works at the library on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday and at the Northern on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. Her only day off is Saturday.

leona

Describe yourself in three words. 

I am outgoing.

What’s an average day at your library? 

An average day at the library is the kids that come here everyday to use the wireless internet and a few adults that come to check out movies and books.

What was the first job you ever had? 

This was my first job!

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

I would say the coolest thing in my library is the painting of mountains, animals, and other culture things.

What makes you passionate about library work? 

I love helping people take out movies and books. Also, every Tuesday I put on craft days for children 4+ and I love helping the kids make their craft.

Meet Amy Lorencz!

Amy Lorencz lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia and is the Metadata and Copyright Librarian at the Patrick Power Library and Saint Mary’s University. She graduated 5 years ago from Dalhousie and has been librarian-ing ever since. She has a cat named Bruce Wayne who is the best cat in the universe. Her boyfriend lives in Ontario so she spends a lot of time in airports without her cat. She likes art and reading Bernard Cornwell books.

amy

What was the first job you ever had?

The first job I ever had was when I was 17 (if you don’t count being a paper delivery person for 3 months when I was 12) was at Sam the Record Man – in Market Mall, Calgary, Alberta, 1998. Now you know how old I am! I had my own catalogue and classification/numbering system for my CD collection as a teen so it was neat to work with a much larger catalogue of music! We did everything the old school way. Our competitors at HMV had a fancy computer system while we had a giant paper catalogue and numbering system for ordering. This may be where it all began…my foray into library land!

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

My first position was at the Dunlop Art Gallery in the Regina Public Library as a Gallery Facilitator. It was sort of being a reference person for the gallery. We would create displays related to the exhibit at the time using the library’s collection and we would study the art and artists/movements etc. to talk to patrons about it. My undergrad is in Art History so working here I felt connected to my background. It was amazing to see what a Public Library could do in making art accessible to everyone. The gallery was directly across from the circulation counter so we saw everyone enter and exit. The gallery brought art that was challenging and wonderful. I really really miss it.

How do you stay up to date in your field?

Twitter… I find out so much through very engaged librarians on that platform. My co-workers are an excellent resource, too.

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

The people. Hands down the best part of it. It can be challenging with so many perspectives and experiences all under the same roof but without that diverse thinking, ingenuity would not happen. We are doing some neat stuff and I am so proud of it. Now if only a certain vendor would provide me with the right MARC records…any day now 😉

What are you reading or watching right now?

I just finished watching Hilda on Netflix and it reminded me so much of growing up on a farm and in a small city. Adventuring, exploring, and making friends with any creature. My mom, who passed away this year, used to catch fireflies in a mason jar to keep in my bed over night and release the next morning. It brought back some pleasant childhood memories. Go watch it!

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

Tugboat driver. Just gently ramming other boats in the harbour…helping them get where they need to go.

What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?

Don’t pigeon hole yourself and narrow your expertise! Diversify your skills. Be a master generalist.

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

I have a Dalek Christmas Ornament. It’s awesome.

What makes you passionate about library work?

I oversee the Technical Services Department, the unsung heroes of libraries. Cataloguing is very much a public service. There is something powerful and important about labeling and making a book discoverable through cataloguing in the ILS. This system allows an item to be placed on a shelf and borrowed many times by people in need of that information with no cost to them. How cool is that? Libraries. The. Best.

Why do you think library work is important?

The internet is turning into a cesspool and not the interactive commons it hoped to be. Libraries can create that space, all libraries. A space for the makers, the doers, the thinkers, the players, the lonely, and the curious.

 

Meet Monique Woroniak

Monique is an Information Services Librarian for the Winnipeg Public Library.

monique-woroniak (1)

Describe yourself in three words. 

Passionate. Emotional. Hopeful.

What’s an average day at your library?

Most days I spend a half day “on desk” and a half-off. Every day is different. I may be programming, working collaboratively in meetings, meeting with non-profit organizations, editing information guides, thinking about spaces on the floor I work, developing passive programming to support our patron’s needs…

What was the first job you ever had? 

When I was 16 I worked at a fruit stand. I don’t remember it as particularly bad or particularly good.

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

I had a summer job after the first year of my MLIS with the Government of Manitoba’s “educational library” (i.e., for teachers). I weeded and recommended purchase for their multicultural collection.

How do you stay up to date in your field? 

Some journal reading – lately Library Trends. I check out The Partnership EI webinars from time to time. Twitter for sure, #critlib. It changes depending on what I’m working on or thinking about in a given year. I follow a lot of Indigenous library, museum, archival workers. I like to think their perspectives on their fields inform what I (try) to do or support in my own practice.

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

Working with patrons, including organizations. I love hearing peoples’ stories, what they’re working on, what’s going on in their lives or work that I can try to help with.

What are you reading or watching right now? 

Reading: Stolen City: Racial Capitalism and the Making of Winnipeg by Owen Toews – it is a game changer in terms of understanding the specifics of settler colonialism where I live. And The Book Thieves: The Nazi Looting of Europe’s Libraries and the Race to Return a Literary Inheritance by Anders Rydell. Great read. The evidence against many of Germany’s librarians at the time is horrifying.

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

That’s hard! Whatever it was it would have to be some kind of teaching component to it. Art curation and city planning keep bubbling up.

What is the best career advice you’ve ever received? 

Do the thing you’re scared of first.

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

I have a little plastic trophy with my nickname “Mo” on it that was given to me by the Indigenous Writers’ Collective here in Winnipeg. And I have a Canadian flag given to me by artist Helene Vosters that has READ THE TRC embroidered across it. I love them both.

What makes you passionate about library work? 

I want to live in a world where all peoples’ physical and social needs are met, where people feel a sense of connectedness and responsibility for one another. We are a long way off from this. When we are at our best, those of us who practice librarianship can be among the people who provide the information and spaces that make those connections a possibility.

Why do you think library work is important? 

See above. 🙂

Meet Elinor Crosby!

Elinor’s passion for lifelong learning led her to becoming a librarian in her late 30s and extends beyond the library, where she is a textile artist and craft teacher, professional bellydancer and instructor, video/board/RPG gamer, and more. She is a graduate of the Dalhousie School of Information Management’s MLIS program, and also holds a BFA from NSCAD where she studied Textiles and Fashion Design and a DEC in Fine Arts from Champlain Regional College in Quebec.

elinor

Describe yourself in three words.

Pierced, tattooed, weary.

What’s an average day at your library?

Is it cliche to say that there are no average days at my library? I guess on an average day I could be doing any combination of the following:

  • Helping kids log on to Roblox
  • Troubleshooting the PS4
  • Helping a customer find books and movies about serial killers
  • Helping a customer log on to email
  • Going to a North End Community Circle meeting with other service providers
  • Training staff
  • Fixing schedules
  • Checking my ever-growing email inbox
  • Pick away at my monthly report
  • Researching harm reduction strategies for IV drug users as they pertain to our public washrooms
  • Tying a kid’s shoes
  • Printing off pictures of favourite basketball players for a cute pack of kids
  • Getting gently chastised by customers for not having the puzzles photocopied from the newspapers yet
  • Coaching my senior staff on how to manage their direct reports
  • Calling 911 for a customer who is non-responsive
  • Speaking at the awards ceremony for our Literacy program and trying not to cry at all the bravery I see in the room looking back at me
  • Fixing a non-flushing toliet
  • Connecting a newcomer family to support resources for their son living with Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Staffing a pop-up library at a seniors’ residence or Mobile Food Market
  • Going to a branch mangers’ meeting or management team meeting
  • Babysitting contractors working on renovations
  • …and so much more!

What was the first job you ever had?

My first job was either baby-sitting or haying, I can’t remember which. My first job with a printed paycheque was when I filled in for two weeks as a server at the only restaurant in my little town. My first away-from-home job was a camp counselor at a camp for children and adults with intellectual challenges.

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

As I was a mature graduate with 20+ years of work experience outside libraries when I graduated, my first library job was a Sunday Supervisor at one of the larger branches in my library system. I got it 8 months after graduating and counted myself lucky to get into the library system I was aiming for.

How do you stay up to date in your field?

Our system circulates professional publications which I attempt to read but often end up just skimming and occasionally photocopying articles to read on my downtime. I also keep up on a few blogs and librarian social media such as Library Think Tank on Facebook, personal and institutional Twitter and Instagram accounts, RSS feeds, etc.

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

Honestly, I learn something new every day! I used to be a chronic job hopper because I would get bored of my work after 1 – 2 years. The library gives me new challenges and puzzles to figure out on a daily or even hourly basis. I love figuring things out and fixing processes that don’t work. I’m a problem solver and a practical thinker, despite (or possibly because of?) my art background.

What are you reading or watching right now?

Currently watching Trapped, Better Call Saul, Lucha Underground, Disenchantment, and Black Matter. Currently reading Witches Sluts Feminists: Conjuring the Sex Positive by Kristen Sollee and So You Want to Talk About Race? by Ijeoma Olua. I have both a long Netflix queue and reading queue! My reading pace has slowed down to a crawl because my brain is so full at the end of the day being a library branch manager, that I mostly only have faculties enough to Netflix and knit.

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

I’d be a working textile artist and dance teacher. Possibly teaching craft at the college or university level.

What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?

The best advice I ever received was to get my Masters. I was contemplating going to community college for either Library Tech or Funeral Services. I happened to have a friend who had worked as a CSI and was currently a medical librarian. I took her out for ice cream to get the lowdown on both of those career paths. She gave me a great reality check and basically told me that if I was going to go to school for two years anyway, I should do a Masters because my salary as a librarian starts at where a library tech’s was usually capped. Mercenary, but true!

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

My awesome unicorn mug.

What makes you passionate about library work?

The customers who need us every day are what drives me to do my best. I feel that as a librarian, my job actually makes me a better human being and global citizen. In my twenties I spent just short of a year on Social Assistance and my local library was my lifeline. I created and printed resumes on library computers, borrowed books, music, and movies, and pestered the staff with questions. I know how much I needed the library then, so that is part of why I’m passionate about public library work now. I love making a difference in someone’s life, whether it’s loaning them a copy of their favourite childhood movie, helping print citizenship documents, helping a kid having a rough time make better choices, or just being the only friendly face a person might see in the course of their day.

Why do you think library work is important?

We connect so many people to services and information on a daily basis, we’re open and welcoming to all, we’re a safe place for our community, we offer new experiences and old familiar ones, encourage literacy of all types, support newcomers to Canada, and all for free. What other type of organization offers that level of service?

Meet Wendy Wright!

Wendy Wright serves as Director of the Smithers Public Library on the unceded territory of the Witsuwit’en Nation in northwestern BC and currently as a Director-at-Large on the British Columbia Library Association (BCLA) Board. She has always loved connecting people with stories, ideas, and information in various formats and enjoys creating opportunities for community members to learn from each other. Originally from Toronto, Wendy worked in bookstores and the publishing industry for nearly two decades before side-stepping into the endlessly creative world of libraries.

wendy wright

Describe yourself in three words. 

Philosophical, eclectic, curious.

What’s an average day at your library?

Gloriously unpredictable.

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

Volunteering in my former small island community. We had only a volunteer-run reading room with donated books and an elementary school library that was closed in the summer. My husband, children and I took on modernizing the reading room as a family project, introducing WiFi, DVDs, children’s programming, school tours, and updating and expanding the children’s and teens’ sections. This led to liaising with local literacy outreach coordinators to organize book giveaways and literacy-based events at the school. It was immensely satisfying work and made me realize how much I wanted to spend time outside of the library’s walls connecting with people and organizations in the community to maximize the library’s impact. My first paid position was as a casual library assistant at nine branches of Vancouver Island Regional Library.

How do you stay up to date in your field? 

I find Twitter, Library Link of the Day, the BCLA listserv, and PubLib listserv to be consistently fruitful sources of information and new ideas.

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

Seeing the impact that a book, program, or facilitated human connection has on someone; witnessing the spark of an idea formed and shared with others; and learning something new from our patrons every day.

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

Spelling is a superpower of mine, so I should probably work as a copy editor. I would like to spend more time volunteering, and take more university courses on sociology, psychology, philosophy, comparative religion, and children’s and Canadian literature out of personal interest.

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

A picture of German sociology Max Weber, to remind me of the danger of bureaucratic systems growing to serve themselves instead of the people they were originally created to serve. (Well, I think  he’s cool!)

What aspect of library work are you most passionate about? 

Intellectual freedom.

Why do you think library work is important? 

To choose just one of many reasons, when I worked in bookstores I observed that only relatively well-off people purchased books, and children’s and teens’ books were always selected and purchased for them by adult family members. In public libraries we see readers from all income brackets and walks of life accessing books, and children and teens choosing for themselves what they want to read.

 

 

Meet Mary Greenshields!

Mary Greenshields is an early career librarian who made a midlife career change; she graduated in April 2018 with an MLIS. Mary is currently an Academic Library Resident at Bibliotheque Saint-Jean, the French library, at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. She wishes she had discovered that she fits in libraries earlier but is so pleased to be here now!

mary greenshields

What’s an average day at your library?

Every day is different! Most days include a meeting of some kind, whether it’s a team meeting or a committee meeting or a mentorship meeting. The rest of the time, I teach information literacy, consult with students and researchers, work on aspects of our website, serve members at the single service point desk, work on team projects, take advantage of developmental opportunities, play with robots, and drink lots of coffee. If you put it all into a snow globe and shook it out, you’d get an average day coming down.

What was the first job you ever had? 

Besides babysitting, my first formal job was at McDonald’s. I neither endorse nor dine at that restaurant chain.

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

While I was in library school (online), I worked in the Buchanan Library at Lethbridge College as a part-time reference assistant in the evenings and on weekends. The library staff there showed me the ropes and were exceedingly patient with me.

How do you stay up to date in your field? 

The library and information landscape is constantly changing, and I am relatively new to the profession; I try to learn something everyday. To that end, I read recent articles, use Twitter, check in with certain blogs, am a member of many listservs and several associations, talk to other librarians/mentors, and participate in webinars, workshops, and conferences.

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

Because our field is so diverse in terms of work, I would have to say that the variety of tasks I get to perform in a day, and all the wonderful people with whom I have the privilege of interacting, is my favourite aspect of work.

What are you reading or watching right now? 

Currently reading:

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

The Politics of Theory and the Practice of Critical Librarianship, edited by #critlib rockstars Karen P. Nicolson & Maura Seale.

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

In my fantasy world, I’d be a published author travelling the world for research purposes. In reality, I’d likely be a sessional instructor and/or government services agent, as I was in my previous life.

What is the best career advice you’ve ever received? 

I have been fortunate to have several informal and formal mentors since before I began my education and career. Advice on presenting and publishing my work has been super helpful, as has the support to try new approaches to teaching and learning. Finally, I was encouraged to step up and chair a national association subcommittee whose members are all ultra sharp and experienced – win-win for me.

Overall, if I may, I’d like to suggest mentorship is key in this profession (however you come upon it). Buy someone you respect a coffee – you won’t likely regret it.

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

The coolest thing that will be in my office is currently not in my office: I bought a Christi Belcourt print, “Messengers of Renewal,” with money I received when I graduated from the MLIS but it’s hanging over the dining room table until I have a permanent gig. It’s a great reminder of all the work that went into getting me here, and the importance of so many people’s labour in the greater effort to empower and inform.

What makes you passionate about library work? 

Helping people is my jam! Library and information work is all about (or should be) helping one another. The University of Alberta’s promise is expressed as “Uplifting the Whole People,” and I believe library work is integral to this goal both within and outside that particular institution. Libraries can transform lives and I am passionate about that.

Why do you think library work is important? 

Library, archives, and information work is important for many reasons, not the least of which I have mentioned above. We are a loosely knit network of people who, ostensibly, believe in the power and importance of information; how this plays out varies across the planet, culture, library-type, information source, and job description.

Meet Francisco Elton!

Francisco Elton has been the librarian at Chief T’Seleie School in Fort Good Hope, Northwest Territories for 3 years. He’s the single father to his handsome 5 year old son, Jesse Elton, who loves the library.

Photo on 2018-10-24 at 2.17 PM

What was the first job you ever had? 

I was a stock clerk at the Northern Store.

What are you reading and watching right now?

I’m reading My Heart Will Trumpet and watching Grey’s Anatomy.

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

I’d be going to school.

What’s your favourite part of library work? 

Literacy work and arts and crafts with children and their families.

What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received? 

Follow your heart. Only you know what you want in life. Dream big.

 

Job Opportunity: Library Technician (Aurora College, Yellowknife North Slave Campus)

Library Technician

Closing date: Dec 18, 2018

 

Location: Yellowknife

Department: Aurora College

Job Code: 16324

Salary: $67,607 – $80,691

Job: Full-Time

Term: Regular

Job Description: View full job description

About the Job

Department Information

Aurora College is focused on student success and is committed to supporting the development of our Northern society through excellence in education, training and research that is culturally sensitive and responsive to the people we serve.

 

Job Information

The Library Technician is located at the Yellowknife/North Slave Campus of Aurora College, and reports to the Manager, Library and Information Services.  The position contributes to the campus by providing technical library support, and assistance in the delivery of library services to all faculty and students.  The provision of these services has a profound impact on student academic success, as well as on the ability of faculty to develop and deliver instruction and conduct independent research.  The library also serves external organizations and members of the public.

The Library Technician is 1 of 2 fulltime positions within the unit which also includes 4 part-time student positions for evenings and weekends.. The library averages well over 20,000 visits by students, faculty and others annually, and circulates more than 2,000 items per year. The Library Technician is responsible for cataloguing approximately 1,000 items per year.

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES

Knowledge

  • Sound knowledge of cataloguing principles and procedures
  • Working knowledge current cataloguing rules and standards, including LC classification schedules, LCSH, AACR2 rev, and MARC formats
  • Understands the concepts of subject and name authorities
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft applications
  • Competency in technical applications as they apply to library services

Skills

  • Ability to solve problems, prioritize tasks, and organize personal work routines
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Ability to perform detailed work accurately
  • Ability to work with minimum supervision
  • Excellent interpersonal and public relations skills
  • Understand of, and sensitivity to, working with culturally diverse populations

TYPICALLY, THE ABOVE QUALIFICATIONS WOULD BE ATTAINED BY:

Completion of a Library Technician diploma or certificate.

 

For more information or to apply: https://www.gov.nt.ca/careers/en/job/16324

Meet Christine Gyapay!

Christine Gyapay is the Head Librarian for the NWT Centennial Library in Hay River, NT.

Christine

Describe yourself in three words.

Community-minded, curious, organized.

What’s an average day at your library? 

Each day is so different. My morning started with bookkeeping entries from the previous day. Processed the day’s mail. Email catch-up. Yesterday I was emailing with an author who was part of a grant I received from Canada Council for the Arts. Opened the library to the public. Between my Head Librarian duties I work the circulation desk. I enjoy the whole process of ordering books, processing books, helping patrons find books, and signing them out. Yesterday I set up interviews to hire afterschool students for Page work. Yesterday I also trained our new high school Work Experience student. So really, a bit of everything, which helps to keep me in touch with all areas of the library.

What was the first job you ever had? 

Working in a kitchen in a restaurant. Clearing dishes, filling the dishwasher, and deboning boiled chicken are my not so fond memories of the job.

What was the first position you ever held in the library or information field? 

I was a high school summer student running summer programming together with my sister. I remember making lots of various kinds of puppets from marionettes to shadow puppets and organizing plays. I have fond memories of working in the Yellowknife Public Library when it was still located on Franklin Avenue in the building that is now occupied by Northern Images.

How do you stay up to date in your field? 

Reading library journals and trying to attend the annual Rural Librarians Conference in Grande Prairie are two ways to keep up to date.

What are you reading or watching right now? 

Reading Wayne Johnston’s First Snow, Last Light and watching “The Durrells in Corfu.”

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

Not sure where life would have led me.

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

My desk is part of the circulation desk that is in the middle of the library which has large wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling windows and lots of plants. I would find it hard to work in a small windowless office.

What makes you passionate about library work? 

The public. In our small library I have daily contact with library patrons of all ages, from all backgrounds. Over the years I have come to know our regulars and I enjoy meeting new people. One family came in to the library directly from the airport. It was important for them to get library cards but they also needed information about the community.

Why do you think library work is important? 

Libraries can offer such a wide range of resources for the public that they may not have access through any other means. After working in Hay River Library for 15 years I see regulars who use the computers, read newspapers, sit and visit with one another, write exams or sign out the latest book by their favourite authors. One woman came into the library, said a big hello to me and said “I’m home!” She was an avid reader and the library was an important part of her regular routine. Library patrons can ask any questions and we try to find the answers, and match them with the resources that they need.