Manager of Library Services, Holland College Library System
Favourite aspect of your job? Most exciting part of your job? Most rewarding part of your job? Proudest moment so far? I enjoy giving direct support to students. The contribution I make is vital to their ability to make key research decisions which ultimately influences their overall academic success. I also love that “Aha Moment” when a student finally gets research! That, and learning something new myself every day. I enjoy the challenge; I enjoy the responsibility and I enjoy the methodical and precise approach which is necessary for me to deliver the services that students rely upon.
Words of advice for MLIS students? Is there anything you wish you had known when you entered your professional that would be helpful to someone entering it today? When you graduate your skills are fresh so don’t be afraid to pitch new services, projects or ideas. Sometimes these new ideas work and sometimes they don’t. Don’t be afraid to fail. I have failed in some projects but it has always opened another path.
In your professional life, do you consider yourself to be a systems thinker? Someone who thinks outside the box? Does this carry over into your personal life? I do consider myself to be a systems thinker. When I visualize a problem at work I look at it from a variety of different angles and from differing points of view, usually in collaboration with others. I typically find that there is more than one solution to any problem. I choose what I think is the best solution and path and then run with it. If it doesn’t work I move to one of the other paths.This definitely carries over in to my personal life. It’s a fundamental quality of who I am. I am the risk-taking problem-solver in my family. The person people come to when they can’t figure something out or need to organize something.
Career tips for emerging professionals? Communication skills are very important for today’s librarian. Figure out the library skills you do best and continue to develop them. Join a professional association or two. It demonstrate your professional commitment to potential employers. Set up an online portfolio to keep an ongoing record of your accomplishments. This is an excellent way to show potential employers examples of your work.