Most rewarding part of your job? Knowing that I have made a difference in someone’s life – getting someone found guilty a conditional discharge, helping a divorced spouse get what they are entitled to and able to move on with their life.
What skill is most in-demand for people entering the field today? You expect me to say “information technology” but I won’t - years ago I met a librarian who bragged about the hundreds of thousands of dollars he had squeezed out of the university administration to buy 275 desk top computers – today those computers are either in landfill or hopefully recycled. If you want to talk technology, I’ll talk carpeting – same difference. Its people, people that matter. Staff, patrons, bosses, politicians, people. My vote for most in-demand skill – the ability to work with a vision, so that people ten months, ten years and 100 years from now look back at what you did and say “thanks for thinking of us.”
Proudest moment so far? In law – helping a very scared mother keep her abusive ex-husband out of her children’s lives. In librarianship – Moving, re-arranging 25,000 books in two days (a gem of project management), doing up a report which involved interviewing all faculty in the law school I was working in.
Career tips for emerging professionals? Here’s my career advice – as a librarian you are a professional and a leader, not an employee. If you are the only person running a special library, same thing applies. Okay, you have the library thing under your belt, but that’s just what gets you through the door. In other words, get ready to take on more responsibility, because that time will come. Wherever you start, you could be the one who becomes a chief librarian, a national librarian, or just the greatest children’s librarian the world has ever known. And I wish you all the success in the world.