2007-12-03

Getting to Know CLA's Student Leaders

To help you to know fellow members of the LIS community, in Ottawa and across Canada, CASLIS Ottawa asked some of them to provide interesting tidbits of information on themselves. Our first set of profiles are of the students leading the various chapters in the library schools across the country.

Rebekah Willson
Chair, CLA Student Chapter, University of Alberta

The first job you ever held and at what age:
First job I ever held was the job of receptionist starting at age 16.

Your first position in the library and/or information services field:
The first position I had in the library was as a casual reference staff member at the U of A libraries.

Your favourite/most used expression:
I don't have a favourite saying, but I like anything that's sarcastic. That's definitely most used.

Books you are currently reading:
Books I am currently reading: Revolting Librarians (West and Katz), Gilead (Robinson), Soul Survivor (Yancey) and The Death of Ivan Ilych and Other Stories (Tolstoy).

Why CLA?:
Why CLA? Because LIS is a collaborative field and CLA gives me a chance to be a part of something bigger.


Stephen R. Warren
CLA Representative, BCLA/CLA Student Chapter, University of British Columbia

The first job you ever held and at what age:
I had an early morning Province paper route in my Burnaby neighbourhood when I was about 9.

Your first position in the library and/or information services field:
My first paid library position was on UBC SLAIS Co-op in 2007. I spent eight months working at the Health and Human Services Library (Ministry of Health) in Victoria BC. It was a fantastic experience.

Your favourite/most used expression:
Cool!

Books you are currently reading:
Jack Kerouac, On the Road The Original Scroll; Alberto Manguel, The Library at Night; Lynne Viola, The Unknown Gulag: The Lost World of Stalin's Special Settlements.

Why CLA?:
At a breakfast meeting with librarian friends attending CLA in Victoria (2004), I was urged to consider library school. The more I learned about librarianship, the more I wanted to get involved. I joined CLA that year. At UBC SLAIS, the CLA Rep position was vacant and it seemed a good fit as I was already a member. I enjoy promoting the CLA to new students - networking, advocacy, divisions, and interest groups - there is so much to explore!


Shannon Clarke
Co-Chair, CLA Student Chapter, Dalhousie University

The first job you ever held and at what age:
Lifeguard and swimming instructor, age 16.

Your first position in the library and/or information services field:
Map Collection Intern, Killam Library, Dalhousie University. Dream job? Working in a rare book collection in an academic library curating exhibits, giving presentations about the history of the book and print culture, and organizing hands-on, artistic bookbinding sessions.

Your favourite/most used expression:
Glorious!

Books you are currently reading:
The Dictionary of Alternatives: Utopianism and Organization, 2007 by Martin Parker, Valérie Fournier and Patrick Reedy; Becoming Judy Chicago: A Biography of the Artist, 2007 by Gail Levin.

Why CLA?:
I attended the CLA Annual Conference in St. John's last May and had a great time meeting interesting people and learning about current research in the field. This inspired me to become more involved because I know that there is so much to learn from the CLA community.


Lise Brin
Co-Chair, CLA Student Chapter, Dalhousie University

The first job you ever held and at what age:
Babysitter, 13

Your first position in the library and/or information services field:
Student Assistant, Brandon University Music Library. Dream job? Working in a stimulating, progressive library where I have mentors I look up to and the freedom to make mistakes occasionally.

Your favourite/most used expression:
I often call my friends "ladies".

Books you are currently reading:
The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2006, edited by Dave Eggers; Bringing Back the Dodo: Lessons in Natural and Unnatural History, by Wayne Grady; Information Architecture: Blueprints for the Web, by Christine Wodtke

Why CLA?:
I find that being involved in CLA is a good reminder of what comes after I'm done my MLIS. Linda Cook's speech at Dalhousie last year was really powerful and made me think of the profession in terms of being a community leader -- advocating for our institutions and responding to the needs around us.


Kirsten Huhn
Co-Chair, CLA Student Chapter, McGill University

The first job you ever held and at what age:
I was 16 and took this job in a shoe store, because I wanted to have a sewing machine, which my parents refused to buy for me. I worked there for more than a year and it was probably the worst job I've ever had.

Your first position in the library and/or information services field:
As a student at the University of Leipzig in Germany, I used to work at the main branch of the university library. It was really great and I loved the people and the atmosphere there.

Your favourite/most used expression:
Totally. (so my boyfriend tells me)

Books you are currently reading:
I am reading a historical fiction novel by Sharon Kay Penman on the War of the Roses and Richard III.

Why CLA?:
I like feeling part of the professional community. Through CLA I also stay up-to-date on different developments across Canada.


Lisa Page
Chair, CLA Student Chapter, University of Toronto

The first job you ever held and at what age:
Library Page, Burlington Public Library – Aldershot Branch, 15 years old.

Your dream job in the library and/or information field:
I don’t really have a dream job at the moment, but I’d like to start out as a reference librarian in an academic library. If this question was changed to “Current library position” I would say “Course Support Intern, Faculty of Information Studies Inforum, University of Toronto”, which might make for more interesting reading!

Your favourite/most used expression:
“I like the cut of your jib”

Books you are currently reading:
Karma Cola: Marketing the Mystic East, by Gita Mehta & The 2 ½ Pillars of Wisdom, by Alexander McCall Smith

Why CLA?:
I wanted as much exposure to Canadian librarianship as possible. My CLA membership provides great networking opportunities and Feliciter keeps me up to date on library issues nationwide!


Heather Foulkes
Chair, CLA Student Chapter, University of Western Ontario

The first job you ever held and at what age:
As for my first job, at 10 years of age I was paid a dollar a day to walk a younger child to school. I had to walk to school anyway, so I thought it was the greatest job in the world.

Your first position in the library and/or information services field:
I volunteered as the “librarian” for my class in grade 6. I felt rather powerful being able to use the computer and sign out books. Absolute power corrupts absolutely…I signed myself out books far past the usual limit.

Your favourite/most used expression:
“If everything seems to be going well, you obviously don’t know what the hell is going on.”

Books you are currently reading:
No time to read books…I’m completing my MLIS in only 12 months.

Why CLA?:
My Honors Specialization in Political Science grounds my interest in the issues that affect LIS professionals across Canada. My recent research paper entitled “e-government + e-governance = e-democracy?” addresses the potential for discursive technology to shift the information environment from informing to involving citizens. Involvement in associations is essential to the health of a profession and a democracy.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

wow. This is an impressive bunch! I do believe I see some future leaders here who care about where we as librarians and information professionals are headed in our institutions!
thanks for the great introductions!

Carrie said...

I'm afraid I have to disagree with the first anonymous comment - I am not sure what is so impressive about these folks....not that they are unimpressive, but....

These are people who are going to be desperately searching for jobs in a year or two, and eager to make as good an impression as possible – hence the extremely pat responses (read: I am hyperconscious that this is going to reflect on my professional career). There’s very little personality in these answers, and it sounds like they were taken from a high school exam: “Answer in a full sentence, using the question as part of your response.”

I am also quite disappointed that CLA asked them such ridiculous questions: “Why CLA?” Because the first thing that is thrust upon you as soon as you enter library school is “Join a professional organization, join a professional organization, join lots of professional organizations…..” You are the weird one out if you DON’T join CLA and are looking for a job in Canada.

And what is with librarians asking other librarians what their favourite books are? Perpetuating the stereotype that all librarians are totally into books, while negating all of the very interesting non-book related library jobs/interests that are out there.

Come on, librarian free-thinkers! Are you out there? Somewhere? Anywhere? People who are on student council are not necessarily those that are going to be movers and shakers – not to denigrate these ladies, but if the student council members at my school were indicative of future leaders, the world of libraries is about to come crashing down.