I have a Master’s in English Literature and a Bachelor of Arts in English and Visual Arts, both from the University of Ottawa. I have participated in conferences, written scholarly articles and reviews, attended numerous graduate seminars, and completed research papers. I studied English and Art specifically because I am passionate about understanding how humans perceive and describe the worlds in which they live, and I believe that studying Library and Information Science is a continuation of this original investigation. I am interested in literature and theory that explores the relationships between things – in nature or of human use and construction – and people, and how one’s understanding of the world can be vastly impacted by these overarching relationships and the metanarratives they help inform. Nothing could be more germane to this than understanding how sources of information are accessed and used.
I am currently employed as an Evaluation and Assessment Librarian at Ryerson University Library and Archives.
Before returning to study at The University of Western I worked as the Learning Lab Coordinator for the Institute on Governance, a not-for-profit research organization. I was an administrator, responsible for many facets of the organization’s daily function. I regularly interacted with our clients and facilitated work for our researchers – everything from solving small technical database problems to re-engineering our planning systems and work processes. Before joining the Institute on Governance I worked as a freelance writer, a copywriter, a teacher, and a marketer: these are all jobs that involve finesse in research, a high level of organization and professionalism, and the ability to manage stress and deadlines. I have also worked at a bookstore, The Bookmarket, in Ottawa. While I realize that libraries and retail stores differ, my time there taught me how to interact with the public and identify in a friendly an efficient manner what sort of publication a patron might be searching for.
While studying for my MLIS, I completed two co-op positions: at the The D.B. Weldon Library at The University of Western Ontario, and at Ryerson University Library and Archives. People keep asking me which co-op was better. This is an impossible question because they were both fantastic and very different, and the experience of having worked at both has been better than anything (although I’d probably tell each individual library that they were secretly my favourite). The D.B. Weldon Library is one library in a large system, and I worked in Research and Instructional Services with just under a dozen coworkers. I knew everyone well, and my work here was very collaborative: I managed the social media account with the advice of my colleagues; I chaired the Spencer Gallery Committee; I created instructional workshops with others; and I participated with a large marketing project and the serials review. To build up my familiarity with the academic library world I attended a lot of different committee meetings, and I received a lot of training and support. At Ryerson University Library, the atmosphere was very different, but equally welcoming. This one library serves the entire university community, so the training that I received was subject area specific: how to use certain tools, and how to teach for a specific discipline. I met librarians who worked in all departments of the library and had the opportunity to work on different projects with them: teaching, writing guides, and developing instructional videos. Since I already had some training in Ask a Librarian and the Libguides platform, I was able to jump right in to this work. This also gave me the opportunity to develop new skills in other areas by working in the Archives and Special Collections and advancing my reference skills by taking on one-on-one appointments. Both co-ops treated me like a full-time librarian, and they both gave me the opportunity to develop my skills, explore new areas of interest, and propose and work on my own projects. They’ve given me a solid understanding of core academic library skills – reference, subject liaison, collections management, information literacy, and more – and given me a sense of how each academic library approaches the same problems in slightly different ways.