‘A Day in the Life’ is a feature by BCLA’s Public Libraries Interest Group. The aim is to highlight interesting folks from around the province who are doing amazing things in public libraries. If you, or someone you know, would make a good profile, please email Heidi Schiller at [email protected]
Your Job Title:
How long have you been in this role?
Describe your job in three sentences or less:
I oversee library services and collections; assess community needs; build connections with local organizations and groups; market the library to the public; share news from the field with our Board and staff; ensure that library services and materials are aligned with our values, mission and vision; operationalize the strategic plan; locate and pursue potential funding sources; and select materials.
What do you do on a typical day?
My daily tasks and hours of work vary. One day might be 9-5 and largely standard managerial tasks: emails; ordering books, equipment and supplies; scheduling staff; applying for grants; and rebooting our Internet connection. Another day might run quite late and include one or two of the following: an early-morning radio interview; hosting a library tour for local politicians; fundraising for a new building; networking at a Chamber of Commerce luncheon; writing a column for the local newspaper; helping with crafts, songs, or face painting at a community event; offsite meetings with other organizations; and an evening event, presentation or Board meeting.
What is your favourite thing about your job?
I love the inherent variety and creativity of this position and am fundamentally satisfied by the impact of the library’s work.
If you could change one thing about your job, what would it be?
A Director in a small library is necessarily a jack-of-all-trades, yet certain tasks demand specific aptitudes. Original cataloguing requires following rules, attention to detail, and patience, none of which are my strong suits.
What is one thing people would be surprised to know about your job?
I spend a considerable amount of time chasing money to expand our collections and keep our programs and events running.
If you weren’t in the library profession, what would your fantasy job be?
Word origins fascinate me so I might enjoy a career in etymology.