Friday, July 20, 2007

The Perfect Job

Not everyone gets his or her dream job right out of LIS school. For some, it might mean years of toil and abuse in the dungeons of part-time shift work, often endless disappointments and constant worrying about the next month, often jumping from contract to contract, with no light in sight... Then there are some who do quite well. Kiera Miller, good friend and fellow SLAIS colleague, is currently having a ball working as Librarian at the Edmonton Public Library. I wanted to interview Kiera so that she can offer those out there fresh out of school that getting that "dream job" is more than just a myth...

I'm loving my job, just love it! I have to make this fast since my lunch break is ending. Basically, I get to do a ton of interesting things, and stuff outside children's services. I'm on a Child Friendly Edmonton committee which includes people from all over the city, I'm working with others on a section of the business plan to improve our multicultural/new immigrant services, I'm finishing up putting together a wack load of dual-language kits for new immigrant families, working with the YMCA to help them get books for their bookclubs, part of the team to plan the hoopla that is the final Harry Potter, planning a professional development day in the winter with a few other librarians, and then a huge project my boss and myself developed called 'Kids Read! Edmonton' along the same lines as Canada Reads except for kids. It is a lot of fun, and a lot of work, everything from marketing, web design, author meetings, programs to plan, presentations to potential sponsors (like the Edmonton Oilers!), etc.

And then I have about two hours a day on desk, ongoing personalized booklists for kids and teens (they request them online), and I'm planning a sign language storytime for the fall. Oh, and then there's all the summer reading club programs to both coordinate and participate in. The children's librarians here do more project work than programming. I kinda have had to jump in for theprogramming part, ask to do more than what is actually required of me since I want and enjoy storytimes, craft programs, etc. Then there's always a tour to give to library students or classes. There's arranging author visits, and simply trying to rejuvenate some of the staff (hardest part).

Did you follow all that? I get to do a bit of everything. I feel like I get the best of all worlds: individual projects, time with the kids in the stacks, collection development, creative input, presentations, outreach, virtual readers advisory, some management, and even some spatial analysis and furniture selection. I have to make a list of what to accomplish each day or else I couldn't keep track of it all.

I think I was lucky that this position was brand new, and I have a great boss who is really encouraging, positive, wanted me, knows that I'm new and still learning but seems to have faith in me. We 'check in' just enough for me to feel alright. I feel less new although the less new I feel the more I feel I still need to learn. Patience, patience, just need more experience.

Congratulations Kiera! All your hard work during these two years has paid off. Big time! Keep up the good cheer and good work, and the sky's the limit for you in the upcoming years. You are an inspiration and a reminder to all that dreams can be achieved.


Anonymous said...

Kiera makes it all sound so glamorous!

What a great idea to interview your fellow librarians. I bet you have interesting tales to tell as well!


Rabbit Girl

Allan said...

I was thinking of asking you for your own experiences of your new job. It sounds like you're having a good time, too!

(Will we see a post soon? More to come...)

Dean Giustini said...


I hope when I speak to you in six months that you are doing exactly what you want to be doing.

Nothing like feeling the love for our work, our staff and patrons,


Unknown said...

no, no, tried to leave the 'it's not so glamorous comment', and i do worry about being trapped into a children's librarian box, no matter how much i like it right now... hate to sound like such a cheerleader, just on that first 3-4 month high of a new job. And, yeah, a new GOOD job.