13 Questions With: Catherine Schmidt
July 27, 2020
Coordinator, Adult Services, Thompson-Nicola Regional Library
Who inspires you in your career?
Wow that’s a big question. I can’t think of a single person because I feel that everyone has such great ideas. I am constantly reading articles or blogs or Facebook posts from other libraries and learning new things I could do.
The first job you ever held and at what age and your first position in the library and/or information services field?
My first paid job was as a summer camp counsellor, I think I was 17.
As for libraryland, I was a volunteer with the Port Moody Station Museum when I was 15 – I worked in their basement vault and helped catalogue items.
Why a career in librarianship?
I have always been obsessed with information gathering and helping people. Librarianship gives me a huge variety of things to do every day that benefit my community. I get to do research, event planning, marketing, advocacy and more.
Coolest thing in your cubicle or office?
It may be the giant READ poster featuring Orlando Bloom, but I also love my collection of thank you cards and random paraphernalia that patrons and community partners have sent me.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Gaming! I get so mad when people say “wow, I never would have pegged you for a gamer”, probably because I look very much like a stereotypical “librarian”.
Career advice – what’s your top tip?
Always have passion for whatever you do. Even if you dislike certain aspects of your job, I hope that there is something that you enjoy about it. Especially in public service – it can really wear you down if you don’t love what you do, or believe in the value of it.
What useless skill(s) do you possess?
Ability to get a lot of things accomplished while a cat is riding on my shoulders. Shout out to Luna!
Proudest moment in your professional life?
The wrap-up of our first Writer in Residence. I had designed the entire residency from top to bottom and we had an amazing writer join us (a huge thank you to Deryn Collier!). The whole thing went smoother than I could have possibly imagined and our community was so involved and supportive. Our last event was a showcase where the writers who had worked with her during her term read what they had been working on – some of them for the first time ever. It was so much fun and I had so much great feedback from everyone about the residency. I really felt that I had accomplished something that was a great contribution to my community and would continue to inspire people to write.
If you had 24 hours all to yourself, how would you best like to spend it
Reading for sure, plus a lot of gaming and cat snuggles. Oh and naps.
If you didn’t work in the information industry, what would you be doing?
I’d love to say working as a wilderness guide (I used to lead canoe trips) but probably teaching or working in a child-care setting.
Finish this sentence: “In high school, I would have been voted the person most likely to … “
Hide from the world. Become a crazy cat lady. Success on both counts!
How do you stay current in your field?
Mostly reading articles and blogs from other librarians. I also subscribe to a number of professional serials and newsletters where I get a lot of great ideas.
What would you like your headstone to read?
Guinness World Record Holder for Reading.
Proud Cat Mom.