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13 Questions With: Kathleen Scheaffer

13 Questions With: Kathleen Scheaffer

May 2, 2016

Librarian, Outreach and Instructional Services Coordinator, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto

Who inspires you in your career?

I have an abundance of inspiration that is derived from the research and work of my incredibly creative, brilliant, and driven colleagues at U of T and beyond. Being a librarian in the Faculty of Information, I am also constantly invigorated by the fresh ideas and new perspectives of our students, who luckily become future colleagues.

The first job you ever held and at what age and your first position in the library and/or information services field?

I was self-employed at the age of 8. As a kid I lived across from a golf course; thus, there were a lot golf balls being hit on to the road. I saw these unclaimed golf balls as opportunity coming straight out of the sky. I collected them, washed them, and set up a table on the corner of my street to sell them. Wait…if by “job” you mean a place where I actually made money from my work, then I was 15 and bagged groceries at a supermarket.

My first library position was held during the last year of my undergrad. I worked on the circulation desk at my university’s library. That position taught me that the library is the heart of the University.

Why a career in librarianship?

I always wanted to be a life-long student. Being a librarian I am living that dream, as I am learning new frameworks and applications for concepts and ideas each day.

Coolest thing in your cubicle or office?

I would have to say the collective of those with whom I work.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Blaring Justin Bieber and practicing the moves to the song “Sorry”.

Career advice – what’s your top tip?

Stay connected and current with the endeavours of your workmates and your mentors. Also, ensure your online presence reflects the professional you wish to exude now and in the future.

What useless skill(s) do you possess?

When standing in a pool I can do a front flip in the water with both of my hands never being submerged. (Oddly, I’ve never seen anyone list this skill before.)

Proudest moment in your professional life?

Each time a student, colleague, or mentor relays that my contributions have made a positive impact on their research, work, or career.

If you had 24 hours all to yourself, how would you best like to spend it

  • Dancing to Bieber
  • Swimming in a warm ocean
  • Biking at dawn
  • Yogacizing in the sun
  • Meditating in nature
  • Making and eating delicious vegan food
  • Sleeping in

If you didn’t work in the information industry, what would you be doing?

I would be a part-time hairstylist and a proud founder of a rabbit sanctuary. Though, of course, the sanctuary would have a library on the property where graduates of our Faculty would be encouraged to apply.

Finish this sentence: “In high school, I would have been voted the person most likely to … “

Have the most ridiculous pants. My motto was the bigger, the brighter, and the flashier, the better.

How do you stay current in your field?

I attend conferences, courses, workshops, professional development events, and symposia, as well as connect with my colleagues regularly. Additionally, I scour the literature and social media.

It has been valuable to see beyond the walls of the library; therefore, I also look to other industries to discover what new ideas are bubbling up that could be of significance to heritage and information work.

I have found engaging in research projects has been one of the best ways for me to remain current while deepening my knowledge through exploring.

What would you like your headstone to read?

I have thought about this question a lot, and I can’t just choose one quote, word, or emoji to sum up my life; therefore, I have decided my headstone will have scrolling LED sign displaying a mixture of text and emojis to thank all those who made my life meaningful.

10 replies on “13 Questions With: Kathleen Scheaffer”

  • Lee from Houston says:

    She has always really liked the Bieber…!!! Coolest librarian ever!! Miss you K!

  • Lindsay says:

    As your best friend, I am constantly impressed by you and your love of knowledge and words. You rock!

  • Barbara Pandolfo says:

    So proud of you Katie,, but Bieber???!! :)
    Aunt Barb

  • Stephanie Franco says:

    Your one of my favorite humans let alone cousins ? Love you! By the way, I need to witness this front flip in the water talent!

  • Karla says:

    KS, may favourite librarian and top person. This post just showcases it. I agree with the other though, Bieber, really?

  • Tony Pandolfo says:

    As I was reading this I saw much of your youth pass in front of my eyes. I’m proud to be your second chair Dad. And prouder of the fine woman you have become!

  • nalini says:

    Great interview. Happy to be part of your work collective

  • Rebecca says:

    been a long time since meeting you as a freshman at CSU,not the least bit surprised to see how awesome you are doing in life, so happy for you!!!! :)

  • It’s amazing what you’ve accomplished with your life Katie. I always knew you would be a super star. And your step father was right about seeing a lot of your youth as I read. Especially, the High School retort, it took me right back to what we wore together to our prom. Because of the pants YOU MADE for us made us the real Prom Queen & King. If you find a picture of us on Prom Night, I need a copy. That was just a glimpse of your fearless drive. Now that same drive is directed towards learning the continously changing of all Information and being a Teaching conduit for all those amazing kids that were just like you when we were kids. So they can be just as driven and just maybe become that special kind of amazing you have become now as a powerful woman. So proud of you Katie.

  • Kerry Purvis says:

    Hi Kathleen! I am interested in finding work in Canadian libraries that have outreach programs. I came across your name and wanted to see if you have suggestions? I am also potentially interested in pursuing a PhD at a Canadian school. I would love to hear your thoughts!

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