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.