Freshly Minted: Abby Marteja
May 9, 2018
LIT Student, Algonquin College
Which information studies program are you attending?
I have just finished my first year in the Library and Information Technician (LIT) program at Algonquin College.
What are your current classes like? Which is your favorite so far, and why?
This year, my classes were introductory courses on various aspects of the library and information profession. The classes range from proper information storage and management practices to web coding to client services.
It’s hard for me to choose a favourite class because I had enjoyed quite a few. I think it would be a tie between Introduction to Libraries and my cataloguing classes. Intro to Libraries sounds fairly standard but I learned a lot through the assignments. I really enjoyed being able to design a library program pitch that had to be unique and fun, while still being practical enough to execute in a real library setting.
Cataloguing has been something completely new to me and while it has been a journey to learn and get comfortable with AACR2 and RDA formats, I’ve enjoyed learning about the different standards as they change.
Is there one aspect of the profession that surprises you that you were not expecting when you started the program? What is it?
When I enrolled in this program, I had no idea just how versatile and applicable information management skills could be in the workplace. Information management reaches far beyond the library profession and it’s been interesting to see how it can be applied in professional and personal situations. There are so many aspects to information management that people wouldn’t think about that make it quite an exciting profession to be in.
What was it that initially drove you to librarianship?
I have always loved the library – growing up, it was one of my favourite places to be and one of the most valuable resources in high school. However, I did not realize how much I could appreciate libraries and good librarianship until I was completing my Bachelor’s Degree at Queen’s University. The services at the school and public libraries, the programs, and the special displays all solidified my love for libraries. Furthermore, the staff at these libraries showed me how people can go above and beyond in the library profession to help students. I would love to be that person for someone else.
If you could work anywhere, and do anything with information, what would your dream job look like?
While I am really enjoying working in information management right now, my dream job would be at a public library near a university, where the clientele could be made up of students and families. I love the idea of being the library tech to help a student with their studies but also be involved with community and children’s programming.
If someone were considering going to library school, what would you advise them about?
No matter how much you think you know about the profession, or how certain you think you are about what you want to do after library school, there’s a good chance that you’ll change your mind or find something new that really interests you. Library school will introduce you to so many different aspects of the library and information management field that you might not even know exist. Be open to all the new things you’re going to learn because you might find that something you never considered before will be the one thing you want to specialize in.
What do you think is the most important aspect of being an information professional today?
I think the most important aspects of being an information professional today are adaptability and being open to change. The way information is formatted and the way people want information to be delivered is constantly evolving, so being an information professional requires staying up to date with new developments. Especially in a library setting where patron satisfaction is key, providing informed and up to date information services will keep the profession relevant and remind users that there are information services beyond Google that can be just as – if not more – useful.