13 Questions With: Amanda Horsman
October 17, 2016
Bibliothécaire, Centre de formation médicale du Nouveau-Brunswick, Université de Moncton
Who inspires you in your career?
All the other librarians I know and have yet to meet. I read a lot of blogs, job postings, articles, and talk with colleagues on a regular basis. Every piece of information inspires me to look at my own situation and make improvements. Really, it’s not just librarians, but also other known professionals and public speakers too. You never know where the next idea will be found.
The first job you ever held and at what age and your first position in the library and/or information services field?
My first “job” was selling stationary out of a catalogue in grade 6 then shared newspaper delivery with my brother in high school. I would say my first official job was a temp retail job in the mall. My first LIS position would be working at a small local museum where I was the local genealogist.
Why a career in librarianship?
When I got near the end of my bachelor’s degree in sociology, I started to wonder what the world I should/could do. Continuing in sociology really didn’t appeal to me for a variety of reasons although I love parts of teaching and doing research. I looked at becoming a counsellor and so many other options. Somehow I stumbled upon librarianship and it just clicked! It felt like the perfect fit to enjoy my love of knowledge sharing, teaching people how to find and manage their own information while also being able to contribute to the greater good by helping others.
Coolest thing in your cubicle or office?
A little lobster from the Medical Library Association conference that was held in Boston in 2013. Runner up is my jar of cool pens to use for my bullet task pad.
What is your guilty pleasure?
My guilty pleasure is stationery. For some reason I started getting into being more organized through creative outlets. So now I look at blogs for the best pens, markers and notebooks to dream. I am still eyeing a calligraphy pen and a leuchtturm1917 notebook to try.
Career advice – what’s your top tip?
Always keep your ear to the ground and make your skillset known at every opportunity possible. One of my greatest challenges has been marketing my services to ensure that people come to see me to help with whatever project on which they are working. After six years at the same place, I have built a reputation and now have to be careful when I do speak up about projects (in a good way).
Caveat advice – know your limits and when to say no to projects; being a “yes” person is the best fast-track to a burnout.
What useless skill(s) do you possess?
I know not the meaning of “useless skills”; all my skills have a use (even the mundane ones) *insert smiley face here*.
Proudest moment in your professional life?
There have been a few… I am extraordinarily lucky to I work in an environment where they do put a focus on recognition and giving credit where credit is due. I have proud moments on a regular basis when a student tells me how helpful they have found the programs and services, when a researcher gets published (especially when my name is listed as co-author), how the big-wigs know me by reputation and ask me to participate in projects and other little moments along the way.
If you had 24 hours all to yourself, how would you best like to spend it
All to myself, solo, would be spent with music, a good book, relaxing outside on a sunny day in a hammock that is in the shade, oh, and a good cup of tea or coffee. Walk around outside somewhere and take pictures, stopping at random spots along the way.
If you didn’t work in the information industry, what would you be doing?
I would probably be using similar skillsets in a retail or corporate setting. I did spend nearly a year as a trainer in a call centre after graduating where I could see a few different ways to use my skillset. “Librarian” isn’t just a job for me, it’s a way of being.
Finish this sentence: “In high school, I would have been voted the person most likely to … “
According to three different friends, in high school, I would have been voted the person most likely to: succeed, be a musician or be a museum curator. I love the explanation for the museum curator one: “Well you’re a super nerd with eclectic tastes that include, art, research, and literature. Etc… So there are like three jobs for that: Librarian, curator, or super villain”
How do you stay current in your field?
As you can see in my first question, I read a lot, talk a lot with colleagues and keep an ear to the ground. I will also add participation in professional development opportunities such as webinars, conferences and the like.
What would you like your headstone to read?
She loved, she learned, she read and she wrote a beautiful life.