Freshly Minted – Anna Cameron
February 14, 2014
Information Assistant, Oakville Public Library
Who are you and what do you do?
I am a Library and Information Technician and I work as an Information Assistant at the Woodside Branch of the Oakville Public Library.
When did you get your LIT diploma, when did you start your first professional position, how long did the job search take, and how did you prepare yourself for it?
I got my diploma in April of 2013 from Algonquin College and was hired in July of that same year, making my job search a mere three months (I feel very lucky!). I prepared for the job search by applying to everything and anything that I was even remotely qualified for, and going to every interview I was asked to, even if it meant renting a car and driving for an hour! I also used my local library to help me prepare when I needed to bring in children’s books to read – the librarian had so many great ideas!
How did you do your job search? What were some of the things that worked and didn’t? What was the greatest challenge?
I used a variety of online resources for my job search, but mostly looked at the library websites. Mohawk College has a great libguide that gives the websites for most of the college, university, school and public libraries in Ontario. My greatest challenge (and the most frustrating thing!) was never hearing back after I had submitted applications.
Is your work as a professional what you expected and prepared yourself for while you were in the LIT program? Otherwise, what would you have done differently if you knew?
My work is mostly what I expected, although I’d never thought I’d be a children’s programmer! I have more responsibilities than I thought I would, which is really nice. I also do way less cataloguing than I was lead to believe I would be doing! I don’t think I could have done anything differently while in my program to prepare myself for my job.
Any advice for the many LIT students who will be soon graduating and looking for their first professional position?
The best advice I could give would be to choose your work placement very carefully! I chose to do my placement in a public library that (conveniently) uses the same ILS as Oakville Public. I was able to present myself as being 90% trained! Other than that, it’s important to network as much as possible. Your teachers might be able to help!