13 Questions With: Caroline Monnin
March 7, 2016
Medical Librarian, Saskatoon Health Region
Who inspires you in your career?
I’m always inspired by the creative thinkers in our field, and there are many. Sherri Vokey, my library instructor at Red River College, challenged us to think outside the box in terms of what libraries and librarians could be. My colleagues (past and present) have always inspired me. In my short career I’ve had the opportunity to work with some very talented librarians. Not only are they positive and passionate about their careers, but I’ve always been amazed by the innovative library programs they’ve created. I’ve learned quite a bit watching them. On a personal note, my husband and parents inspire me constantly, as did my Grandfather. They all had and have successful careers, with the primary goal of making a difference in the community. I always try to remind myself that helping others is the end goal. Success will come from this and hard work.
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 at a horse racing track as a restaurant busser, I think I was 15. It was a pretty awful job. When I was considering a job in librarianship, I volunteered at the Clara Lander Library at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, and from that I was offered a summer job cataloguing donated books. I wish my art history skills were stronger, because it was amazing to sneak my lunch breaks in the galleries and see the exhibits.
Why a career in librarianship?
I always wanted a job where I was making a difference and working directly with the public. Initially, I thought I would find that in law. When I was researching law schools, I came across the MLIS/JD programs and thought the librarian aspect was more in line with what I wanted and also more interesting (sorry lawyers!).
Coolest thing in your cubicle or office?
Well, I just moved into this new office a few weeks ago, so I haven’t accumulated much so far. In my home office, I have my maternal grandfather’s desk and my paternal grandfather’s desk chair. I inherited both after they passed away, and my handy husband fixed them up. They’re a daily reminder of my family and where I came from.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Reality TV – specifically home renovation and cooking competition shows. Those two channels are on at our house all the time. I’m also a firm believer that butter makes everything better.
Career advice – what’s your top tip?
Something I heard my Mom say recently which has been running around my head, “fearless advice, loyal implementation.” Meaning, be brave when suggesting new ideas, and once the decision is made to create the program, carry it out all the way.
What useless skill(s) do you possess?
I’m embarrassed to say I know way too much about celebrities and pop culture. Although, it’s not such a useless skill on trivia night!
Proudest moment in your professional life?
My colleague, Laurie Blanchard, and I winning the Best Poster award at the Canadian Health Libraries Association Conference in 2015.
If you had 24 hours all to yourself, how would you best like to spend it?
I would sleep in, binge-watch Netflix, walk on the beautiful Saskatoon river path (so long as the weather was on my side) and end the day with a nice dinner out with my husband and friends.
If you didn’t work in the information industry, what would you be doing?
I really do love to argue, so I think I would have pursued law.
Finish this sentence: “In high school, I would have been voted the person most likely to … “
…hit a telephone pole with my car. The year I got my license, I think I hit four different posts. I’m a much better driver now (or at least more aware of telephone poles).
How do you stay current in your field?
Conferences, listservs, meeting with colleagues. I love going to conferences or attending workshops and seeing all the interesting programs other libraries have initiated. I always come back with a million ideas.
What would you like your headstone to read?
She loved people and she loved to laugh. She did good.