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13 Questions With: Dawn Bassett

May 12, 2013

Coordinator, Library Services, Canadian Grain Commission

Photo of Dawn Bassett

A hero who has inspired you in your career?

I have many “heros” but the librarian that immediately comes to mind is Dean Giustini. Dean is the head of the Biomedical Branch Library at the Gordon and Leslie Diamond Healthcare Centre, an amazing instructor at UBC’s School of Library and Archival Information Studies, an a blogger at http://blogs.ubc.ca/dean/. I was fortunate to have Dean as an instructor in library school, then as an employer at UBC and although I have moved on in my career I still follow him through his blog and Twitter. I admire Dean’s dedication to librarianship, his support of his students and his curiosity about social media. I hope that I can inspire library students and my colleagues one day the way that Dean inspired me when I was first starting out.

The first job you ever held and at what age?

Donut and coffee slinger, Robin’s Donuts – Age 16

Your first position in the library and/or information services field?

Central records clerk and Library Assistant in a Biopharmaceutical company.

Coolest thing in your cubicle or office?

A c1970’s transistor radio that I use to listen to the CBC morning show and Q with Jian Gomeshi every morning. We don’t have access to streaming radio where I work so this old technology is my new best friend. The radio was pulled out of storage and given to me by my colleague who is the coolest human in my office on a given day.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Anything written, directed or produced by Joss Whedon, with the exception of Dollhouse.

Career advice – what’s your top tip?

Never be afraid to say yes to a learning opportunity that scares you.

What useless skill(s) do you possess?

I have a killer memory for song lyrics. This is both a blessing (trivia) and a curse (having really annoying songs stuck in my head when I really need to remember something important like where I put my keys).

Proudest moment in your professional life?

Co-developing and implementing a pilot and subsequent training plan for bringing social media to my department this year.

If you had 24 hours all to yourself, how would you best like to spend it?

With my husband, 5-year old son and 17-year old step son somewhere sunny and warm with good food.

If you didn’t work in the information industry, what would you be doing?

If I was independently wealthy I would be back in school trying to complete my Master of Arts degree, but since I am not independently wealthy, I would probably be an executive assistant and if I was really lucky, I would be working in production management for a theatre company.

Finish this sentence: “In high school, I would have been voted the person most likely to … “

Be a performer – I was in many theatre productions in high school. My first diploma from a post secondary education was a diploma in Stage Management.

How do you stay current in your field?

I am involved in a number of professional organizations and committees both inside and outside of my workplace. I try to read as much library/information related news and experiment with new technology and new social media tools as I can. I try to take advantage of learning opportunities that come my way. I I receive most of my library/tech news these days through RSS, Twitter, LinkedIn and my favorite blogs. I try to connect with my colleagues as often as I can either through one of the social media networks or in person.

What would you like your headstone to read?

“Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace.” – Dalai Lama

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