13 Questions With: Elizabeth Smith
December 5, 2018
Acquisitions and Cataloguing Officer, Canadian Museum of Nature
Who inspires you in your career?
So many inspire me, but if I had to narrow it down – it’s people and the good we are all creating. The successes of my peers (past and present) in the library and information profession inspire me. The unknown inspires me. Stories of courage, integrity and compassion inspire me.
The first job you ever held and at what age and your first position in the library and/or information services field?
Short-order cook at Canada Post when I was 16. My first library position was at Natural Resources Canada, assessing a large donation against the collection development policy and cataloguing it.
Why a career in librarianship?
I worked a few entry-level jobs before I finally realized what I wanted to do. I took stock of the aspects of those jobs that I enjoyed most, combined it to my strengths and personal interests and that painted a promising career in librarianship. Information retrieval and sharing, an undeniable need for organization and components of outreach are what drew me to this career. It seemed so strategic in the planning stages yet it became such a natural fit and I am thankful for the path I chose. Librarianship offers infinitely diverse career options, from classic roles to creative ones, boredom is almost impossible.
Coolest thing in your cubicle or office?
My MS Surface Pro tablet is pretty cool, unless of course there is a rare book out from the vault on my desk.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Easy. Pop music. And I might have indulged in a whole tub of Hagan Daaz ice cream once, or twice ;)
Career advice – what’s your top tip?
Follow your instincts, always. Even when doing that seems scary. Believe that you will land on your feet!
What useless skill(s) do you possess?
This is embarrassing… I can do a pretty good Gollum voice (Lord of the Rings). Ok, moving on.
Proudest moment in your professional life?
When I heard I was the successful candidate for my current job. That moment gave me the greatest sense of accomplishment. My efforts in various roles (and perhaps a bit of serendipity) had paid off. I remember the excitement I felt when I saw the posting and thought to myself…I qualify for this! Silly, right?! Nevertheless, that is the feeling that came up. Naturally, I second-guessed my interview, but at the same time, I had a good feeling about it. The positon incorporated all the skills and experience I had acquired, and challenged me in just the right amount. Definitely gave me a sense of pride.
If you had 24 hours all to yourself, how would you best like to spend it
Coffee and book, intense workout followed by shower and hydration to prepare for great food, martinis, music and conversation and/or dancing!
If you didn’t work in the information industry, what would you be doing?
I would work in health and wellness. In fact, I often think of becoming a yoga instructor or volunteering as a community outreach worker.
Finish this sentence: “In high school, I would have been voted the person most likely to … “
Go on any roller coaster ride with you!
How do you stay current in your field?
Reading, lots of reading, conferences and I ask questions.
What would you like your headstone to read?
Courage that will never fade. Love you, miss you.