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13 Questions With: Graham Lavender

April 28, 2013

Teaching and Learning Librarian, Seneca Libraries

Graham Lavender

A hero who has inspired you in your career?

Amy Buckland, who accomplished more innovative projects during library school than most librarians do in their entire careers and somehow still had (and still has) time to provide all sorts of support for her classmates and colleagues.

The first job you ever held and at what age?

Not counting camp counselor, my first job was at the deli counter at Loblaws in high school – I was 17 or so.

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

While working on my MLIS, I worked part-time at the McGill Library doing special projects with Library Technology Services – things like investigating which academic libraries were using Meebo for chat reference and helping with a major overhaul of the Library website.

Coolest thing in your cubicle or office?

A note from my sister-in-law and her husband congratulating me on my new job, with a Photoshopped picture of me wearing a sombrero and drinking a margarita in a 1950s library.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Glee – I mean the TV show, but also the feeling I get while watching it.

Career advice – what’s your top tip?

Take any opportunity to network, whether you’re a student, a job seeker, or an employed professional. Even if you don’t need to find a job immediately, meeting people now will give you the opportunity to learn from others and build a strong, supportive network.

What useless skill(s) do you possess?

I speak some Esperanto.

Proudest moment in your professional life?

I felt very proud of my networking skills when I received a phone call from Tanis Fink, Chief Librarian and Director of Seneca Libraries, inviting me to interview for a position I hadn’t even heard about yet. (And yes, I’m working in that position now!)

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

Windsurfing, taking photos, and sleeping.

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

Something in the tech field, perhaps with educational technology.

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

Find a job that would allow me to sleep in until noon every day. (I’m still working on that…)

How do you stay current in your field?

I read a lot of blogs and try to get out and talk to as many other librarians as I can, often through networking events and conferences, but also just by meeting people for tea.

What would you like your headstone to read?

A QR code that links to my blog – in case I find a way to post from beyond the grave.

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